Wednesday, October 6, 2021

SLW Update, and.......Oh No, He's At It Again!

 Monday night was the worst. She was in misery after the nerve block wore off, and couldn't take the Percocet as it gave her a hugely upset stomach and headache. So, she suffered all night long, whimpering when she moved, feeling like she was going to drive the Porcelain Bus but not being able to do so, as she couldn't eat. At least she could keep liquids down, so there was that. Tuesday she was out most of the day, as the anti-nausea medication she has kind of does that, and the migraine medicine she also took *really* knocks her out. 

Tuesday evening was better, and she was able to get by with just acetaminophen, and some Meloxicam, another NSAID, so at least she slept OK Tuesday night, as opposed to being "knocked out".

She's much better today, and has good movement without pain of the fingers on her right hand, although they're still swollen a bit. And her emotions are all over the map, due in no small part, I'm sure, to the wide range of medications in her.

Somebody asked in a  comment if they were going to remove the hardware, and she says no. She says there's no way she'll go through that again, no way, no how, and I can't blame her.

And other news brings in some repair work for the gentleman I bought the TEAC A-4010SU tape deck from. It's a KLH Model Thirty-Four "All-In-One" stereo system. It has an FM stereo receiver in it, along with a Garrard 3-500 turntable and a pair of speakers.

This is what they normally look like:

 And these are the speakers it came with:

Here it is undergoing evaluation:

These are pretty simple units, but have some known problems. I haven't started on the turntable yet, but I'm guessing it just needs a good cleaning and lubrication.

The two "Amplifier Output Protection" fuses were both blown, but the transistors check good, and there's no signs of overheating in the amplifier stage from a bad transistor.

BUT....they use two large electrolytic capacitors between the speakers and the transistors to block any DC from getting to the speakers. DC going to the speakers will cause the speaker cone to be offset one way or the other, and cause the speakers to run hot, which will damage them. Simple solution? Install a low Amperage, fast-blow fuse in series with one of the speaker leads, and if DC shows up on the output, the fuse blows, saving your speakers, and probably the output transistors, too.

The silver cans are the electrolytic capacitors. The one facing you with the reddish orange end is the only "ggod" one in there. The angled one with the chalky, lighter colored end is a bad one. It shows signs of the rubber seal degrading, and leaking the electrolyte out, causing the capacitor to lose value. The other thing it causes is the capacitor to start acting like a resistor, and allowing DC current to flow through it. Cap gets leaky enough, and enough current flows to pop the fuse. Six of the seven capacitors on the board show seal degradation, and I'm sure the seventh one is on borrowed time. Basically, they ALL need to be replaced before this will work again, and I've advised the owner of the parts and labor cost to get this running again. And all the "Molex" connectors used to interconnect all the assemblies need to be de-mated, cleaned, and then re-mated to get rid of any possible intermittent connections that these are prone to develop after sitting many years. Not too bad to do once it's stripped down this far.

And of course, the unit will get a complete cleaning, testing, spit-shining before I release it back to him.

Total bill to tear it down, repair it, and clean it all up will run about $200.

And when he saw how nice the TEAC came out, he muttered something about "I should probably buy it back".

Might be a nice little side line to repair a few things like this per month.......


  1. We still have SLW in our prayers . . .

    Looks like you're getting to be quite the antique electronica repair guru. We love looking over your shoulder on all this ancient repair and restoration stuff!

    1. Thanks, Bob. She appreciates the prayers an well-wishes.

      This might be a one-time deal. It would be *nice* to get a few things like this in per month, but I'm not holding my breath.

  2. I'm allergic to the good pain killers and many of the good anesthetics, so I know how your wife feels. My one time trying the good stuff the room turned green and tilted like in an episode of Batman, and I had a count-down timer running before disaster occurred.

    My doctor told me to never ever ever get majorly injured or need surgery.

    Vitamin I is my main go to. As in Ibuprophen.

    Glad she's doing better.

    As to your score, just Wow. Agree with CnB above as to getting a specialty gig doing repairs on old stuff. Get your name into people who deal with that stuff as the old school sparky is hard to find anymore. Kids these days just understand 'Buy a new Thing.'

    1. Thanks, Beans. She was in pretty bad shape Monday night, and it was painful to see her like that. But she's bounced back, and even went out to lunch with a friend today.

      There's a cool little place in town called the "Bizarre Bazaar" that deals in used records, CD's, and books. They also have a good selection of vintage audio gear at reasonable prices. I've talked with their Audio Tech a few times before, and he's a good guy. And he's a young guy who's really sharp. Swamped with work, and now it's all backed up because he was skateboarding into the shop earlier this year, hit a curb, did a face-plant, and broke his shoulder.

      The guy I'm fixing this for knows about them, but said since the young guy got hurt, there's "nobody" around to fix things like this. He and his wife specialize in estate sales, and he's got a lot of high-end vintage gear. If this goes well, I might get some referrals.

  3. I've had my own bouts with pain. Love and concern and prayers to SLW.

    1. I think at "Our Age" we all have! My hip last year was about the worst I've had since I broke my ankle in 1985.

      I'm just grateful she's out of the woods now.

  4. Hope things are soon back to normal with SLW. There are grandkids to hug!

    Any guess how many people out there that can repair older electronic stuff? Not many, is my guess.

    1. REALLY! We both miss the little guys terribly, although we did go visit with them last week before she went into surgery. She was all eyes for the New Little Guy, who immediately grabbed for my beard when I held him! Shades of his big brother, who had to show me all the neat stuff he did to his room.

      There's one place in town I know of with a shop that does this stuff, but their Tech is out with an injury right now. The other places around here that's I've scouted out seem to be older guys that work out of their homes, but they also seem to do really High-End stuff, and I'm sure they have prices that match.

      And NONE of the Hams I've met here work on vacuum tube stuff, so if you have an old 1930's "Farm Radio" that needs fixin', you're out of luck....

  5. Very good news about your wife. Praise God.
    Yes, a little extra money is a good idea. Or a trade for something you might be looking for.
    You all be safe and God bless, drjim!

    1. Thank you, Linda.

      I was almost in as much pain as she was, and I couldn't do anything but hold her.

  6. Glad SLW is doing better. Still prayers for the both of you.

    That older stuff can at least be worked on. The modern stuff with all of the surface mount components is basically unrepairable without specialized equipment and very steady hands.

    1. Thanks, Bill. She's 90% back to normal, whatever that is these days. She even went out for lunch with a dear old friend from SoCal who's visiting her kids.

      I've done some surface-mount stuff, but now they have even smaller SMD stuff, and it's almost to where you need a microscope to work on them.

      My desoldering station came with all the things needed to removed SMDs, and even has a rudimentary hot air blower for sticking them back down if need be.


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