A resource for safe and effective troubleshooting from the leaders in simulation training.

Welcome back, Troubleshooters! Last week, Simutech Multimedia released its first instalment of “Troubleshooting Thursdays” which went straight into why troubleshooting is important and started to create a solid foundation for basic troubleshooting steps. As mentioned previously, “Preparation” and “Observation” are both critical building blocks for a safe and logical troubleshooting approach.

Simutech Multimedia’s systematic troubleshooting approach:

  • Preparation  
  • Step 1: Observation
  • Step 2: Define the Problem Area (today’s lesson)
  • Step 3: Identify Possible Causes
  • Step 4: Perform Testing
  • Step 5: Repair and Confirm
  • Follow-up

Today we will continue the steps for a safe, logical and systematic approach to troubleshooting by looking into the next step of Simutech Multimedia’s Systematic Troubleshooting Approach: Define the Problem Area.

STEP 2: DEFINING THE PROBLEM AREA

It can be very difficult to locate the problem area or where an electrical fault has occurred. Using your senses, observation should be the first screening process to find where the problem lies. After some general observation, apply logic and reasoning to determine the specific problem area of the malfunctioning equipment.

The challenge: Often when equipment malfunctions, certain parts of the machine will work properly, while others do not.   

The key is to use your observations (we covered this in Troubleshooting Thursdays: Observation) to rule out parts of the equipment or circuitry that are operating properly while not contributing to the cause of the malfunction. Locating the components and circuits that are working, will help quickly determine the parts that are not. You should continue to do this until you are left with only the components that, if faulty, could cause the symptoms the equipment is experiencing.

Note: To help you define the problem area you should have a schematic diagram of the circuit in addition to your noted observations.

Starting with the whole circuit as the problem area, take each noted observation and ask yourself “what does this tell me about the circuit operation?” If an observation indicates that a section of the circuit appears to be operating properly, you can then eliminate it from the problem area. As you eliminate each part of the circuit from the problem area, make sure to identify them on your schematic. This basic troubleshooting step will help you keep track of all your information.

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