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. K5MIL

    K5MIL Ham Member QRZ Page

    At the meetings of our Antique Radio club we have a table set up for people to bring items they want to get rid of and we sell tickets for $1 each to raffle off the items. Being a sucker for nice VOMs, for $5 I scored this really nice Trip[ett model 630-N630-NS probes and case. The person who brought it said that it did not work on the X10K scale and he could not fix it. Turned out to be a resistor that was well hidden on the bottom of the function switch that had opened up. Hardest part was making another resistor of the correct precision value. Now I have another like new working VOM.

    Bill - K5MIL
    Advanced Class

    Attached Files:

    PU2OZT likes this.
  2. K0UO

    K0UO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Back in the late 60s when I was in MARS radio/a lot of this so-called cannibalized equipment only had a few wires cut so it could be easily put back into service. This equipment used by the MARS stations here to do state-side phone call patchs to family members from service members in the hot zones.

    At that time there was always stream of usable equipment to member, but some of the higher-end stuff like the Collins equipment and amplifiers was not normally part of the issued listed equipment. So the military comm guys would make the equipment appear to be defective/ so they would hang Cannibalization tags on the radios.

    Several times I saw notes inside the Collins equipment cabinets, noting exactly what was done to it and how to fix it.
    Sometimes they would just pull/clip the power supply wires and pull out a few tubes.
    Even some generators/ just had a few shorted spark plugs or Blocked/cut fuel lines.

    Also since it was marked as cannibalized (junk) you could pretty much do what you wanted with the equipment, it wasn't like when they issued normally usable equipment.

    At the State level meetings there would be boxes of this cannibalized equipment. Once a few people figured out what was going on with some of the nice-looking high end equipment it was quite a nice surprised. HI

    Sometimes it would be wood crates the size of caskets with Cannibals labels stenciled all over the boxes/ most MARS members really did not want to spent time opening them to look. A few times I actually had freight trucks bring me some of these large boxes. I was extremely active in Mars at the time.

    73 from,
    The K0UO " Rhombic Antenna Farm" 2 miles of wire in the Air & On the daily
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2021
  3. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    My wife 'works' in a thrift store. She brings home a lot of junk for me to 'look at'.
    If I can fix it up for a dollar part they can make a few bucks on it. I enjoy fixing things.
    WA1GXC, WC5P, N8TGQ and 1 other person like this.
  4. K7MEM

    K7MEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    On the "thrift store" line, the XYL use to like hunting through thrift stores for salt/pepper shakers. She liked to collect them, at the time. But one time she found a metal gizmo that she thought I might like. She didn't pay a lot for it and brought it home. What she brought home was a 1916 Blue Racer, complete. It had, and still has, tons of patina. But it still works fine.
    F8WBD, WC5P and KP4SX like this.
  5. VE3CGA

    VE3CGA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I couldnt begin to list all the stuff reclaimed here, but heres a few.
    Our municipal dump stopped taking garbage years ago and only took recyclable items.
    They wont let you surf "the pile" anymore so that resource has dried up
    So for starters I just bought my first lawnmower, all the rest were dump mowers,
    the last one almost brand new just needed the gas filter changed.
    One trip to dump some junk scored a Marantz 2252B with 12" Pioneer speakers, thats hooked up to the tv - talk about theater sound
    Our power was so unstable killing phones or clock radios, I decided to look into UPS for every outlet that feeds electronics.
    Folks tossed them out with dead batteries, 8 are active and 3 are spare. Some are work station size.
    Our last yearly oversized garbage pickup score a complete kitchen cupboard set that organized my garage storage
    Now we have small electronic dump bins around town and while tossing some old electonics I traded up for a working laptop.
  6. K5MIL

    K5MIL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Years ago, my son, then a teenager, rescued a very nice Realistic stereo AM/FM/Receiver/Amplifier from the trash. Brought it home and plugged it in and nothing. Ask me to look at it. A new fuse and it worked wonderfully. He still has it and 50 years later still works just fine.

    Bill - K5MIL
    Advanced Class
  7. AB2YC

    AB2YC Premium Subscriber QRZ Page


    Mostly bad solder joints or bad caps.

    Years ago I worked part-time as a TV Repairman. My boss would tell me to remove
    all the caps, test them and replace any bad ones. Very often the issue is just a bad cap.

    Today with a decent ESR meter you can test the caps in circuit saving the need to remove them.

    K3RW, W8IXI and K0UO like this.
  8. KG4RRH

    KG4RRH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    ....junk store. A friend asked me to take a look a Westinghouse satellite TV system his brother picked up at a junk store a few years back and see if it could be made to work.

    It turned out to be most of an AWG-10 radar, missing a few key components. I told him he's kind of out of luck and he asked me if that's because it has a "bowl" antenna rather than a flat one like the new Internet antennas (StarLink?) do.
  9. W8IXI

    W8IXI Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Doing camera repair, as a hobby, for about ten years, the bad cap issue was the first stop. Mainly Minoltas!

    It was possible to detect bad caps while still in the circuit, a learning experience for me.

    Good point.
  10. W7UUU

    W7UUU Principal Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    In about 1992 I found an entire dumpster full of TRS-80 Model III computers behind a school - 25 of them or so. I took them all home in the back of my pickup truck.

    I kept a few of the best ones and sold all the rest to geeks around town.

    PU2OZT, N2EY, KG4RRH and 1 other person like this.

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