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Ever scored some discarded electronics that were easily fixed?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Life' started by N8YQM, Sep 17, 2021.

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  1. N8YQM

    N8YQM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Years ago, got a 100 watt stereo receiver/amplifier that wouldn't play, guy didn't want it anymore. Oddly enough, if you turned the volume way up you could faintly hear the audio coming from the large power amplifier IC. Had the thing open, happened to tilt it a certain way, and CLICK, the speakers played for a moment. Bad solder joint on the relay that protects the speakers during power up. Ten seconds with the soldering iron, and it's good as new.

    Just got a wine cooler (small thermoelectric refrigerator) that was new in the box, never opened, but was 13 years old. Somebody received it as a gift, never used it, and asked if I wanted it. Powered up, but the display just flickered, the fans made little jerks, and I could hear chirping from a switching supply that wouldn't start. The manufacturer didn't have replacement boards for the switcher, but some Googling turned up that this model had frequent problems with bad electrolytics in the power supply, and found people had the exact same failure mode. Youtube turned up somebody showing a bulging cap on the supply, the same symptoms, and replacing it fixed it. Sure enough, the exact same cap on this one is visibly bulging. New one on the way, but I'm pretty confident it will fix it.
     
  2. N3PM

    N3PM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sure. Looong time ago my father would scavenge during clean up week. TVs, radios, amps, auto test equipment. We'd put the stuff in garage and cellar. Over the winter lotta stuff came back to life. Mainly AllAmerican 5 radios, RCA 630 TVs, Zenith TOs, some amps (even the ones with chrome chassis). By the early 70s, we started cleaning it out. I finally sold the best TO, and my ex wound up with the best 66x8 red catalin radio I'd ever seen.
    Mike N3PM
     
    AD5HR likes this.
  3. VK3ELF

    VK3ELF Ham Member QRZ Page

    When I was a kid. About 35 years ago my father went to Dick Smith which was an electronics store. We were living in Wagga Wagga at the time.

    Out the back they had shelves of radio controlled cars with BER noted on them. That stood for beyond economical repair.

    My father took the lot and fixed them all except for one.

    That year we got several remote cars each for Christmas.

    Good times
     
    N1VAU, KA0USE, WZ7U and 2 others like this.
  4. K6CLS

    K6CLS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I had a great time as a pre teen fixing guitar amps and TVs. It's power supply filter caps, always. Sometimes the CRT needed a voltage multiplier transformer.
     
  5. SA1CKE

    SA1CKE Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Fixed a crt computer screen once, just one transistor that was by design underdimensioned - max voltage lower than actual. A different transistor with sufficient voltage spec and it came to life.
    I don't remember where it ended up, was some 30 years ago.
     
  6. N3EG

    N3EG Ham Member QRZ Page

    All the time. Started with a trashpicked color TV with a shorted degaussing coil, the AM clock radio my dad could never figure out - and all that was before I graduated high school. Recently it was the $40 tech special FT-301D from a hamfest (in a pile with a HW-2036 and Micoders, also not working), numerous Motorola radios that were cost/time prohibitive to repair for customers but worth it for the ham station, a $1.25 D-104 that was miswired, a few $7 camera lenses from Goodwill that needed repair (worth $70 used in working condition), and of course a $15 Goodwill thermoelectric refrigerator with TWO blown $5 Peltier devices that now cools to 38F (guess they never heard of heatsink compound!) Also rebuilt bad battery packs, a good $1000 RV 200Ah LiFePO4 battery with a bad charge controller, and soon a few VHF antennas that were sawzalled to get off a tower because of frozen U-bolts. All this and more...
     
  7. NM7G

    NM7G Ham Member QRZ Page

    While browsing a pawn shop for a hard-to-find power tool, I spotted a popular HF linear amplifier, in apparently nice cosmetic shape. It was the only amateur radio item in the store. Mentally I noted it and left. Three months later I remembered the amp while in the neighborhood. No one in the store knew anything about the amp, except it was heavy and was taking up space. The sticker price had been a sweet deal when I first saw it (allowing for new tubes and a hundred for other repairs), but on a whim I made a low-ball offer. The boss said if I got it out of the shop in fifteen minutes we had a deal. My smile lasted the half-hour to home. Once I thoroughly examined it, the smile stretched ear to ear!
     
    WZ7U likes this.
  8. K7MH

    K7MH XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I bought a 25 amp power supply that was largely disassembled and in a box for $5 at a hamfest a few years ago. The seller was frustrated at not being able to repair it.
    I went through it and found the bridge rectifier module was bad and replaced it. Works fine now. It has handles on the front so is pretty handy for moving around and testing things. It has meters, jacks on the front for power connections and voltage adjustment.
     
  9. KA0USE

    KA0USE Ham Member QRZ Page


    i like your da.
     
  10. K7MEM

    K7MEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just about everything that I bought at a ham fest was broken and required repair. And I knew it was broken, before I bought it.

    I bought two Heathkit HD-1410 keyers for $10. Both were dirty, full of spiders, and neither worked. Repair took about 1 hour to clean them and get them running.

    Another time, I bought a Ameritron RCS-4 remote antenna switch. The control box burned up. The owner cleaned everything on the circuit board, but then decided not to finish the repair. He sold it to me for $15. An hour or two on the bench and it was fully operational.

    Yet another time, I bought MFJ-941D Antenna Tuner. The original owner had put too much power through it and burned out the SWR bridge and melted the plastic container around the balun. Again, he was only asking $15. It took longer to get the PCB out of the tuner than it did to actually replace the parts.

    Another was a small 15 inch flat screen monitor ($15). At the ham fest it was working, but it was a nice cool day. But when it warmed up later, it would stop working. After about an hour of work, I found a cold solder joint in the HV power supply. I've been using it ever since.

    The item that took the longest to fix was a Radio Shack Antenna Rotator. It was cheap to buy ($20), but was modified by the original owner using rubber bands from vegetables. And the modification didn't work right. I had to first understand the modification before I could fix it. That took a long time. Now I use it with a small 3-element yagi for 2 Meters. Works great.

    The list goes on and on. I don't expect any of my ham fest buys to be fully operational. But fixing them has never been an issue.
     
    SA1CKE likes this.

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