Disassembly Inspired

I’ve been encouraging the boy to understand how things work – and decided a fun way to do that would be to take things apart, after all that’s what I did at his age.  So we headed to the Flea at MIT on a hunch they might have some fun stuff to take apart.

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Turns out it was the perfect place to find exactly what I had in mind.  The place is a geeks dream come true.  So much old technology I didn’t know where to start.  I was tempted to buy an old oscilloscope, as their were at least a hundred of them in different stalls. 

I ended up finding a reel-to-reel tape recorder a guy was selling for $50.  I started talking him down on price and asked, “Does it still work?”

He replied, “Perfectly.”

I told him the plan was for me and my son to take it apart, and that I didn’t want to ruin something that still worked well.  He agreed and told me to take the reel-to-reel recorder sitting next to it for free.  It weighed 30pounds easy and I had to carry it all over the place.

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Nick really enjoyed it – although maybe next time I’ll get something that we can see working first and maybe keep plugged in (low volt DC something) to watch it work.

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Anna was along for the whole ride – and I had a screw driver ready for her.  Instead she played repoter with the stuffed weasel beanie baby she got at the Flea at MIT.

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They really don’t make things like this any more – hardly any plastic.

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The kewlest part of this device in my mind was that it had vacuum tubes.  I was tempted to try to get the amplifier part of the thing working and maybe build a small guitar amp or something… but my ambition escaped me.

Here’s a pretty kewl shot with the tubes visible:

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We got it apart as much as we good – with a ton of screws and bolts lying around.  The carcase sat on the table for a week or so – hard to dispose of that much metal.

 

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All in all the project was a complete success.  Quality dad-kids time and maybe a little education.

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