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Tech: Need Device information? Free Manuals Online

Acme 12 May 13 - 11:05 AM
Bill D 12 May 13 - 11:11 AM
Acme 12 May 13 - 11:51 AM
JohnInKansas 12 May 13 - 04:29 PM
Acme 12 May 13 - 09:13 PM
Bat Goddess 12 May 13 - 10:13 PM
JohnInKansas 12 May 13 - 10:24 PM
Bill D 12 May 13 - 10:29 PM
Acme 12 May 13 - 10:55 PM
Acme 12 May 13 - 11:14 PM
Joe Offer 12 May 13 - 11:35 PM
JohnInKansas 13 May 13 - 01:15 AM
Acme 13 May 13 - 07:37 PM
JohnInKansas 13 May 13 - 08:09 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 May 13 - 08:57 PM
Acme 13 May 13 - 09:29 PM
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Subject: Tech: Need instructions for Device? Manuals Online
From: Acme
Date: 12 May 13 - 11:05 AM

http://www.manualsonline.com/ has amassed manuals from all sorts of equipment and electronic devices.

This site has accumulated instruction manuals from as many devices as possible, and they no-doubt have an ongoing operation to accumulate and scan in more. Search on your device and see if you find the manual.

Complete Brand List

As a random check just now I looked up Kenmore - the Sears brand. They have 2,231 manuals for automotive devices, household appliances and kitchen appliances.

You'll find Sony, Aiwa, all sorts of electronics, you'll find store brands (Sears, Penneys, Walmart, Costco, sports stores, etc.) and gray market brands.

Bike assembly instructions, assembling your barbecue grill instructions, operating instructions for your electronic thermostat, vacuum cleaner instructions, directions for working on your weed whacker or your lawn more. All of your music devices are in here.

Maybe you bought a used appliance at a thrift store or a garage sale? It's several years old? No problem, it is probably in there. This database is that good.

They have the manual you need, or will soon. It's an amazing resource. And it's free.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Need instructions for Device? Manuals Online
From: Bill D
Date: 12 May 13 - 11:11 AM

I have found several manuals I needed online. Go to that link first, as just searching on your model # will get you sites where they want you to pay for them. Free is better.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Need instructions for Device? Manuals Online
From: Acme
Date: 12 May 13 - 11:51 AM

I've managed to put several things into operation because I found the parts list or simply how to set up equipment that I bought second-hand.

All of those folks selling user manuals on eBay must be gnashing their teeth at this free site. I had a few I was thinking about listing, but there is no point wasting the time now.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Need Device information? Free Manuals Online
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 12 May 13 - 04:29 PM

The majority of sites that say they have manuals are just "search sites" that use anything (***) you enter in a search, and insert it automatically, in "Find *** Here." These generally are the first 8 to 12 "hits" in any Google search for "product information."

A second tier of "hits" say something like "Find *** FREE." Their success in "finding" anything is incredibly poor, and IFF they "find" something they inform you how much it will cost you to "SEE" what they found. (They didn't say that looking at it would be free.)

This looks like an honest site, and may be quite useful.

I've made it a practice for some time to scan and save anything on paper that comes with a new "thing" that I expect to have for a while, and this nearly always includes a "user manual" or at least a "Set Up" or "Quick Start" sheet. It helps to make sure you write YOUR MODEL NUMBER and SERIAL NUMBER on it before the scan.

I've found that the "paper" nearly always gets tossed or put in a safe place that's too safe, and I usually can't find it later, but the pdf or jpg files can almost always be pulled up.

For any of the "really good stuff" I usually go to the manufacturers' websites, as soon as convenient after purchase, and usually for current products you can download both the "user manual" and (very important) an "Illustrated Parts List" with part numbers and usually diagrams to help figure out which part broke. Sometimes you can also find a "Maintenance Manual" that's even more complete, and if it's there, you really should "snatch it while you can." In some cases you may have to pay a nominal fee for an Overhaul or Maintenance manual, and then it depends on how good the other stuff you already have will determine whether it's worth paying, but if you don't get it while the product is still "new" it probably won't be available by the time you want it.

I'll have to dig into the site suggested, but if it's mostly just "User Manuals" it may not be all we hope it will be.

Some User Manuals are very good but many of them don't say much more than "Step 1. Plug it in, Step 2 Turn it on."

Some "User Manuals" do include "operating advice" that isn't even in the overhaul manuals, but you have to read them to know what's there, which is mostly a "fatal defect" for those who don't bother to RTFM, regardlesss of how good they are.

It looks like a good link. I'm sure I'll poke around in it.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Need Device information? Free Manuals Online
From: Acme
Date: 12 May 13 - 09:13 PM

John, I've kept this as a bookmark for several months now - and when a thread turned up where I realized it would be useful, I posted it. And decided it needed a thread of its own to call attention to this resource. I found the instructions for my Ryobi string trimmer here and also for a few things that I bought at garage sales.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Need Device information? Free Manuals Online
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 12 May 13 - 10:13 PM

I have almost never had a problem finding a PDF manual for whatever it is that I'm looking for online.

Linn


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Subject: RE: Tech: Need Device information? Free Manuals Online
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 12 May 13 - 10:24 PM

Stilly -

I've only looked briefly at the site, but it does look like a good one.

My comments were more what I thought might be helpful as general hints on "getting it while it's hot and easy" (mostly for the guys who always want more stuff?) and how to find some of what won't be quite as easy to find later if you wait.

Any place that's got much of anything about last year's models is a gold mine, and I'm sure I'll dig some at this one.

***

Might be worth a separate thread, so what follows is thread drift; but I recently had a "difficulty" with a Ryobi String Trimmer:

1. The one I had, that I'd swapped the string thingy for a "flinging blade head" went away with a borrower who hasn't returned it.
2. I though it would be easier to replace it than get my original one back.
3. I was WRONG.

Ryobi makes "string trimmers" with both gas engine and electric "power heads" and with interchangeable "extensions" that you can set up as chain saws, hedge trimmers, edgers, cultivators, brush saws, . . . and even string trimmers. The same extensions are used with gas power heads as for electric power heads.

After market "toolheads" for trimming often say "for gas trimmers only" but that doesn't tell you much when the same tool attachment can be used on an extension you can stick into either kind of power head.

An undefined recent change makes it impossible to install any third party replacement for a Ryobi string trimmer on the "curved shaft trimmer extension," so far as I've found. Most such attachments can be installed on any of the other tool extensions that vaguely resemble a string trimmer, including the "straight shaft string trimmer extension."

THERE IS NO DOCUMENTATION OF WHAT HAS BEEN CHANGED to make the curved shaft extension that I put "my" new toolhead on a year ago now unable to use "the same" head. The model/part number of the extension has not changed. The pictures in all the paperwork are the same.

The "clue" is a left hand thread on the knob that holds the string head on, for the ones that can mount most alternate (for trimmer) heads, with a right hand thread on the "curved shaft trimmer extension;" but you have to unscrew the knob on one to tell which is on the one in the box. No external markings give a clue.

As with any use of "third party accessories" results my vary some, but documentation on "which works with what" is generally very poor, and apparently may change randomly and arbitrarily.

***

Now back to the thread.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Need Device information? Free Manuals Online
From: Bill D
Date: 12 May 13 - 10:29 PM

Sony is pretty good about offering manuals to most of their products...I have 5-6 Sony items that I have found manuals for at Sony site.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Need Device information? Free Manuals Online
From: Acme
Date: 12 May 13 - 10:55 PM

John, sometimes you just have to find a "man who does," as some of our UK members refer to their favorite handyman. I have a guy who does work on small engines, who knows what goes wrong with them, and who rebuilt the carburetor on my Ryobi. He told me how to change the fuel line (he was busy, but he could tell me easily how to change out the lines and sell me the tubing for about .98) but that wasn't enough, and though I had instructions, I decided not to try to work much on the carburetor. After my first attempt didn't work, I took it in for him to do.

I have some used items that I bought inexpensively and hoped I'd be able to find information for. Case in point, a Sony 300 CD mega storage changer, but there was no manual and no remote control. I need to know how to run the buttons on the front of the box. Just now I went in and got the information off the back and found the manual. The trick with this site is that "less is more." Don't put the whole name in "Sony 300 Mega Storage . . . plus the model, JUST put the model (CDP-CX355) after selecting Sony as the brand. And there it was - several versions to choose from.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Need Device information? Free Manuals Online
From: Acme
Date: 12 May 13 - 11:14 PM

I just printed the manual - there were versions for the US and another for GB and FR (in one). I usually print something like this PDF with two pages per side, printing on both sides, and if I decide that I need it a bit larger for part of it, I can reprint the pages I want full-size.

Yes, a lot of places have their own manuals online. And places like Dell have instructions for taking apart and updating their computers. But in general, having all of this in one place, especially the more obscure items, is very nice.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Need Device information? Free Manuals Online
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 May 13 - 11:35 PM

I maintain a hundred-year-old firehouse that is used as a women's center. I find almost all the repair instructions I need online. I can't imagine doing maintenance work without online access to instruction manuals.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Tech: Need Device information? Free Manuals Online
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 13 May 13 - 01:15 AM

For what Stilly indicates she needed, and probably for most of what Joe looks at, the productes with a decent "user manual" probably provide all that will be helpful there, and the source linked should be a good place to start.

When you don't have the information you need, there's no question that the web is the place to go, and having some idea of where to go first on the web is very valuable. Don't neglect thought, that the "User Manual" may be the best place to find out what's available next if you need more info.

Sometimes, like Stilly's "man who knows," you do need more detailed information. I'd expect he's got the Ryobi small engine repair manual. I've seen it. It's good. I don't have it, although I do have the similar Briggs & Stratton repair book that was nominally priced and excellent. Stilly's guy quite probably has that one too, although either book will pretty much fix either engine if you can find the right part numbers.

User manuals are the right thing if you just need to get it working. Sometimes they also give you a lot of help if there's actually a problem. If something's broke, and you need to fix it, you may need a little more.

Regardless of what you need to know, the web is the place to start, and starting with the simplest stuff that might "get it done" is usually better than trying to learn everything all at once.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Need Device information? Free Manuals Online
From: Acme
Date: 13 May 13 - 07:37 PM

John, he's one of those guys who works out of an old converted gas station in a little town along a wide spot in the road. His property is dotted with lots of little storage buildings and lots of reconditioned mowers and trimmers and such out front for sale. I'm sure he does have the manuals, but I'd guess he has probably doesn't need to use the manual except for ordering parts.

I try to keep all of the manuals for things I buy, and I find this particularly useful if years later I decide to sell said item on eBay. It gives more credibility to the auction. There have been a few occasions when I couldn't find the original manual so I found one online and printed it up to send along. (This also helps me be sure the item is complete, and helps in describing it in the auction.)

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Need Device information? Free Manuals Online
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 13 May 13 - 08:09 PM

There's lots of times when knowing a little about what you're doing is helpful.

There's also some times when making a good fake at knowing what you're doing is of some use.

There also are some times when knowing more than you should can be sort of hazardous.

A decent manual can be a lot of help with the first two, and once in a while even with the third.

If your guy has been in the business for long, he may have the 1943 version of a lot of manuals, but for small engines they haven't changed enough to make a lot of difference so he's probably okay with it. For ordering parts, the "Illustrated Parts List" is generally more use than the manual, if there are separate ones you can get, but it's the one who needs the part who has to figure out which to look for.

If you just want to get what's available while something is new enough to make it easy, you should look for a "User's Manual," a "Repair/Maintenance Manual," and an "Illustrated Parts List" and make sure you get all three if they're available for the thing in question. If they want you to pay for a Repair Manual, it's generally okay to consider whether you have a "guy" who can take care of stuff that would be there, and "defer" that one if service is available. Those are the three things you're most likely to find, and there are good reasons for having all three when a manufacturer has offered them all.

Otherwise, just get what you can. If they're not all three available, enough part number info for anything you're likely to need will probably have been consolidated into one or both of the others, or for simple things it may all be in one booklet.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Need Device information? Free Manuals Online
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 May 13 - 08:57 PM

Looked for some (Leica M and R models, etc.) that I bought, and they are not listed.
Haven't checked yet for some of my "Hi-Fi" equipment.

All in all, a useful source; I have bookmarked it.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Need Device information? Free Manuals Online
From: Acme
Date: 13 May 13 - 09:29 PM

I used to do that with my vehicles, but I haven't done any work on the last two I've owned. I go to the shop. I haven't checked this site for those manuals - since most of them are name publisher and aren't cheap, I'm sure auto manuals aren't in the list.

SRS


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