Friday, August 14, 2009

Morse Code practice

At a garage sale across the street today, I picked up a Midland model 25-109 Morse Code practice oscillator (not the one in the photo). It wasn't the pristine device I first imagined from its exterior. The wife RATTLED it loudly and asked if it were supposed to sound like that. I told her it wasn't and hurried off to run some errands. While we were at the grocery, I took the opportunity to whip out my Swiss Army knife and see what made it rattle.

Ouch! As I supposed it was, the previous owner had left the two C cells in their holder to rattle around inside the case. It was the most crud and corruption I'd ever seen come out of two cells, equaling about three tablespoons of corroded mess to be dumped. Most of the aluminum holder had dissolved away at one end, leaving the solder lug to dangle loosely. The cells had holes in them and had gotten rid of any gel or liquid they could during their long years of being abandoned.

But, the single transistor, two potentiometers, audio transformer, speaker, slide switch, pilot lamp, terminal strips, and 3.5 mm earphone jack are all in pretty good shape for having been exposed to such corrosive mess for many years. I may have to replace the two-screw-terminal key connection, if the screws are in too bad a shape to allow future connections. Otherwise, I think liberal application of water and 91% alcohol with Q-Tips will fix it right up. And I will need some new battery holder or other to replace the old one.

Morse Code is well worth your while to learn. You never know when a post-apocalyptic world will require you to communicate in that fashion!

Comments always welcome.

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