Online Wikithon: learn and share repair advice!

:mega: Announcing Wikithon 2

This event has now ended. A big thanks to everyone who came along!

In December, we ran our first ‘Wikithon’, an online hackathon where we explored some of the most interesting repair data collected by the network and pulled out useful advice to add to the Restarters Repair Wiki.

The repair wiki :blue_book: is our place to record and share useful repair info and guides. It’s written by the community for the community and we think it’s time to give it some love by opening up new ways for everyone to get involved.

Online repair expertise has never been so important, so we’re excited to announce that we’re running Wikithon 2 next week and you’re all invited!

Whether you’re an experienced repairer or a total beginner, this is a great way to document and share the rich knowledge gathered from community events around the world. It’s also a chance to connect with others from the network and learn more about why collecting repair data is useful in the first place.


2020-04-08T18:30:00Z (duration: 2 hours)


The Wikithon will be happening entirely online! We’ll start with a fun little challenge and then collaborate in an online document. There’ll be a video/audio chat open throughout.

We’ll be meeting here: :whiskers_left: [Room now closed] :whiskers_right:

The room will be open 2020-04-08T18:15:00Z and we’ll get started at half past.

There’s no need to RSVP, just show up :slight_smile:

Feel free to ask questions or ask for technical help below.

:bell: Want a reminder on the day? Let me know by replying below and I’ll drop you a quick message on the day :+1:


Yes, please send a reminder. It’s hard to differentiate the days at the moment!

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Just wanted to remind everyone that the Wikithon is happening tomorrow (Wednesday)! :whiskers_left::drum::whiskers_right:

What is the url? Is it the one we are on now?

Hi Graham,

We’ll be meeting here later on:

I’ll open the room 2020-04-08T18:15:00Z and we’ll get started at half past.

See you then!

The room is now open!
Feel free to drop in any time (we’ll be here until 2020-04-08T20:30:00Z):

[Room now closed]

Thanka for the session tonight - sorry I couldn’t stay longer!

Thanks for coming along Ian! It was great to see you

A big thanks to @Birgit, @Dick_Daniel, @Graham_Harrison, @Ian_Barnard, @Janna, @Lorna_Montgomery, @Margaret_Hersee and @Steven_Renshaw for coming along yesterday to explore some repair data and identify fixing tips and tricks for everyone!

A huge thanks to @philip as well for guiding us through the wonderful world of the Wiki.

For those who couldn’t make it, here’s a quick overview of what we worked on:

A Wiki treasure hunt

After introductions, we started with a hunt around the Wiki to find answers to Philip’s Wiki quiz. Feel free to give it a go yourself below!

Reading repair stories and filling in gaps in the Wiki

Then, we took a look at a couple of dozen repairs from events across the network to find out whether the repairers on the ground had added useful advice that we could add to the Wiki.

Together we identified a number of helpful tips that we started adding to the Wiki, as well as some gaps around the following kinds of devices:

  • Laptop cooling stands
  • Feature phones
  • Electric blankets
  • Beard trimmers
  • Heating pads

Repair of the day: remote control for a portable radio :radio: not working - found out that the owner (an engineer), when changing the flat battery, did not take off from the new one a sticker put on its back for safety purposes(?). The guy was deeply ashamed.

The lesson: always check the battery :battery:

Thanks again to everyone who came along! And if anyone would like to help fill in the gaps we identified (or contribute in another way), just reply below or message me (@james) or @philip :+1:

Finally, If you’d like to try your hand at Philip’s treasure hunt / quiz, here it is (click/tap on the answers to reveal them, but do try to find them yourself first :wink: )

The Wiki treasure hunt :mag_right:

Can you find answers to the following questions on The Wiki?

General Topics

  1. What is another name for a Birmingham screwdriver? (Hint - it’s in the Glossary!)


    A hammer

  2. Can you find (again in the Glossary) a fixing technique that makes use of a Birmingham screwdriver?


    Percussive maintenance (just hit it!)

  3. What is the first item in the list of recommended tools, both for fixers and hosts?



Techniques, Skills and Tools

  1. Placing your water-damaged device in rice is about the worst thing you can do. What is said to be very slightly less bad, but still not recommended?


    Couscous (but it’s still a bad idea!)

  2. If you select a pair of readyspecs marked as +4 dioptres to use instead of a magnifying glass, what magnification will they give?


    x2 magnification

Understanding how stuff works

  1. Illustrating that electrical voltage is a bit like water pressure, the Wiki contains a picture of a fountain. In which European city is it?


    Geneva, Switzerland

  2. To make a potato battery you need a potato. What are the other two items recommended?


    A copper coin (or a piece of stiff copper wire) and a galvanised nail

  3. A crystal set is the simplest possible form of radio, but the vast majority of AM and FM radios follow a more sophisticated design. What is it called?


    The superhet design

Computers and Home Office

  1. Faced with a slow laptop, what is the first thing (according to the Wiki) you might check in a preliminary investigation?


    Check how much RAM is installed

  2. Out of frustration, you might be tempted to throw your old computer out of the window. A better strategy would be to throw …. out of …. (Complete the sentence.)


    Throw Windows out of your computer (and install Linux instead)

  3. Ink jet printers love …. (Complete the sentence.)


    Ink jet printers love to be used (left unused the print head can become dry and clogged up)

Electronic gadgets

  1. What do most headphones have which can’t be disassembled (and has to be replaced)?


    The plug, which is usually moulded on

  2. Given a compact camera with a stuck lens, what very cheap item can you use to attempt to clean between the sections of the lens barrel?


    A piece of paper

  3. How long would the spiral track of a CD be, if you unwound it?


    5.7 km long :astonished:

Household and Kitchen

  1. What do weighing scales use to measure the tiny deformations of a piece of metal when a load is applied?


    Strain gauges

  2. Why do we normally advise leaving repair of a microwave ovens to a professional?


    Because the high voltages inside are extremely dangerous :warning: - do not attempt to fix a microwave unless you are a professional

  3. What kind of electric motors do mixers, blenders and coffee grinders usually contain?


    A universal or AC/DC motor


And a final question: What is the name of this cat?

(The answer is in the Wiki but may take a tiny bit of sleuthing to find!)


That Carbon-based Gadget is called Mog! Nothing like a grumpy cat :smirk_cat:

He’s not really grumpy, just thinking deeply. Probably about his next nap.

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