A few years ago I picked up this little gem of an amp at a gun show for a paltry 25 bucks. Not a bad snag!
It worked great, except the volume knob didn’t seem to do much… it always sounded like it was on full blast. So, I brought it down to Skullspace to tinker with it.
Aside from the potentiometer not really changing the volume, it was also quite scratchy when changing volumes. This is usually a sign of a worn-out potentiometer, so I ripped out the old one and temporary wired up a replacement off ebay.
I carefully tested the amplifier (you really dont want to touch the high-voltage tube supply wires in there when it’s powered…) and it sounded way better than before! I deemed it a success and installed the new potentiometer, still with test connections:
Everything seemed to work alright, so I soldered everything in place:
The only issue I faced was that the old wires did not really wick up the solder so well. I suspect there are some poor connections because of this, but for now it works… maybe some proper flux paste would work better than rosin-core solder?
What do you do with a busted laptop? Many people are quick to throw them away. Others turn them into FreeNAS boxes, or other useful servers. For the machine I inherited today, I decided to turn it into an all-in-one style desktop PC. The screen still worked, it was able to boot windows – the only trouble being that it was in physically rough shape.
Basically, the screen had become detached from the rest of the machine – but all the cables were still in place for it to function. After some light tweaking, I was able to get the screen to flip around the body of the laptop and sit flat on the reverse side:
But how to keep it in place? Being impatient and lazy (usually a dangerous combination), I tried my lucking using an entire roll of electrical tape to keep it all together. Because why not?
Being that this thing is going to mount against something on the reverse, I removed the keyboard as well. So it’s not bumping its keys into stuff all the time.
As luck would have it, I had an old monitor stand kicking around – works as a nice little kickstand. Not perfectly stable, but still more solid than I was expecting:
Now all that’s left is to wipe the old Vista install and put on a fresh OS…
A few hours of tinkering, an old laptop, some electrical tape, and a fresh Xubuntu install made for a perfectly good bedroom workstation. Not bad for one night!