In the meantime people can post about their projects, questions, and concerns because it may take some time before I put the community description and rules on the profile page.
Rules: No eBay listings. Millions of people look at eBay daily. There is no need to advertise your eBay listing here. If I see an eBay listing I will delete it. If someone mentions they are having trouble finding a tranformer, tube, transistor, or other odd part and another member has that item, the two members are free to trade contact information and arrange a sale or trade, preferably offline.
Well, that is one rule. I will add others if needed.
Anyway, about me: I'm an electronics addict. Have a ham radio license and interested in VHF/UHF primarily, although I haven't been on the air much because I'm in an apartment.
I often wander through the thrift stores and yard sales looking for inexpensive radios. I prefer to buy non-working equipment to fix. I guess it is the challenge of figuring things out without a schematic, unless I can find a schematic on the internet.
Realistic Modulaire 8 - 8-track player with AM/FM stereo. Someone tossed it into a pile of trash. I came across it walking in the rain a little over a week ago and took it home with me. I let it air dry for a few days, and plugged it in. A light came on and a horrid hum came through the speakers. After replacing the filter capacitors on the power supply it works fine. I cleaned it up and it is in fair condition, but the brushed-aluminum face has a few scratches, probably from being tossed into the pile of debri I pulled it from
Vintage Calculator - I came across a TI "Spirit of '76" Commemorative Edition (1976 Bi-centenial) calculator for $1.00. It looks like most of TI's calculators from the mid-70's, but the case is white and the background on the keybad and a Commemorative 1776-1976 them. It works, but number 8 on the keybad does not always work. If anyone knows of a fix for old calculator keybads, please post (that is what this community is about).
At the same yard sale I also picked up a Pioneer CLD-2070 CD/CDV-Laserdisc playe (Made in 1989) r for $5.00. It works, or at least it is playing CDs and sounds good. When the drawer opens there is a bit of noise. I think a belt may be worn, or something lubricated is gummed up. I'm thinking of buying a few laserdiscs on eBay. Maybe Pink Floyd's "The Wall."
About a month ago I bought a Sony STR-D615 A/V Control Center at a thrift store. It was priced $2.00 with a sticker that said "no workee" I plugged it in at the thrift store and front would light up, then the unit shut off. I figured the transformer in it would be worth the $2.00 for another project. I got it home, plugged it in and it worked fine. It turned out that it shuts itself off if the audio amp doesn't have a load. I also bought a Sony CDP-590 CD Player for $4.00. It lit up, but the drawer appeared to be stuck. I figured it could be a belt slipping. The belt was bad, but that wasn't the reason the drawer wouldn't open. The circuit board behind the front control panel was cracked in several places. I think someone go in it at one time and didn't know how to remove/reinstall the circuit board and cracked it. I used the wired from a bad IDE cable to jump the cracked traces on the board and it works. It is particularly sensitive to bumps/skips. As of this time I haven't figured out why.
I also bought a pair of good Sony U560 speakers at a thrift store for $40. Well, $40 for the speakers, a Soundesign receiver and a matching Soundesign cassette deck. I wanted a reasonably good set of speakers, so I just bought the package. It is still a good price, but I can't help but wonder what possessed someone to bundle a 5-watt Soundesign system with 100-watt Sony speakers. At least the Soundesign components are in excellent condition. Maybe I can sell them to someone that is into that "totally 80's" look, complete with flashing LEDs all over the front panels.
At one of the thrift stores here that has a tendency to overprice things I came across an Optimus CD player for $7.00 in very good condition, so I bought it. No problems with it. I think the person that priced it thought Optimus was some ultra-cheap junk brand from China. Optimus is one of Radio Shacks brands. I have found most of there stuff to be of better than average quality, so if you see any Realistic/Optimus/Archer/Radio Shack Products prior to the brand's manufacturing being outsourced to China, consider it a fair value if the price is right.
Other things: I have several desktop and clock radios with tubes. Quite often they are disposed of because they hum. Replacing the filter capacitors usually resolves the problem. I also like vintage audio equipment. I use a Pioneer SX-424 (made in 1972?) in the back room. I can't remember what I paid for it, $4.00, I think. The thrift store was going to trash it because someone blew it up. I offerred $4.00 for it thinking I would have to replace a few audio outputs, but it turned out that the fuses blew (always fuse audio outputs). I'm working on getting a few more early 70's things. I have a really nice JVC-Nivico 8-track player (made in 1971), several portable radios I use for DX (the ones made now can barely pull in the local AM stations). Several Voice of Music products, a Heathkit tube FM tuner, and I recently bought a Dynakit Dynaco FM-5 that was partially assembled and in a box. It is not working because someone didn't assemble it correctly. I do not have the manual, so I will have to acquire that before progressing further.
I also have several Pioneer cassette decks in need of parts. It looks like one of the parts will end up costing $13.75. The other one is better deck that I haven't opened up yet, but the problem is likely to be a worn belt.
If it seems like I have an abundance of Sony products, I do. The stuff I have decent quality. I use it because I got it cheap. I really prefer Pioneer over Sony though.
Future projects: Tube audio amp from scratch. I haven't decided if I'm going to make a stereo amp, guitar amp, or something else. I guess I'll get around to it when I get over the price of output tranformers.
And yes, I have too much stuff.