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Windows 7: vacuum tubes and transistors or old electronics the good old days

16 Jul 2014   #1

Linux Mint 18 Xfce (32bit) / Windows 7 Professional (64bit)
vacuum tubes and transistors or old electronics the good old days

hey everybody, I miss the days of real electronics before integrated chips and the disposable world. I also know that progress wins out and that is cool. but I do miss the days when electronics was made to last and be serviced and repaired and not made like the CHEAP CRAP we have to deal with today. I am 60+ years old and have been a ham radio operator since the age of 12. worked in electronics field long enough to witness the closing of to many repair shops. I work part time repairing tube and some transistor amps at a music store. I also repair old vacuum tube farm radios and table radios at my home for something to do. ok I do sell them and do ok from them and enjoy repairing them as some are 40 to 50 years old if not older. electronics parts stores do not exist anymore. radio shack doesn't count as they only carry cell phones and very few components. I am able to purchase from online vendors which I am grateful for. I am glad that I am 1 of the lucky people to live and service in this time that seems to be a vanished past and will never be again.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jul 2014   #2

XP Pro (x86) | 7 HP (x86) & (x64) | 7 Pro (x64)

Hi poorguy,

Only this week my 14 year old Vuego flatbed scanner finally died.
At first I thought it was the rubber drive belt (3mm wide) that had set hard. Searched the net for "how to breath new life into a butyl rubber belt". After a lot of boiling plus a week soaking in glycerine ... discovered the gear-box had seized anyway.

Nothing like a good tinkering. My adult kids just chuck stuff away and I am into their trash to see what can be done. I still have a 20 year old Sharp microwave squirreled away for the day I can replace the blown lamp. The turntable motor is still available as a part !!

At one stage in my past one hospital complained about the cost of bed repairs. The resident handyman was shelling out $700+ for new actuator controls. I discovered the circuit boards were available for $2.30 each ... and so started a new string to my bow with 5 other hospitals.

I totally agree too much stuff ends up in landfill. Just have a look at Xmas toys catalogs, all destined to landfill.

Oh for the "olden days" of telegrams, no TV, only radio, public phone boxes, fans (no air-conditioners), push lawn mowers ... just makes me tired thinking about it . . .
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jul 2014   #3
Lava King

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

Unfortunately, this has been going on for quite some time. About 15 years ago I worked in a TV and VCR repair shop, even then we had to charge a flat rate for repairs because a new TV or VCR would have cost less than a repair charged by the hour.

I remember the "good ol' days" of electronics, as well. My family had a Sears color TV that was a "hybrid" set; it had an IC for the audio but the high frequency and high power stuff was vacuum tubes. You could watch it during a thunderstorm and hear the occasional (very loud) pop or snap from the set, the color might go weird for a moment or two, but it continued working. The set was replaced only when the vacuum tubes were no longer available.

Very good timing on your post.

Just a few days ago I made this video of an electronic device that I've had in daily use since 1982.

Hmm...seems that the majority of stuff that I have is rather old.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

16 Jul 2014   #4

Linux Mint 18 Xfce (32bit) / Windows 7 Professional (64bit)

hey all,yeah I agree I am always looking at trash piles on big trash day seeing what I can pull out. my recent find is an old 1960s upright vacuum cleaner that just needed a power switch and anew electric cord. went to hoover to get a switch and what the guy came out with was a joke so I found a toggle switch and made it fit. cleaned and lubed it al up and the wife likes it better than he new vacuum. score for me.

good video Lava King even 1980s electronics was and is repairable and does last. GE always did make a good product. your dial light is probably just a little bulb but if you decide to change it replace it with an led. I probably leave it alone as it is not an issue as how it works.

GrayGhost2 yeah that's cool you can get or repair the boards for the hospital beds. my neighbor does heat and air work and he brings me his electronic boards for repair it is usually just cold solder joints as they are just flimsy POS boards.

there is a wealth in others roadside trash piles etc. I also find good stuff at thrift stores and flea markets and the antique shop down the road from me calls when she finds old radios and such. I to own a lot of old stuff but it matches me, I to am old. yes the olden days.

have a good day.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jul 2014   #5

Linux Mint 18 Xfce (32bit) / Windows 7 Professional (64bit)

hey all, yes labor cost of repairs is one of the reasons there are not many electronics repair shops or small appliance repair shops around anymore. besides the old tube radios that I work on I also have people wanting old antique floor and table lamps rewired or repaired. I know that I own a lot of old lamps and old table top fans that still work great and were probably made in the 1940s to 1960s that I found at flea markets and thrift stores for next to nothing just because they needed a little repair and or service.

I just like working on the old stuff because it makes me wonder how things were back in the good old days.
most of my test equipment came from Heathkit and have had to work on and repair most of it just because it is old but it does still work well. my oscilloscopes are from 1975 vintage and still work great. made to last.

yeah I am spoiled by a cell phone and the computer but they are real handy. that is progress that has made my life easier, so some is good. it is just good to know that one can find and purchase and repair a vintage piece from the past.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

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