It’s been a while since I have written a blog posting. I guess life can get in the way of some of our hobbies, or as I have noticed other hobbies take priority over others. You may ask what I have been up to over the last year that has been taking up so much time.
My side hustles :
Buying vintage video games and repair / refurbish for resale
Buying vintage cameras for repair / refurbish for resale
Buying vintage electronics / test instruments for refurbish for resale
Recycling old computers and reselling their components
Recently I won an auction that had some very cool vintage test instruments and I thought I could put a little time into refurbishing them and flip for a couple extra dollars. If you have ever read my blog its not about making money on my projects, but more of the process to get to the final product that I enjoy.
The Weston Electrical Instrument Co. Model 24 – Ammeter
At a recent live auction I picked up 4 various test instruments
The Weston Electrical Model 24 Ammeter
The Weston Electrical Model 45 Voltmeter
A Simpson Model 260 Multi-Meter
A Shallcross No 310 Galvanometer
The first Item I decided to refurbish was the Weston 24, it was by far in the worst shape of the lot. I’m not sure if it got this way from being in service in some industrial factory or maybe in a subway? I estimate this meter to be at least 100 years old.
How the Weston looked when it arrived
This is what the meter looked like when it arrived at my house. The dirt was embedded and would not come out. I used a mixture of alcohol and water and a Dremel with a wire brush attachment to loosen 100 years of grime.
It was a slow going process, but eventually most of the dirt, rust and crud was liberated from the meter.
World War II ended 76 years ago, and at this point there are not many surviving service men and woman around to tell the tales of the time. I believe we need to preserve the stories of the past to enlighten future generations to insure history will never repeat itself. When I came across this Battleship lantern from the mid 1940’s at my local Goodwill, I felt it needed to be restored and preserved to tell its story for many more years.
I purchased the light for $20 from the Goodwill, which I felt was a bit overpriced for its condition. However hopefully some of my purchase price is going to a good cause. Researching a 76 year old flashlight proved to be more difficult than you would expect. According to Google, the 5293-L Lantern was attached to the US Navy Battleships and according to the letter that came with the lantern it was also used on cargo and merchant ships.
We take electronics for granted in todays society. Microchips are in everything! Computers, TVs, Smart Phones, Microwaves even your car! If it plugs in and turns on there’s a good chance a microchip will be inside.
Have you ever wondered what is a microchip? I don’t want to cover the history of chips or integrated circuits (IC) in this article, however lets leave it as miniaturized electronic components on a die that is encased in a plastic shell. The components are usually transistors and millions of them can be on a die to compose a single chip.
These are older microchips and the there are a few where you can actually see the die through a small window. These chips were know as EPROMs and were programmable!
Actual Microchip Die!
This is the inside Die Chips found in sophisticated IC’s. The die was fully processed and the next step was to bond gold wires to the different connection points on the IC die and connect them to pins on a plastic IC package. This step was not done.
These are fascinating to study under a strong magnifying glass or microscope. Great for making “electronic jewelry”, study and training.
Another old meter to add to my collection. This Sencore FE160 meter was manufactured in 1973 and has aged quite well. I connected the meter to a wall outlet and it fired up and is working great! The only reconditioning was to give the exterior and interior a through cleaning.
When cleaning equipment I like to use as mild a cleaner as possible and work my way up to something stronger if necessary. I find automotive products to be very mild and since I’m always cleaning and polishing my cars I have many different types of cleaners at my disposal.
Covid19 has pretty much left me trapped in the house over the last few months. Needing to keep busy I started to clean out the basement, selling some stuff on Ebay while tossing the rest out in the trash. I did come across this Everedy Gear Top Bottle Capper under a table gathering dust and rust and decided it would be a good restoration project. Restoration would be very easy as there are only a few parts and the capper was simple to take apart.
Tools you can use
Since the bottle capper is made of cast iron and had some serious rust, I decided to go with a wire brush to remove the dirt and prep the surface for paint.
We all accumulate stuff in our homes over time. In fact George Carlin has a great comedy skit about “stuff“. While going through my stuff I came across this antique projector. A Moviegraph D752 made by Keystone in Boston Mass. The wiring was dry rotted and belts were broken, and I was going to toss it in the trash. The only question was does it have any value? After a quick check on eBay similar projectors in better condition than mine were selling for $50 to $100. Not worth my trouble to sell, but old enough to keep as art work!
If you read my blog on a regular basis you may know that my boys are into youth & college hockey. We are always looking new training tools to try and even build. The Falcone TR-15 looked pretty cool so we thought we would give it a shot.
My boys are probably the biggest skeptics when it comes to new hockey training equipment, and after unboxing the Falcone TR-15 they immediately laughed and thought this device was going to be a waste of time. Having many more years under my belt, I told them to give it a try before making any judgment and to my surprise they did just that.
If you have read my blog in the past you would know that I picked up my first classic car about six months ago. A 1985 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS! So far it has been a blast to drive and I have been enjoying it every chance I get. However through the month of November I was away for a couple weekends and the weather was poor for the rest so my SS went unused for about 6 weeks. Finally in mid December I had an opportunity to take the car out only to find the battery was drained and not enough juice left to turn her over. After talking to a few friends that also own classics they recommended I keep the battery topped off with a Battery Tender!
Recently a coworker of mine purchased a Logitech M500 corded mouse on Amazon. Its relatively inexpensive at $24.99 and perfect for office use. As you can see from the image below, its a nice size mouse with a few extra buttons. I believe Logitech has been selling them for years.
Now I get why amazon has frustration free packing!
The mouse came in retail packing and upon cutting open the sealed packing he accidentally cut the USB connection off the mouse. He immediately tossed the mouse in the trash and proceeded to order a second. I saw this and said, hey don’t toss the mouse, let me attempt a repair.
Easy Mouse Repair
I considered soldering the wire back together, but that would prove to be messy and there would be a large bulge close to the base of the mouse. My second idea was simply to replace the entire USB cable from an older mouse that was sitting in my parts bin.
STEP 1 – Open the mouse
The Logitech M500 has the screws hiding under the 4 pads on the bottom of the mouse. Remove the 4 pads carefully and set aside. Then remove the 4 black screws to gain access to the mouse.
Carefully pry the top of the mouse away from the base to revile the internal components .