Monday, 9 April 2001
My scanner is broken. It does not work at all. An LED light still glimmers on the front, but it is very faint.

Mike Levyssohn (, who revived my lap top last year June, analyses the situation. Mike Levyssohn His conclusion is The adapter is broken. The faint light is just because the scanner receives a bit of electricity from the lap top. He takes the scanner in for repair.

Mike's analysis proves to be correct. The adapter does not supply power any more. This seems a simple problem. The scanner is still new, so I'm still in the warranty period. Unfortunately, the adapter is a consumable and is not covered by the warranty. The salesperson does not even want to order a new adapter.

Well plenty of suppliers, I think in an optimistic mood. It's not so easy. The adapter is of a rare kind, supplies 15 Volts direct current. So does this make the whole scanner a total loss? Should I write off the scanner prematurely and buy a new one? It's not a problem, just an expense. But I refuse to give up without a fight. It must be possible to repair such a simple thing.

It takes weeks, even for Mike, to find a replacement for the adapter. Marco, one of his ADP ( colleagues happens to have a 15 Volts adapter available, thanks heavens. So, problem solved? No, not yet. The power plug of the new adapter does not fit the scanner. Mike is optimistic: So, we just move the plug!

I'm growing more and more confident that things will work out in the end. Moving a plug is dead easy. Setback: The cable of the new adapter is not compatible with the old one. In addition it is moulded, hard to detach. No problem, Mike just cuts the plug off.

But next:

  1. It is not clear which of the cable wires is positive, and which negative, in the case of both cables.
  2. What to do? To try our luck is just too risky.
  3. An Ohm-meter does not work.
  4. Oh, no wonder, the meter needs a battery. We'll just borrow a battery from the remote control then.
  5. No soldering iron at hand. So, use a simple wire connector
  6. Too bad, the connector is too big. The negative wire is too thin and does not stick.
  7. A bit of simple tinfoil from the kitchen solves that problem.
  8. The old plug is now attached to the new adapter. Hip, hip hooray!
The light at the front of the scanner shines brightly once again. The scanner is back in business, with a replacement adapter, an old plug, an oversized connection and a bit of tinfoil. Nothing can stop technology. Persistence pays.

Till next week,

A big cheer for Mike Levyssohn and his colleague Marco.