Friday, January 3, 2014

Every part of the Buffalo

It's been said that Native Americans used every part of the buffalo. Nothing went to waste. I'm not carving up a buffalo, but I do carve up pieces of dead technology.

I gave up on trying to fix the old inverter that came with the van. It has too many obsolete parts. Just throwing it away wasn't an option. There are other useful parts to be salvaged first. The heavy duty DC cables and plug will go on whatever inverter I buy to replace the old one. It had a nice medical grade GFI AC power plug with will find a home somewhere. One prize is the cooling fan. Many cooling fans in electronic equipment run off of 12 volts DC. They make nice little fans for bringing a little fresh air into my sailboat's cabin. Then there's a big pile of screws, nuts and bolts.

As you can imagine, I've got a hard time throwing anything away. Sometimes it drives my lovely wife nuts. Over the years, she has learned. Salvaged materials can save a lot of money.

One person's junk is another's treasure. What separates treasure from junk? Knowledge is the big one. There's no use collecting junk if you don't know how to do anything valuable with it. I'm continually amazed at the number of people who have no idea how the technology of our world is put together. We are supposed to be tool using animals with big brains.

It only makes sense to have at least some rudimentary idea how keep things going. I've run into adult males who don't know how to change a light bulb. They deserve to stumble around in the dark.

That's not to say we should know everything about every bit of modern technology. It's too complex. However, with the proper tools and information, a lot can be figured out. Along with tools and information, we need materials. If the materials can be salvaged, that's even better.



  1. I know very little about technology, but I'm fairly good with at splitting firewood.

  2. "As you can imagine, I've got a hard time throwing anything away. Sometimes it drives my lovely wife nuts."

    Boy does that sound familiar.

    My wife finds no sense in my saving all these little fasteners and such., she is a minimalist and does not understand that because I have five sets of standard wrenches that three of them are for specific purposes. To her they are just junk.

    I am a Pack Rat Extraordinaire according to my wife and she is not far off the mark.

    I come by it honestly.

    Those little organizers with the plastic drawers?

    I have 15 of them, all full.
    Like you, I take broken things apart and save things I consider of possible future use.
    Been to a hardware store lately?!

    Holy Christ are they getting out of hand!
    As you probably well know, Stainless Steel fasteners are down right ridiculous. A dollar apiece for a 1/4X20X2 inch bolt.
    I know damn good and well I spent over $400 on SS fasteners for that Stupid Sprite this last year. I got sick of cleaning and re cleaning rusty bolt heads every year.

    I save everything these days. I spent over $100 last year, buying hose clamps!!

    Stupid hose clamps! You don't just run out and buy hose clamps at freakin' Midnight, which is when I get home from work. Another reason I stock up on stuff.

    I basically have a miniature hardware store out in my garage!

    1. Hose clamps! They cost me a small fortune. Every diesel/veggie conversion uses a pile of them, and I have to get the good ones too, not the Chinese crap.

      SS is crazy expensive, but necessary for the boat.

      All those little bits and pieces add up fast.

  3. Like the old saying's the little things in life that matter! Kinda fits with all the tiny nuts and bolts!

  4. Hey! That sounds like you, for sure.
    -10F here today. Perfect weather for splitting firewood.
    Soak up some warm sunshine for us!

    1. Doesn't it, Leane?

      Wood chops better when it's cold. :) Cool for here, high 60s. Nothing to complain about.

  5. 6brz... That inverter. Are you sure it's done? From what I've seen, most inverters just fry their transistors which are easy to replace. You may want to have it checked out. Replacements for the inverters that come in Ambulances are PRICEY! You might get this one repaired for the price of a cheap 1000 watter ($150 or so)