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The things people throw away..

Community Veteran
Posts: 13,923
Thanks: 515
Fixes: 7
Registered: 01-08-2007

The things people throw away..

Some of you may remember that i've spoken several times of a printer i got as a freebie moons ago from freecycle. It was given to me completely dead. I always knew there must be a reason for it being dead and given away but never had a clue what. I got it home, dismantled, found missing ram, installed some, put back together, turned on and hey presto.. it worked! So armed with a usb cable, i got it working and shared on the network but thats always been a bit of a pain because for large documents it slows down my computer while spooling. It's always had a network socket but previous attempts to get it working were fruitless. Now i figured at this point that some office employee had at some point nicked the ram for his / hers home PC and the previous owners had assumed it dead and disposed of it. Read on.. I now realise they scavenged the ram and disposed of the printer for something even more trivial.
Today I turned off my wifi completely and decided to revert back to ethernet, i figured i might as well revisit the printer and it's ethernet while i was at it. Several hours went by testing various cables and wiggling the plug in the socket etc with no result. The network switch wasn't lighting up a LED for that cable / socket either so i knew there was no ethernet throughput. I pulled out the motherboard and couldn't see anything looking suspiciously burnt or knackered so I was a bit stumped. Stuffed it back in and hoped it might be a loose contact. Nope.. no such luck there either but i'm burning more test pages as it powers up again..
So out came the board again. I took a closer look with the magnifying glass and still couldn't see anything wrong with the board. Then I took a look at the ethernet socket - these comprise of a square hole with some little metal prongs / contacts just like a phone socket:

Purely by chance I noticed that one of these contacts was bent up and appeared to be caught at the top of the socket. I decided this could be the culprit and ended up struggling with a bent staple trying to pull this thing back down and frankly it wasn't going well. Then I had a moment of genius.. I grabbed a small sharp kitchet knife (it has a easy to hold handle and a very narrow but strong blade - superior to a staple), poked that in there, slight twist and ping... the contact is down with its neighbours!
Put the board back into the printer, hooked it all up and guess what? - network connectivity is showing on the network switch! Typed in the ip address into the browser and i'm into the admin pages. Better still.. no passwords have ever been set on it  Cheesy
So.. one tiny little metal contact in an ethernet socket got bent... someone clearly decided the thing was dead on the network, scavenged the ram and decided to bin the printer  Crazy
I couldn't believe my luck! - One mans trash really is another mans treasure!
Have you ever saved something others have deemed worthless and given it a new life?
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
9 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,380
Thanks: 2
Registered: 18-01-2013

Re: The things people throw away..

Quote from: 7up
Have you ever saved something others have deemed worthless and given it a new life?

A whole house full of stuff unfortunately and another 60 monitor screens currently sitting in the workshop ......
Community Veteran
Posts: 16,836
Thanks: 1,124
Fixes: 13
Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: The things people throw away..

Not exactly "thrown away"... but rather "recycled" after buying it on Ebay......http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-VeNYfmld90o/UjCgkPhhO3I/AAAAAAAABso/e8kNAscEo4E/s1600/Admiralty+Pattern+7681+morse+key+2.jpg
and the story......
http://nemosphotography.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/admiralty-pattern-7681-morse-key.html
Big version of the finished Re-furb  .... http://nemosphotography.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/admiralty-pattern-7681-morse-key.html
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,770
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Registered: 08-10-2010

Re: The things people throw away..

As a kid I bought my first record player at a jumble sale. The man selling it said it didn't work, only played over record and didn't auto return or switch off. I paid 6d.
I took it home and removed 2s 2d, and it worked perfectly. So 1s8d profit!
(Remember how we used to put a coin on bale arm to keep the needle on record?)
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,770
Thanks: 33
Fixes: 1
Registered: 08-10-2010

Re: The things people throw away..

@ Shutter...You did a fantastic job. It looks excellent. Well done.
TORPC
Grafter
Posts: 5,163
Registered: 08-12-2013

Re: The things people throw away..

Before the rule(s)  / regulation(s) changed
I used to frequent the local & surrounding Tips (Now called Recycling centres or similar worded phrase)
&
I would grab all the TV's / Radios / Video Recorders, & anything else that I know I could repair for free if required, / take them home see what was wrong with them & sell them on,
I would say approx 80% - 90% there was nothing wrong with them & suspected that they were thrown out due to upgrade(s)
The rest would be either  Blown Caps / strained mechanisms / dirty heads / internal / plug fuses / bits of food, coins, toys, paper etc rammed into the loading mechanism
Community Veteran
Posts: 16,836
Thanks: 1,124
Fixes: 13
Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: The things people throw away..

Quote from: doris
@ Shutter...You did a fantastic job. It looks excellent. Well done.

Thanks.... Works a treat, too ! .. Smiley
Community Veteran
Posts: 13,923
Thanks: 515
Fixes: 7
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: The things people throw away..

Well today I fixed something else...
Moons ago someone gave me a dead maglite. I was going to chuck it on the scrap metal pile and weigh it all in at some point. Me being me I forgot and left it in the boot  Roll eyes
We went to halfords today and noticed they were selling the same model for £49  Shocked
I dived into the back of the car thinking "I wonder if i can get that dead thing working and flog it?"
Well... what was wrong? - Rubber top for the button was missing but the switch still works.. but most of all it had no bulb in it  Huh Unscrewed the base for the battery compartment to find a spare bulb in there - whacked it in the front end, couple of batteries and it works a treat  Grin The best bit being the rubber switch cover can be replaced - £4 from ebay!
The things some people throw away..
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Community Veteran
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Registered: 21-03-2011

Re: The things people throw away..

We moved to Derbyshire from a house in London where we lived for 30 years. Preparing to move, we rented a 16 Cu Metre skip and filled it with Essential Retained Junk from the celler/loft/bedrooms in the space of a morning. I now wish we'd set up an elapsed time video camera to watch the passers-by and neighbours at work in our skip retrieving ERJ.
Now Zen, but a +Net residue.
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,342
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Registered: 23-09-2010

Re: The things people throw away..

It's a sad sign of the times.
Used to be if you had a skip people would come from far and wide to dump things in it.
Now people come from far and wide to take things out of it.