Asset Recovery IV: a Terminal Case

Introduction: Asset Recovery IV: a Terminal Case

About: Was it you or I who stumbled first? It does not matter, the one of us who soonest finds the strength to rise must help the other. - Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

Frequently overlooked, the old school quick disconnects still have a place in the world of electronics, oftentimes making interconnections safer and more robust with their high voltage and current handling design. Mating with a system of either 1/4” or 3/16” wide general purpose tabs, their use in a broad range of sub-assemblies and components such as line cords, fuses, relays, and power switches can make a project much more reliable, and are of value when troubleshooting and isolating. I find all I need during my recovery sweeps in a microwave oven wiring harness, and this is how I adapt them.

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Step 1: Safety First

Dismantling microwave ovens, even non- operational ones can be hazardous. Ensure you are informed and prepared about the hazards involved before opening the enclosure.

Step 2: Breaking and Entering

To gain easy access to the goodies inside, one must first remove the outer casing tamper- proof screws, either with a special tool or simply grinding a screwdriver slot across the head. Once inside, the wiring harness is easily disconnected and removed. Consult other tutorials on what else is salvageable from the carcass, as it can be a treasure trove for the electronics or do it yourself enthusiast.

Step 3: Man Is a Toolmaking Animal, So Make a Tool You Beast

To salvage, if needed I cut the desired terminal from the wire leaving a pigtail stump, many times the terminal and it's wiring can be reused as is, so I make that decision at build time, if not then I do the following:

Two fingers in the plastic housing lock the terminal in place once it has been pressed home. The forked tool will depress them to allow extraction from the housing; a thin bit of scrap steel is ground to the illustrated shape and with the housing placed upside down on the bench, the tool is inserted and the terminal can be backed out undamaged.

Step 4: Re- Assembly

After extraction the wire pigtail is cutoff at the insulation grips, which are spread open to accept the new wire. Re-crimped and soldered in place, it is then inserted back into the shell, operating just as good as the original assembly.

Step 5: Parting Thoughts

Depending on the component, I may leave pigtails in place. This fused mains input line conditioner module is a good example of a part awaiting rebirth in a future project.

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