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Old 4th Nov 2017, 11:44 am   #41
G6Tanuki
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Default Re: Thought this might amuse you...

Reminds me of the botch I found some years ago:

An old 1950s house with only two single unswitched 13A outlets in the living room.

13A plug fitted to one socket, a length of the old flat 'figure-of-8' single-insulated flex ran from this.

Under the carpet, and across the room to the bay-window where the TV and VCR sat, where the figure-of-8 flex ran into one of the circular brown bakelite junction-boxes normally used for connecting up T&E then a length of 3-core cable ran from this to a 4-way 13A trailing-outlet strip, the end of the outlet-strip's earth-wire not being connected to anything.

"Been like that for years" explained the owner when challenged. He was not amused when I refused to touch his TV.
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Old 4th Nov 2017, 12:09 pm   #42
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Default Re: Thought this might amuse you...

At the risk of going 'off-thread', but definitely staying within the 'best botch jobs theme'.
Try this one.

In my early days of domestic TV engineering, pre 625-line, & before I went into Broadcast Engineering, there were a number of TV's that used an early incarnation of flywheel sync, especially those used for fringe area reception.

Some of these were rather complex circuits, and when they developed an intermittent or difficult fault, one of our engineers came up with a solution, for use where signal strength was o.k.

I was called out to such TV, I think it was a Ferguson. The fault was nothing top do with the sync-separator, I think it had frame collapse.
On removing the back, there was (pre-ice-cream-tub days) an upside-down Golden Virginia tobacco tin with an ECC83 neatly fitted to what was now its top.

I fixed the frame fault, & curiousity got the better of me.
On removing the lid/bottom of this mini-chassis, it became obvious that there was a hard-lock line osc/sync sep built into the tobacco tin!

I have to say it was a very neat job. I did find out who did it, & apparently this was his 'standard mod' for problematic flywheel sync faults! Or Fly-wink, as he called it.

Definitely better than locking the field osc to the mains via an 0.1uF! Which was o.k. until the broadcasters went from mains lock to Xtal lock.

David.

Last edited by Vintage Engr; 4th Nov 2017 at 12:12 pm. Reason: Typo.
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Old 4th Nov 2017, 6:55 pm   #43
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Default Re: Thought this might amuse you...

Re David's comments (above), in the late 50's and early 60's when flywheel sync and gated A.G.C. were beginning to be become popular design features a lot of the "Old Timers" found it difficult to grasp this new technology, with gating pulses and such exotic fripperies.

I met quite a few sets where an A.G.C. fault had been masked by replacing the contrast pot by a 5 or 10k pot in the cathode circuit of the first I.F. stage. Even more evil bodges were done to get round flywheel sync problems, usually involving mica "pFs" strung around the circuit to enable direct line sync (of a sort) to be achieved.

Luckily, most of these old timers and the "valve jugglers" (who often knew even less) recognised their limitations, and gave up, and several I knew ended up happily doing irons/toasters and radio repairs, as there was quite a large repair market still at that time for those items.

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Old 4th Nov 2017, 8:10 pm   #44
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Default Re: Thought this might amuse you...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ukcol View Post
There must be a million dangerous bodge stories out there.

I was told by a TV service engineer that many years ago he had gone to attend to a faulty monochrome TV in someone's home. When he went to remove the back cover he discovered that there were 3 leads to the back of the set, the mains lead, the aerial lead and a third twin lead that disappeared behind the curtains. Sitting on the window sill was a large finned metal rectifier! The previous "engineer" couldn't get the large replacement rectifier inside the set (the original was a contact cooled type).

The safety advice offered at the time had been "don't touch this when the set is switched on".

Damned good safety advice! In my days as a pre teen tinkerer, I learned the (potential) difference between the fins of a tuning capacitor and metal rectifier the hard way - by 'eck the latter clears the ol' Catarrh !!! Still, never made that mistake again!
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Old 4th Nov 2017, 9:10 pm   #45
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Default Re: Thought this might amuse you...

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Originally Posted by duncanlowe View Post
There are horror stories everywhere. Have a look at the photo. This was the prototype for a unit that was to be sent to the customer. I've cropped it pretty tight so you can only see the really scary bit. The thin black wires are the incoming mains being linked to the power supply module. The other solder pads nearby are low voltage. The mains input was a 2 pole figure 8 IEC (C8), the outgoings were three pole IEC C13 with no earth connected. The outputs were single pole switched, so depending on insertion of the figure 8 it was switching either L or N. Luckily the SSR was also wired wrong so there was never any output anyway.
Wow, that's been done by someone who's only ever worked on low voltage stuff!

Shocking... (sorry!)
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Old 5th Nov 2017, 8:19 pm   #46
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Default Re: Thought this might amuse you...

Happy days indeed, I remember well opening the back of many an old tv and finding rs sections hung like bunches of grapes around an o/c mains dropper in various series parallel combinations, crt transformers tied with bits of old wire to a chassis strut, I myself nearly bought the farm due to a previous engineer shorting out half the mains switch, silver paper fuses were common as were nails.
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Old 6th Nov 2017, 1:25 pm   #47
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Default Re: Thought this might amuse you...

Quote:
Originally Posted by G6Tanuki View Post
Reminds me of the botch I found some years ago:

An old 1950s house with only two single unswitched 13A outlets in the living room.

13A plug fitted to one socket, a length of the old flat 'figure-of-8' single-insulated flex ran from this.

Under the carpet, and across the room to the bay-window where the TV and VCR sat, where the figure-of-8 flex ran into one of the circular brown bakelite junction-boxes normally used for connecting up T&E then a length of 3-core cable ran from this to a 4-way 13A trailing-outlet strip, the end of the outlet-strip's earth-wire not being connected to anything.

"Been like that for years" explained the owner when challenged. He was not amused when I refused to touch his TV.
I had a similar one, back in the early 60's.

Customer complained he couldn't turn the TV off. I took a v/c with a DP switch with me, thinking 'This will be a quick one'. Arriving on site couldn't find where the 3-pin (round) mains socket was. Tried tracing the mains lead back from the TV, & found it went behind a tall dresser.
With help from the customer we pulled it away from the wall, to reveal a taped (good old black cloth tape) joint, straight on to a piece of 7/.029 cable hanging out of the wall.

'Don't know how that got there' was the reply from the customer!

David.
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Old 6th Nov 2017, 2:01 pm   #48
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Default Re: Thought this might amuse you...

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Originally Posted by Vintage Engr View Post
'Don't know how that got there' was the reply from the customer!
It was primed by the dreaded tape bomber
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Old 6th Nov 2017, 2:27 pm   #49
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Default Re: Thought this might amuse you...

Although taped joints are deprecated now, and considered highly dangerous, the 1950's book "Odhams Radio Television and Electrical Repairs", which has been mentioned on this forum before, actually describes how to make a taped joint as a "temporary" repair to a vacuum cleaner flex.
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Old 6th Nov 2017, 3:46 pm   #50
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Default Re: Thought this might amuse you...

That sounds useless. The local hardware shop could not have been far away and working on Sundays was frowned on in those days so there was no excuse for trying to fix a warn out power cable that has been dragged around the house countless times.
Still it is a sucker for a nice loud bang
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Old 6th Nov 2017, 4:12 pm   #51
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Default Re: Thought this might amuse you...

One similar 'home improvement' I discovered was when I returned a Bush 823 back to its owner following repair. I plugged it in and was rewarded with a flash and a loud bang from the socket.
I jumped back in alarm.
'Don't worry - it always does that if you push the plug in!' countered the unconcerned householder.
Of course I couldn't leave it at that even though the TV was now working happily. So off came the socket top and there was a jumble of wires inside. I then saw what had been done. A cable came through the wall from the kitchen that backed onto the living room. However there was not enough room for the three cables so they were all taped together with Sellotape (I kid you not) and two wires then came out to the live and neutral of the socket. When the socket flexed the live then touched the earth of the metal back box with hilarious results.
It transpired the whole of the kitchen (sockets, lights, cooker - everything) was returned to this point. The elderly couple's nephew 'who knows all about electricity' had wired it all up. I was extremely unpopular when I took the fuse out of the box and told them they needed an electrician smartish.
'But what will we do tonight?' they complained.
'Survive' I replied and left.
Glyn
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Old 10th Nov 2017, 11:37 pm   #52
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Default Re: Thought this might amuse you...

Hi.

Another one I remember was a modification to a Decca TV owned by one of the company bosses. I was asked to deal with a no colour fault but on receiving the set in the workshop, I noticed it had a 2-pin speaker DIN socket neatly fitted to the front panel of a Decca 100 series CTV. I checked the unofficial mod and discovered to my horror that there wasn't any form of mains isolation to the DIN socket.

In set's that have a live chassis such as the Philips KT3, a separate safety approved isolation transformer is used so that a headphone socket can be safely used. When mains isolated chassis sets became available there was then no need for a separate mains isolation transformer for external audio connections to the set.

The Decca set has a live chassis and is at half mains potential so there was a real danger of a lethal shock. I decided to disconnect the DIN socket to make the set safe. After repairing the colour fault, the set was returned to the owner, who incidentally carried out this neat yet somewhat dangerous mod. I explained to him that he won't be able to use the TV with his HI-Fi amp any more. He complained about that but I said it's better that way than ending up dead! He then realised the magnitude of the situation and was then appreciative of the advice!

Regards
Symon.

Last edited by Philips210; 10th Nov 2017 at 11:56 pm.
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Old 11th Nov 2017, 10:14 am   #53
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Default Re: Thought this might amuse you...

On a different but related subject, I had a customer in the rurals who until fairly recently still had round pin plugs so I had to swap the plug to the loan set if I left one.

They also had a long very narrow drive with a stone wall one either side and no room to turn round - took the door mirror of once!

What brought this back to mind was that the very house was on 'Escape to the country' a couple of days ago, hasn't changed much.

Peter
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Old 11th Nov 2017, 12:49 pm   #54
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Default Re: Thought this might amuse you...

Vehicle access used to be fun in my younger days.
It was an upward sloping drive made of natural compacted gravel with a turning/parking buy at the top.
My great aunt had failed to turn her car correctly and rolled over a seedling bed with leeks in it. She gave up driving about a year later after braking the safety device so that it started in drive

My mom transplanted the surviving leeks to the main bed and then ordered a new garden shed.
The delivery truck driver failed to turn round in one and as usual the rear wheels span and the truck went right into the patch of leeks and sunk up to the axle. It was a brand new truck too.
They had to call a big tow truck to get it out again.
A few of the leeks did make it to the table.
I learned about the quirky sloping driveway before I took my test without getting stuck.
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Old 14th Nov 2017, 12:34 pm   #55
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Default Re: Thought this might amuse you...

Back to tape "bombs"....

Is there a level at which they can be acceptable? I've done several long lasting mower/hedgecutter lead repairs with individually tape wrapped staggered in-line twisted and soldered joints with a further good wrap of tape round the lot. They never caused any problems in use.

Nowadays I do the same only using heatshrink instead of insulating tape.
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Old 14th Nov 2017, 12:55 pm   #56
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Default Re: Thought this might amuse you...

Just done one!
A security LED outside flood light came with 10" of 3 core 0.75mm cable.
Not wanting to have a joint box outside, and not wanting to mess about with the internal wiring on the PCB, I jointed 1.5mm cable on with soldered and heat shrink joints, with an overall heat shrink cover.
Bent the cable so that the 2 ends of the heat shrink are at the bottom and secured the lot to the mounting bracket behind the lamp with ties.
Waterproof, weatherproof, out of reach, secured, double insulated, a good job?
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Old 14th Nov 2017, 2:06 pm   #57
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Default Re: Thought this might amuse you...

A local dealer related to me, quite a few years ago, the saga of a vacuum cleaner and extension lead brought into him for repair.
The cleaner had a 13A socket on the end of its lead, and the extension lead had a 13A plug at each end.

The dealer spent a while attempting to educate the customer on the fatality of this arrangement, which the customer could not (would not) understand.

Needless to say, it was returned repaired, and correctly wired.

Kevin
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Old 14th Nov 2017, 2:10 pm   #58
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Default Re: Thought this might amuse you...

Security lights -

These are the only ones I could find where you are actually meant to open the casing and fit your own cable, no messing about with joining cables etc.

http://www.diy.com/departments/bloom...1448904_BQ.prd

I have two of them, they are not that powerful but the construction is top notch.
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Old 14th Nov 2017, 3:23 pm   #59
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Default Re: Thought this might amuse you...

[QUOTE=kan_turk;991252]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Herald1360 View Post
Back to tape "bombs"....

Is there a level at which they can be acceptable? I've done several long lasting mower/hedgecutter lead repairs with individually tape wrapped staggered in-line twisted and soldered joints with a further good wrap of tape round the lot. They never caused any problems in use.

Nowadays I do the same only using heatshrink instead of insulating tape.
Adhesive lined heatshrink tubing provides a very acceptable solution for repairs like this - adds greater mechanical stability and resistance to the ingress of moisture
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Old 14th Nov 2017, 4:41 pm   #60
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Default Re: Thought this might amuse you...

That is essentially the technique I have used for adding extra bulbs to chains of series-connected fairy lights to ensure that the bulbs are under-run for extended life, with the addition of a small amount of silicone rubber sealant over the soldered joint before slipping the heat shrink sleeving over it.
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