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. K3UJ

    K3UJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    At a club meeting someone brought a Hallicrafters SX-71, asked if anybody wanted it. I said sure. Needed two tubes, a piece of glass for one dial, and a general cleaning (including paint splatter). Worked fine till it blew a cap, literally. Loud with magic smoke and all. Recapped it, and it keeps chugging along.
  2. K8DO

    K8DO Ham Member QRZ Page

    My son Tim is computer savvy. His recent find on a trash day was a pile of 3 PC's with 2 monitors and 2 keyboards.
    #1 PC had a failed BIOs chip on the motherboard so he took that power supply and used it to replace the bad power supply on #2 PC which fired right up.
    #3 PC had a bad hard drive so #1 became a donor again. That took him about 3 hours to wipe and reinstall Windows on it.
    One monitor had a bad electrolytic cap on the power supply. The other monitor was physically broken so it became a parts donor and one monitor was back in service in 15 minutes.
    The biggest thing was that #2 PC had the couples tax returns on it for 3 years running complete with SS numbers, DOB, yadda yadda. It also had a Password file that was unprotected and had all their internet, banking, etc. passwords. Also a hidden file with some personal photos. It was that couples lucky day that we have no interest in being dishonest.. Tim showed it to me - we laughed and wiped all those files.
    PU2OZT and KP4SX like this.
  3. DK7OB

    DK7OB Ham Member QRZ Page

    When I bought my house, the previous owner left a satellite dish and receiver behind because "it's not working". Turned out everything was perfectly fine, only the dish was not firmly mounted and some degrees off, probably caused by strong winds. Could be fixed without climbing the roof just by turning the mast from the attic. This was 1995, still using that dish today (updated LNB for DVB-S around 2000).
    N1VAU and KG4RRH like this.
  4. N1VAU

    N1VAU XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Ever scored some discarded electronics that were easily fixed?

    Yes Sir!

    Just recently I scored 3 solar electric fence chargers that were marked "free" in my neighborhood.

    I'm going to "FIX" them by repurposing the PV panels and disassemble the units into scrap, so they will never cause RFI ever again!!

    I was super excited to get them "off the air" to say the least!!
    PU2OZT, WC5P, K6CLS and 2 others like this.
  5. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    My answer to the OP thread title: Continually
  6. WA2CWA

    WA2CWA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Back many years on the way to work, spotted what looked like some military piece of equipment sitting by the curb, I guess, waiting for heavy trash pickup. Stopped and looked; it was a Central Electronics 100V. Somewhat dirty and dusty, but cleaned up nice, replaced one tube, and worked fine for several years until I sold it.

    In a nearby town again many years old, a cop on patrol spotted a piece of equipment sitting by the curb. Put it in the patrol car and got it home. Cop had a Tech license but didn't really have any use for this receiver so he advertised it for sale for $40 on our local repeater swap and shop. I offered to buy it. It was a Hallicrafters SX-88. Other then for the cabinet being a bit dirty and with a few small scratches, it worked fine. Alignment was a bit off on one or two bands which was easily fixable.

    Just picked up a Squires Sanders SS-1R receiver at a local hamfest which needs the dial cord replaced since the original one is broken.
  7. W4HAY

    W4HAY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    A bunch of stuff at hamfests. We'd start early, pick up non-working devices for cents on the dollar, fix them on site, and re-sell them. As the hamfests were closing down a lot of stuff would be thrown away, so we'd do a bit of dumpster-diving for the next hamfest.

    I have an early '30s floor model TRF radio I saw at an antique shop with a very rough cabinet. Asked what they wanted, price was reasonable, so asked them to plug it in and see if it played. Following a flash, a bang, and a puff of smoke, I walked out with it for a few bucks.

    Now it's a beautiful piece of furniture in my living room that performs as well as any modern table superhet.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2021
  8. VK6ZGO

    VK6ZGO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Back in the 1070s, I went to the local tip to dump a trailer load of junk.

    Having done that, I was looking at some really nice lengths of timber, wishing I could "spirit" them out under the tip staff's noses, when I noticed a very nice little "upmarket" transistor portable radio sitting on one length of timber, just like it had been inadvertently forgotten.

    I turned it on, but no sound, so it went home with me.
    After fixing a dry joint on the speaker, it was "back in the land of the living".

    Around the same time period, I spent some time browsing through the "returns" table at "Crazy Charlie's" CB Shop.

    I found a little SWR meter for a Dollar, with "faulty" scratched across the top.
    I bought it, took it home------ it worked first time, & kept on working for 3o years, till the meter movement finally failed.

    Much more recently, I have picked quite a few bargains from the local Hamfest, including a Kenwood TM201 2m rig that was missing a microphone for $40.
    I "bodged" a Yaesu mic I had into service, & am still using it!.

    Last year, I picked up an FT411 & a "brick" amplifier, along with some small power transformers for $50.
    The FT411 just had a dead battery pack, which I temporarily replaced with a couple of 9v alkalines in parallel, & it works "a treat".

    My best recent win, though, was when I saw a neat little leather case for $4.
    When I got home, I discovered that inside, was a nice little battery powered "Levell" brand audio generator, again, with faulty batteries, this time, four British style 276 batteries.

    Replacing them with 9v batt holders for AA cells, yielded a very useful piece of equipment
    WZ7U likes this.
  9. AE8MM

    AE8MM Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Countless computers that had plenty of life left in them, they just needed all the user installed crap removed, or an OS reinstall. My best was a dual CPU Apple G5 tower that someone stuck on the curb that was only a year old, It's only issue was a bad stick of ram. (Still works today but is long obsolete). I've also had decent luck with flat screen TVs that people throw out.
  10. KY4GD

    KY4GD XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    An old friend who is known as one of the "Mr. Fixits" in my social group confided once that his secret to fixing most things is you open the case, blow the dust out and just generally clean things up and reseat anything in a socket.

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