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Hints, Tips and Solutions (Do NOT post requests for help here) If you have any useful general hints and tips for vintage technology repair and restoration, please share them here. PLEASE DO NOT POST REQUESTS FOR HELP HERE!

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Old 16th Mar 2014, 4:25 pm   #1
Biggles
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Default Dating your projects

Hi all, something I do whenever I build something in the shack be it totally homebrew or from a kit is to put a completion date on it somewhere. It's surprising when you have cause to open it up again to add mods or whatever at a later date how much time has passed since you made it. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing!
Alan.
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Old 16th Mar 2014, 4:56 pm   #2
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Default Re: Dating your projects

I have repaired a few (quite a few) motorcycle engines, there is usually a cavity (to make it look pretty, no need on car engines) where a note can be put. I have put a notes in them, written in pencil so any solvents don't destroy the writing.
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Old 16th Mar 2014, 4:57 pm   #3
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Default Re: Dating your projects

I'm obsessed with this kind of thing! When I do repairs I stick in an address label with the date and my initials, unless originality is important, which it usually isn't. And as you say, sometimes it's suprising how quickly it becomes a long time ago...

Regards,
Paul
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Old 16th Mar 2014, 5:25 pm   #4
Lloyd 1985
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Default Re: Dating your projects

I've done this too, I recently built a torch out of a baked bean can, and put the date inside that using the red paint that I'd painted it with. I also write on capacitors that I've re-stuffed, normally just 're-stuffed, 11/12/13', sometimes initial them too.

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Old 16th Mar 2014, 5:41 pm   #5
Biggles
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Default Re: Dating your projects

I think I'd be quite intrigued to open up a project or whatever and find the date and the engineer's name inside. A similar thing happened once with a radio from the thirties I bought at a local auction. When I looked inside there was a envelope containing the purchase order and address of the owner, bought just before the outbreak of the Second World War. I happened to work near where the house was and drove past for a look.
Alan.
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Old 16th Mar 2014, 6:03 pm   #6
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I that thing called coincidence again, I was making a back for an Ekco radio an M23 today when I noticed a label inside repaired by me in Dec 05 makes you feel old don't it Mick.
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Old 16th Mar 2014, 8:19 pm   #7
Anthony Thomas
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Default Re: Dating your projects

One of my friends alwys used to write in the magasine name, month, year, his initials, date and article on the printed circuit boards he etched. I have many of his projects and can trace them all back to electronic periodicals back over several decades.

Tony
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Old 16th Mar 2014, 10:59 pm   #8
kalee20
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I almost always date the artworks of printed circuit boards. Only don't if there really isn't room without violating clearances.
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Old 12th Apr 2014, 8:06 am   #9
mark_in_manc
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Default Re: Dating your projects

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony Thomas View Post
One of my friends alwys used to write in the magasine name, month, year, his initials, date and article on the printed circuit boards he etched.
That's a really, really good idea. The paperwork exists to support the 'thing' at some point in the far future, and he's ensured that the then owner will be put in touch with it.
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Old 12th Apr 2014, 3:11 pm   #10
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Just done one (a pcb) in fact! 40m receiver from an Elektor project, hand drawn pcb....
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Old 12th Apr 2014, 3:29 pm   #11
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Default Re: Dating your projects

I always put a copy of the circuit diagram inside my projects since it's easier to have a quick reference as soon as the unit is opened up, than search through files and paperwork. I find this is most important if it's some thing I have designed myself.
The stuff I store in my head seems to be less accessible these days!

John G4IJD
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Old 11th May 2014, 2:15 pm   #12
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Hello all.
I think dating stuff is a good idea.I do it to my stuff and in fact I have a dedicated book to record details and give each item a sequence number that follows it through my maintenance records.
I am ex Army and I guess it followed me into my life in the real world.

One time I was in a very bad place on active duty and came across some radio gear in a downed helicopter. I grabbed it (under somewhat difficult circumstances) and checked it over and put it to good use in my job as a radio mech. Some time later we were sent home to Australia and I made sure all of the radio stuff was firmly secured in my vehicle before it left the war zone. When I inspected the vehicle here in Australia, all of my radio stuff was missing and nobody knew anything about it. I made lots of enquiries but to no avail.
Turn the clock forward about 40 years and I am at the Wyong Amateur Radio Field Day on the Central Coast area of New South Wales. Car boot sale and a gentleman is selling the proceeds of a workshop cleanout. I spotted 2 bits of radio kit (American Military radios, R442 receiver, 30 to 75.95Mhz FM)the same as the ones I had so long ago. I bought them, took them home and a month later swung one of them up on to the workbench. It was one of the radios I had that went missing and I knew this by my sequence number scratched into the mainframe on the inside.

How about that?

I contacted the seller but he knew nothing about them. He was selling some stuff from a deceased estate for the widow.
I wish it could tell me where it has been for so long.

Cheers, Robert.
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Old 11th May 2014, 11:23 pm   #13
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Default Re: Dating your projects

I do this all the time at work. During rewires I often put my name and the date on an old socket or switch, and stick it under the floor boards! I've left my name and the date in hundreds of loft spaces, inside fuse boards and so on as well.

But never in a radio or TV!
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Old 12th May 2014, 5:49 pm   #14
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Default Re: Dating your projects

This is a habit I have too. I leave a pencil written note on the chassis or cabinet somewhere. I also mark all my books with my initials and the date I bought them, on the back board under the dustcover flap. I also mark user guides of appliances etc with date and place of purchase.
Thats a good story about the military radios, chances of that happening?!
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Old 14th May 2014, 10:39 pm   #15
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Default Re: Dating your projects

I have occasionally put my name on bits of kit, but with anything I'm keeping, I much more obsessive about keeping Project Logs. My oldest is my HRO log which tells me which capacitors I was busy changing back in 1969. These days, everything is on my PC. With arrival of digital cameras, pictures form an increasing role in recording work done (a picture paints a thousand words ).

A friend (English) works in the US and was involved in constructing the propulsion system of a NASA spacecraft which was to be sent to Mars. Very much against the rules, he and his co-workers signed their names on the spacecraft where it would not be seen. It was successfully launched, travelled out to Mars without problems, but when the engines were fired to brake it into orbit around Mars, communications were lost and never restored. A huge and vigorous enquiry followed to try and determine the cause of the distaster; he and his team spent several sleepless weeks terrified that their misdemeanour would be uncovered and that they would end up carrying the can for the failure. They were never found out, and nor was the actual cause with any great certainty.
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Old 15th May 2014, 3:02 pm   #16
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Default Re: Dating your projects

I've always put my name and the date on PCBs I've made. The first one I ever did is now 36 years old!
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Old 15th May 2014, 4:47 pm   #17
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Default Re: Dating your projects

Quote:
These days, everything is on my PC. With arrival of digital cameras, pictures form an increasing role in recording work done (a picture paints a thousand words ).
That is how I do it, I keep every set in it's own folder, along with plenty of photos I include notes on all aspects of the set.
I.E. date I got it, purchase cost, restoration cost, any problems encountered, and the service info.

With well over 250 items in the collection, it really helps keep it all catalogued!
I also make regular backups on both removable HDD and CD.

Mark
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Old 15th May 2014, 10:16 pm   #18
Phil G4SPZ
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Default Re: Dating your projects

I don't do this for repairs or restorations, but I always leave a circuit and a note of the date of construction inside anything I make. I reckon someone, somewhere, in the future - hopefully distant - will thank me for doing so! Or blame me. In either case, I probably won't care...

Every so often I open up an old home-brew project and say to myself, "blimey, I didn't think I was so organised!"
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