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  The Conchess Ambassador arrived and it doesn't work!
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   Author  Topic: The Conchess Ambassador arrived and it doesn't work!  (Read 978 times)
Mike Watters
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Re:The Conchess Ambassador arrived and it doesn't work!
« on: June 25, 2005, 12:03AM »
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Dick

Very many thanks for the explanation and information. I had the wrong idea completely about reed switches.

Good luck with the repair. 

Mike
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Dick Schneiders
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Re:The Conchess Ambassador arrived and it doesn't work!
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2005, 08:45PM »
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Quote from: Mike Watters on June 18, 2005, 11:50PM   



It would help me, maybe Dick and probably others if someone who knew how these work gave a short explanation of what goes wrong and what is involved in repairing them. Whilst I have taken two Conchess machines apart I have not had to pay any attention to the reed switches. Unfortunately these machines can have a range of problems.

Mike


Mike,

I have done some research on reed switches and I don't see how they can get stuck.  They are simply two strips of metal encased in a gas filled glass tube.  The gas acts as an anti corrisive, I think.  The strips of metal have a gap between them, in the open position, and when a magnet is placed above the switch, the strips are magnetized and they come together to close the circuit.  When the magnet is taken away, the metal strips separate once again.

Some of the possible causes may be simple to fix.  If the switch has dropped down a bit for some reason, then it might be too far away from the magnet to be activated.  Also, the orientation of the switch has to be correct.  If the switch has turned a bit, then it might not work properly.  Of course, there could be a loose connection or the switch could have simply gone bad.  Although, from what I have been reading these things are very long lasting, once they are properly installed.  Since Conchess is known for having problems, perhaps they are not built very well and the switches move about or get damaged.

I have found several sources for these things, but there are many, many sizes, ratings, etc. and I need to get some idea of what is currently in the Conchess.  Hopefully, there will be some numbers printed on the switch itself, but for many of these mass produced items, they didn't put any identifying information on them for cost savings.

Probably any low current and low voltage one would work, as long as the physical size is close.  Also, there are two types - closed and open.  I would guess that most, if not all, of the chess computer applications would use the open ones.  That simply means that the two strips of metal are separate when the magnetic charge is not being applied.

I will probably check the non-working squares by using a reed switch from a working square to see if the switch is actually the problem.

I will detail what I end up doing and figuring out.

Dick Schneiders
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Dick Schneiders
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Re:The Conchess Ambassador arrived and it doesn't work!
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2005, 08:30PM »
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Quote from: Ismenio on June 20, 2005, 06:54PM   

Dick,

When you have worked out the arragements with the seller let me know. If you're going to keep the Conchess and are not comfortable in changing the switches I may be able to help you.

Ismenio



Ismenio,

I have finalized the details with my purchasing the broken Conchess Ambassador.  I am going to try and fix the switches myself, but if I get into any trouble, I will yell for help. 

Thanks,

Dick Schneiders
« Last Edit: June 24, 2005, 08:32PM by Dick Schneiders » Report to moderator Logged
Ismenio
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Re:The Conchess Ambassador arrived and it doesn't work!
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2005, 06:54PM »
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Dick,

When you have worked out the arragements with the seller let me know. If you're going to keep the Conchess and are not comfortable in changing the switches I may be able to help you.

Ismenio

PS: Got to turn the computer off now, we're going to enter a tunnel soon. I was just testing using the cell phone as a modem here. Of course I'm not driving now My wife is! I convinced her to come with me!
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Mike Watters
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Re:The Conchess Ambassador arrived and it doesn't work!
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2005, 12:33AM »
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Mike,

Are these difficult machines to gain access to the inner workings of?  I haven't yet tried to open her up, as the seller and I are still working out the final deal.

Dick Schneiders


Dick

No they are relatively simple machines and easy to open up and to get access to the electronics. As long as you keep a clear idea of where things sit so you can put it back together again you will be alright. The wooden rails and screws that hold the board in place with the case are a bit rudimentary, but OK. The Leds and buttons are easy enough to line up with the holes in the board to get it back together.

Mike
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Dick Schneiders
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Re:The Conchess Ambassador arrived and it doesn't work!
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2005, 04:19PM »
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Quote from: Mike Watters on June 18, 2005, 11:50PM   

Dick

Sorry to hear about the problem. This is something I haven't had to deal with, yet. I have no idea if it would work but have you tried a much stronger magnet to shift these reed switches. Perhaps they are just lightly stuck in one position, rather than permanently broken?

It would help me, maybe Dick and probably others if someone who knew how these work gave a short explanation of what goes wrong and what is involved in repairing them. Whilst I have taken two Conchess machines apart I have not had to pay any attention to the reed switches. Unfortunately these machines can have a range of problems.

Mike


Mike,

Are these difficult machines to gain access to the inner workings of?  I haven't yet tried to open her up, as the seller and I are still working out the final deal.

I did try to use other pieces that have somewhat stronger magnets.  I will try to find a more powerful magnet and see if that changes anything.

Thanks for the help,

Dick Schneiders
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Dick Schneiders
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Re:The Conchess Ambassador arrived and it doesn't work!
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2005, 04:17PM »
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Quote from: Ismenio on June 18, 2005, 08:42PM   

Dick, I don't think it would be that difficult to replace the reed switches but that depends on how hard it is to get to them. I can take a look at my board when I get home. We're away for the weekend (Cedar Point )

Now, did the seller say it was fully functional? If so, I would try to negotiate a discount because of the problems.

Can you also try something? See if you can hear a soft click on those squares when you place a chess piece on them.

Ismenio


Ismenio,

Thanks for the help.  The seller and I have been in email contact, and she has agreed to either give me a complete refund, if I return the Conchess, or a partial refund if I decide to keep it and try to fix it.  The amount of the partial refund has not been discussed yet, though and I have no idea what to ask for.

I will try to see if I can hear the switches on the bad squares working. 

I am a bit leery about doing any surgery on the unit until the seller and I have reached an agreement.

Dick Schneiders
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Mike Watters
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Re:The Conchess Ambassador arrived and it doesn't work!
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2005, 11:50PM »
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Dick

Sorry to hear about the problem. This is something I haven't had to deal with, yet. I have no idea if it would work but have you tried a much stronger magnet to shift these reed switches. Perhaps they are just lightly stuck in one position, rather than permanently broken?

It would help me, maybe Dick and probably others if someone who knew how these work gave a short explanation of what goes wrong and what is involved in repairing them. Whilst I have taken two Conchess machines apart I have not had to pay any attention to the reed switches. Unfortunately these machines can have a range of problems.

Mike
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Ismenio
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Re:The Conchess Ambassador arrived and it doesn't work!
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2005, 08:42PM »
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Dick, I don't think it would be that difficult to replace the reed switches but that depends on how hard it is to get to them. I can take a look at my board when I get home. We're away for the weekend (Cedar Point )

Now, did the seller say it was fully functional? If so, I would try to negotiate a discount because of the problems.

Can you also try something? See if you can hear a soft click on those squares when you place a chess piece on them.

Ismenio
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Dick Schneiders
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Re:The Conchess Ambassador arrived and it doesn't work!
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2005, 05:02PM »
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Quote from: mychess on June 18, 2005, 03:50PM   

Hi,

Try to go to "problem mode", and test it with positions without pieces on B1.
Does the conchess have keyboard entries (A->H, 1->8) ?
On my Munchen with the same problem, I can play with moves introduced with the keyboard (of course, the leds on the chessboard are like a "Santa Klaus"  tree, but never mind). You can workaround this "lights show" by using pieces without magnetic effect (don't you have a non-electronic chessboard with its pieces  ;-))
I hope these procedures can help you to diagnose the machine, first step before repair it.

Cordialy,

Mychess.




Thanks for the suggestions.  The Conchess does not have the capability for key board entries. 

I tried the Problem Mode, and it worked but I did discover that there are two more squares that do not recognize any pieces - C3 and H6.

I suspect that all three of these squares have bad or stuck reed switches.  This seems to be a common problem with this computer, from comments from others in the past.

Although I have seen a lot of comments about faulty reed switches, I don't remember seeing anything about if or how to fix them. 

I would like to keep this computer, but only if I can fix the problems.

Thanks for your help,

Dick Schneiders
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mychess
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Re:The Conchess Ambassador arrived and it doesn't work!
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2005, 03:50PM »
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Hi,

Try to go to "problem mode", and test it with positions without pieces on B1.
Does the conchess have keyboard entries (A->H, 1->8) ?
On my Munchen with the same problem, I can play with moves introduced with the keyboard (of course, the leds on the chessboard are like a "Santa Klaus"  tree, but never mind). You can workaround this "lights show" by using pieces without magnetic effect (don't you have a non-electronic chessboard with its pieces  ;-))
I hope these procedures can help you to diagnose the machine, first step before repair it.

Cordialy,

Mychess.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2005, 03:54PM by mychess » Report to moderator Logged
Dick Schneiders
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The Conchess Ambassador arrived and it doesn't work!
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2005, 12:37PM »
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The Conchess Ambassador that I purchased on eBay arrived today and it doesn't work.  The square B1 doesn't recognize the piece, so I can't even get started to check out the rest of the unit.

Probably the reed switch, as discussed here previously.  What, if anything, can I do to fix the problem?

Should I simply send the unit back to the seller and not bother with it?

Thanks,

Dick Schneiders
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