Finding Obsolete Parts

Discussion in '"Boat Anchor" & Classic Equipment' started by W4KJG, Nov 20, 2021.

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  1. KW4H

    KW4H Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    A good example of "unobtainium" that can be fairly easily reconstructed is a couplate. Manufacturers, such as National, used these from time to time (such as in the NC-98). The data sheets are available online and it's just a matter of a small piece of perfboard with some resistors and capacitors. Granted, it's not really an IC in the classic sense. Other than reconstruction, there are a couple of other ways I've found to get ahold of a replacement part:
    - Look at the history of the IC or transistor and see if there were any direct replacements at the time or later on. If a direct replacement isn't available, use the data sheet to see if there's something "close enough" that could be substituted with minimal circuit changes.
    - That same part was almost certainly used in other equipment. Determine what other gear may have used the part and see if scrap units are available. It takes some deep Google searches to squeeze that out.

    73 - Steve, KW4H
  2. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    November 2014, Mr. Carlson’s Lab (Paul Carlson, VE7ZWZ ) covered
    CentraLab Printed Electronic Circuits (PEC).
    PECs, also known as Couplates, Bulplates, and Network Units.
    • Centralab - Couplate (CRL trademark)
    • Sprague - Bulplate
    • Aerovox - PEC (Printed or Packaged Electronic Circuit)
    Popular in 1950s and 1960s with many electronic manufacturers, before the widespread manufacturing of Integrated Circuits.
    Specifications for popular CentraLab PECs
    Schematics for popular CentraLab PECs

    Allied Radio Catalog (circa 1956), Centralab PECs listed in upper right of page.

    Philco Car Radio (AM) for a 1970 Ford Mustang
    In this YouTube video, Paul shows a failed PEC, and how he engineered a replacement for a repair.

    One of the YouTube comments came from German Altgelt, who worked at Philco Ford factory in Lansdale with other engineers and technicians. They assembled and tested 2 million radios/year.
    CRL PECs saved real estate (important in car radio), component count, and assembly time.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2021
    KW4H likes this.

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