Triumph of the packrat

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by wayneh, Jun 7, 2016.

  1. wayneh

    Thread Starter Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    Today I repaired a 24 year old microwave with a part from a 12-year old model that had also failed! :D

    The old one had been resting quietly in my basement after its magnetron went dead years ago. I had thrown it into the box of the newer model that replaced it and figured I'd throw it out "later". Someday never came.

    The newer one failed recently because the smart board went bad. A new one costs ~$170, which is about the same as a new microwave.

    But I got to thinking that maybe the newer magnetron would fit the older microwave and sure enough, it's the identical part, a Samsung (that also sells for ~$170). I had to adapt the frame bracket that holds it in the oven, but otherwise it was a simple swap. I tested it by warming my coffee and proceeded to burn my tongue. Definitive proof that it works! :eek:

    Now I have a failed microwave in a box with a bad PCB and a bad magnetron. I should probably strip out a few parts and scrap the rest. If you're a packrat too, you know how hard that is. ;)
     
  2. shortbus

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 30, 2009
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    Packrat? Whats that, never heard of that before.:) My kids make fun of me all the time, but who do they call when they need something fixed?
     
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  3. wayneh

    Thread Starter Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    Yup, that's one symptom of a packrat, of having "the knack", which I think go hand-in-hand for many of us. Ridicule and nerd-shaming until something needs to get done.
     
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  4. hrs

    Member

    Jun 13, 2014
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    Ew, is that coffee you saved as a packrat? Other than that, yay!
     
  5. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    I have 3 magnetrons in a box, waiting to be needed, and 4 boxes of wall warts.
    I install 120 VAC relays in my appliances so the control boards only have to fire a relay, not a real load like a magnetron, solenoid, or motor.
    Waiting for a failure is like being the Maytag repairman.:D
     
  6. wayneh

    Thread Starter Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    Since each of my microwaves each lasted ~12 years, it's hard for me to claim they're unreliable. All my other major appliances have lasted over twice as long though, so it makes me really mad when these microwaves fail when they are still so young. I feel they should last "forever" but I guess that's unreasonable.
     
  7. shteii01

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2010
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    Hard?
    Try impossible!
     
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  8. RichardO

    Well-Known Member

    May 4, 2013
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    Put the magnetron and PCB on your knick-knack shelf. That way you can admire them and not make the mistake of thinking they are good ones a few years from now. :D


    p.s. Things on my shelf include a military surplus high voltage power supply (originally sealed with an inert gas inside), a cast aluminum box with big industrial grade push button switches, a big stud mount SCR, an artistic dragon made from sprockets and chains, a huge glass seven segment display and a magnetron. :D
    Oops I almost forgot to mention the burnt out 300 watt incandescent lamp. It has a fascinating swirl of smoke on the inside.
     
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  9. RichardO

    Well-Known Member

    May 4, 2013
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    My first, and only, microwave oven lasted _exactly_ for the period of the warranty. By "exactly" I mean that it failed just before the warranty expired and the warranty had expired by the time it was actually repaired. The repair was a new magnetron.

    I think there was something wrong with the high voltage wiring or the magnetron from the day I bought it. There were sparkles on the TV screen anytime the oven was in use. I always assumed that it was because the TV tuner was lacking a shield (another story). Once the repair was done, the sparkles went away.
     
  10. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    The sparkles are caused by high frequency energy passing through the diode and back into the power system of your house. This was always present in early microwave use (1970-1980). I suspect this was cured by adding a power line choke in each microwave oven.
     
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  11. crutschow

    Expert

    Mar 14, 2008
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    I had my ten year old unit recently start making a large humming sound and not heating anything. Since it was an expensive, built-in type I decided to try to repair it.
    Turned out to be a short in the high voltage rectifier, which cost less than $10 to replace.
    The toughest part was removing it from its built-in location over the stove to do the repair. It was a big, fairly heavy sucker. :rolleyes:
     
  12. wayneh

    Thread Starter Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    They don't make 'em like they used to!
     
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