1 2 3 Previous 114 Replies Latest reply on Aug 18, 2019 6:08 AM by Jan Cumps

    Show us your junk!

    neuromodulator

      I love junk, specially when it can be fully restored, has interesting parts or uses interesting technology. Most of the junk I get, comes from the university, its dumped because its either too old or it doesn't work anymore. I'll start this thread by showing one of my latest junk acquisitions:

       

       

       

      This is an autotransformer made by a company called "The Superior Electric Co" from Bristol, Connecticut. It was apparently build in the 60s (according to what I found in the net) and supports a max of 1.2 kva. The autotransformer works as expected but of course it shows its age, the rubber cable is not in the best condition and so isn't its paint. In the future I may repaint it and replace the cable but for now its good enough as it is.

       

      Have you also found nice junk? Show us!

        • 1. Re: Show us your junk!
          genebren

          Nice!  I had one that looked almost identical to yours, but I ended up giving mine away as I was packing up to move to Texas.  I had to thin down my garage/shop so lots of good stuff had to go.  I am a little sad, but sometimes your treasures need to be someone else's treasures for awhile.

           

          Thanks for sharing.

          • 2. Re: Show us your junk!
            dougw

            Nice find. I wouldn't call it junk. Autotransformers have their uses. Back in the days of linear power supplies I always wanted one of them.

            2 of 2 people found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Show us your junk!
              jw0752

              I love these autotransformers though I have always called them variacs. I will have to google the two names to see if there is a difference. The only thing you have to watch with them is you have a live mains connection on the output.

               

              John

              6 of 6 people found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Show us your junk!
                lui_gough

                Hah ... that post title could be very much misinterpreted ... "junk" haha.

                 

                That being said, nothing of mine is junk. At least, not to me. That's why I have it, right?

                 

                - Gough

                2 of 2 people found this helpful
                • 5. Re: Show us your junk!
                  Fred27

                  lui_gough  wrote:

                  Hah ... that post title could be very much misinterpreted ... "junk" haha.

                  If that's you're interpretation then I'm glad you didn't post any pics!

                  • 6. Re: Show us your junk!
                    neuromodulator

                    Yes, Variac is a trademark for autotransformers, people usually call autotransformers Variacs, even when they are not.

                     

                    To clear things up, with junk I referred to stuff that others (not us), would consider "junk" (broken or old stuff that others got rid of).

                     

                    Autotransformers are very useful indeed, and for that reason I spent a few hours thoroughly cleaning and removing rust of it. In contrast to the usual transformers, autotransformers don't provide isolation, they use a single winding instead of a primary and secondary. You still can get floating voltages if you want by connecting the autotransformer to a transformer. This autotransformer apparently was used to regulate the speed of an old lab centrifuge, which I also brought home, but still haven't checked. I may post pictures of the centrifuge the moment I begin working on it.

                    5 of 5 people found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: Show us your junk!
                      genebren

                      In the spirit of your original request (show us your junk!), here is some of my junk.  One of my many past jobs was working for a life sciences company that built instrumentation for various forms of testing.  One of their products was an autosampler that would draw vapors from a series of vials, arranged in a rectangular array.  This product suffered some issues from it's original design, so the company did a mass recall and retrofit of the device.  The result of this recall was a large number of XYZ stages (equipped with stepper motors, gears, belts, leas screws, anti-backlash devices, low friction slides and bushings, etc.)  that were deposited in the dumpster in the back of the company.  Not being opposed to 'dumpster diving' at the time, I had acquired many of these XYZ stages.  I sold many of these on Ebay (~$50 to $80 each), gave some to friends, salvaged parts off of others until there were only a few left over as I prepared for my big move to Texas (which I likely gave to the same individual that I gave my autotransformer to).  Here are some of the pics that I used on Ebay:

                       

                      Auto sampler 1Auto sampler 2Auto sampler 3Auto sampler 4

                      Gene

                      1 of 1 people found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: Show us your junk!
                        neuromodulator

                        Very nice Gene!, you probably could build a 3d printer with those things or maybe a PCB CNC depending on how precise they are. Or maybe something else, like a "button endurance tester"...

                        3 of 3 people found this helpful
                        • 9. Re: Show us your junk!
                          genebren

                          One of my friends used these to build a 3D mill/router, that he used for lightweight materials for fabricating model airplanes.  He also used some of the parts to build a boom/gantry for his microscope. This did predate the popularity of 3D printing, but not a bad idea.  This was just one of the many treasures that I rescued from the trash, including a great collection of raw materials (delrin, steel, brass, copper, stainless steel, etc.).  I used the pulleys, belts, motors and some motor drivers (same device, but different dumpster dives) to build some heavier scale robotic platforms.  It was a sad day when they started locking the bins up, as the vendor that was hauling it away claimed that all that was left was trash.

                          5 of 5 people found this helpful
                          • 10. Re: Show us your junk!
                            dougw

                            Okay....you want junk... Here is some junk.....at least I found it in the trash.

                            I figured it looked too cool to end up in a landfill, but I have not found a use for it yet.

                            Brownie points if you can guess what it is (it has two solenoids and a vernier) - I'm not saying I even know what it is, but I at least know the industry...

                            3 of 3 people found this helpful
                            • 11. Re: Show us your junk!
                              balearicdynamics

                              Is this something used to clean or align lenses or anyway some kind of optical tool for parallax collimation?

                              1 of 1 people found this helpful
                              • 12. Re: Show us your junk!
                                neuromodulator

                                That looks like a micromanipulator! But judging by the axes, it looks like something that you would use on an optical table to align lasers or lenses.

                                1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                • 13. Re: Show us your junk!
                                  dougw

                                  You are both right - it is something like that. I assume it is used to align optical processing components like filters or switches with optical fibers.

                                  1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                  • 14. Re: Show us your junk!
                                    neuromodulator

                                    More junk to clean, restore and fix. Apparently the cable is all what was wrong... Can you guess what this is?

                                    1 of 1 people found this helpful
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