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Old 4th Nov 2020, 3:22 pm   #21
Vintage_RC
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Default Re: A confession

OK, here is my confession. I must have been about 10 or 11 and was fascinated by all things electrical but I also had an air rifle. Because of my electrical interests I would often be given discarded wireless related items and one day I was given some 1920's typical home constructed sets. Having had a play with them with no joy (mainly because of lack of knowledge back then) I took them to the end of the garden and (I'm sure you know what's coming) took pot shots at the Mullard PM series valves which made a most satisfying pop when hit with a pellet.
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Old 4th Nov 2020, 4:45 pm   #22
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Default Re: A confession

Im enjoying this thread, being much too young to have been able to muck about with this stuff as a kid. The best I can match is smashing up an 80s TV, a VCR and a cheap hifi or two - the term hifi is loosely used here, were talking cardboard backed midi systems with brand names like "Schneider"...

But Its an interesting contrast to some of the more critical comments about the chap with his AC11 chassis that he converted into a "steampunk" bluetooth thingy Not that I felt any comments were unduly harsh...

I think both threads make a valuable point - at one time this stuff was junk, and there may be a time it is junk once more. It cannot all be saved, and while we do our best, if making a pigs ear of an old set gets someone into the hobby, then why not embrace that side too

Being newish to the hobby myself, I look back at some of my earlier work and wonder what I was thinking
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Old 4th Nov 2020, 4:56 pm   #23
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My most awful confession is the wanton destruction of a DST-100 (see https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...ad.php?t=78909).

This very quirky set was given to me back in 1963 (when I was 14 y.o) by venerable veteran Ken Willis (G8VR - then still quite young), who promised that he would help me to get it going - he gave me all the parts to make a power supply for it, which I did. Unfortunately, urgent family-care reasons meant that we had to move very suddenly from Kent down to Devon, and I lost contact with Ken ( no internet back then, and moving 250 miles in 1963 was rather like moving to another country today). At that age, I was completely confounded by the complexity of this (then virtually unknown) receiver, and never got it working. In the end I removed any components that might be useful (control knobs, 6V6GT, reusable resistors, etc, and used the frame, turned on end, as a seat for my workbench. We moved again three years later, and I suspect the remains of the DST-100 got buried in our grounds (my father’s solution to rubbish was to dig a hole and bury it - he once buried a derelict Austin 7 - just dug a huge hole next to the car and rolled it in!).

I often look back on all this and feel sad and guilty, but in the 60s WW2 military equipment was all over the place and two-a-penny - largely regarded as junk, and difficult even to give away. But, what an enigmatic set now that there’s more interest and curiousity over such things...

Mike
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Old 4th Nov 2020, 6:10 pm   #24
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Default Re: A confession

Quote:
Originally Posted by high_vacuum_house View Post
A very long time ago (more than 30 years ago) I completely destroyed a small Philips 50’s Bakelite radio which was my grandparents table radio. It was VHF/MW with no LW and was permeability tuned with ferrite cores moving up and down on a Bakelite snail rather than the usual variable capacitor. I managed to dismantle every part of it. Every coil was unwound, every valve was opened and dissected and even the smoothing electrolytic capacitors was unravelled. It certainly got me interested in valve radios.

A year or 2 ago I found an identical model to the one I destroyed and to make amends I fully restored it.

Christopher Capener
I did much the same with my parents' KB Rhapsody, and a radio that had belonged to my grandparents that I found in our shed, out of curiosity – this got me started messing with radios. To be fair, the KB had already suffered a fall from the table with the result that the case and ferrite rod were broken warranting a replacement set.

I then became a repository for unwanted radios, and in one instance a radiogram, from all and sundry. I dread to think how many vintage sets I stripped for parts 'that might be useful'. Some of those parts are still waiting to be used but the tuning capacitors, especially the nice Jackson ones, and especially if there was a nice slow-motion or cord drive assembly, found their way into many projects. Some are still in the shack. However, four vanity case models survived intact. I'd arrived at the point where I appreciated them as items and thus thought them too nice to strip. One that arrived fault-free with a lovely tone served me several years as a bedroom radio. I have fond memories listening to Luxembourg and RNI on it. I ran it from a variable voltage PSU and I trained my mother in how to turn it off when I had fallen asleep!

As for my parents' KB, I finally found the exact same Rhapsody last year and it's in the queue.

I wasn't much of a vandal. The only thing I remember deliberately hurling rocks at was an old TV to see what happened to the CRT. Once was enough. I think I must have always had a 'retain old stuff' gene as I'm mostly surrounded by old stuff...
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Old 4th Nov 2020, 7:32 pm   #25
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When I was about 20 years old I hired a small skip to get rid of my fathers old radios. Must have been 20 to 30 of them. Father had passed away and mum was rather tired of sharing a house with all those radios. That may have been enough of a crime but in went a Hickok military tube tester, many dozens of valves and a rather nice Hioki multimeter.
Just a few regrets there.
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Old 4th Nov 2020, 7:47 pm   #26
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Hi

I'd spend ages setting up a lego town in the lounge with loads of the little Airfix toy soldiers, then after making some rudimentary gunpowder and placing it at stategic points in the town I'd go to Dads valve box and smash all the valves I needed to extract the heaters. (ECC82s were good - two heaters) Next the heaters were wired to a WW2 bomb panel, one heater per switch, all to a power supply. Next the heaters were inserted into each pile of gun powder. Must have taken an hour or two.

What's that film where the helicopters go in with music blaring? I was years before that as I threw each switch to give a satisfying blaze and the joy of a 30 second battle! Could never get the smell away before the parents got back.

Never enough explosions....


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Old 4th Nov 2020, 8:58 pm   #27
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Oh dear - here goes.

So when I was a teenager, among other things I had a large box full of brand new nixie tubes. Didn't see the point of them and dumped the lot at the local land fill. Ouch.

I now have a home made nixie clock in pride of place in the lounge....
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Old 4th Nov 2020, 9:06 pm   #28
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back in the early 70s the road behind my school lead out of town into the countryside .So far along the road there was a very steep bank [locally called Devils Dip]half way down this bank was what can only be described today as a landfill sight .Going down said bank one Sunday on my bike i couldn't believe the sight in front of me .A wall of old tellies and radiograms radios ect .Hundreds of them .The site was infested with ichy loft insulation and asbestos all manner of unsavoury stuff but as a kid of course your oblivious to anything regarding safety .I went back time and time again being very destructive every time then one day i turned up to find the whole site covered in fresh earth .Some 40xxx years later i often drive down devils Dip and stop at what is now a green field and think back to those days and wonder if anything has survived under all that earth
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Old 4th Nov 2020, 9:34 pm   #29
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Default Re: A confession

Well after catching up on this thread I'm feeling less shunned by society than my parents suggested I was for the things I did when I was a kid. Turned out I was normal after all
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Old 4th Nov 2020, 10:28 pm   #30
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Default Re: A confession

There's that Dilbert animated cartoon... "The Knack"

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Old 4th Nov 2020, 10:33 pm   #31
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Default Re: A confession

50 odd years ago I found dumped on some waste ground near my house what I would later learn was an R1155 chassis . No case or valves.
I set about dismantling it, imagining I was de-fuzeing a bomb or something.

I particularly remember opening the metal clad capacitors and unrolling yards and yards of paper and foil strip and getting my hands soaked in oil

Later, I met the guy who must have dumped it, although he didn't admit to it, he was an amateur who lived opposite the waste ground, and he became my amateur radio mentor.
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Old 4th Nov 2020, 11:00 pm   #32
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Default Re: A confession

This is great, makes me feel much better about my destructive past.

Here's another gem from my childhood. My school decided to start an "electronics club" and requested donations of TV's and radios from parents.
Soon, there was a store room full of these donated items, as l discovered by chance one lunchtime.

l passed on the knowledge to four of my friends, and the next day we all brought hammers to school.

At lunchtime we went into the store room and got to work.
l still remember turning round to see the feared deputy headmaster standing behind me, as my friend laid into a cabinet TV and l swung a hammer at a radiogram.
On the floor was a good six inches of smashed chassis, wood and bakelite.
At least we knew to break the "neck" off TV tubes before hitting the screen with a hammer....

The deputy head's face was like thunder and l
thought he was going to explode.

am still amazed that we didn't get into more trouble, we only had to go back after school and clean it all up.

The "electronics club" was scrapped
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Old 6th Nov 2020, 1:15 pm   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kirstyd View Post
back in the early 70s the road behind my school lead out of town into the countryside .So far along the road there was a very steep bank [locally called Devils Dip]half way down this bank was what can only be described today as a landfill sight .Going down said bank one Sunday on my bike i couldn't believe the sight in front of me .A wall of old tellies and radiograms radios ect .Hundreds of them .The site was infested with ichy loft insulation and asbestos all manner of unsavoury stuff but as a kid of course your oblivious to anything regarding safety .I went back time and time again being very destructive every time then one day i turned up to find the whole site covered in fresh earth .Some 40xxx years later i often drive down devils Dip and stop at what is now a green field and think back to those days and wonder if anything has survived under all that earth

l used to cycle up to my local landfill site every Sunday, there was a guy there who stopped people from scavenging on the site but he left at 1pm on Sunday.
So my Sunday afternoons would be spent collecting electronic components and valves from cast off TV's and other appliances.
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Old 6th Nov 2020, 7:58 pm   #34
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Default Re: A confession

Vandalism can be officially sanctioned.

In the 1970s when I started in the TV rental trade, the management seemed paranoid about us doing private jobs (Foreigners aka Homers).

Sets that had been written off were piled up in the back yard of the depot, and the Regional Manager would visit each week armed with a hammer, and personally neck all the tubes and smash every PCB, rendering them useless even for parts.
Thorn 700/800/850/900 and many others.
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Old 6th Nov 2020, 8:36 pm   #35
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Vandalism can be officially sanctioned.

In the 1970s when I started in the TV rental trade, the management seemed paranoid about us doing private jobs (Foreigners aka Homers).

Sets that had been written off were piled up in the back yard of the depot, and the Regional Manager would visit each week armed with a hammer, and personally neck all the tubes and smash every PCB, rendering them useless even for parts.
Thorn 700/800/850/900 and many others.
That's just a shame. I hope that wouldn't happen now because it's such a waste! All that irreplaceable material just being junked for some over-zealous company's profit. No wonder we're in an ecological hole. Humans are quite peculiar.

I'm enjoying this thread as I'm far too young to have done any of this stuff, and my electronics investigations have always been cautious and non-destructive, mainly because I was terrified of getting electrocuted.

I'm also amazed with how many people can remember being 5 years old. I can barely remember what happened a fortnight ago, let alone date vague memories of years past.
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Old 6th Nov 2020, 9:37 pm   #36
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Interesting stuff still getting skipped today. Sometimes you just dont have space for it nor means of transport.
Things I regret doing, I dismantled a couple of clocks ( actually one I never liked so not worried really ). Taping over dad's recordings of the choir mum and he were in, unique recordings but tape was expensive then, now everything I taped is on 24/7 repeat on daytime telly. Unsoldering for parts (that I never used) some of dad's constructions - I will make them back one day. I regret dad scrapping some of the older cars in the 1970s but didnt have the knowledge (or skills) to keep them in life. Pluping for charity funds my 1970s comic collection - worth a bit now, and selling some USA ones too cheap.
Radios went off at least to charity stores but I suspect they ditched them. I allowed a pianiola and harmonium from church to be broken up - difficult to stop others thinking they were not progressing into a new electronic world.
I left a couple of 1960s plastic transistor radios and a plastic camera in the car window one summer day, they curled up nicely due to my ignorance.


Probably now guilty of keeping a few too many electrical items again with the promise I will get them working.
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Old 6th Nov 2020, 9:51 pm   #37
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Originally Posted by Uncle Bulgaria View Post

I'm also amazed with how many people can remember being 5 years old. I can barely remember what happened a fortnight ago, let alone date vague memories of years past.
I wasn't much older than that when I was knocked down by a car, I was taken to hospital as a precaution, but I was fine.

I remember lying on a bed with a machine above me that was "making me better" (probably a portable x-ray). Even at that age, I was curious about technology.

At age 5 (1958) I vividly remember we all had a hearing test at school. The audiologist had an impressive machine, clamped a pair of cans on my ears and I had to bang a little mallet or gavel each time I heard a sound.
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Old 11th Nov 2020, 8:59 pm   #38
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l used to take delight in connecting battery powered transistor radios to the mains. The bang was usually quite impressive.

l obtained one of the first light dimmers that were available, and having no idea how it worked l thought l could use it to power a radio if l turned the dimmer switch to minimum.
The bang was no less impressive than connecting the radio directly to the mains.
l am surprised that l am still alive tbh
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Old 11th Nov 2020, 9:08 pm   #39
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Recently I was talking to a chap who collected vintage bottles, we both confessed to actions that made each other wince.
He confessed he used to throw valves at the wall to hear the satisfying noise they made.
I confessed I used to break old soda pop bottles to get the marble out.

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Old 13th Nov 2020, 2:07 am   #40
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Default Re: A confession

As a youngster, probably 13ish, I knew transformers could work both ways, and would change the voltage accordingly.

i.e 240v in / 12v out could be used as 12v in / 240v out.

As the ratio both ways is 20:1, I should be able to put 240v into the 12v side, and get 4,800 volts on the other. I was hoping nearly 5kV would make a nice spark.

Connected to mains , I grabbed the output wires intending to bring them together to make a spark.

I recoiled so far I hit my head on the back wall.

I'd not touched the bare ends of the wires, but I was completley ignorant about insulation breakdown.

My left thumb had a tiny hole in it for months afterwards.

Although I was lucky to survive a shock like that, I had, in police parlance, 'previous'.

At the age of 3 I did an experiment, ( well, at that age, everything you do is an experiment, ). It blew the house fuses, and I am very, very lucky to still be here !

Cheers,

Buzby


Edit: Sorry, this should be in 'Ridiculous thoughts and ideas from a young age' thread.

Last edited by Buzby123; 13th Nov 2020 at 2:19 am. Reason: Wrong thread
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