Hi. This is a shortened version of 'tips' that will appear in a future issue of Electric Radio.
Since I am a builder and restorer of lots of 'Boatanchors', 'Test Equipment', etc., I feel the pain of a lot of builders when bemoaning the lack of availability of some older parts.
I have a simple solution: ePay, er, eBay.
Yes, I know lots of you have had BAD experiences there (right, Steve, WB2WIK/6?).
However, one must be VERY pessimistic (or optimistic?) when bidding on "vintage" stuff.
Here's a couple of examples:
1. Lots of guys would like to obtain Nixie tubes. Yep, they are either unavailabe or VERY pricy. Not too long ago, I bought several Fluke DVMs for $5 apiece. Not only did they work, but each has 6 Nixie tubes.
2. Recently, I bought a VERY nice Lafayette receiver for the princely sum of $.99. Since the seller was close, the shipping was very cheap also. Although it took me a while to 'undo' a previous owner's "mods", it had all of the original Hitachi tubes. Every one passed easily when checked with a high-end transconductance tester.
3. A couple of years ago, I was able to purchase a lot of HP SHF Signal Generators. What am I gonna do with a 4-11 GHz Generator? Probably nothing, BUT they all worked and they are LOADED with high quality parts and tubes. Shipping? It was free for these monsters.
4. I have a large collection of BA receivers. EVERY one has a small 12VDC muffin fan it to keep it cool.
I also use 24VDC fans, that when run an 12VDC, are completely inaudable. Gee, where do I get the fans? I have an agreement with a couple of local PC repair shops. Once a week, I stop by and they give me a box full of Power Supplies. Lots of times, the only problem is the fan has stalled. Easy fix. However, since I have LOADS of these P/S, I usually just 'part 'em out'. They ae loaded with nice caps, etc. Don't worry, all caps are checked for both 'leakage' and ESR. Some have 2 fans!
Monitors have a TREMENDOUS number of quality parts. I have thousands of parts stored away. Why do I keep 'parting them out'? I find it entertaining and relxing. What more could you ask?
Ya just gotta be creative.
I have 6 of the HP 608 series also obtained for almost nothing and FREE shipping......
Lots of times, the parts are MUCH more valuabe than the unit itself... Just watch out for shipping.......