Monday, April 12, 2021

My electronics journey By Humphrey Kimathi

Life is a journey, today I feel I should digress a bit and share my personal story into the world of electronics, who knows it may encourage someone.

To make is short let me begin in high school, when I joined form one from primary school I found many new subjects which were not covered in primary school and among them was Physics which was considered a science subject.

I fell in love with this subject that even when guys pushed me big time in other subjects I always excelled in physics effortlessly.

After high I joined the A levels for those who follow Kenya curriculum (same with British that time)

In  A levels one was supposed to choose 3 subjects only and I took Mathematics, chemistry and Biology using the rich dad, poor dad way of thinking.

So I decided to pursue those subjects in the hope of becoming a doctor, when the results were out that dream was cut short according to the results I attained.

As I was trying to figure what next for me my childhood passion for electronics was rekindled.

I immediately applied for high diploma in electrical/electronic engineering from the Kenya polytechnics.

My application was successful and reported to college, during the first week before we choose our courses a friend of mine who was from the same area meet with me and as we shared about the courses we are pursuing I told him I am enrolling for the above course and he told he is there to pursue CPA, that time account was the in thing and was only one year to get the first section and get a job and start earning as you continue with the other sections while working.

Being young and being eager to get rich quick (never works), I found myself doing account and forgot about electronics engineering.

After one year we finished college and true to his advice I got a job in a international company and he got a job in a bank.

Although I was getting good salary I realized I was not happy with my job.

Thus occupied in 2002 while still working, some thoughts passed my mind, these were the thoughts, suppose one day I am sacked, retrenched or even retire, will I start begging for breakfast the following day.

This kept me thinking, what is the best way out of such a scenario? That is when the thought, what can I do which no one can take it from me in terms of income generating? that is when my passion for electronics was rekindled again.

But where do I start? That time internet connection was just coming into the country, I started doing serious research on electronics particularly the basic part of it since as you know how strong the building is depends on how strong the foundation his. I wanted nothing less than a solid rock foundation.

I was very keen to find where to get the best information particularly how to things (do it yourself projects)

one day were searching I got a comment from a user who wrote, if you want to learn electronics from the source, befriend a radio amateur guy, these guy used to communicate with each other across the world even before internet and phones were invented. If you want to know these guys they use call sigh like VKxx.

So whenever I saw an article written and signed with these call sign I used to take that article very seriously, most of these guys are from UK, USA and Australia.

one day I saw an online school advertising about a course in electronics and the owner had the same call sign used by radio amateur operators.

Immediately I send my email requesting consideration and the results were positive, the owner told me the class was full but because he has noted a lot of enthusiasm in me for the same, he has no problem adding one more student and hence I was enrolled and send my first assignment via email.

The target was one lesson per week but I found myself doing 2 to 3 until he requested me to slow down which I was not able, I usually found myself reading and doing assignment late at night.

At that same time, I had also joined another college here in Nairobi  where I was pursuing higher diploma in electronics engineering evening classes since I had a full time job.

I completed the online course and continued with the other evening classes and also completely successfully.

Equipped with higher diploma in electronics and the online training I now decided to start doing some repairs.

Since it was very hard for me to have someone trust me with their gadget without experience I decided to start by repairing for my relative, friends and neighbors for free.

When given opportunity I realized classwork and field are two different things.

Nobody is interested with your papers but results! Is my machine working? By the way some of these customers can be nasty.

I almost asked myself the question, did I got it wrong again? I decided to change my approach and now decided to invest in books written by fellow technicians like Jestine yong from Malaysia and another writer was from Brazil but nowadays I never see his website though I had bought several books from him and still have them in my library…after readings those two authors books with all the basic(foundation) in me I found myself moving from an amateur to a pro within six months, I was the highly sought out tech in the estate.

Among the books which skyrocketed my repair path is s.m.p.s power supply repair by jestine yong. Why? Every equipment on planet earth use power and the most common power supply used in modern machines is smps.

Besides over 70 percent failure in electronics are power related and hence this book pays for itself very fast.

Another book by the same author is lcd moniter repair, why moniter repair and these days repairing a faulty monitor is not considered economical, But since the technology is the same, Jestine had explained everything so well, that is the book which got me started in lcd led TV repair since they came to Kenya not long ago but now flooded with cheap China model which die suddenly while watching your favorites program.

Later I was introduced by Jestine the world of blogging and later started writing my own books.

Some are sold via my website www.humphreykimathi.com  as ebooks and amazon kindle here. Kindly note the ones sold at amazon are the same with the ebook but sold at half price since I want to venture into amazon and competition for books is very stiff.

After working for 25 years as a payroll accountant, I noted the company was struggling to pay salaries.

In April 2018, one Saturday morning I tendered my resignation, it was not easy leaving the place you have made friends for such a long time.

Since I was already doing repair  in the evenings from my home, it was not hard for me to get customers, they just followed me to the new workshop which is within the estate.

Fast forward, 2019 the covid pandemic was announced in China and within a short period Kenya recorded the first case, second etc, business was really affected and the company I was working for was so affected that they down sized by half and still they are getting half the pay those who are still there.

What I am saying, even the strongest company can go down(remember Kodak)? 

what can never go down is your talent which is Given by God free, this will expire when you expire from this planet.

By the way I have repair friend from USA who is 95 years old and very active follower of my blog posts.

Finally, I have started an online classes on basic electronics and I am giving free my latest ebook lcd-led television repair course  for the first 10 students.

 

Thank you friends

 

Stay safe

Humphrey

 

 

 

 

 

 

8 comments:

  1. So inspiring. Never been to electronics class myself. Interest, as you said led me to an Indian writer RC Vijay (transistor radio troubleshooting). The book made me relatively knowledgeable in radio repairs then. The other techs I knew no theory of what they were doing. I operated radio repair shop early 2000 before I was employed as Chem math teacher. My knowledge was limited and improved by reading crt tv by Humphrey. Sir what is your take about cheap China products in Kenyan market from a techs point of view. Also our rural areas seem to have very few electronics for repair.. Ongaya Sylvester.

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    1. Hi Sylvester, Quite interesting, regarding the cheap China tvs in the Kenya market...i predict though i am not prophet that in 5 years from today there will be no space to store the junks unless we get a company to recycle them.

      Regards Humphrey

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  2. It's so encouraging. Thank you for the work you are doing to enlighten the people. May God bless the work of your hands

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    1. Amen and thank you for the feedback.

      Regards Humphrey

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  3. My brother thanks for sharing this inspiring true story. At first u were Jona who was send by God to go and preach.....but went his own way but he swallowed by fish and taken to where he was supposed to go.
    In life, follow what ur heart freely desires. You will never struggle. You will do your things very easily and comfortable in your mind.

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  4. Well put! Thanks.. Hope everything will go well this side of Nineveh.

    Regards Humphrey

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