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11-09-2019, 10:51 PM - 1 Like   #1
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What I've got is an old machine, bought many years ago, wish I could buy new, again

I've got or had a couple of machines that are really good at what they do and wish I could buy new again, but can't, because they don't make them anymore.

Kind of a convoluted sentence I'll grant you, but don't you have or you had a really efficient, excellent brand of product that just isn't made anymore, but you wish you could go down to a store and buy new, off the showroom floor, once again ?

Mine are my Lawn Boy, 2 stroke lawnmower. It's a 1988 that I bought new. It starts anywhere from the first to third pull. Over the 30 + years I've had it, I've put $ 8 bucks...and that's 8 bucks Canadian into it for repairs. I bought a used gas tank and a new pull rope about 20 years ago. I can't get Lawn Boy 2 stroke oil anymore, so use Stihl Premium 2 stroke oil, which works fine. It powers through heavy , wet grass that would stall a modern 4 stroke mower. It has that tough, torquey 2 stroke and no...with the modern Stihl 2 stroke oil doesn't cast any blue smoke .

In the fall, I run all the gas out of it, so the carb is dry...hence no gummed up carburettor, I use fresh (each year) premium gas and add StaBil gas stabilizer to my storage tank. Clean and re oil the foam air cleaner , once a year, change the spark plug every 2 years...and touch wood that old Outboard Marine Corp (OMC) mower keeps on going. Made in Illinois, if I recall. Touch wood it continues to start and mow grass.

We had a '76 Chevy Impala, 350 V8, Hydramatic transmission that we had in our family for over 21 years. Reliable, durable, tough as nails, took heavy loads, pulled our RV trailer, etc. Simple mechanically, electronic ignition...last of the really, large Chevies...had a body on frame and rear wheel drive.

They don't make the Lawn Boy 2 stroke engine or the '76 Chevy Impala anymore, much to my dismay.

These are a few...what are your examples ?

11-10-2019, 04:07 AM - 4 Likes   #2
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I used to be an avid shortwave radio listener and ham radio operator. I still dabble, but nothing like as much as I used to. These days, receivers (and transceivers) are mostly based on SDR (software-defined radio) architecture with very different operating characteristics to the old traditional solid-state and earlier valve gear. They all have big touch screen LCD displays, a hundred knobs and buttons, menus a-plenty etc., and I just don't like them. I yearn for the equipment of old with mechanical slide rule or rotary tuning and frequency read-out, and maybe a dozen controls at most to tailor the incoming / outgoing signals. There are still quite a few of the old radios around (though fewer each year, and deteriorating in condition), but they all require servicing and re-alignment to get them working even close to specification. Many have been poorly serviced by amateurs and are so butchered that they're not worth bothering with.

My first shortwave receiver, which my Mum and Dad bought for my ninth birthday in 1978, was a Realistic DX-160 with matching speaker. It was pre-owned, but in absolutely mint condition. I wish I still owned it, or could find an "as new" example, with all of the electronic components still functioning to spec. It was far from the best receiver at the time, and the latest radios are in a completely different league. But I loved using and listening to this radio... It sounded great
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Last edited by BigMackCam; 11-10-2019 at 08:14 AM.
11-10-2019, 12:46 PM - 2 Likes   #3
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I just tossed a 55? year old Panasonic AM/FM radio that I purchased as a teen. I have a hand forged cross peen hammer that is pushing 200 years old. Handle has been replaced a few times over the centuries but it is my favorite hammer to use. I use it as a tribute to the blacksmith who forged it all those years ago.
11-10-2019, 01:02 PM - 2 Likes   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
My first shortwave receiver, which my Mum and Dad bought for my ninth birthday in 1978, was a Realistic DX-160 with matching speaker.
I was also an avid shortwave listener (SWL) and ham radio operator through my teen years and an active member of the University of New Brunswick Amateur Radio Club (VE1UNB). I hold a valid operator's advanced certificate and can still manage Morse code up to 15-18 wpm. I haven't been licensed for quite a while.

My first equipment consisted of a borrowed Johnson Viking Ranger transmitter and my Realisitc DX-150A receiver. Then, courtesy of my parents, I got a Heathkit SB-102 transciever, which I built from kit. I still have the DX-150, which survived another recent purging of our home's 'unused' stuff. Whew. I listen once in a while.


The real gem amongst my old stuff is my HP 15C programmable calculator, which I acquired professionally in the mid-1980s. It's a robust little device, which seems to just keep on working after some 35 years. Brilliant design.

- Craig

11-10-2019, 01:15 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by c.a.m Quote
I was also an avid shortwave listener (SWL) and ham radio operator through my teen years and an active member of the University of New Brunswick Amateur Radio Club (VE1UNB). I still hold a valid operator's advanced certificate and can manage morse code up to 18 wpm. I haven't been licensed for quite a while.
My callsign is M0CQG and I keep my licence up-to-date. I used to copy code around that speed and could send faster (of course), but I'm rusty on the copying these days. I don't operate much now, but still fire up my gear once in a while. With the dreadful sunspot cycle, I suspect you and I are unlikely to meet on the HF bands, Craig

QuoteOriginally posted by c.a.m Quote
My first equipment consisted of a borrowed Johnson Viking Ranger transmitter and a Realisitc DX-150A receiver. I still have the DX-150, which survived another recent purging of our home's 'unused' stuff. Whew. I listen once in a while.
I used to listen to all sorts, but particularly enjoyed the international shortwave broadcast stations. Sadly, the lion's share of them have disappeared in recent years, with most of the survivors favouring internet streams now that distribution is so wide spread, reliable and economical. Now, I have a DAB / Internet radio at my bedside and can listen to streams from thousands of stations worldwide. It's fun, but in a far different and much less satisfying way than real radio. I used to get up in the wee hours as a kid to see if I could hear a particular station on a certain band. The world still seemed like a huge place, and hearing a station six or seven thousand miles away - fading in and out with conditions - was quite magical. Now, it's just the turn of a knob or a click of a button and you can listen to anywhere, any time of the day or night, in CD quality. The world is a smaller place.

QuoteOriginally posted by c.a.m Quote
The real gem amongst my old stuff is my HP 15C programmable calculator, which I acquired professionally in the mid-1980s. It's a robust little device, which seems to just keep on working after some 35 years. Brilliant design.
I got my HP15C in the late eighties when my career in IT moved towards banking systems development and operations. I still have it. Marvellous piece of equipment
11-10-2019, 01:15 PM - 4 Likes   #6
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11-10-2019, 01:23 PM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by c.a.m Quote
I was also an avid shortwave listener (SWL) and ham radio operator through my teen years and an active member of the University of New Brunswick Amateur Radio Club (VE1UNB). I hold a valid operator's advanced certificate and can still manage Morse code up to 15-18 wpm. I haven't been licensed for quite a while.

My first equipment consisted of a borrowed Johnson Viking Ranger transmitter and my Realisitc DX-150A receiver. Then, courtesy of my parents, I got a Heathkit SB-102 transciever, which I built from kit. I still have the DX-150, which survived another recent purging of our home's 'unused' stuff. Whew. I listen once in a while.


The real gem amongst my old stuff is my HP 15C programmable calculator, which I acquired professionally in the mid-1980s. It's a robust little device, which seems to just keep on working after some 35 years. Brilliant design.

- Craig
They still make the HP12C Financial Calculator I have used every day since 1984, as well as the Desktop Monroe Bond Calculator that has complex pricing calculations not included in online bond pricing tools.

I suppose in the legacy tools category Iíd need to include my hardwood block planes. I donít think Stanley even makes the steel block planes that replaced them. Unfortunately I donít have a wood shop any more - it became too hard to spread out in my work areas as we accumulated shelf loads of stored items over the years. I do have some nice 80ís electronic gear that still gets some use. My Heathkit SW radio from the late 60ís finally died. I could probably replace whatever gave up the ghost if I had all the tools to find the offending part.
11-10-2019, 01:26 PM - 2 Likes   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
I've got or had a couple of machines that are really good at what they do and wish I could buy new again, but can't, because they don't make them anymore.

Kind of a convoluted sentence I'll grant you, but don't you have or you had a really efficient, excellent brand of product that just isn't made anymore, but you wish you could go down to a store and buy new, off the showroom floor, once again ?

Mine are my Lawn Boy, 2 stroke lawnmower. It's a 1988 that I bought new. It starts anywhere from the first to third pull. Over the 30 + years I've had it, I've put $ 8 bucks...and that's 8 bucks Canadian into it for repairs. I bought a used gas tank and a new pull rope about 20 years ago. I can't get Lawn Boy 2 stroke oil anymore, so use Stihl Premium 2 stroke oil, which works fine. It powers through heavy , wet grass that would stall a modern 4 stroke mower. It has that tough, torquey 2 stroke and no...with the modern Stihl 2 stroke oil doesn't cast any blue smoke .

In the fall, I run all the gas out of it, so the carb is dry...hence no gummed up carburettor, I use fresh (each year) premium gas and add StaBil gas stabilizer to my storage tank. Clean and re oil the foam air cleaner , once a year, change the spark plug every 2 years...and touch wood that old Outboard Marine Corp (OMC) mower keeps on going. Made in Illinois, if I recall. Touch wood it continues to start and mow grass.

We had a '76 Chevy Impala, 350 V8, Hydramatic transmission that we had in our family for over 21 years. Reliable, durable, tough as nails, took heavy loads, pulled our RV trailer, etc. Simple mechanically, electronic ignition...last of the really, large Chevies...had a body on frame and rear wheel drive.

They don't make the Lawn Boy 2 stroke engine or the '76 Chevy Impala anymore, much to my dismay.

These are a few...what are your examples ?
I had one of those LawnBoy mowers for decades. Gave it to my son when I started paying people to cut my grass. He still uses it.

11-10-2019, 05:22 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
I had one of those LawnBoy mowers for decades. Gave it to my son when I started paying people to cut my grass. He still uses it.
This is my second Lawn Boy 2 stroke mower. Back in the late 1950's my parents finally retired their old push mower and got their first powered lawn mower. It was a Lawn Boy 2 stroke. My dad was quite familiar with 2 stroke engines having had a number of Evinrude and Johnson (OMC) outboards over the years as had my grandfather on my mother's side...who had run a Peterborough Cedar strip runabout and a same make canoe, on a lake in the Canadian Shield, where they had their summer cottage, for many years.

As the lone boy in the family, once I got to the 'right' age it was my chore to cut the lawn. I got used to using/maintaining the '50's Lawn Boy. When I got my own house, the mower, about 20 years old at the time was given to me. I used it for a number of years then regretfully sold it on. I ended up with a 4 stroke mower, which I inherited from my Aunt and Uncle and it was not a good mower. After a couple of years I traded it in on the current (1988) Lawn Boy 2 stroke...which has run just as well as it's ancestor.
11-10-2019, 05:36 PM - 1 Like   #10
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^We bought our first house in 1983 and I reluctantly paid the premium for the Lawn Boy 2-Stroke. I knew it would last forever but the extra (IIRC) $100 was a lot of money at th time. Your recital of the fall storage steps brings back memories.
11-10-2019, 05:39 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
They still make the HP12C Financial Calculator I have used every day since 1984, as well as the Desktop Monroe Bond Calculator that has complex pricing calculations not included in online bond pricing tools.
In fact, the calculator I own is the HP12C and not the 15C as I first thought. They look so similar from web photos, but the 12C is the financially-tailored unit vs the 15C which is scientific...
11-10-2019, 05:47 PM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
I used to be an avid shortwave radio listener and ham radio operator. I still dabble, but nothing like as much as I used to. These days, receivers (and transceivers) are mostly based on SDR (software-defined radio) architecture with very different operating characteristics to the old traditional solid-state and earlier valve gear. They all have big touch screen LCD displays, a hundred knobs and buttons, menus a-plenty etc., and I just don't like them. I yearn for the equipment of old with mechanical slide rule or rotary tuning and frequency read-out, and maybe a dozen controls at most to tailor the incoming / outgoing signals. There are still quite a few of the old radios around (though fewer each year, and deteriorating in condition), but they all require servicing and re-alignment to get them working even close to specification. Many have been poorly serviced by amateurs and are so butchered that they're not worth bothering with.

My first shortwave receiver, which my Mum and Dad bought for my ninth birthday in 1978, was a Realistic DX-160 with matching speaker. It was pre-owned, but in absolutely mint condition. I wish I still owned it, or could find an "as new" example, with all of the electronic components still functioning to spec. It was far from the best receiver at the time, and the latest radios are in a completely different league. But I loved using and listening to this radio... It sounded great
I had a couple of short wave radios a number of years ago. Back in the 1980's I used to listen regularly to various government short wave broadcasts....UK, USA, Cuba, Russia, etc.. Many countries had, probably still have their world radio stations that broadcast world wide. I found it interesting that any of these government radio programs could take any world issue of the day and have their own take on the issue, which in many cases could be counted on to be almost diametrically opposed to similar broadcasts from other countries.

Interesting and I won't go down this rabbit hole any further

Now a modern radio that I have had for a few years is a Grace Wireless Internet radio, which I can tune into radio stations throughout the world. It wasn't particularly cheap, but IMO is a fair price considering it's quality and abilities. I can tune into Jazz, easy listening R & R, etc...stations along with just about anything you can think of. It's not a SW radio, but has provided a lot of pleasure over the years.

At one time, I did consider getting into Ham Radio, but never did. Always been fascinated by this type of radio.
11-10-2019, 06:53 PM - 1 Like   #13
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I still have my TI-59 "Scientific Calculator" from 1970. The battery died and I can not get it to power up. Glowing Red LED's and did a lot of stuff. It was the death knell to the set of slide rules I had. (most of which I still have tucked away in some box - my fathers wooden one to a 8inch diameter circular with a few in between)

I also have my HP-41C programmable calculator. The Ni-Cad battery is toast but the four batteries needed to power it are still available. I have the card reader attachment which adds a few operations plus a memory module that some poor fool gave me. The LCD screen has partially failed and the little rubber wheel used to pull the magnetic cards through the card reader has basically dissolved. One of these days I am going to go out to e-bay and buy one that has a clean display for parts.

Don't get me started on old cameras. (Brownie Box - circa late 1920's, Kodak folding camera - circa after WWI. My first 35mm - circa mid 1960's, SLR's - 1970-1976. My dad's 4x5 monorail - circa 1970's. Mom's Nikon SLR - circa 1980) Most of them still work, or at least still flip the mirrors/shutters.

I still have my HeathKit Shortwave Radio that I put together in the late 60's. I used to tune into Radio Havana - to listen to the propaganda being pushed by the Russians via their colony in Cuba. It was interesting, during the Vietnam War, the US Air Force and Navy lost more airplanes than were in the inventory each week. The radio still works, I used to set my watch by it listening to WWV.
11-10-2019, 08:17 PM - 2 Likes   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
They still make the HP12C Financial Calculator I have used every day since 1984, as well as the Desktop Monroe Bond Calculator that has complex pricing calculations not included in online bond pricing tools.
My dad used to service those bond calculators until he retired in the late 90s.

QuoteQuote:
I suppose in the legacy tools category I’d need to include my hardwood block planes. I don’t think Stanley even makes the steel block planes that replaced them.
What I like about these: they are essentially unchanged from what a Roman carpenter used. The only technological advance was steel for the cutting edge, even then, most of blade is iron. They are popular in Europe and EC Emmerich makes some good ones in Germany. This one is from around 1900 and made by prison labor. The wedge is on the bench behind it. It works perfectly when adjusted (with a hammer).



I have lots of time for old tools because my lawnmower is battery electric. Grind the blade every once in a while, charge the battery and go.
11-11-2019, 05:51 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
My dad used to service those bond calculators until he retired in the late 90s.



What I like about these: they are essentially unchanged from what a Roman carpenter used. The only technological advance was steel for the cutting edge, even then, most of blade is iron. They are popular in Europe and EC Emmerich makes some good ones in Germany. This one is from around 1900 and made by prison labor. The wedge is on the bench behind it. It works perfectly when adjusted (with a hammer).




I have lots of time for old tools because my lawnmower is battery electric. Grind the blade every once in a while, charge the battery and go.
Nice tools and interesting history.

I love old hand tools. I have a few from my grandfather. He was a carpenter who worked with the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) from the early 1900's to the early 1950's. I have a CPR certificate attesting to his 49.5 years of work at this railway...and I don't think they counted the 4 years he was a soldier with the Canadian Army, fighting in France in WW1.: D

He started working in the railway, shortly after immigrating from Ireland at age 12 years old. People started working early and long, back in those 5.5 day work weeks.

Anyways, the woodworking tools seem to be generally made either in the USA or Canada and while they are still usable, I keep them in a toolbox. They seem to be generally from the 1920's/1930's and he painted the handles with a odd maroon colour...as a way of identifying his tools, which were kept at the CPR shop till he retired.

I eventually plan to mount them in a frame, for display.
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