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Frankenstein's Components.

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by (*steve*), Nov 27, 2012.

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  1. bigone5500


    Apr 9, 2014
    Stupid spammers.....
  2. Johan_Ha


    Apr 26, 2017
    Our school has moved from an old building and the building is about to be closed and demolished. A lot of old electronics was left there, stuff we didn't use anymore.
    From two wire telephones I picked the piezo mics and speakers. From one matrix printer I picked two stepper motors and a dented belt with its dented wheels. I also have two identical laser printers with worn out drums. They probably contain one stepper motor each. And a lot of components, together more worth than the 25 € a working printer of same model is worth on the 2nd hand market.

    The step motors might turn into robot arms powered by two car accumulators and controlled by Microbits.
    hevans1944 and davenn like this.
  3. Tha fios agaibh

    Tha fios agaibh

    Aug 11, 2014
    My youngest was complaining that his Power wheels battery operated car wasn't fast enough for him.

    I added a second 12v battery in its storage compartment and wired in a relay that switches it from 12v to 24v when a button is pushed. I didn't want it full 24v starting out for fear the excessive torque would strip the gears. The way it's wired now; he has to first hold down the accelerater pedal and once the car is moving he can push his "turbo" button and the car speeds up dramatically.

    The car is twice as fast and my boy is thrilled.
    bushtech likes this.
  4. Braeden Hamson

    Braeden Hamson

    Feb 18, 2016
    You can get lithium cells out of laptop batteries (no surprize) if you go to Goodwill they sometimes have stacks of them.
  5. mr fixit

    mr fixit

    Jun 23, 2013
    Back in the 70's and 80's I was a mainframe Engineer. One of the benefits of that is the knowledge that back in those days, mainframes were expensive, so manufacturers could use high precision, expensive fittings, castings and hardware. I used to frequent sales and auctions, knowing what hardware was in what pieces of kit.
    Mag tape drives (reel to reel) and the old "washing machine" sized disc drives had to be precision built because the electronics used in them was so crude.
    Huge chunks of aluminium for the base, heaps of high-tensile big Allen bolts, Smaller phillips screws with integrated washers, domed nuts (brass), all chrome plated of course. Look great on modern kit front panels or under the hood of your car.
    Many very handy brackets and cases, panels (usually aluminium but sometime stainless steel.
    Lord alone knows how much this stuff would cost to make today!
    I remember one power supply in particular that supplied the -5 volts for the core memory in a mainframe.
    The memory was 65K per plane - 1 megabyte in total (cost was $1 per byte, by the way. Do the maths).
    But the PSU was capable of supplying -5 volts at 1200 Amps. The output stage was 600 2N3055's in parallel.
    Each had a .1 Ohm emitter resister. Each was handling 2 Amps. Very relaxed running for a 2N3055.
    One of my maintenance tasks was to check for dud 2N3055's. Check the emitter resister voltage on EACH transistor (600 of them..). Any that didn't show a voltage meant that transistor was open circuit. None ever showed up a short circuited. Have a guess why...
    Get one of those PSU's and you would have a lifetime supply of 2N3055's!
    Even the humble latches and hinges. Not the cad plated steel mounted with rivets or maybe self tapers.
    These used chrome plated piano hinges, secured with dozens of chrome plated brass countersunk bolts and nuts.
    Each had a specified torque setting, and was to be secured with a dab of locktite!
    poor mystic likes this.
  6. kellys_eye


    Jun 25, 2010
    As much as I've been trying to, finding old equipment for re-purposing has been a sort of hobby of mine for years. In the current economic climate it's been difficult to get stuff as anyone/everyone now recognises the inherent value of such stuff, even if they themselves can't find an outlet for it.

    Doesn't stop me trying though! Older relatives and friends often come up trumps with antique stuff but more often than not that turns out to be ripe for restoration rather than re-purposing (nothing wrong in that, some stuff is great after being fixed up and there's a busy hobby/market in that anyway).

    But, now that I've relocated to the sticks I have no opportunity to dumpster-dive or scrounge stuff but I still get people locally dropping off old stuff now that they know I'm geekish that way!
  7. FuZZ1L0G1C


    Mar 25, 2014
    Over past decades, have stripped down old dot-matrix printers for gearing and stepper-motors, CD / DVD players, Rare-earth magnets!! :)) from a microwave oven, (discharged HV cap using HT gloves & damp salt-soaked sponge).
    Dozens of 6VDC relay boards from factory sale, two huge caps rated 400WVDC 6H8 (bargain bin at electronics component store), nixie tubes, several old 350W>400W desktop PSU's....
    At least two 100L plastic storage bins full of stuff.
    Recently bought a heap of IC's, resistor packs and 3.9v zeners from a self-employed engineer/tech who emigrated to UK, so sold off all stock. Also sold me 2 CRO scopes, one which works great, other I still need to fault-find / repair.
  8. poor mystic

    poor mystic

    Apr 8, 2011
    I accidentally discovered a method of raising the resistance of metal-film resistors while building a prop for a TV advertisement.
    I tried to set off a little bit of flash powder with a low voltage and a low resistance element in the form of a 100 Ohm metal film resistor, but found that the charge didn't go off. Investigations were protracted, but showed that whatever value of metal-film resistor I used, the resistance would rise to a value at which it would no longer get hot.
    My explanation for the resistance change is that the resistance of the component is determined by the amount of metal oxide in the coating. When the component got hot, the oxidizer in the flash powder was heated and released oxygen, which burnt the component and so altered its resistance, reducing the current and power dissipated in the component until the oxidizer was no longer dissociated by the heat.
    So a resistor, packed in oxidizer, with a power source, could be used to record the maximum voltage supplied by the power source. Or, using a variable voltage supply and a stock of 1 Ohm resistors, any resistance can be achieved up to a limit imposed by the maximum voltage of the supply.
  9. Sunnysky


    Jul 15, 2016
    In the mid 80's I spent 500 bucks on a "mineral THerapy lamp" that looked like it cost 20 bucks to make but the Hollistic convention salesman Dr Li showed me the photographs of healing just about anything, THe japanese call it FIR therapy which is the same and means far Infrared known for having a deeper skin depth and therefore more therapeutic on the inside than a toaster heater or tungsten IR lamp. I found it worked for my G/F's arthritis any boils on my leg or back pain or reduced pain in elders knees. Nowever every CHinese Accupuncture doctor has the "Happy Lamp" THe japanese also sell reflective underwear to reflect the far infrared we humans naturally emit. Which also supports the theory why two people who sleep close together live longer.

    But my favorite Frankenstein Tool I've used a couple times in coldest winter days when I left a door light on or the engine was stiff and only 30% capacity at -30'C. A toaster in series the line and a power diode in snow with Neutral ( near 0V) to the battery -ve terminal all connected with jumpers and start the car up in 10 minutes or so from a dead battery. Then add a bagel in the toaster, at half power drink coffee when done.. start car.

    BTW metal film resistors make crappy igniters low noise but low power PTC's
    try wirewound or nichrome for squid igniters or maybe carbon. But a wooden match wrapped in nichrome wire was pretty reliable.

    In the 70's it was common practice to turn 10% disc ceramic caps into 0.1% with a file or sandpaper to tune an LC resonator in the lab.

    I also have an early 100W LED array from about 10 years ago, the size of a silver dollar on MCPCB that works on 12V great from an old PC PSU with a CPU heatsink and microfan. It hurts to look at it more than a blink which makes it about as large as the sun in the sky and as bright during midday, at arms length or 3m above the ground.
    Last edited: May 28, 2018
  10. FuZZ1L0G1C


    Mar 25, 2014
    More of an unusual use for a product than a 'Frakenstein' component:
    Recently been upgrading my home PCB manufacturing setup, I shopped around for a better heating alternative to my Salton Hot-Tray for keeping Ferric Chloride at working temperature.
    A pet-products store near us sells "Reptile-Cage" warmer pads, size I bought was 300 x 200 mm at 100 W 220 VAC.
    100W is great, as it gets warm, under the tank, without boiling the etchant.
    The only drawback is the mains voltage near potential spills, waterproof ability unknown..
    Now searching for 12V DC or so...
  11. FuZZ1L0G1C


    Mar 25, 2014
    Frankenstein's-components -- Old coils:
    Several years ago, while purchasing components at our electronic components retailer, I noticed dozens of coils and solenoids (some vintage) on a mid-floor display table.
    As they were fairly cheap (stock clearance), I bought a whole lot of various sizes and impedances, without a definite purpose in mind.
    By measuring the impendance with a DMM or LCR bridge, many experimental hours of fun designing / experimenting with crossover networks, audio filters and electromagnets were had.
    Example: An 8 Volts DC buzzer coil has a low DC resistance, due to thick enameled magnet wire, so works great for Bass / Sub driver unit, damping the highs.
    A 500 V AC elevator board relay's cylindrical coil is a great source of ultra-fine (hair-thin) enamelled copper wire, guessing about 40-50 gauge.
    A relay or solenoid coil can be the 'lifter' in a magnetic broken-beam Levitator circuit desk-toy.
  12. FuZZ1L0G1C


    Mar 25, 2014
    Before discarding old superglue applicators, tippex correction fluid, pill bottles, or any smallish plastic container, these can be put into use as housings for small electronic circuits or component bins.
    The nozzle types are especially useful for testing/probe circuits, such as a logic probe in a tippex bottle.
    A small syringe-and-solder-spool jig is handy for soldering work where solder is pulled through the fixed syringe's nozzle as a 'hands free' solder holder.
    Tossing an old PCB?
    Save / cut off the sections that have longer traces - especially thinner ones.
    Soaked in solvent (acetone in closed jar) for a few days to a week, the copper traces should then peel off quite easily.
    Buffed with surgical spirits alcohol and steel wool, the carefully-stored traces are useful for patching a blown or otherwise damaged PCB trace via sweating / overlapping / soldering.
  13. FuZZ1L0G1C


    Mar 25, 2014
    Provided that you discharge the cap correctly, with a discharging resistor tool, NOT a screwdriver, using correct procedure, then once discharged, short out the terminals, the cap will be safe to handle.
    I agree with salvaged parts from an old micro being a mine of useful components -
    Rare-earth magnets from magnetron, 5-6 RPM geared (mains AC) motor from carousel, various limit switches, dozens of screws, thermal cutouts, and of course, the duty-cycle mains timer.
    The casing itself, if not too rusted, can be cut with a grinder cutting-disc into steel plates for future brackets etc.
    The (NATIONAL) door, when stripped down, has a translucent brown plastic front filter, probably good for LED displays or photography.
    A powerful tension spring is removable from the door catch hooks.

    Added side-note note re HV capacitor:
    I've seen an instructional video on the web that states that due to the internal 10MΩ drain resistor paralleled across an HV cap it is 'perfectly safe', the idea being that by the time the microwave shell is opened, the cap has had time to discharge.
    Never assume this resistor (if fitted as per diagram on cap) is always functioning.
    Hence the discharge precaution.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2018
    hevans1944 likes this.
  14. FuZZ1L0G1C


    Mar 25, 2014
    PVR (Personal Voice Recorder)
    This was originally bought as a mono-channel recorder for transcribing 'music' pieces from my then PC-speaker output.
    Years later, we acquired an African-Grey parrot named "Wonk" by my then teen daughter.
    I hauled out the non-used PVR and extended the record/playback contacts to 2 large PTM push-button switches just outside his cage.
    These were at first 2 long-lever limit switches inside the bars, which got twisted and munched by "The Beak".
    Wonk quickly learned (maybe by random choice) to record and play back his screeches, mumbles and occasional phrases.
    Tha fios agaibh likes this.
  15. Sunnysky


    Jul 15, 2016
    Visited Jamaica at a friends house who's neighbour across the back lane had a few roosters. I figured out how to silence him for brief spells. Play back his recording on an iPad just before he starts to crow. just for laffs.
  16. Sunnysky


    Jul 15, 2016
    I used to be Test Engineering Mgr at the Burroughs/Sperry/Memorex/Unisys Peripherals plant in Winnipeg starting '83 where we refurbished those old 14" drives. Some of the baseplates worked well for a Hibachi BBQ The 207 model had a 1 HP+ (?) linear motor that was the fastest servo at its time with high tech embedded servo.

    Later I saw hospital research used it for a servo-controlled ventilator (air pump) for patients with no lung control.

    I still have a 5.25" cobalt doped disk platter with a Quartz clock behind it on a wood frame beside my great-grandfather's marble clock.

    If I had invested in all the surplus from plant closures, I could have made millions.

    Some processed boards to extract gold, others copper. But some Koreans bought the 400ksqft factory in Tri-City and then sold it at a profit after fake promising new jobs.( with massive containers of liquid gold solution for PCB plating) We absorbed 1/4 of the work in 1/8th of the space and once had 8 2200 mainframes on a 2' raised floor filling up the tiny room with two 10 ton Liebert ACU and power conditioners, Halon etc. I designed it with chimneys for 100x dual port IO cables up into the ceiling to the production floor for disk tower final test on 8 x 8" HDD's fully redundant and refurbished a thousand other products.

    My last salvage was looking for a steel angle iron and ended up with a big box of scrap aluminum PCB's for $20 that I knew had about $2000 work of power LEDs on them with some minor blemish taken from scrap at the local board shop Most of them worked but some had colour shift. Then I cut down these arrays intended for Ambulances OMG bright lights on a bandsaw into 4x1 LED strips or square arrays and put them under cedar shades around the garden and inside $1 Chinese paper lamps. This added 4W instead of 1/4 W puny LED that came with it, running directly off a 12V brick or 6S strings off 19V laptop charger for the long AWG16 to the garden, all in parallel with no resistors ( just the wire resistance) which was enough to prevent thermal runaway, since they were well balanced on the fence. 9304833418E122A.jpg fence LEDs winter.jpg IMG_1475a.jpg 4S LED board.png

    OMG, that was 7 yrs ago. I better do some more salvaging. after I finish re-doing my big deck by turning over all the planks.
    Last edited: May 24, 2019
    davenn and FuZZ1L0G1C like this.
  17. bertus

    bertus Moderator

    Nov 8, 2019

    Some time ago I came accross "the maldivian arc welder":

    Maldivian arc welder 1.jpg

    It seems to work:

    Maldivian arc welder 2.jpg

    hevans1944 and davenn like this.
  18. davenn

    davenn Moderator

    Sep 5, 2009

    holy crap !!!
  19. poor mystic

    poor mystic

    Apr 8, 2011
    that is both the most utterly beautiful and the most astoundingly ugly piece of equipment I have ever believed in
    davenn likes this.
  20. hevans1944

    hevans1944 Hop - AC8NS

    Jun 21, 2012
    Amazing what you can do with a little bit of transformer steel and some insulated copper wire. Tally ho, Bertus!
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