Hacked Gadgets Forum

May 29, 2016

18 Year Old Computer Collector Buys a IBM z890 Mainframe

at 4:00 pm. Filed under Computer Hacks, Insane Equipment, Vintage Electronics

At 18 years of age he has already been collecting for years. Most of his collection are things like Commodore and Apple computers. These can sit on a shelf and be moved around with ease. When he saw an IBM z890 Mainframe up for grabs he jumped on it. With a bit of excavation he was able to get it into his parents basement.


March 12, 2014

Vintage Multimeter Teardown – Weston 6000

at 5:27 am. Filed under Vintage Electronics

_Vintage Multimeter Teardown - Weston 6000_6


Kuzyatech has acquired a a Weston 6000, Vintage Multimeter and performed a very detailed Teardown of the device. The meter looks very interesting but it sure isn’t the most ergonomic unit. It isn’t shown in the picture but the multimeter has the test lead jacks located on the right side of the body, that is a strange location but when you see how the fuse and batteries are replaced you will see why that is. The entire front lifts off to expose the battery compartments and the fuse. I guess when you are one of the first building something nothing is standard yet. You can see the hand drawn traces in this thing, this makes the board look like some artwork rather than a measuring device…


March 1, 2014

QSC A21 Amplifier Repair

at 2:56 am. Filed under Vintage Electronics


Maxxarcade demonstrates a QSC A21 Amplifier Repair, the defective amp would blow the fuse on power up. He has an interesting technique of using a variac and a low wattage light bulb in series with the power input to lessen the current draw to prevent additional damage. The over current prevention technique didn’t allow the amp to draw enough power to work properly and sound good but it proved that there were no major shorts remaining. Turns out one of the output transistor was shorted. He now has a kick ass amp that will be driving some book shelf computer speakers! A bit overkill but he will never run out of headroom.



September 22, 2013

Mercury Arc Rectifier

at 2:16 pm. Filed under Vintage Electronics

 Mercury Arc Rectifier_2


This is an interesting look into old school rectifiers. Mercury Arc Rectifier have now been replaced with solid state bridge rectifiers which are inexpensive and reliable. I wonder how many of these Mercury Arc Rectifiers are still in operation, it seems that lots of this old stuff will be kept in use until it fails.

“Operation of the rectifier relies on an electrical arc discharge between electrodes in a sealed envelope containing mercury vapor. A pool of liquid mercury acts as a self-renewing cathode that does not deteriorate with time. The mercury emits electrons freely, whereas the carbon anodes emit very few electrons even when heated, so the current of electrons can only pass through the tube in one direction, from cathode to anode, which allows the tube to rectify alternating current.

Once an arc is formed, electrons are emitted from the surface of the pool, causing ionization of mercury vapor along the path towards the anodes. The mercury ions are attracted towards the cathode, and the resulting ionic bombardment of the pool maintains the temperature of the emission spot, so long as a current of a few amperes continues.”




Mercury Arc Rectifier

February 15, 2013

Tektronix 465 Oscilloscope Repair and Refurbishment

at 10:56 pm. Filed under Educational, Electronic Hacks, Vintage Electronics

Tektronix 465 Oscilloscope Repair and Refurbishment_3


This forum post over at the EEVBlog Forum gives us a great look at the inside of an old Tektronix 465 Oscilloscope and walks through the repair and refurbishment of the scope. The refurbishment isn’t just taking a cotton swab and rubbing out some dirt, it is rather invasive including a complete system dismantle and cleaning. Nice thing about this method is we get to see all of the internal workings of the device! Thanks to ModemHead for taking the time for documenting this.



December 2, 2012

Shy Light

at 12:39 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Funny Hacks, Vintage Electronics


Have a look at this fun project called the Shy Light. The light doesn’t like to be seen in public and uses a basket to hide in. X10 and two microcontrollers are being used to get the job done.

“Why TWO Microcontrollers? The Dual-Microcontroller Circuit: Master (right) Slave (left) The Master Control microcontroller handles the foot-switch input, orchestrates the timing of the opening/closing of the basket (using commands to the Slave Control unit) and the lamp dimming. Initially, I had no idea that the project would require two; there are enough analog and digital pins on one microcontroller to do it all, but—and I’m not absolutely certain about this because I didn’t keep detailed notes about this—I think that I was forced into a dual processor arrangement because of the complexity of the program timing. As I designed the circuit, I came to the realization that the timing required by the various elements was going to be difficult for me to accomplish as an amateur C-coder if I tried to stuff it all into one controller. So I don’t want to say that “it can’t be done with one chip”. I just decided that it was simpler for me to compartmentalize the various tasks with hardware. So I added another ATMEGA168, at an added cost of about $5.00.”

April 22, 2012

Old 16 Segment Display on top of The Great Coal Mine, Coney Island

at 6:11 pm. Filed under Vintage Electronics



Bruce sent in a link to this cool picture of a very old display in this 1901 picture (top of the tallest building in the picture). It looks to be a primitive 16 segment display. The building is The Great Coal Mine, Coney Island. I wonder what the display was used for? Below you can see the modern version of this display.

“The Great Coal Mine was a 1,500-foot-long dark ride that enabled visitors to travel on coal cars through several levels of a dimly lit simulated mine. It opened in 1901 on the north side of Surf Avenue at West Tenth Street, was not very popular, and was soon replaced by L.A. Thompson’s Oriental Scenic Railway.”


Internal Links:



Hacked Gadgets

Site Sponsors:

Nuts and Volts Electronic Labs Trossen Robotics Free Technical Publications Blue LED


Recent Comments:

More RSS Feed Options

Site Sponsors:


Interesting Sites: