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Thread: Historical Perspective

  1. #1
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    Historical Perspective

    I had one of those sit up and think realizations today.

    I realized that now (2017) is separated from the design of many of the amps we revere - early 60s Fender, Marshall, and Vox - by the same amount of time that elapsed between the American Civil War and World War I.

    It struck me as profound.
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    Amazing!! Who would ever have guessed that someone who villified the evil rich people would begin happily accepting their millions in speaking fees!

    Oh, wait! That sounds familiar, somehow.

  2. #2
    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    50-60 years is a long time.
    My console tube radio will turn 100 soon.
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  3. #3
    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob p View Post
    50-60 years is a long time.
    My console tube radio will turn 100 soon.
    I have a first edition 1922 Radio Handbook. I got it in the 60s when it was only 45 years old. It's mostly crystal sets. You can imagine the tubes. Calls them a light bulb plus... and discusses Etheral Theory.
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    Senior Member Enzo's Avatar
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    When I was a kid, there were still a few Civil War veterans living. They were like 12 years old during the war, and 100 at the time, but still they were veterans, they fought. I remember they announced the last one had passed away. None of them had radios during the war.
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    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
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    Small World indeed.
    Not direct knowledge of a Civil War Veteran (I was born in 1952) but quite a straight connection, with a single scale in the "trip".
    And a very unique Veteran

    My Grandfather was born in Paraguay in 1898 (same year as Adolph Hitler, just to provide a time scale reference).
    His surname was González Sosa, meaning González was his father, Sosa was his mother.

    He always told us as kids, as an example that kids should work, (at little jobs of course), to learn and respect Work, so he used to work with his cousin, Luis Chase Sosa (both their Mothers were sisters) to earn a few cents at his uncle´s Pharmacy.

    So I knew, without extra details, that his uncle was an "American Chemist", whose surname was Chase, and little else.

    Lots of details on how they cleaned the Medicine bottles squeaky clean with sand, soap and water, they had to remove down to the tiniest amount of older medicines not to contaminate the new ones placed there, etc. which in hindsight was very advanced.

    They didn´t have radios either, no Electricity at the Town way back then, he always told us that street corners had candle lights "which on full Moon nights were not lit to save the City some money".

    Only way later I got to know through my Uncle Luis that said "Chase surname American Chemist", together with his Brother, were in fact American expats, descending in a straight line from Thomas Jefferson and directly related to the Chase Manhattan bank owners, who had fought and suffered a lot at the Civil War , were *fed up* with anything related to it, and searched for a Country where "War would be impossible", so chose Paraguay which had been through a terrible war itself which wiped out 90% of the male population and would be very un-inclined to get into another, just to put it mildly.

    So incredibly enough I also have, 6500 miles away, a quite direct connection to a Civil War veteran
    Juan Manuel Fahey

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    I'm descended from Alexander the great on my moms side of the family, no wonder I'm nuts.

    Anyway, my dad learned TV repair after getting out of the army on the GI bill.
    I get my "fix anything" ability from him teaching me.

    So of course if our amps broke down when we were kids I'd fix them.
    I figured electronics and engineering would be a fun career.
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  7. #7
    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drewl View Post
    Anyway, my dad learned TV repair after getting out of the army on the GI bill.
    I get my "fix anything" ability from him teaching me.
    It's frustrating to have that kind of knowledge and capability, and then to be forced to live in a world where everything is made to be disposable. I hate that. It forces us to act like scavengers.
    "Stand back, I'm holding a calculator." - chinrest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Enzo View Post
    When I was a kid, there were still a few Civil War veterans living.
    In the early 2000s, I met an (American) woman whose grandmother was 106 years old at the time, and still sharp and clear-minded. She (the grandmother) would have been born around 1895 or 1896. And she had stories about her mother, who had been born a slave, and had been freed in her thirties, after the emancipation proclamation.

    All of us know about the horrendous awfulness of slavery, and the gut-wrenching emotions that go with allowing yourself to think about it. But it is something else again when you encounter such a direct connection to it.

    -Gnobuddy
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob p View Post
    I hate that. It forces us to act like scavengers.
    Without dwelling on details, my career was knocked completely off the tracks not long ago, and the new reality is living on a tight budget. Scavenging (in junkyards, for parts to repair my old car) was part of my life as the typical poverty-stricken college student, and now it looks as though scavenging may be re-entering my life again.

    A week or so ago, when I took the trash down to the dumpster, I found a nice-looking, and apparently quite new, Glacier fan in the dumpster. It looked quite clean, fresh white plastic, no yellowing from age, all the push-buttons clicked smoothly and crisply, so I "acted like a scavenger", pulled it out of the dumpster, cleaned it up, and opened it to find out why it had ended up in the trash.

    As best as I could deduce, a plastic zip-tie that had been used for internal cable-management on the motor had come into contact with the rotor, either stalling or slowing it. That caused enough overheating to blow an internal thermal safety fuse, and may have also done some damage to the lubrication grease in the bearings. But the motor and wiring passed the visual and smell tests (no burnt smell), and an ohmmeter showed continuity in all the right places, except for that thermal fuse.

    So I took it apart, removed the remnants of zip-tie, cleaned off the old grease, re-lubricated the bearings, temporarily bypassed the blown thermal fuse, and connected it up. And it worked perfectly.

    Oh, well. I guess I'm officially a scavenger again now.

    -Gnobuddy
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  10. #10
    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
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    Don´t feel bad but PROUD
    FWIW I do that all the time.

    Not digging in dumpsters, but with my own stuff, just not mindlessly dumping it but checking first if, by any chance, it *might* be a relatively minor solvable problem after all.

    Even on cheap stuff where it seems stupid "wasting" time instead of plain replacing it, such as my Son´s sandwich toaster.
    He was sad when it stopped working because it was his (deceased) Grandma´s present as a kid, so I checked it: a blown thermal fuse such as in your fan.

    As a "5 minute kludge" I bypassed it, thinking about getting a new one whenever I was near the shop carrying them .... as usual always forget about that but then he´s been happily toasting his sandwiches on it for, what? ... 4 years now? ...

    Same with tons of other stuff. (Including fans )

    My new signature should be "Disposable my ass!!!!"
    Juan Manuel Fahey

  11. #11
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    Yeah my 13 yr old son has been going around to yard sales thrift stores and trash picking all kinds of stereo equipment and now has a massive system.

    One vintage stereo who found he just sold on E-bay for a couple hundred bucks!

    Some people throw out alot of perfectly good things, especially in nice neighborhoods.
    We recognize a few of the same people that drive around scavaging things and metal for recycling.
    One works at the local park.

    An easy way to make extra money. You gotta' do what ya' can these days.
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  12. #12
    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    I'm a die-hard scavenger. I can afford to buy new things but instead I pick up all sorts of broken things that I find on the side of the road and bring them home to fix them.

    Some of my best items have come from the neighbor across the street, who scores a Zero on the handyman scale. In the past year I've scavenged a wooden TV snack table that only needed a split piece of wood to be re-glued; an antique beveled glass mirror that was being thrown away as a medicine cabinet was removed during bathroom remodelling -- i built a new frame for it and hung it on the wall; and a kiddie swing that I converted into a very nice adult yard swing for our 90-year-old grandma.

    The kiddie swing was the best of all. It was one of those complex 10-station kiddie swingsets that had every possible type of swing on it... swinging benches, a slide, a swinging horse, and three regular plank swings, all suspsended from chains or metal tubing. It was decades old, built when things were built with quality, and it has been passed from family to family in our neighborhood. As one family's kids outgrew it, a crew of people would carry it down the street to another family's house where it would stay for a few years until it was given away again. It was finally being thrown away by the third owner that I knew of in the neighborhood because it was rusty and ugly and they didn't want it anymore. Nobody else wanted it and the city wouldn't take it away unless it was disassembled, so I took a battery powered impact driver over to my neighbor's house to help remove all the rusty fasteners and to put all the junk in a big pile.

    Then a light bulb went on over my head. I had a 4-foot swing whose frame was no longer sound because it was rusty, and the fellow across the street was throwing away enough steel tubing to fabricate a really nice replacement. The large A-frame swing was made out of 20-gauge 1" and 2" galvanized steel tubing. It was quite robust, and only suffered from too-thin a coat of paint and decades of surface rust that made it look ugly. All of the metal was sound underneath the surface rust, so I carted all of the tubing and fittings home and left the rest for the trash collector.

    I proceeded to use a rotary wire brush to remove all of the rust on the tubing and then I welded the nicest pieces of tubing together to form a sturdy A-frame that was 8-feet wide. I used a tubing bender to re-shape the 1-inch tubing to fashion a frame for a seat, and I bought 50+ feet of pressure-treated decking lumber to fashion a 6-foot bench that I hung from the A-frame by recycling the plastic coated chain that was still in good condition. While I was cleaning off the steel pipe I found a manufacturing sticker on it that said that the swingset had been fabricated in 1989... 28 years ago.

    The whole A-frame received a coat of primer and three coats of Rust-Oleum, and the planks on the bench received 10 coats of linseed oil. Now I have a brand-new looking swingset for the yard. It looks so good that my neighbor asked where I bought it. He nearly fell over when I told him that I made it using steel tubing from swingset that he had thrown away. He had seen me painting things in my yard for a week but he never connected the dots...
    Last edited by bob p; 09-17-2017 at 04:12 AM.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member Enzo's Avatar
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    yeah I used to fix stuff all the time, I still have a toaster all apart in a bag. $10 toaster, but hey, I can fix it.

    Guys like us fix things, but mom and dad consumer across the street, they have no idea in the world how to fix that room fan, and to take it to someone would cost them $45, even though a new fan is $15. So I kinda can't blame them.
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  14. #14
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    Our oven is a nice stainless steel Roper from the 80's.

    The problem is the buttons for the controller break, so I had to buy a third controller in 15 years just for the plastic front piece with the buttons!
    Luckily I found one on E-bay for $50.
    The controller crapped out after a week, but I still had the other two. Swapped it out yesterday and it's fine.

    The rest of the oven is fine, but most people would have to get a whole new unit because a cheap plastic front plate wears out.

  15. #15
    Supporting Member Steve A.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gnobuddy View Post
    As best as I could deduce, a plastic zip-tie that had been used for internal cable-management on the motor had come into contact with the rotor, either stalling or slowing it. That caused enough overheating to blow an internal thermal safety fuse, and may have also done some damage to the lubrication grease in the bearings. But the motor and wiring passed the visual and smell tests (no burnt smell), and an ohmmeter showed continuity in all the right places, except for that thermal fuse.

    So I took it apart, removed the remnants of zip-tie, cleaned off the old grease, re-lubricated the bearings, temporarily bypassed the blown thermal fuse, and connected it up. And it worked perfectly.

    Oh, well. I guess I'm officially a scavenger again now.

    -Gnobuddy
    I did the same with the power xfmr on a Pignose G40V tube amp in 1998. It was the first amp I had seen built in China and there was a funny smell coming from it before it finally died. What I found was shocking: the PCB had not been etched completely so there was leakage all over the place! After scraping off the unetched copper and bypassing the thermal fuse it became a platform for my early mod experiments like a pentode/triode switch and a DC filament supply.

    http://blueguitar.org/new/articles/b...s/g40v_mod.pdf

    I never did replace the thermal fuse but then again I haven't played that amp for 15+ years... Back in the old days you could find parts like that at appliance parts houses, most of which have since gone out of business. I guess you'd have to scour eBay or Amazon to find one for your fan.

    Steve A.

    EDIT: I just found this listing at Amazon for $6.79 (Prime). If you wanna go halfsies I can mail you 5 for $3.39 (PayPal) No charge for the stamp (I just bought a packet of Forever stamps which should be a lifetime supply since I pay all of my bills electronically. I know that I will lose them before I use them all!)

    10Pcs New RH 130C Double Lead*** Temperature Control Thermal Fuse 250V 2A

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B011HFOPS4/

    A 5 star review from LeepsterUG
    on August 22, 2017:
    "Perfect for my fan. Thanks"

    *** So how exactly would a SINGLE lead thermal fuse work... perhaps by blowing up the device it was installed in?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 61df2eohr0l._sy355_.jpg  
    Last edited by Steve A.; 09-17-2017 at 10:21 PM.

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    That's one of the bad things about Radio Shack going out of business.
    They carried the thermal fuses used in alot of transformers.
    Fixed the boss' coffee maker that needed a thermal fuse.

    They were great for parts needed right away for rush jobs. Sure it cost more but you could expedite repairs.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member Enzo's Avatar
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    Look in your local phone directory for "appliance parts" stores. This is where guys buy parts for home appliances like stoves, refrigerators, washers and driers, etc. Many of those things use thermal fuses.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve A. View Post
    I never did replace the thermal fuse but then again I haven't played that amp for 15+ years...
    I haven't replaced the missing one in the fan yet, I just make sure that the fan is only on when there is someone around and awake, in case anything bad happens.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve A. View Post
    If you wanna go halfsies I can mail you 5 for $3.39 (PayPal)
    Thank you for the kind offer! The catch is that sometimes weird things happen when mail crosses that two-inch-wide white line painted on the ground that demarcates the USA from Canada. More than a few Canadians have bought something that cost five bucks in the USA, and then discovered they had to pay $25 in duties and fees and postage charges once it crossed the border.

    I have escaped that so far, largely by buying things from reputable vendors on this side of the border. It looks like Digikey Canada has thermal fuses that should be able to replace the item we're talking about:
    https://www.digikey.ca/products/en/c...=0&pageSize=25

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve A. View Post
    *** So how exactly would a SINGLE lead thermal fuse work...
    Heh, in a world where red teflon-insulated wire supposedly sounds different from blue PVC-insulated wire, why wouldn't a single-lead thermal fuse work? It's very Zen - what is the sound of a single-lead thermal fuse burning?

    -Gnobuddy
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  19. #19
    Old Timer Tom Phillips's Avatar
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    You can also find thermal fuses at the usual electronics supply houses such as Digikey where they list them as "thermal cutoffs"
    See the search results page at https://www.digikey.com/products/en/...hermal%20fuses
    Tom

  20. #20
    Old Timer Tom Phillips's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gnobuddy View Post
    ...The catch is that sometimes weird things happen when mail crosses that two-inch-wide white line painted on the ground that demarcates the USA from Canada. More than a few Canadians have bought something that cost five bucks in the USA, and then discovered they had to pay $25 in duties and fees and postage charges once it crossed the border...
    It would help us to know where you are located. If you don't wish to be too specific then you could just add "Canada" in your profile.

    I see you already posted that you know about the Digikey source. I got distracted and took a long time to send my previous reply.

    Tom

  21. #21
    Supporting Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    I'm not old enough to compete with knowing Civil War veterans, But I CAN remember growing up in San Jose, Ca. when only about a quarter of the neighborhoods were there. There were still huge swaths of land where orchard trees like plums, oranges and lemons grew. Free for the picking to all. I remember talking with Mrs. Howes. Last living member of the family that donated the property for the elementary school I attended. She was 102 at the time living in a house assembled with square, forged nails and wooden pegs instead of anything resembling a pneumatic nail gun. She told stories about the pastoral life of farming in the area and picking fruit as piece work by the load.

    This is in the "Bay Area" region of the state. And I remember when it was just a nice place to live and no one knew this was coming.

    Riding my bike out of town to get to the mountains I would pass the city division into Los Gatos and the population was 249,000. We shot guns in the hills and got into normal boy trouble on motor bikes, etc. all the time with nothing more than warnings from any authorities. Now there's 1,000,000. But worse is that all the surrounding areas like Campbell, Sunnyvale, Milpitas, Santa Clara, etc. have all grown as well and all the cities run one into another in a 3.5 million population metropolis. Home to several tech companies including *bay and *oogle. This is really the reason I moved from the area to a smaller community. But I was there for a few months after my ten year absence recently and even in that time so much has changed. The entire population there is now east Asian and Indian tech pros and Hispanic service workers. Most of the gringos you see are part of the huge population of homeless. Not being racist at all!!! In truth, east Asian's and Indian's are typically more polite than most whites. So the pleasantries of shopping for groceries or sharing a line for stamps has actually improved As has the quality of the restaurants I just noticed it because I felt like the minority. I knew the landscape and had childhood memories there and still felt like a stranger. It was profound to me.
    "The man is an incompetent waste of human flesh. He should donate his organs now to someone who might actually make good use of them." The Dude re: maybe I shouldn't say, but his name rhymes with Trump

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Phillips View Post
    It would help us to know where you are located. If you don't wish to be too specific then you could just add "Canada" in your profile.
    Fair enough. Done!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Phillips View Post
    I see you already posted that you know about the Digikey source. I got distracted and took a long time to send my previous reply.
    Thank you for looking up a source for me (us)!

    Mouser and Digikey are my first two go-two sources for electronics components that are likely to still be in production. Both have Canadian operations as well as US ones.

    -Gnobuddy

  23. #23
    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gnobuddy View Post
    I haven't replaced the missing one in the fan yet, I just make sure that the fan is only on when there is someone around and awake, in case anything bad happens.

    Thank you for the kind offer! The catch is that sometimes weird things happen when mail crosses that two-inch-wide white line painted on the ground that demarcates the USA from Canada. More than a few Canadians have bought something that cost five bucks in the USA, and then discovered they had to pay $25 in duties and fees and postage charges once it crossed the border.

    I have escaped that so far, largely by buying things from reputable vendors on this side of the border. It looks like Digikey Canada has thermal fuses that should be able to replace the item we're talking about:
    https://www.digikey.ca/products/en/c...=0&pageSize=25


    Heh, in a world where red teflon-insulated wire supposedly sounds different from blue PVC-insulated wire, why wouldn't a single-lead thermal fuse work? It's very Zen - what is the sound of a single-lead thermal fuse burning?

    -Gnobuddy
    Oh, that? EASY !!!!

    Since it´s single lead, electrons get in but can´t get out, so they accumulate there.

    Of course, pressure inside rises on and on until it bursts.

    And what about the "thermal" bit?
    Easy again: with all those electrons packed shoulder to shoulder inside a closed space, air soon becomes very hot (and sweaty, but that´s another problem).

    Won´t even imagine what happens if a couple Electrons inside that closed space had one bean burrito too much before getting inside.
    Juan Manuel Fahey

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    Senior Member Enzo's Avatar
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    Then it becomes a pintode.
    Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

  25. #25
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    don't forget the joker g1's Avatar
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    I think someone used "double lead" to imply radial style and would probably call an axial type "single lead".
    Sorry for such a pedestrian explanation though.
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