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By Walter H. Schwartz
Your microcomputer can soon be as valuable a troubleshooting tool as your test instruments or service data. State Electronics of Salt Lake City has developed a computer diagnostic system called Computech. As used by State Electronics, and soon to be offered as a franchise program to others, this sys tem is used to not only troubleshoot but to estimate and sell the repair job to the customer.
When the set is initially brought in for repair, the technician uses the computer in the presence of the customer to determine the likely fault. The technician answers yes or no to a series of questions asked by the computer. The computer determines the area of the chassis likely to be at fault and asks the technician to select a typical circuit for the set in question. It then displays this circuit and indicates the most likely faulty components, and displays an estimate of the labor and parts cost for the repair.
All of this information is displayed on a 19 inch television screen for the customer as well as the technician. This diagnostic procedure reportedly takes less than ten minutes; the estimate charge is $9.95.
Computech also will be providing accounting, inventory, mailing list pro grams tailored specifically for service operations.
The most immediately useful aspect of the Computech System is, however, the computer print out of troubleshooting problems and solutions. Sold as a subscription service, updated monthly, the Computech, Computer Assisted Television Repair Data Manual, at present lists about 6500 symptoms and solutions for most major brands of television sets. These symptoms and solutions are indexed by Sam's Photofact number and go back to number 688 (approximately 1964). Incorporated into this data is al of State Electronics and several other shops' experience as well as manufacturers information (all contributions are welcome). Also included in Computech Manual is a selection of service procedures, prepared by computer.
These procedures give step-by-step diagnostics for most problems in most television receivers, HV through video, sync, AGO through sound, or vertical.
The editors of ET/D have carefully reviewed the Computech Manual. It probably includes the most extensive short form listing of symptoms solutions ever presented for television trouble shooting and the service procedures will probably lead you to a fix for most problems and give a methodical approach to assist greatly even if they do not lead to an immediate repair. And the information is added to monthly! As stated earlier Computech expects to offer, at the price of a service van, a franchise for the whole Computech sys tem. This would include the entire hard ware/software package, troubleshooting system, accounting, inventory, all records, etc., business management and the right to use the Computech name.
(source: Electronic Technician/Dealer)