Should We Buy Old Electronic Gadgets?

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Should we buy old electronic gadgets?

In the good old days, electronic equipment was built to LAST. In the 1950’s I had an old DuMont television that had a 12LP4 (12 inch black/white) picture tube. That DuMont had a PAIR of 5U4 rectifiers in parallel in the power supply. The power transformer was huge and heavy. The horizontal deflection circuit used a pair of 807 tubes (which hams used as power output tubes in transmitters) in push-pull driving the horizontal deflection coils. The vertical deflection coils were driven by a pair of 6L6’s. This is serious stuff. The smallest wattage resistors were all 2-watt carbon units and several were higher wattage wire-wounds. It had a 1B3 high voltage rectifier mounted on top of the flyback transformer and used a 20,000 volt rated “doorknob” capacitor to filter the rectified flyback pulse. That thing was designed to last a lifetime. And, might have except I was 15 at the time and eventually tore it apart to use its parts for other projects. (It’s picture tube was so dim even a picture tube “brightener” didn’t help and picture tubes were very expensive) Look at the magnificent McIntosh audio amplifiers. We used to compare them with Harmon-Kardon’s Citation “Straight Wire With Gain” amplifier. We frequently joked that the Citation had better response and distortion figures than the McIntosh, but our grandchildren would be able to enjoy the McIntosh when t inherited it! A lot of those old Macs are still working, but I haven’t heard of a working Citation in years. (some may be, but I dunno!) In those days equipment was built with pride in the product and intention for it to last and for its brand name to be universally recognized and respected by the public. Now, modern electronics has a designed life cycle with an end-of-life point determined in advance and replacement equipment being developed to be available at that time. It is called “planned obsolescence.” Equipment is built as cheaply as possible, rushed to the market, and the manufacturer moves on to the next device. In may cases you don’t even know who actually built the “innards” for your fancy whatchyamacallit, No doubt some Chinese or Korean firm but hard to tell just who. AND the innards for the same brand of electronics this year may be made by a completely different company that the one who build the same brand last year! Just try to get service manuals and schematic diagrams for some of the new electronics. Can’t do it. Manufacturers do NOT want their products to be repairable. If it breaks in warranty, send it back for a replacement. If it is out of warranty - tough sh**! Buy a new one. Sorry about this long rant. Your question just hit me right where I live!

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And it is such an important one. I am so frustrated that I often end up thinking of this as this is so unfair and there should be some kind of law that would regulate this. That has got to happen! If it had to happen, it happened a long time ago. It happened in the old days! So many of you ask this kind of questions. And it is because of your feedback on this list item that I started on this topic! And it is why the next and final item in this series will be next! (huh! Yeah… I'm going to do it… no problem!) In the next post I'll cover: RISKS AND POTENTIALS OF BUYING AN EASY TO MODIFY EAGLE BEAM HAND RADIO BRING YOUR HOME THE ADTECH ANTENNA REVVING UP. A HISTORY OF HOME RADIO WITH MULTI-SENSORS. (It was way before it was popular today.).

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