By Timothée L’Angevin
Published on 6 Apr 21 at 19:57
Camcorders, old wired joystick consoles, cathode ray tube televisions and cassette hifi systems. At Nicolas Maumy, we jump back 30 to 40 years. This young 28-year-old from Rennes repairs everything. But essentially these devices that punctuated our daily lives in the 80s, 90s and early 2000, before the all-digital era.
In his apartment, he amasses dozens and dozens of them, tidy in cupboards, stacked on top of each other behind an old pinball machine, and wherever there is room. “But it’s not all here,” he explains. In a garage, I have over a hundred computers! ”
For some time, he has an adoration for VCRs. “I collect them on the internet, in garage sales, and I spend hours fixing them. “
Once refurbished, he offers them via groups on Facebook and try to exchange them for broken devices. A circular economy that is making people happy among the many individuals looking to digitize old VHS tapes.
A screwdriver in his hands at two years old
Since he was little, Nicolas has been dipping his hands into the machines. “When I was two, I already had a screwdriver between my fingers and I was taking my toys apart. My parents didn’t have a lot of money, so we had to learn to cope with what we had. »In the footsteps of his handyman father,« a carpenter », Nicolas takes it into his head to repair the irreparable. All objects then pass through his fingers.
At just 4 years old, he discovered the world of computers with an old computer that he boned. A real passion for circuits and components was born. “To tell the truth, I can not even know how I learned, recognizes Nicolas. In my memories, I was testing. If it didn’t work, I would try again. ”
“New objects are not made to be repaired”
At the end of the 2000s, internet access enabled him to find answers on the hundreds of forums he consults. Teenager, rather shy and withdrawn, he spent hours in his room transformed into a workshop.
Nicolas takes an electronic baccalaureate, then a DUT in systems and networks. In the 2010s, as smartphones, ever smaller and more efficient, flood the market, he became fascinated by old devices.
New objects are complex to repair and are not made for anyway. Their repairability rate is very low and there is a huge waste of components.
Nicolas knows that this market is taken by storm by hundreds of repairers, who in less than 15 minutes change the screens and batteries of our latest generation smartphones.
“But there are hardly any for old objects. And the young Rennais, animated by an ecological conscience, does not like throwing them away. Especially when they are victims of a very small breakdown, which it fixes with a simple change of part and a blow of the soldering iron.
No failure scares him. Moreover, he only buys “broken down stuff”, which he finds on Facebook, Bon Coin and garage sales.
The problem is not so much the breakdown, but rather the lack of spare parts. Especially for objects 40 years old, the components of which have not been manufactured for years. On eBay, Nicolas sometimes manages to find them. “Sometimes I had to buy the same product 10 times to be able to fix just one! “
But the result is there. In his workshop, he brings relics to life. It is with a touch of nostalgia that we rediscover the purring mechanism of a VCR and the typical grain of VHS.
He could not say how many objects passed through his expert hands, “but at least several hundred: recently, I repaired 30 to 40 VCRs and about 20 camcorders …”
Now a systems and network administrator at Supélec (higher school of electricity) on the Beaulieu campus, he would like to live entirely from his passion. He also launched a Youtube channel in which he explains step by step how he repairs his objects.
But his dream would be to exhibit all his devices, “like in a museum”. In order to ensure that they do not fall into oblivion.