Gallery: Confessions of an Electronics Junk Collector

Some of it I really do plan to use. Some of it I can't even identify.

Hi. My name is Vin and I’m an addict. I can’t stop buying electronic junk. I know it’s only filling up bins in my shop and taking money I could be pouring into more productive hobbies, like drinking and shooting guns. But what if the completion of some future project, some really crucial bit of hijinks, hinges entirely on my having a switch designed to discharge massive capacitors? Then what, huh?

Am I supposed to just assume my local Radio Shack will have my back? Not likely.

I was doing better, I really was, and then I visited the DeAnza flea market in Cupertino last year, and it all fell apart again. I don’t know, maybe I’m beyond help. Check the photo gallery for some electronics-nerd eye candy, the detritus of my demon.

Mystery Relay Switch Thing

In the “I can’t identify” column, we have this thing here, with two sets of relay driven contacts and some big ass resistors. Does anyone want to hazard a guess?

Charge / Discharge Switch

Shocking: I can only assume that this switch was used to charge and discharge giant banks of capacitors with AWESOME results.

Rotary Switch

5 separate sets of contacts on a 6 position rotary switch spells some specialized and long forgotten application. I’m not convinced I won’t have a need for the same one day, so here it sits. Check out the paper labels on the resistors.

Bezel Indicators

Bezel panel indicators for the control panel of that killer robot, before he breaks free of his laboratory confines and becomes an out of control killer robot.

Bus Terminators

Bus terminators from a Data General Eclipse (see: Soul of a New Machine, mantra for Electrical Engineers). I can’t imagine I’ll ever use them, but I wanted to keep some keepsake from the Eclipse, and this was just about the lightest part in there.

Panel Meter

I’ll have to come out and admit it here; I like to collect panel meters. This one is a little more complicated than the average, with two adjustable upper and lower limit needles. The gauge face reads: Set to 3.5 Volts.

Wire Wrapping

Wire Wrapping. The few times I’ve had to do this, I found it relaxing to do and rather mind-bending to debug. It sure does look neat though. Does anyone still do this?

Antique Radio & Switchboard Wire

Radio & Switchboard cable – Lenz Electric Mfg Co. It came to me in a box of other things that were actually useful. The wire is all right, but the packaging is superb.