Fomhoire (fomhoire) wrote in diy_electronics,


I'm still in the process of setting up the community (description, icon, etc).

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.

Recent acquisitions:

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.
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