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Mystery box

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by Gramps, Nov 7, 2016.

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  1. Gramps

    Gramps

    14
    1
    Dec 26, 2012
    Good morning anybody have any idea what this thing is?
    I'm guessing radio amateur gear, it's designed to control something, perhaps a telescope?
    Gramps
     

    Attached Files:

  2. shrtrnd

    shrtrnd

    3,781
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    Jan 15, 2010
    Looks like a power supply built specifically for some particular application.
    Maybe for somebody to run variable voltage tests on devices he was specifically testing.
    You'll probably get a response from somebody here later that might be of more help to you.
     
  3. hevans1944

    hevans1944 Hop - AC8NS

    4,547
    2,122
    Jun 21, 2012
    Definitely contains some sort of DC power supply. From the front panel labels, it could be a gauss meter, used to measure magnetic field strength with a Hall-effect probe perhaps. Or maybe it is used to excite an external coil with who-knows-what method for detecting the resulting magnetic flux. Why it would need a variable mica trimmer capacitor is a mystery. Very poor construction techniques, but you may be able to salvage some good parts from it for other projects. I doubt this treasure has anything to do with amateur radio, but then I haven't seen everything Hams dream up yet. I wonder what the 5 4-wire ribbon cable connected to?

    The rotary switch, the toggle switches, perhaps the potentiometers, the mains power cord, the 5-way binding posts all look salvageable. As do the two 150 ohm 5 watt power resistors, and maybe the power transistors and (unseen) rectifier diode(s) too. And the variable mica trimmer of course. The two electrolytic capacitors are problematical... may be too old and the electrolyte dried out by now. You should fire it up and check for AC ripple. The socket-mounted integrated circuits could be used for an artwork collage. My wife collects used electronics parts, like obsolete PC memory expansion sticks, for this purpose. Maybe you could use the box for another project. I like to hang onto old power transformers too... never can tell when a project will pop up that happens to require whatever secondary voltage the transformer produces.

    Nice find, @Gramps!

    Edit: Took a closer look at the ribbon cable: four wires, brown, red, orange, and yellow.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2016
  4. spaceman

    spaceman

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    Nov 5, 2016
    In the pic with the dials there are red stickers or decals. Can you post what is written on them. I think the chassy looks factory and if so you will have your answer.
     
  5. AnalogKid

    AnalogKid

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    Jun 10, 2015
    What are the part numbers on the TO-3 devices?
    What is printed on top of the transformer?

    ak
     
  6. Gramps

    Gramps

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    Dec 26, 2012
    Thanks for all the input. For some reason I'm not getting notified that you all posted. I don't see any red stickers on the front panel only penned in numbers.
    Here a pic of the transistors 2016-11-14 07.58.24.jpg
     
  7. Gramps

    Gramps

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    Dec 26, 2012
    An one of the trans. 1479128468645-1092596699.jpg
     
  8. Gramps

    Gramps

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    Dec 26, 2012
    Now I see you what you're talking about.
    The red stickers you see under the unit are a prop that I used to prop it up so we could photograph it
     
  9. Gramps

    Gramps

    14
    1
    Dec 26, 2012
    20161114_073811.jpg 20161114_074027.jpg 20161114_074238.jpg 20161114_073901.jpg 20161114_073811.jpg I have a second unit that might be somehow connected to the first one. Again completely hand-wired here are some photos 20161114_074027.jpg 20161114_074238.jpg
     
  10. hevans1944

    hevans1944 Hop - AC8NS

    4,547
    2,122
    Jun 21, 2012
    So, Gramps, what are you gonna do with this blast from the past? Salvage the parts? Mount it in a shadow box on the living room wall? Throw it away?
     
  11. Gramps

    Gramps

    14
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    Dec 26, 2012
    Would be glad to donate them to anyone who wants to pay the postage to receive them.
    Don't have much time for tinkering with electronics anymore sad to say
    A little history on these items. I'm on the staff at the Fort Myers Rescue Mission the homeless shelter in Fort Myers.
    These two items came with a donation and the owner died so we have no way of knowing what the equipment was used for.
     
  12. Gramps

    Gramps

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    Dec 26, 2012
    If it was "hollowstate" technology I probably would keep it :)
     
  13. spaceman

    spaceman

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    Nov 5, 2016
    it might be a CB power amplifier to get around the 5 watt FCC restriction . Do any of the surviving family or friends know if he was a CB enthusiast ?
     
  14. Gramps

    Gramps

    14
    1
    Dec 26, 2012
    We didn't get any CB equipment in that donation and have no way to contact family or friends.
    What we did get was two telescopes one quite expensive one but I didn't see any motorized racking gear on it
     
  15. spaceman

    spaceman

    67
    0
    Nov 5, 2016
    I have a friend who had his telescope hooked up to a monitor so he could do his viewing from inside the house and not have to be out in the cold. Maybe this gizmo could have been part of that feature. But really just a guess from left field. Thought it was worth posting tho.
     
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