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How to have fun with klunky old terminals

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David Ashton
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re: How to have fun with klunky old terminals
David Ashton   12/22/2010 10:03:03 AM
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That reminds me of a nice story, which might solve your problem. Guy had a dead fluoro tube to dispose of, and didn't want to put it in the trash for reasons you outlined. On the way home in the train (standing room only) he was holding the tube, upright. So, eventually, were all his neighbours. When he got out of the train his problem was solved! Ref mercury...I remember sneaking in to the Chem lab at school and getting a drop of mercury in my hand and letting it run around, and feeling how heavy it was. The ignorance of youth..... Where are you Rich? Right now in the states it's 5 AM and earlier...usually it's only Aussies like me up at this EELife time..???

David Ashton
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re: How to have fun with klunky old terminals
David Ashton   12/22/2010 8:20:57 AM
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Oops. Posted before I wanted. Continued...example - recently where I work, some guys came in and started replacing all the battery-backed up emergency lighting. Didn't matter ifit worked or not, jsut replaced it. I asked about this and was told that it was more trouble than it was worth to replace batteries and/or tubes etc, so just replace the lot with new ones and come back in 3 years and do the same again. They were chucking the old stuff in the skips. I indicated an area outside my office. "Chuck it there rather", I asked them, and they did. I ended up with around 20 double 4 foot fluorescent fittings. Remove the battery and inverter and rewire 3 connections and you have a bog standard mains fluro. A mate of mine was building a shed and took the entire 20 off me, saving himself around the $ 400 cost of new fittings. The door emergency exit fittings had a charger, battery, inverter and twin 8W fluoro tubes. remove the charger, add a solar cell (also from the skips - junked pole mounted feeder voltage-current monitors) and Bingo - one solar shed light! OK, took me a couple of hours to make it up, and you can buy them for $ 15 - but hey, you must know how satisfying it is to switch on a light you've made yourself out of junk! And it's brighter and lasts longer than the bought one. My latest acquisition is some old SCADA terminal boards. 6809 processor board with EPROM/RAM/RS232 and a bus on which you can hang boards with isolated digital inputs or relay outputs, or analogue inputs. So all I need to do is reprogram the Eproms and I can make them do all sorts of stuff. Yeah, a PIC will do much the same in 1/50th of the space (though without the isolation). A battery charger / cycler / capacity meter comes to mind (for all the rechargeables I got from the flouros above....) I just need the time to get into them...THAT is my main problem....

David Ashton
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re: How to have fun with klunky old terminals
David Ashton   12/22/2010 7:59:39 AM
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Been thnking about the kind comments above. I AM a recycler but more because I can't bear to throw anything useful away than because of any base recycling ethic as such. In Zimbabwe the local patois has a verb "doba" meaning to gather or hoard. From it is descended a noun, "madobadoba" - one who hoards. That's what I am, but I'm only too glad to give stuff away if someone can use it.

David Ashton
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re: How to have fun with klunky old terminals
David Ashton   12/22/2010 3:31:27 AM
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As with William above, you probably flatter me a bit, Rich, but many thanks.

David Ashton
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re: How to have fun with klunky old terminals
David Ashton   12/18/2010 3:23:32 AM
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Thanks William, though you make me out to be more altruistic than I was! My original aim was to fill a gap in the market and hopefully make some money. Thankfully, I did both, for a few years. I had heard rumblings from travel agents I knew that the PC / Gateway card solution originally proposed to them was too expensive for a lot of them, and they indicated that they'd love a leased solution. I remember going to the president of the Travel Agent's Association, to try and sell him my idea, expecting to be shot down in flames, only to be told that I'd made his day, as he now had a solution for his members who didn't want to splash out on PCs. I ended up maintaining a lot of the original PC systems that the larger agents used, as the guys who set them up had left the company that provided them. It's the kind of thing that could only happen in a small and relatively third world country like Zimbabwe. People in such places are only too keen to keep things going that little bit longer, and use unconventional solutions like this. I'm now in Australia and the "throwaway" attitude here horrifies me. I'm forever rescuing old equipment from the skips at work and doing things with it or stipping bits off it (which gets me some funny looks from the Aussies!). I ended up recycling some of the bits from the old terminals too... my workbench power supply with 0-30V, +/-5V and +/-12V outputs is almost entirely built from bits from those terminals....

WKetel
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re: How to have fun with klunky old terminals
WKetel   12/18/2010 1:26:25 AM
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I give David a sincere salute for such expert recycling. Certainly this is an excellent example of conserving resources and helping people at the same time. Great Job, David, and thanks for telling us about it.

RDentonSr
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re: How to have fun with klunky old terminals
RDentonSr   12/17/2010 11:57:49 PM
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I agree that a "Jack-of-all-trades" seldom gets bored! That's been the story of my life too.

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