when soldering irons go bad

Eric Smith eric at brouhaha.com
Fri May 29 18:44:58 CDT 2009

Tony Duell wrote:
> I guess for the same reason they throw out other things with totally 
> trivial faults. THey don't think it's worth their time to find said fault 
> (for all it would take 10 minutes maximum). Still, their loss is our gain...
A friend recently told me about one of his friends buying a high-end 
Japanese-made electron microscope from Signetics as surplus many years 
ago.  It didn't work, so he helped his friend fix it.  There was a 
potted high-voltage power supply that wasn't working, and based on the 
symptoms he came up with a hypothesis that the module was internally 
miswired.  They spent a lot of time depotting the module, and sure 
enough, it was miswired exactly as he predicted.  They fixed that, and 
it worked perfectly.

Apparently at some later date they went back to Signetics surplus, and 
the people there were very surprised, and perhaps somewhat upset, to 
hear that it had been repaired, and how trivial the fault was.  They 
scrapped it because they'd never been able to get it to work!

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