The Shelves of Obsolete Electronics

Discuss non-DSLR models (e.g. Coolpix cameras), other camera brands, your latest cool photography gadget, computer stuff and other photography related issues that don't fit in the Vintage Kodak and Nikon DSLR forums.
Stan Disbrow
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The Shelves of Obsolete Electronics

Post by Stan Disbrow » Fri Jul 09, 2010 4:22 pm

Hi,

In another thread, I made mention of the Shelves of Obsolete Electronics. I thought I'd post a new thread on those and my electronics shop, which gets mentioned often around here. ;)

The background is that I have an attached garage on this house, but it is not insulated so is not heated or cooled other than by the fact it has no insulation! So, it's not suitable for housing my electronics shop with it's test equipment that prefers to live under the same conditions we humans do.

My first house had this shop in the heated and cooled basement, and my second house had it all in the attached garage which was insulated and so was fed by the house heat and A/C. One day, I'll insulate this house's attached garage and replace that overhead door with an insulated wall so the E-shop can move out there. The machine tools you see are about to be moved into a detached garage, so once they're out of the way I can blow some insulation into those walls.

But, as it sits now, the Shelves of Obsolete Electronics is the only part of the E-shop that is out there. The rest is in bedroom #3, which we'd like to eventually make into a library room. Ah, plans. ;)

Here is the SOE:

Image

As you can see, it's packed full of boxes full of stuff. Just trying to find what I *know* is out there is often an exercise in frustration. I need to arrange things better and , oh yeah, label those danged boxes!

I mentioned in the other thread that one needs to use the Force when searching the SOE, and I was never trained in the Jedi Arts...... :P

Now, we move on to the bedroom that wants to be a library but is pressed into service as the main part of the E-shop.

In the first shot, we come thru the door. There's a closet on the right you can't see, but there's enough space to open the doors of the closet or the back doors of the equipment racks. That closet is full of other obsolete electronics, but not as old as the stuff in the garage. There are levels of obsolete, you know! :P

So you'll notice the digital photo processing stuff on the left with the three screens, and a pile of old radios on top of old audio amps and a couple of older plasma screens stacked up there as well. Oh, they all work now as I fixed them, but what to do with ED 42" plasmas these days?

Image

There are shelves with supplies on them in the next shot and a rather complete toolbox. One has to get these old things opened up to work on them and then buttoned back up again!

There are some handheld radios on top there. I make those as a sideline. They used to be high-end public safety radios (GE/Ericsson M-PA) that I wrote some Ham Code for and so they're now super-rugged, high-end ham radios. :)

Image

Next comes the actual workbench. This is where dead electronics wind up getting their bad parts yanked out and good ones put in. Lots of things, like various soldering tools, lamps, magnifiers and even a 50x stereo microscope are there. That thingy with the keypad on the far right is a battery analyzer, not something out of Frankie's lab. ;)

Image

Ah. This next is the rack of test equipment for all sorts of things. If you think you're on the bridge of the original Battlestar Glalactica, you are. They used all sorts of Tektronix test equipment as props on that show, and many of the items they had, I have. Mine are more than props, though!

There is a cart partly visible in the shot, and also in shot #1. This is where the item is put for testing and then the bad bit(s) are yanked out and moved to the old desk workbench in shot #3 for parts replacement.

Image

So, that's it. Not a huge place to work, but fortunately these days the largest thing I have to work on is a flat-screen display. Oh, you think one of those is large? Well, I used to work on Home Entertainment Centers, which were 25" CRT color TV's with AM/FM tuner, tape deck, turntable, and overly large speakers on each end - and the whole thing was in one very large piece of furniture. Those were so big, the Borg Cube would run away from one! I'll take a flat screen any day over one of those old HEC's! :P

Hope y'all liked the shots!

Later!

Stan
Amateur Photographer
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Re: The Shelves of Obsolete Electronics

Post by Ashley_Pomeroy » Fri Jul 09, 2010 5:56 pm

It puts me in mind of the old Gene Hackman / Francis Ford Coppola movie, "The Conversation":
http://www.subtraction.com/2009/08/13/c ... ion-pieces

E.g.:
Image

Image

Few balding, middle-aged men could look cool in that moustache and that shirt; Gene Hackman was one of those men. Still is, as far as I know, although I think he has retired.

Of course, he was a spooky government surveillance operative, at a time when that kind of thing was in the news. You, on the other hand, are an innocent man.

Stan Disbrow
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Re: The Shelves of Obsolete Electronics

Post by Stan Disbrow » Fri Jul 09, 2010 7:40 pm

Hi,

Hoo! Wollensak tape decks. I worked on some of those long, long ago. They were a school favorite. I can't tell much about the equipment on the other bench, but it looks suspiciously like Eico stuff. That was also a favorite of schools (read: super cheap).

I have an open-reel in the E-shop but it's on the bottom of the right-hand rack and you can't see more that a tiny bit of one reel in the photos as it's blocked by the service cart. Mine's a much newer Akai and far removed from a Wollensak. ;)

I wonder what ever happened to Wollensak? Did they just die off or, more likely, were bought, absorbed and merged into other makers?

I don't know about being innocent. I've done my share of government projects over the years. ;)

Later!

Stan
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Re: The Shelves of Obsolete Electronics

Post by Webmaster » Sat Jul 10, 2010 10:25 am

Nice! I'll show this to my wife the next time she complains about all my stuff :-)

Is that a Coolpix 100 box I see? Must be pretty rare these days.

Jarle

Stan Disbrow
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Re: The Shelves of Obsolete Electronics

Post by Stan Disbrow » Sat Jul 10, 2010 11:33 am

Hi,

Yes, it is a CP100 box. That was what got me started going on about the SOE in the first place. I had looked for that a few months back, as someone on this board wanted one and I had one - somewhere.

Yesterday, I was rummaging around the SOE - looking for something else entirely - lthat I did not find - and I tripped across the CP100.

So, I could not find the thread to find the person that had been looking for one - I think it may have been in PMs that are now gone - so I put the thing on eBay and shamelessly wrote a new thread in the Nikon forum pointing out that I have one of these on eBay at the moment.

As I find stuff I forgot I had on the SOE, I've been going thru each in the E-shop and then putting it up on eBay. I'm trying to clear some of this stuff out. I keep it on the SOE because it works fine but I don't have a use for it and I can't bear to toss it out. Ebay is the perfect solution. I'm not throwing it out, and I'm no longer storing it in a pile of clutter, and I even get a few bucks for it.

Anyway, if I were going to take a shot of the SOE and post it, I may as well shoot the E-Shop as well because we keep talking about working on this older stuff all the time around here. ;)

later!

Stan
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Stan Disbrow
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Re: The Shelves of Obsolete Electronics

Post by Stan Disbrow » Sat Jul 10, 2010 11:39 am

Hi,

And, the CP100 box is sitting on the Rotatrim paper cutter which is sitting on top of a Nikon AFI 300mm f2.8 lens box. I got tired of stooping over the cutter to use it, so now the big lens storage box does double duty to lift the cutter up to a more reasonable working height. :P

Hey, when I'm not using my big boy lens (not as big as your big one, obviously) it used to sit in the box in the closet. Now it's useful all the time!

later!

Stan
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Re: The Shelves of Obsolete Electronics

Post by nikonnl » Sun Jul 11, 2010 1:11 pm

Hi Stan, do I see a shutter speed metering device in your 'museum'? I would be interested.
Thanks & regards,
Nico
D1/D1X/D1H/D2H/D2X etc.

Stan Disbrow
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Re: The Shelves of Obsolete Electronics

Post by Stan Disbrow » Sun Jul 11, 2010 5:32 pm

Hi,

No, I don't happen to have one of those. I do have luminance and chrominance meters by way of optical measuring equipment, but neither of those are in the photos. They're in the desk drawers with other small meters that I rarely use.

What you're probably seeing is a piece of radio test gear, or maybe even a radio, sitting around. More than half of the things in the photos are radio related.

Tell me where in which shot you're seeing this, and I'll see if I can tell you what it is. ;)

later!

Stan
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Re: The Shelves of Obsolete Electronics

Post by cgrab » Mon Jul 12, 2010 1:50 pm

nikonnl wrote:Hi Stan, do I see a shutter speed metering device in your 'museum'? I would be interested.
Thanks & regards,
Nico
Sorry to barge in on this thread, but as I was the guy looking for the Coolpix 100, I feel some justification.
I found this: http://hackaday.com/2010/06/16/simple-s ... ed-tester/, which looks simple enough even I might attempt it. Unless you want one for your collection or for digital cameras, it seems a nice solution.

I am looking forward to seeing more of the SOE.

best regards
Christoph

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Re: The Shelves of Obsolete Electronics

Post by Stan Disbrow » Mon Jul 12, 2010 2:16 pm

Hi,

Oh, don't feel like you have to justify anything. We're all friends here and things are rather casual. :)

Besides, I was looking for you anyway!

Plus, anything that is (or even *might* be on) the SOE is fair game for this thread! :P

I may not be able to *find* what I'm looking for on the SOE, but I generally know what's in the mess. I used to have things organized, then we moved and things that were in individual boxes and labeled managed to get stuffed in containers and larger boxes and just shoved on the shelves once moved. This means I can no longer go right to what I want.

In addition, the stuff is split up now. whatever I'm looking for might be on the SOE, might be in the E-shop or even might be out in the mechanical shop (the detached garage) as the larger stuff wound up out there. Mostly it's arcade stuff - I'm rather fond of pinball machines - but I have found a couple boxes that ought to have been on the SOE that were not.....

No shutter speed meter, though. I never had one of those. That homemade one is cool, though. If I had one, I'd sell it as well, since I don't know what use one would be now that everything is digital. I suppose one would hook to the switches on the shutter with a Digital Storage Oscilloscope and measure it that way. Or, maybe I think of a DSO because I have one. It's the 5th instrument from the top on the left-hand rack. ;)

I'm slowly going through all this old stuff trying to reduce the amount of it I have hanging around. In the old days, that meant loading it into a pick-up truck and going to a hamfest. These days, it means putting it on eBay. ;)

One thing I forgot to mention: The shelving along the back side - the garage door - is double sided. They're not actually shelving units but old equipment rack cabinets without the doors on them. That means to access what's in the very back, I simply open up the garage door and do it from just outside! Handy, eh? So, there's more there than it might look like in the photo, which was taken from the landing where one enters the house from the garage.

Later!

Stan
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Re: The Shelves of Obsolete Electronics

Post by nikonnl » Mon Jul 12, 2010 3:03 pm

To both Stan & Christoph,
I am interested in the Coolpix 100 and in a shutter speed tester. Just let me know what the CP100 would cost me (including shipping to Holland - I'll pay cash if needed). To test a shutter there are several trics, like using a TV-set a via a sound card + sound editing software. Microtools.com sells testers but they are not cheap.

I agree with Stan that this site is (and should remain) a site of (maybe nutty but fully harmless) digital camera friends.

Regards,
Nico
D1/D1X/D1H/D2H/D2X etc.

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Re: The Shelves of Obsolete Electronics

Post by Stan Disbrow » Tue Jul 13, 2010 1:59 pm

Hi,

I don't know what it'd cost to send to Holland until I box it up and take it to the post office to send it. The camera is sitting with no bids, so make an offer here or go bid on it there. Maybe I ought to cancel the auction and just sell it here on the board....

later!

Stan
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Re: The Shelves of Obsolete Electronics

Post by Stan Disbrow » Tue Jul 13, 2010 2:05 pm

Hi,

Oh, and we all have to be a little nutty, but harmless, to like to play with obsolete digital cameras!

I mean, with the current trend that HD vidi-cams are also still cams, and still cams are also HD vidi-cams means that all this older stuff we play with is super-obsolete! Probably not even worthy of collecting dust on an SOE somewhere. I mean, they only do *one* thing??? :P

However, I just can't seem to move myself away from the Kodachrome color of the Kodaks I have. Well, not the 720x, obviously. Getting colors to come out somewhere near right from that one is always a challenge. But, the 560 and 760 have such nice color it's worth it that they are large, heavy and slow. In defense of the 720x, it does have an F5 on it's side. I always like it when someone else spots the F5 and knows what it is, yet never knew there was an F5 Digital. The look of confusion is always fun!

So, anyway, harmless nuts we will be, then! :P

later!

Stan
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Re: The Shelves of Obsolete Electronics

Post by nikonnl » Tue Jul 13, 2010 2:46 pm

Hi Stan, I can't walk that CP100 to your post office but I am willing to spent a beer or so for that exercise. Pull the ebay thing and tell me what you want for it. If I or somebody else will give a bid of 10 bucks you'll probably pull it anyway. I'll pay you in whatever currecy (I have some Zim-dollars and Roubles left) or we make a swap (with whatever cameras. lenses, bottles etc.) :lol:
Regards,
Nico the Harmless

www.nicovandijk.net

BTW: I like old stuff to work with, like old cars, music instruments etc. The last Photokina Nikon press conference I was the only journalist shooting with a black Nikon SP + Niikor-N 1.1/50mm. Mr. Kimura-san (Nikon's CEO) had no slant-eyes.
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Re: The Shelves of Obsolete Electronics

Post by Stan Disbrow » Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:12 pm

Hi,

Just came off eBay and someone has bid on it. Just the one so far, maybe he'll get it for a buck, but I can't kill it now....

Later!

Stan

ps

Is that you? Or is it coincidence that he's also in the Netherlands?
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