A friend of mine found a Whirlpool Calypso microprocessor-controlled washing machine in seemingly new condition at a garage sale. He paid $5 for it and told me I could have it. We both knew what was wrong with it. From previous experience with the washer, we knew it was the filter capacitors in the power supply. The poorly held up DC voltage would constantly reset the uP.
But I had time to kill, so I took on the challenge. I ordered some high-quality filter caps and replaced them. The machine then worked perfectly. I unplugged the machine when not in use -- this turned off the electronics board. That helped preserve the electronics. So far so good.
Later, the main power driver transistors that drove the washer motor gave out. I found a replacement power board, and fixed that. Then the machine quit dumping its water. I let it sit for about six months before I worked up the interest to fix it. The service manual showed a trick with the display panel -- you push a secret combination of keys to activate the pump motor. It pumped out the water, so I put in a load of laundry. Then the pump function died again. I was able to fix it again with the secret combination of keys, but there was clearly something wrong with the pump that needed repair.
I had to lay the washer on its back to get at the pump through the bottom. I took out the pump and discovered a capacitor Faston wire clip was off the capacitor. I put it back on and while I was working on the unit, it fell off again. So I crimped the Faston connector and put it back on. It seemed to hold this time. I reassembled the washer, and it seems to work OK now.
The Calypso washer is wonderful... when it's working. I think the problem is that the designer group had very little knowledge of reliable solid-state electronics.
This entry was submitted by Larry Beaty and edited by Rob Spiegel.
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