Thread Starter


Joined Apr 20, 2004
Hi All,

If anyone's not familiar with the term, a kludge is some odd change to a degigned circuit or instrument that was found to be necessary in order for it to function. In manufacturing, the reccommended means of getting a product ready to ship goes something like: "shoot the engineer, gin up a kludge, and get it off the floor!"

Kludges are not confined to electronics, but they do show up here and there. Programming's a great place for them, too. I have always admired Microsoft and IBM for atrificially setting up the 5100 to use memory in ten 64K pages, when the chip had a 20 bit address register.

I've just done one in our church organ. Baldwin built it over 25 years ago. Naturally, the IC that went sour had converted tself into unobtainium some time in the past. I could get the function from the prints, so I stuck six 2N3904's on a header, and used that as a substitute. Looks ugly, as good kludges should, but works fine.

I'm guilty of many more than that one. Anybody else have some tales to share?


Joined Jan 6, 2004
I am calling my friend Mendelejef to add the above element to his table. Nice finding!

Just one ugly big pot of different value, very hard to encase to replace a small one in my son's radio. Value was corrected with a resistor in parallel. Sure it looked UGLY but once case was closed and radio up and running again, I was commended by my wife because I used my hoby to do something for my son!

Another: in one vessel I repaired the small board controlling the alarms of the main engine (a robuste flip flop desined with discrete components) just by piling (or whatever) lot of soldering material to bridge an awful crack. Soldering a small wire to bridge it, was impossible.

Not kludges just on the field solutions could I say...

The point is when a technician resorts to them instead of a proper repair, right?

Interesting subject!

Thread Starter


Joined Apr 20, 2004

Yes, that's the idea. Like the Oldsmobile with the generator mounted with wire and a pair of vice-grips.

One not so obvious are some small fins mounted on the fuselage of a 737 just above and to the rear of the wing fillet. That might have been added to improve airflow due to a change in engines, with a different nacelle that originally designed.

I had the misfortune to work on an IBM 1311 disk file. The logic was in a drawer, with each circuit board hinged. The ic's were unique to IBM, and mounted in what amounted to wire-wrap sockets. To make field changes, they supplied a hollow drill bit that spun around a pin, cutting in just far enough to isolate it from the conductive trace. Then, one used a wire-wrap gun and wire to make the new conduction path. Looked really bad after a few field changes.
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