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Old 30th Dec 2007, 4:52 pm   #1
60 oldjohn
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Default What is your oldest Homebrew / Kit still in everyday use?

I made the Practical Wireless "easy build digital clock in September 1975. it has been in everyday use ever since. What is your oldest Homebrew / kit that you still use regularly? The clock uses the AY-5-1224 IC and the case was made from part of a fridge, I was into recycling back then.
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Old 30th Dec 2007, 5:21 pm   #2
MichaelR
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Default Re: What is your oldest Homebrew / Kit still in everyday use?

You can always spot a Yorkshire Man !
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Old 30th Dec 2007, 7:57 pm   #3
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Default Re: What is your oldest Homebrew / Kit still in everyday use?

Strangely, a friend of mine also has one of those clocks, wgich is still in everyday use. His is built into a wooden case - it was built whilst he was an apprentice with the GPO.

The oldest bits to come from me are a "Chromachime" 24 tune doorbell, built around 1980, and still working at my parents house, and a constant current NiCd charger, adapted from an "Everyday Electronics" design of about the same time.

Jim.
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 7:47 pm   #4
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Default Re: What is your oldest Homebrew / Kit still in everyday use?

Not in everyday use, but about 25 years ago I built my own disco unit and power amplifier, one day I'll pull it out and take some photos.

It has two cassette decks, two turntables, full mixing, PLF and graphic equaliser. Modular built on 23 self designed plug in PC Cards.

Still works.
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Old 1st Jan 2008, 2:19 pm   #5
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Default Re: What is your oldest Homebrew / Kit still in everyday use?

I built a Heathkit GC-1005 digital clock back in 1972 and it's been in constant use since that time. It uses a Mostek 5017AA chip (From what I remember) with the chip clock derived from the mains. The clock uses Sperry Rand flat neon seven segment displays.
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Old 2nd Jan 2008, 12:26 pm   #6
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Default Re: What is your oldest Homebrew / Kit still in everyday use?

for me it is a CW/AM test oscillator, draws 10-30ľA at 9V depending on frequency so not exactly high power.
with help from my father I copied it out of a manual in 1980 something.
A BIG downside is that it tends to tune fairly broad on the SW part.
I guess for something basically being a transistor regen-reciever with a 25mm coil and a 150mm one turn loop antenna it is ok.
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Old 2nd Jan 2008, 12:47 pm   #7
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Default Re: What is your oldest Homebrew / Kit still in everyday use?

A TV line selector, made in 1974 or 1975, based on a design in Practical Television and improved a little by yours truly. Still in regular use on my bench, hooked up to my 'scope. Just one failure (the 5V regulator) in all those years. It'll probably decide to take up smoking now
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Old 2nd Jan 2008, 2:49 pm   #8
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Default Re: What is your oldest Homebrew / Kit still in everyday use?

Not in everyday use now but certainly the oldest homebrew item (and probably one of the simplest) is a simple signal tracer that was essential when tracing audio faults in Philips N4450 reel to reel tape recorders through all the complex switchery! Built in the mid-late 70's using a 2N2926 FET and a 741 op amp from a circuit in Practical Wireless. It still has it's uses and I added a diode input with a switch to check for elusive RF faults. I use it with a 'stethoscope' type earpiece from an old Grundig dictation machine. Works for years from a single PP3.


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Old 2nd Jan 2008, 5:28 pm   #9
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Arrow Re: What is your oldest Homebrew / Kit still in everyday use?

Oldest bit of test kit here that gets occasional use is a home-design audio oscillator based on uA709C op-amps in a Wein Bridge cct., with a FET for amplitude stabilisation. Dates from circa 1975.

Oldest bit of home-brew kit that only very rarely gets used (these days) is a grid-dip oscillator (based on a design in PW). Tunes to 150 Mc/s. Uses EF91 + plug-in coils. Built approx. 1968.

Oldest bit of (home-modified ) commercial kit - but in regular use - is an Eddystone 640A receiver. Date of manufacture = 1947.

Al / Skywave.
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Old 2nd Jan 2008, 9:47 pm   #10
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Default Re: What is your oldest Homebrew / Kit still in everyday use?

The item I have owned longest is a Heathkit RF-1U signal generator which I assembled from a kit more than forty years ago (that makes me feel old! ). It spent many years in my parents' loft but I recovered it when I set up my workshop about fifteen years ago. Apart from fitting a 13A plugtop as it originally used a two pin 5A plug (my parents' home didn't have such new-fangled things like ring mains), it required no other attention.

Edward
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Old 3rd Jan 2008, 12:26 pm   #11
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Default Re: What is your oldest Homebrew / Kit still in everyday use?

I have crosshatch generator + UHF modulator that I built about 30 years ago when I aquired my first colour tele. The counter design was home grown but I think someone else gave me the modulator design.

It still works but lives in the attic now since I stopped lifting sets out of skips so I suppose it's a bit of a cheat to say that it's still in use.

Peter
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Old 3rd Jan 2008, 9:42 pm   #12
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Default Re: What is your oldest Homebrew / Kit still in everyday use?

Something else that I built about 25 years ago was a telephone timer. In those days before I met my wife, I had lodgers, and in those days there was no itemised phone bill, so we just used the timer to time our phone calls.

This could have been put in the vero board thread but I digress. The circuits were built out of a load of Cmos chips which divided an oscilator down then used decade counters and 7 segment LED drivers.

There is a simple button for start/stop, when the start button was pushed, the unit was brought out of 'standby' the display switched on and the time counted. When you pushed the button again the time stopped, the display stayed on for a few seconds more. A button on the side would recall the last recorded time.

When I married I didn't need the timer and it was left in a drawer.

It recently put in an appearance to time my youngest daughter doing her times tables.

One day I'll photograph it and post some pictures.
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Old 3rd Jan 2008, 9:55 pm   #13
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Default Re: What is your oldest Homebrew / Kit still in everyday use?

Quote:
It recently put in an appearance to time my youngest daughter doing her times tables.
Ingenious!

Quote:
One day I'll photograph it and post some pictures

Please, I'd be interested.
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Old 3rd Jan 2008, 11:13 pm   #14
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Default Re: What is your oldest Homebrew / Kit still in everyday use?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brased View Post
The item I have owned longest is a Heathkit RF-1U signal generator Edward
Yes! I remember it well, since I had one of those!

Al / Skywave.
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Old 4th Jan 2008, 2:14 pm   #15
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Post Re: What is your oldest Homebrew / Kit still in everyday use?

I built a PW 12W+12W around 1970, stereo amplifier which worked very well. I still have it but do not use it very often. Also a 50 Watt stereo amp from ETI Mag in the early seventies, all my own metalwork, handy when working in a factory with guillotines and hole presses, that works extremely well even with high quality speakers.
Also a Heathkit 12" television which has a faulty power supply now so not in use.
And a high impendence voltmeter using a 709 opamp.

Geof
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Old 4th Jan 2008, 6:12 pm   #16
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Default Re: What is your oldest Homebrew / Kit still in everyday use?

A home-made copy of a Quad 405 stereo amp. copied directly from the original article in the december 1975 Wireless World. Metalwork, pcbs, and mains transformer courtesy of my employer of the time! Used every day and its never gone wrong.
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Old 4th Jan 2008, 10:28 pm   #17
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Default Re: What is your oldest Homebrew / Kit still in everyday use?

In 1978 I built a project from Radio and Electronics Constructor for college. It was the Duette Stereo Amplifier using the LM377 2-watt IC.

I made my own boards from the layout, but purchased the drilled case.

It was left in various lofts for about 20 years, but I got it out to connect to my PC. But during those years odd things had happened to the soldering. Nevetheless, after a little work it sounded quite good and is now in almost daily use with a pair of LS3/5a speakers, though I doubt it does them justice!

Ian
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Old 4th Jan 2008, 11:51 pm   #18
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Default Re: What is your oldest Homebrew / Kit still in everyday use?

An RC bridge.
Not in daily use but the _intention_ is there...
And it's in a very handy position so this thread might just get me to check it out and use it. It has a buzzer as its oscillator and came as a kit with an about 6" diameter printed scale. All the components looked surplus, even then. That must've been mid-'60s.
Maybe a photo tomorrow.
Graham
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Old 5th Jan 2008, 12:10 am   #19
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Default Re: What is your oldest Homebrew / Kit still in everyday use?

It was easier to fetch it than risk forgetting tomorrow.
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Old 5th Jan 2008, 5:35 pm   #20
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Thumbs up Re: What is your oldest Homebrew / Kit still in everyday use?

Hello,
in everyday use is definately my 0...12VDC 30A switching supply.
Modell 1992. It is 19'' 2HE and its efficiency is better than 95%.
The Ampere instrument has two adjustable markers for an optional
under and over current logout.
Build up to supply a solid state 2m PA,
this thing is now very usefull for repairing car hifi equipment
and testing components like finding out counterfiet transistors.


regards,
Darius

PS:Schematic and pics of the inside are available of course.
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