On this page you'll find almost all my performance reviews from my four years at Cobham Aerospace.
You'll find actual work orders from my working on LEAR JET AIRCRAFT ELECTRONICS as a top level Avionics
Technician. Most folks know that Lear Jet (Bill Lear specifically) was the inventor and pioneer of the 8 track format.
You'll find a diploma in Electronics from the U.S. Navy, and a Letter of Commendation for how fast I blistered through
their fantastic and wonderfully comprehensive Electronics school more than 30 years ago.
You won't find customer testimonials, because they are easily faked. But many customers have posted reviews for
our service on the Better Business Bureau website, where we currently hold an overall rating of A+
BBB page for Barry's 8 Track Repair
You'll find that I formerly worked on at least 24 pieces of Avionics equipment including communication, navigation
and audio gear, and that I was certified by the FAA to perform work on equipment used at high altitude.
You'll find that most of my repair experience has been in extremely critical situations in which my work absolutely,
positively MUST NOT FAIL - either at 20,000 feet with passengers, or onstage in front of thousands of listeners.
You'll find in my Tech Stats that out of 981 units (24 different products), my total number of warranty returns was SIX,
which means that my warranty return rate is just over HALF OF ONE PERCENT - on complex, high end Avionics gear.
Most of all, you will find ETHICS, CONSISTENCY and EXCELLENCE in every aspect of my work habits.
You will find EVERYTHING THAT IS DOCUMENTED AND VERIFIABLE, not just what looks good. IT'S ALL RIGHT HERE.
|Let's Get Started - Back to 1973 at Age 13
|My curiosity for Electronics started when I was about 5 years old, and I wondered how music came from my transistor radio.
I was addicted to the phonograph and imagined Herb Alpert and the TJB residing inside the tone arm. After taking apart
everything in sight, I didn't find any musicians or instruments - but I sure liked the shapes and colors of electronic components.
At age 13, I struck out with my RCA tube caddy and a Simpson 260 meter given to me by a neighbor. I had these cool "invoices"
that I typed up on an old manual Royal, and a shop teacher made me copies on the mimeograph machine. Do you remember
the great SMELL of fresh mimeographs? Almost as good as the taste of the school paste we used in Kindergarten!
Thus, I became the TV repairman for the apartment complex we lived in. My very first paying repair job was in March of 1973,
when I cleaned a TV tuner for $10. The first lesson I learned: NEVER GIVE CREDIT! I remember storming into a customer's
apartment and pulling my Shure M44E cartridge out of the guy's turntable when I finally got him to answer the door.
In 1973, I worked primarily on tube type TV's and the "NEW!" solid state stereo equipment including 8 track players.
Discovering Music and Music Electronics at 16
|Having always loved music, I picked up the electric guitar at age 16. Music has always come very easy to me; soon I was playing gigs
and high school dances all over the St. Louis area. The drummer's father was a local alderman and hooked us up with so many gigs
that I don't remember most of them. Playing in bands meant exposure to MORE ELECTRONIC STUFF, and I was soon
repairing the amps and PA equipment, building lighting switching circuits and designing cool lighted logo signs for the band.
|Finally After 7 Years - Formal Electronics Training
I joined the U.S. Navy in December 1980, mainly for the electronics school. I graduated electronics school 69 hours ahead of
the average time, which earned me a Letter of Commendation (see document links below). This was Basic Electronics, mostly
the required math with some electronics theory that I pretty much already knew. I was 100 hours ahead in the advanced class
when I was honorably discharged (see links below) due to my free spirit being unsuitable for the regimented military life.
After the Navy, I enrolled in Florissant Valley Community College in Florissant, MO. I first majored in Electronics, then changed
my major to Music in my second year. Again, something I already knew. After realizing that I wanted to be a repairman (not an
engineer), and that I wanted to play and write music (not teach it), I left the College to pursue real life goals.
|Working at Crate / Ampeg / Audio Centron
Between stints at my 25 year career as a Heating and Cooling technician and installer (which gave me the sheet metal fabrication
skills to make mechanical parts for 8 track machines and cabinets for custom-built units), I took a job as technician at St. Louis Music
(SLM Electronics) located at 11880 Borman in Maryland Heights, MO. At SLM I repaired guitar amplifiers and PA gear
manufactured by Crate, Ampeg and Audio Centron. ALL musicians wanted to work there, though the wages were rather low.
I continue to repair guitar amps, PA and stage equipment for a couple of local music stores in the Prescott, Arizona area. I did all
amplifier work for Guitar Heaven before the business closed, have repaired items for Pop's Music Store and am currently deeply
involved helping John's Corner Music on 2nd Street in Prescott Valley, AZ. I also accept some walk-in guitar amplifier business.
Very infrequently, I teach a little music theory, songwriting, guitar, bass, drums and keyboards for local music students.
|Producing My First Album
Having composed a number of love ballads with my orchestra music backing the vocals as well as a few rock/pop tunes, I produced
and released "Barry Fone - Songs of Love, Longing and Passion" in April of 2006. This album and its songs are available for
download on Rhapsody, iTunes and all other major music download sites. I have received 5 awards from BILLBOARD for the
content and recording quality of my original songs. Simply go on any of these sites and search for "Barry Fone".
Just as much an accomplishment in Electronics as in Music, the production of my album within my limited budget called for quite
a few electronic tricks and techniques for my album to equal the sound quality of a commercial recording - it does fall quite short.
|"Barry's 8 Track Repair" is Born
One month earlier, I created the website www.Barrys8TrackRepair.com in March of 2006. While waiting for the advertising to
soak into the nationwide vintage audio community, I decided to pursue yet another job in Electronics and answered an ad looking
for a radio repairman. I was somewhat unsure of my RF skills, but my wife insisted that I apply. The results changed my life forever.
|Shooting Up Through the Ranks as an Avionics Technician
At the interview, I thought it best to mention that my primary interest and area of skill is ANALOG electronics, and that I had very
little experience or interest in digital. Thankfully, Wulfsburg Electronics still manufactures a nice assortment of units containing
analog circuitry, and I was assured that my knowledge of transistor theory and discrete (before integrated circuits) technology
would be valuable to the company. At the time I had no idea just how true that statement was.
Long story short, I was given a raise and promotion at my 90 day review, then again at my next review (see document links below).
I was promoted to Technician Level 3 before it was achieved by a veteran there of many years, and was jumping from bench to
bench looking for more challenges to tackle. Regardless of tenure, I was second in the department in number of products I was
authorized to work on by the FAA, and was the TOP producer roughly 80% of the time (see document links below).
When you see my statistics as an Avionics Technician, you'll see that I produced more work than their tracking system could handle;
almost all of my figures were off the charts (as you will see), and their system had me putting out work and making the company
money even when I wasn't there. For instance, 2009 Q1 = 466 actual work hours, but 630 profitable hours.
Once my business grew to the point that I was forced to make a major decision, I left the company in June of 2012 on great terms:
They didn't like the fact that I took ZERO crap and stood up for myself, and I no longer needed or wanted to work for someone else.
|Work and FAA Documentation, Proof of My Service Excellence
|(Sorry for the missing quarters - I'm not even supposed to have copies of this stuff!)
|Testimonials to Ethics, Character, Performance and Dependability
|Productivity, Warranty Return Rates
|Some Products I Repaired at Cobham Aerospace Communications
|Acquired from Northern Airborne Technologies
(NAT) Resulting From Company Integration:
Model 352 - Audio Control Panel
Model 375 - Audio Control Panel
Model 380 - Audio Control Panel
Model 800 - Audio Control Panel
Model N200 - Audio Control Panel
Model N301A - Audio Control Panel
LD22 - Light Dimmer Control Device
NPX250 - Radio Management Device
C406 - Audio Control Panel
418 - Audio Control Panel
(All NAT audio devices had between 20 and 30
somewhat similar derivatives, custom built for
various airlines needing special features.
|Original Wulfsburg and Cobham Equipment:
AT-434A, Antenna Amplifier
DF-431B - Direction Finder
KDA-557 - Interfacing Data Adaptor
DM-441 - Distance Measuring Equipment
RMU-556 - CRT based Radio Management Device
Omni-Pless - Antenna Ampifier
EMH - Communication Gear used by UPS
EFIS - Allows pilot to navigate in zero visibility, ties
in with GPS satellites to create visual pic of terrain
C-5000 - Allows communication between ALL services -
Police, Fire, EMS and Rescue/Recovery Services
C-1000 - Control Box for the C-5000
VC401 - VHF Navigation System
Repaired and built test panels, jigs, etc.
|Customers For Whom I Repaired Avionics Equipment at Cobham
|NASA - Cessna - Lear Jet - Bombardier - American Airlines - Eurocopter - Thalas -
Hawker Beechcraft - United Arab Emirates - Rockwell Collins - Chelton Avionics -
Bendix - King - UPS - Police Departments Countrywide - Northern Airborne Technologies -
U.S. Coast Guard - U.S. Army - U.S. Marines - Boeing - Airbus - McDonnel Douglas -
Czeck Republic - Northrup Grummen - Texas Gyro - more to come as time permits.
|Please note that our shop is not set up to perform Avionics work due to the lack of specialized test fixtures, and
the fact that I am no longer authorized to issue Form 8130 which is required by the FAA for legal flight after repairs.
|Call 928-533-9666 (Paying Repair Jobs ONLY)
|DO NOT CALL FOR BELTS, PARTS OR FREE REPAIR ADVICE!
|My Credentials, Reviews and Work Experience
|Remarkably Suited to the Restoration of Radios and 8 Track Machines