Fixing Electronics

We support efforts of the electronics industry to break the cycle of treating electronic devices as disposable commodities. An important arrow in the quiver is embracing repair to bring value back to products that are not working. Recently our microwave broke in our Shenzhen office and our Workshop Manager, Zhiwen Li, decided to roll up his sleeves and get it working again. Luckily, he is very skillful at repair and the microwave was fixed!

Some months earlier, our coffee maker broke in the San Francisco office. I took it home and thought it might be an interesting project for my son and me. It was model DCC-1200 from Cuisinart. I found a repair link on iFixit, which was a great start:

We were able to remove the concealed screws and take off the faceplate without much trouble. After that, it became much more difficult due to the liberal use of heat stakes to hold parts together. Ultimately, there was no way to access the PCB without destroying it in the process. 



If you find yourself in the designer’s chair and need to make choices, I encourage you to add some bonus points for repairability until we enact laws that make it easier to choose accordingly.

Here are some organizations promoting repair and the “right to repair”:

Tools, teardowns, training for repair:

Local in-home appliance repair service:

Repair advocacy:

Repair Café advocacy:

Repair Café of Palo Alto:

NYC repair shop and right-to-repair advocate:

Restart Project in London:

Right to Repair in Europe:

Stop Obsolescence in France:

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