David Harris, a retired electronics engineer from Northampton, UK, has found a new passion in his life — repairing Hi-Fi equipment. His workshop is equipped with a full anti-static station and all the necessary tools to carry out his daily projects.

What is your current occupation?

David: Retired electronics engineer. During my work life, I worked as a designer, builder, repairer, and calibrator. Now I'm retired, and I just work on Hi-Fi repairs, especially Lenco GL75 turntables. I also handle speakers, amps, and tuners, but not tape decks as they are too much like black magic.

How would you best describe your workspace? And how do you use it?

David: Spare bedroom converted into a workshop. Full anti-static station with a big worktable and plenty of storage space. It's surprising how much space Hi-Fi takes!
David's profile picture

How long have you had your space?

David: In its present state, about 8 years, but I've always had a workbench at home in one form or another since the early '70s.

When you designed and set up your space, what were your requirements and goals?

An anti-static station was a must as originally, it was for working on digital cameras, but now I'm into HiFi I have expanded the setup to include a new scope and multimeters, LCR meter, signal generator, Weller soldering iron plus a load of heavier engineering tools such as a huge 700 W Titan pillar drill, a table saw, jigsaw, lathe and LASER engraver cutter. Plus several instruments/tools specific to turntable repairs.
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Tell us about your technical interests. What sort of projects do you work on in your space? Why do you focus on such projects?

David: It's mainly Hi-Fi-biased these days. I've designed new bits, which I now sell via Facebook and eBay, including a 50-Hz strobe for turntable speed setting and a couple of mod kits and small mechanical items specifically for the Lenco GL75 turntable.

What sort of equipment and tools do you have in your space? Can you tell us how and where you store the equipment and tools?

David: Weller iron, digital scope, three multimeters, LCR meter, signal generators, small PC, lathe, LASER engraver/cutter, table saw, plus the usual drills, hammers, screwdrivers, etc. All are stored in my new shelving units on three sides of the workshop.
David Harris workshop for hi-fi repairs

What do you consider to be your most important or valued piece of equipment or tool? And why?

David: My Titan 700-W pillar drill is pretty special, believe it or not... the "throat" (IR, pillar to drill bit distance) is 16.5 cm, so big enough that I can drill the central holes in turntable platters! The other really well-used bit of kit is the Weller soldering iron, which does sterling service 8 hours a day.
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Is there anything special or unique about your space? What makes this feature so special or important?

David: It's most relevant to the Lenco GL75 turntable. I now have spares going back to the mid-60s, and I'm able to sort most issues that arise for this particular model. I also have a pretty wide customer base and word-of-mouth recommendations are really important.

Are you planning anything new for your space?

David: I'm pretty stable regarding tools and instrumentation, but could do with a new chair.

Tell us about your favorite electronics-related project. What did you build and why?

David: My favourite bit of kit that I've designed is my strobe, a dead simple circuit, hand-held running off a 9-V battery. It generates a 50-Hz crystal-controlled strobe output to assist the setting of turntable speeds. I've just ordered another 400 PCBs from China as they are selling so well (350 to date).

Battery from workspace

Are you currently working on an electronics or programming project?

David: I'm currently working on a new phono preamp, and the prototype circuit boards have just arrived this morning. It's based on the LF353 IC and has an outboard ultra-low noise power supply.

Do you have a dream project or something you'd love to tackle?

David: I would love to try and build a fully integrated Hi-Fi amplifier with purely valves.

Do you have any advice, tips, or encouragement for other engineers or makers who are thinking of putting together a workspace?

David: Measure three times before cutting.

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