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What Should I Do With This? Answered

Hi Folks!

I would like to propose a new topic, please let me know if it's already hiding somewhere on the site and I've missed it. This might require a whole section to handle all of the possible separate threads, not sure...

It's called "What Should I Do With This?"
...I have several weird items in my possession that I KNOW have greatness lurking within them, but I'm at a loss about how best to unlock their potential. I'm sure lots of other folks are in the same boat. So here's the idea:
We post a photo and/or description of the item, and ask what to do with it. Readers can offer suggestions (hopefully something besides "give it to me!"), advice, etc.
Then when/if the advice is taken, we make an instructable, or at least reply to the thread with the results.
For example (I'll post pix if I can), I have an ancient external, ~5 lb serial-port CD player in a serious metal housing about a foot long with a power supply built in. What's especially nice is the huge sticker along the side of the silly beast that says "PORTABLE" in huge block letters. It's crying out to be the platform for some device, just not sure what.
Another item is a big Fostex 1/2" 8-track reel-to reel with a bad (and I'm told, prohibitively expensive to replace) tape head. So it's got a smooth, quiet & powerful motor (or two), eight analog meters, lots of RCA in & out ports, plus switches, leds, and pulleys for aligning and running the tape. I'm thinking a belt drive for a Van De Graaf, maybe some random dancing needle meters for various projects...
See what I mean? I'm sure somebody has some ideas for the bits and pieces I haven't even mentioned, or a better way to re-purpose the entire apparatus without reducing it to it's components.
Maybe if somebody was looking for input and got a suggestion that they thought was amazing but outside the realm of possibility for them, they could offer to send the item to the person who made the suggestion (if the recipient paid shipping, of course). But for the most part, I think sharing ideas would be most valuable.
What do you think?
And, perhaps even more importantly, what should I do with the stuff described above?

Thanks!!

Mike

13 Replies

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Goodhart (author)2008-02-10

Well as I mentioned elsewhere, I may or may not have plans for my newly acquired Vacuum Cleaner motor, with fan, cord storage, and switch circuit board. What would you suggest, other then retro-fitting another vac ?

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Goodhart (author)hellstudios2008-10-01

Hmmm, a spiraling vortex that sucks instead of blows (like an air of smoke ring canon).....I will have to think about that one. :-)

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mikecraghead (author)Goodhart2008-03-10

If it can be convinced to blow hard enough, you could make a hovercraft for zooming around the kitchen. I used a Shop-Vac for mine and it works unbelievable well on a gym floor. I just made a pretty decent Van De Graaf generator using the motor from a food processor (I might instructable-ify it one of these days), but that was a really fun project using a salvaged motor. Might be fun to create a new vacuum out of it, perhaps a shop-vac rebuild using a 5-gallon bucket?

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Goodhart (author)mikecraghead2008-03-10

I was wondering about that, but thought I might need more horsepower, or maybe use it to move small items around ? I wish it had the hp on it's tag...

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mikecraghead (author)Goodhart2008-03-11

You could definitely make a "model" hovercraft, hard to say whether you could "float" an entire person... maybe just a few large chunks thereof? Mine holds 250 lbs (a guess)...

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Goodhart (author)mikecraghead2008-03-11

Hmm, I am starting to think along another line; maybe less dramatic but more practical: an exhaust system for the section of my workbench where I "solder / woodburn / do sanding / etc."

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mikecraghead (author)Goodhart2008-03-11

Nice! Maybe hook it up to a footswitch so you can flick it on and off hands-free during your fume & dust creation...

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Goodhart (author)2008-03-11

In thinking about your reel to reel, I believe it has at least one precision motor inside (maybe even a stepper motor), the analog meters will most certainly be quite sensitive, low power ( i.e. don't hook them up to a nine volt battery to test them LOL) meters. Um, MAKE has a project concerning an Analog meter CLOCK that looks interesting.

Your CD player will most certainly be too slow for today's CDs but it may have other uses as well. It 'certainly' has a stepper motor in it. And a laser LED....hmmm

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mikecraghead (author)Goodhart2008-03-11

I wonder if there would be any "aural" benefit to somehow using the reel-to-reel as an analog interface into a digital recording device. It's clear where each "track" hits the tape, I wonder if there is some magic that could pull a signal from the tape head into a PC. Might be no advantage without 8 digital inputs in your PC (like a "Layla" sound card), but maybe there's some unique sound you get through these that you can't get otherwise. Anybody know?

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Goodhart (author)mikecraghead2008-03-11

I am not sure. There may be a way to convert the input to digital.

Although the following link is a link for repairing reel to reel recorders it also has a lot of info on the breakdown of the machine itself (in general).

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Pumpkin$ (author)2008-02-10

5 lb serial-port CD player in a serious metal housing about a foot long with a power supply built in. What's especially nice is the huge sticker along the side of the silly beast that says "PORTABLE" in huge block letters. It's crying out to be the platform for some device, just not sure what. SOUNDS TO ME LIKE A NEW IPOD DOCK!

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