Don't Miss

Why Modern Equipment Not Always Can Be Repaired….”?

By on February 5, 2018
why equipment can't repaired easily










Recently my hairdresser gave me her electric hair clipper that didn’t work anymore. It had a little charger adapter with charge stand that gave 3.5V DC at 1000 mA (3.5VA) that was still perfectly working. But the motor and the charging/battery voltage level indicator LEDs didn’t.

why equipment can't repaired

After I opened the clipper by removing 4 screws I looked at a dual layer PCB with code marking CH-330.

It wasn’t easy to comprehend the way in which the circuit was designed at first because the tracks on the pcb used a lot of VIAs.

equipment repair

This required me to draw the complete circuit on paper first by measuring how all tracks on the top side were connected to the bottom board side.

The pcb had one 3.7V 18650 Lithium battery that was okay. And so was the about 6000 rpm motor that was perfectly working when I attached it to the 3V Lithium battery. And all LEDs worked fine when I connected them to the Black and Red wire probes of my 9V DMM (Kathode Black wire, Anode LED Red wire with DMM selector set at DIODE/BEEP). Following circuit was the result:

hair clipper schematic

The active semiconductor components used were a NPN transistor marking D882M (Q1), an 8 sop Holtek microprocessor type HT48R01C (U1), and a dual mosfet 8205A (Q2), and a (probably type KIA series) 431 adjustable precision shunt regulator (V1). And some other semiconductors were two SS14 diodes (D1 and D3), a dual diode with marking 5C or SC (D2), and a glass type diode (VD1), plus of course the three mentioned indicator LEDs. Next photo shows the HT48r01c processor under the 18650 lithium battery. This processor exists also in 10 pins versions but this one is really the 8 pin version of that chip (with lesser I/O pins of course).

battery clipper

And following photo shows the same board side after the lithium cell was removed.

how to repair hair clipper

And here follows the other side of the pcb.

fix hair clipper

how to repair hair clipper1

The D882 NPN transistor Q1 is visible with the switch SW1 and in the middle the 3 LEDs. And on the left behind Q1 is also Q2 dual mosfet 8205A visible. And although the board didn’t do anything anymore I noticed that the motor was spinning at perfect speed only after I connected Drain and Source of Q2 together.

how to repair hair clipper2

This fact could only mean that the HT48R01C processor probably is dead. Could be caused by a chip defect or simply because it had lost its internal firmware? That would mean that I won’t be able to fix it because the processor not only operates the device but also safely charges and discharges the battery. (Like overvoltage also discharging a lithium below about 3.2V is dangerous because the current keeps on rising while destroying the lithium cell internally. And fires or explosions are something we want to avoid at all times! Which is also the reason why some cheap self made lithium operated soldering irons based on short circuiting the lithium battery are very dangerous! And overheating these cells is very dangerous anyway too).

And it doesn’t seem likely that the manufacturer of this electronic hair clipper is willing to share his firmware with the world. It is a bit strange though that this device already carries 3 different names being: E-TEK, ORBIT and PROXELLI.

Anyway to make sure that the device is beyond repair, I ordered a couple of 8205A dual mosfets and also some 431 smd parts. Replacing them is always easier than testing them in-circuit. And to be sure the old components are okay they need to be unsoldered anyway. It most likely proves that the microprocessor is the reason why this device is dead. Maybe other single chip 8 pin charger controllers can be used to fix this device. That is another thing I hope to find out. For now I have to wait another three weeks before my components arrive.

This article does show that a lot of devices simply do not work without (hidden/manufacturer protected) Firmware anymore. And because of it are difficult to repair. Especially in this example were no other obvious reasons for failure are detected. And the real danger begins when all our

devices are connected over wireless internet and are controlled and/or reprogrammed/flashed over wireless internet by others. Or controller chips that simply loose their firmware. (not something that is unthinkable in case of programmed FPGAs that loose their FW… say in about 20 years or more. And they likely also use them in airplanes etc.). In future it could make your car go in another direction or worse. And programming those chips is maybe done by someone that took those secrets with him some 25 years ago?

It gets more complex by the day. There are programming protocols we use when we flash chips. Why we need programmer hardware. And we also need special digital logic analyzers when we want to examine these communication protocols (there are at least 120 different protocols already!) like I2C, UART/RS232, CAN etc.

Even though the simple mentioned microcontroller in this article hardly uses any communication protocol in this device, it still means that it needed a programming protocol and a special (Holtek dedicated) programmer device to program it.

In case we do want to check the communication that internally takes place in all kinds of devices this is very easily possible. There are very cheap logic analyzers we can buy on Aliexpress or eBay that make our lifes so much easier after we have used it a couple of times to check or debug our devices.

With for instance a very cheap affordable Chinese origin Logic Analyzer – the Saleae 24M 8 channel L.A. we can view, check and debug all different port communication protocols.

logic analyzer

And even great software can be obtained free at this download site:

This very cheap clone Logic Analyzer works perfectly with PulseView from the sigrok site where also all the supported (clone) logic analyzers are shown. See also this very interesting video that explains in a extremely nice way what you can do with such a device and the Pulseview software:

logic analyzer device

[001] Sigrok and Logic Analyzers – YouTube

Introduction and experiments with low-cost logic analysers and the sigrok software suite.


And their download site:

Releases. You can download the latest released tarballs of the following subprojects from the download directory.


This PulseView analyzer program shows and recognizes many protocols and is completely free and daily grows by the number of new add-ons. It is almost unbelievable how much time (years!) was spend in creating this fantastic program that now shows its professional capabillities and still expanding protocol decoder.

This Saleae clone logic analyzer can also work as an USBee AX Pro analyzer by selecting with only software:

logic analyzer ax pro

USBee AX Pro reprogramming – Bits and Bytes –

About a MCU123 USBee AX Pro clone on which is very similar to a Saleae Logic. To use it with the Saleae software, the VID/PID need to be reprogrammed. The …..(more online)


Anyway I hope to have more answers concerning the hair clipper in three weeks time. If the hair clipper still doesn’t work at that time, this article explains exactly why it didn’t and more.

I am confident that all Blog readers and surely students of Noahtech will no doubt appreciate knowing about these logic digital analyzers and how easy it is using such a usefull device. And also how easy it is to own one. Hereby I also wish to thank the writer(s) of PulseView and the Protocol writers of Sigrok and the Sigrok site for their incredible work. I can’t wait to test my logic analyzers with PulseView on my electronic devices.

In case the microprocessor indeed proves being defect I ordered this small board from Aliexpress:
Only question then will be if that board fits inside the Hair clipper. The leds probably just have to be reconnected afterwards so that they will work when the clipper gets charged.

I hope reading this article was a pleasant experience.


Albert van Bemmelen, Weert, The Netherlands.

Please give a support by clicking on the social buttons below. Your feedback on the post is welcome. Please leave it in the comments.

P.S- If you enjoyed reading this, click here to subscribe to my blog (free subscription). That way, you’ll never miss a post. You can also forward this website link to your friends and colleagues-thanks!

Note: You can read his previous repair article in the below link:




  1. suranag Electronics

    February 5, 2018 at 12:48 pm

    MR, Albert,

    Good Job and thanks for the details !

    • Albert van Bemmelen

      February 6, 2018 at 4:50 am

      I was very glad to provide these details MR Suranga. It likely will give your electronic repair shop a new method to provide service in more complex situations.

  2. Liviu

    February 5, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    I think the best were to procure another good hair clipper similar with the faulty one, for the sake of experimenting, if you really wanted. Otherwise, interesting article.

    • Albert van Bemmelen

      February 6, 2018 at 4:28 am

      I wonder if that would be of much help Liviu, knowing these microprocessors in most cases are copyprotected. And copying them probably requires special hardware anyhow. But I think that I will use a special very affordable charge/discharge controller board from Aliexpress specially for one 18650 battery. (See the last link in the article above). And just change the circuit a bit so my hair dresser will be able to use and safely charge the clipper again.

  3. Robert Calk

    February 5, 2018 at 7:30 pm

    Good job, Albert. Manufacturers want us to buy new devices and not repair them.

    • Albert van Bemmelen

      February 6, 2018 at 4:16 am

      I wonder Robert, if those manufacturers will survive in the long run. Customers never tend to buy something new from a manufacturer that is known for already selling bad products or for giving a lousy service. For instance: Our Tektronix oscilloscopes are very well manufactured and still work after more than 30 years or more. Which is great advertisement! And their new Logic Analyzers are Top of the Bill (see the TLA 7000). But I'm afraid that we do have to wait another 30 years to be able to buy such an expensive machine!

  4. jorge de la fuente arrieta

    February 5, 2018 at 7:36 pm

    gracias , muy buena información , me permite actualizarme en esto de las reparaciones electrónicas.


    thanks, very good information, allows me to update myself on this electronic repairs.

  5. Henrique Jorge Guimarães Ulbrich

    February 5, 2018 at 9:46 pm

    One more product resultant from the planned obsolescence concept. Bad! Anyhow, greetings Albert, for your deep analysis of the product. Surelly, it was an interesting analysis, that gave us more knowledge.

    • Albert van Bemmelen

      February 6, 2018 at 4:04 am

      Thanks Henrique. I was really surprised how easy using these logic analyzers is and the fact that apparently no one had really written about it yet. Why such valuable information just had to be shared. And with it I hope to solve problems in future repairs I never had dared to examine in the past.

  6. Parasuraman

    February 5, 2018 at 10:02 pm

    Packed with a lot of very valuable information and links! Shows how concerned and generous you are to share the technical know-how. Along with the learning what all we can do, we learn many what we cannot do! My 'Pranamams'!

    • Albert van Bemmelen

      February 6, 2018 at 7:33 pm

      I thank you dear Parasuraman. It was my pleasure!

  7. Mihai

    February 6, 2018 at 1:56 am

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge !

    • Albert van Bemmelen

      February 6, 2018 at 7:36 pm

      Thank you Mihai. I'm glad that you liked the article!

  8. Albert van Bemmelen

    February 6, 2018 at 3:32 am

    Gracias Jorge. Mi español no es bueno, ¡pero entendí perfectamente tu texto! ¡Y tiene toda la razón en que esta información sobre los analizadores lógicos puede ayudarnos enormemente!
    Thanks Jorge. My Spanish is not good, but I understood your text perfectly! And you are absolutely right that this information about logic analyzers can help us enormously!

  9. Atma Singh

    February 6, 2018 at 3:54 am

    Interesting read. Thank you for sharing the information.

    • Albert van Bemmelen

      February 6, 2018 at 7:39 pm

      I was glad to share it. Thank you Atma.

  10. Anthony

    February 6, 2018 at 5:46 pm

    Hi Mr Albert, Thanks for the very informative article and a real eye opener about hair clippers
    which I never thought would be so complex to work on ! Well with the right tools we're just
    about able to repair most items and especially with logic analysers in our tool bags now thanks
    to your repair article! Great photos too and thank you very much for those links....very useful !

    Kind Regards

    • Albert van Bemmelen

      February 6, 2018 at 9:51 pm

      Hi Anthony, you said it right about logic analyzers being a completely new tool in our equipment. I'm happy the article was new to many readers too. It absolutely is a very promising and exciting new tool in our shack!

  11. Andrea Del Corso

    February 8, 2018 at 5:21 pm

    Hi Albert!An other interesting article for electronic tehnicals.Thank you !

    • Albert van Bemmelen

      February 8, 2018 at 9:17 pm

      Glad you liked it Andrea. We engineers always can use a few new tools to make things easier.

  12. Albert van Bemmelen

    February 22, 2018 at 9:11 pm

    Addendum: Although I wrote why in some cases a repair is not possible and the article title was "why-modern-equipment-not-always-can-be-repaired", I can confirm that the Hair-clipper now indeed successfully is repaired. After I today 22 feb 2018 received twenty (KIA)431 smd components and had replaced the old 431 smd component (V1 in schematic) the Hair-clipper was working like a new Clipper again!
    The S1 3.7 lithium-ion charging boards I also specially had ordered (But which never arrived!!) won't be needed for this repair afterall. So the Holtek processor was still completely working and no other components were defect!

    • Alexan Catalin

      March 11, 2018 at 11:17 pm

      Bravo Albert !

  13. Herve

    December 15, 2019 at 12:44 am

    Bonjour j' ai eu ce problème; une tondeuse a cheveux presque identique.
    Après avoir débranché puis rebranché la batterie tout a redémarré normalement.
    Peut être un reset du programme et des défauts en mémoire?

    Hello I had this problem; an almost identical hair clipper.
    After disconnecting and reconnecting the battery, everything restarted normally.
    Maybe a program reset and memory faults?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.