Monday, August 26, 2013

how to revive a first generation Olympic 447 portable transistor radio

this radio is housed in a hinged split case. the hinge is at the bottom and the radio splits open right along the center inline with the knobs. it's easy to open so you can replace the batteries. no tools are needed to get inside.

pic 2 is of the radio opened up. the radio runs off 9vdc. it has two battery connectors but both are wired in parallel. now is a good time to see if your radio works at all. do not exceed 9v input to the radio. you risk damaging some VERY hard to find transistors. this radio will power up with 6v-9v. you can use a regulated power supply or a 9v battery and alligator clips.

look at the old battery connectors coming out of the radio. on the connector at the end of the cable, the terminal at the very end (not where the wires come in to the connector) is the positive terminal. apply power, turn the radio on at full volume, and tune around. get anything? any sign of life is good. it's possible your radio may play loud, in that case back down on the volume control.

your radio should have a pictorial diagram inside like the one in pic 3. it may be of help here. on a humorous note, the pictorial diagram shows the transistors in transistor sockets. the actual production model just re-used the tube sockets.

are you getting lots of hash and noise but nothing intelligible? is the radio right next to a computer or lithium battery charger? those two things can generate plenty of RF noise on an AM radio. relocate the radio and try again or shut off the possible noise sources. try again.

get anything now? if your radio picks up anything, that's a good sign. tinny, weak, or distorted audio we can fix. if your radio is totally dead you may need to do some simple checks.

take a multimeter and check for continuity from the positive battery terminal to the metal radio chassis. the radio should be switched on for this test. like many early transistor radios, this one uses positive ground. you should have continuity. if you don't, you need to find out why.

look at the volume control. the power switch is built in. it's got two terminals grouped together. those are the power switch terminals. check for continuity here. you should have continuity when the radio is switched on. if you don't, your power switch is bad and that would cause a dead radio.

if you have a totally dead radio, there is still hope but you may want to consider the fact that your radio may have issues beyond the scope of this instructable.

next up, we get inside.

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MixDrive: USB Cassette Tapes Made Easy

MixDrive001 copy.jpgI remember the days of the mixtape. Requesting songs from the local radio station and sitting by the cassette deck, finger on the record button. I remember the glorious day I got a dual cassette deck so that I could copy music from one tape to the next. Spending hours making mixes for friends, coloring cassettes with permanent markers or nail polish or glitter. Whatever I had lying around that could safely go into the tape deck. They weren't just plastic cassettes filled with noise, they were little works of art.

With the advent of digital music, it's all too easy just to send someone an iTunes gift card and song list. The physical aspect of the gift is lost, reduced to something that can't be seen or touched. As an expression of affection, I feel it's lacking.

I still want to make mixes for people. I love to give the gift of music. But I want it to be something they can hold, something real and tangible that they can take out and look at. A gift that has a physical presence. Thus, the MixDrive..

MixDrive046.jpgTo Make A MixDrive You Will Need:

- a USB stick
- a cassette tape
- a craft knife
- a small screwdriver
- a permanent marker
- a tool for cutting the casing of the cassette (I will be using chisels- a rotary tool would be good for this step as well)
- electrical tape
- scissors

To Make A Label and Case Insert For Your MixDrive (Optional):

- High quality paper for your label and case insert (I am using some free samples of glossy photo paper that came with my last ink purchase.)
- a printer
- adhesive for paper/plastic bonding (I will be using rubber cement.)
- Creativity!

Now that we've assembled all the supplies we will need to make our MixDrives, let's get started, shall we?

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Right Hand Ring from a Silver Fork (or Spoon) Handle

Ring 37.JPGI was given an odd lot of forks and spoons after my first husband’s parents died.  They have been sitting in a drawer for a very long time.  Recently I brought them out and contemplated turning them into jewelry, specifically a ring for my right hand and a bracelet (that’s another Instructable).  This silverware has silver in it, but it isn’t sterling silver, because real sterling silver is soft enough that a ring could be made with hands alone.  No such luck with this stuff.   It is much harder than that.  So this Instructable is about how I took the handle off a fork and turned that handle into a right hand ring.  Here we go.Ring 5.JPGSupplies:
Hack saw
Silver fork (or spoon)
Tooth paste (not gel)
Old rags
Grinder with polishing wheel
Iron or brass pipe (diameter of the size ring you want)
Scrap wood
Brass rod or iron pipe
Scissors and scrap paper
(Ignore the heat gun it was useless on this project.)

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Use the Three Bowl Method When Separating Egg Whites

Use the Three Bowl Method When Separating Egg Whites

If you don't have a dedicated yolk separator, separating eggs always runs the risk of a cracked yolk seeping into your egg whites. But if you use three bowls throughout the process, you'll never need to worry.

Emma Christensen at The Kitchn, like many of us, used to use two bowls, cracking the egg into one, and scooping the yolk into another. A better solution is to pour the whites from each egg into a third bowl, and keep cracking eggs into the newly emptied one. That way, if a yolk cracks, it will only ruin one egg, instead of all the eggs you cracked before it. It does create a little more to clean up, but that's a small price to pay for perfect egg whites.

This is the kind of tip that's obvious in hindsight, but worth keeping in the back of your mind whenever you need to separate eggs for a recipe.

Why You Should Use 3 Bowls When Separating Eggs | The Kitchn

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Trap Pesky Flies with DIY Fly Paper

Trap Pesky Flies with DIY Fly Paper

As the temperature rises, so too do flies. If you're starting to notice them buzzing around your living room, it's easy to trap them with fly paper you create using ingredients that are almost certainly already in your kitchen.

Bonnie at Going Home to Roost came up with this surprisingly simple recipe for fly paper adhesive. All you have to do is heat up a combination of honey, sugar, and water on the stove, and dip in some paper strips cut out of a grocery bag. After the paper is good and coated, hang the strips up over the stove to dry, then hang them around your house. The traps are obviously non-toxic and completely safe, assuming you don't get your hair stuck in one. After a few days, you should have a satisfyingly disgusting insect collection to toss in the trash.

Simple Living: Make Your Own Sticky Fly Paper | Going Home To Roost via WonderHowTo

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Triforce Chainmaille Pendant

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