Episode 595

June 27, 2020

Everything is made of parts.
Structures are made of materials.
A story has integrant scenes.
Groups are composed of constituents.
Food is made of ingredients.
Decisions are based on factors. 
Personalities are a collection of aspects.
The universe exists in many dimensions.

Modular component construction makes for easy repairs.
If a part in a machine fails the part can be replaced instead of the entire machine.

One of the critical decisions in repairing a system is to determine what component level to replace.

On a camping trip the side crank tongue jack on my trailer failed.
OK… if i am brutally honest, i forced the jack and broke it.
The ball and socket of the trailer hitch were stuck at an angle.
i used the tongue jack to raise the socket off the ball. This lifted the trailer and the back of my truck. The capacity of the 2000 lb jack was reached and the crank handle broke off. i removed the gear cover from the jack and saw that a small cotter pin holding the handle to the two gears had sheared off.

This was an obvious weak point in the design, but without it i could not separate my trailer from my truck.
i did not have a ready source of cotter pins in my tool box so i fashioned a pin from a dinner fork tine. Thinking myself clever, i cranked the jack and sheared off the tine.

Time to escalate.

i thought to call a mobile RV repair service, but remembered that there was a Tractor Supply Company (TSC) in Yucca Valley 20 miles away. A trailer jack is a component that TSC might carry. $65 and three bolts later i had a new 5000 lb top crank jack installed. A couple of cranks at the tension point and the trailer socket popped right off the hitch ball.

Happy Camper.

When our old television set went on the fritz i remember going to the drug store with my grandfather to buy replacement tubes. At the store was a metal cabinet. On top of the cabinet were sockets to test the tubes. Inside the cabinet were boxed tubes for sale. Replacing one tube would often restore the television to like-new operation.

i have been thinking of replacing my truck with a 4×4 van. When the passenger side door lock failed my first thought was, “Time to buy the van.” Reason took over and i looked into having the lock repaired. My mechanic’s plan was to fix the armature that operated the lock. That part could not be repaired and there was no replacement available. He escalated the repair to the entire Toyota-sourced door locking assembly.

This allowed him to fix the failed truck component. It was expensive, but not as expensive as a new door and paint job. Certainly it was not as expensive as a new vehicle.

Component construction is useful in computer repairs.

When a computer begins to run slowly it is due diligence to test the component software for malfunctions. Are the system, user account, applications and data correct? If there are no obvious problems with the software or the computer’s circuitry it might be expedient to replace the hard drive.

When replacing the hard drive a new operating system is installed, some applications must be reinstalled and all the data comes back from the backup. In addition, like with my trailer jack, you can replace the hard drive with a better model. Maybe you will choose a drive with greater capacity. Perhaps a solid state drive will also serve to speed up the computer. Replacing an easily replaced component like a hard drive can restore the computer to near new performance.

Replacing a part can repair and improve the whole system.

Remember the old Wendy’s chicken sandwich commercial? The completion’s pressed and formed chicken component was referred to as “Parts is Parts.”

Replacing one part fixed the sandwich and made it better.

One Response

  1. mark June 27, 2020

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