what do people throw away...

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Hi All,

Yesterday evening i was walking towards my car when something lying on the floor next to the garbage room caught my attention.
It was an AKAI AA-6600 solid state amp (mfd. 1971) that looked in excellent condition. It immediately found it's way to the trunk of my car. The funny thing is that whoever threw it away took off the main power plug... They threw away a piece of history with a sound that you simply can't get today but bothered to keep a 30 cent plastic plug...
I've put a new power plug, plugged it in and... it works like a charm. The amp was never opened for repair in 34 years. The screws have no marks, no techinicians warranty stickers... amazing.
One of my friends that is currently using a cheap "Kenwood" amp is about to recieve a very nice gift tomorrow...
I just can't understand these people.
In the last 10 years or so, i got hold of the following in similar ways:
1. Harman Kardon 430 twin powered reciever (early 1970's)
2. Luxman R 1040 stereo reciever (NOS in the box, 1974, for 50$).
3. Sony ST-80 Tuner (late 1960's) - needed minor repair
4. Sony TAN 8550 VFET power amp (1974, outrageously expensive at it's time) - in it's original box
5. Leak mono block 7 watt tube amplifier pair (just needed new tubes and fix a broken wire)
6. Bose 301 speakers (early 1970's) that needed new woofer surrounds and new capcitors for the cross over.
7. Sony walkman Pro (late 1980's).
8. Nakamichi CR-5 cassette deck (needed a minor repair).

All except a few (guess which ones) which i just couldn't give away were serviced and given to my friends to their great joy.
Keep throwing these away people!
just let me know in time where can I pick it up...

Have a great weekend all!

This is a highly amusing subject for me.

A friend of mine kept pulling newer working 27" televisions out of the dumpster behind a tv and stereo store. They mostly had minor little problems, but we ended up with five working sets.

Also out of that dumpster came many feet of nice audio cable, speakers, bits and pieces, etc.

I love dumpster diving.
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I suspect that some less than honest service shops are to blame. I really suspect stores with service shops are bad for this. There is also a high number of techs that are not very good at their job. The customer loses, so does the shop.

I have had similar nice finds myself.

A person I knew was driving along a street and a delivery truck with the back open hit a bump and a large cardboard box fell out. naturally, he stopped to pick it up. Much to his surprise it was full of strereo graphic EQ's! Can't remember the brand name as this was back in the 70's.

I never seem to be so lucky.
There is a growing waste-culture, especially in USA, a country that expends more than three times the petroleum per citizen in comparison with European countries. No wonder that gas prices in Spain (and other European countries) have climbed an outstanding 18% since January.

New generations act as if natural resources were unlimited, they think that wood, metals, plastics, gas, etc... are made out of nothing at all, they even think that vegetables grow directly on supermarket shelves.

Christians live happily thinking that everything will be right as long as they avoid sin, they don't bother about natural resources as they think that this is god's bussines.

Furthermore, new generations think that everything they throw to the thrash will just disapear from that world, being not aware of the growing problem with accumulating urban residues.

Reality is quite frustrating, we are just hogging inherently limited natural resources, burning them, mixing them, using them very inefficiently (sometimes for stupid purposes like war), and finally dumping them around our cities or to the sea.

We no longer appreciate the value of resources, we just only think about how much dollars or euros do they cost.

Think twice before dumping, there are a lot of precious natural resources inside each piece of electronic equipment.
Things Canadians throw away

the following is from last week's New York Times:

July 13, 2005
Rush to the Garbage Dump: There's Gold to Be Mined
YELLOWKNIFE, Northwest Territories, July 12 - Canada's leading literary magazine has written about it. The local newspaper devotes a weekly column to it. And it is the hottest issue going in this arctic territorial capital.

It is not a zoning dispute or the war in Iraq that has Yellowknifers all steamed up, but the Yellowknife municipal garbage dump - and the prospect that the city might impose a fee for dumping everyday refuse.

That is a pressing concern to the estimated 750 people (out of a total population of 20,000) who go to the dump every week and make their way through the bugs, gulls and odors to pick through mounds of garbage that hold an assortment of toys, furniture, electrical equipment, stereo components, lumber, plywood, roofing materials, musical instruments and computer and auto parts, to name a few of the items recently scavenged.

"This is the Ikea of garbage dumps," said Joe Paithouski, 52, a new Yellowknife resident who has found the dump to be a good place to meet people. "Why spend hundreds of dollars on gardening stuff when you can get the stuff here free and be choosy? And I stress the word 'choosy.' "

The Yellowknife dump owes its extraordinarily rich pickings to the fact that this is a transient community where it is prohibitively costly to ship furniture and other hefty items in and out. Air cargo fares in the North are exorbitant and the nearest city, Edmonton, is more than a 15-hour drive away. The dump has been a cherished economic resource and cultural mainstay since the 1930's, when people had to rely on riverboats and bulldozers to pull sleds over the frozen Great Slave Lake to get their possessions up here.

Shopping at the dump may seem odd these days. With diamond mines opening across the territory and oil companies poised to begin building a big natural gas pipeline project nearby, home prices are soaring. Yellowknife restaurants have the longest and most expensive wine lists in the North.

But the dump may be more essential than ever since the arrival of a substantial upper middle class that has jacked up the cost of living. The monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment runs about $800, more than double that in other northern cities, and food costs about 20 percent more.

"If you can cut costs with the price of fuel what it is these days, it's all to the good," noted Bill Cameron, a 34-year-old diamond processor. "I come twice a week. Once I found an outboard motor that would have cost me $2,800 new. I built a storage shed from plywood I found here, and I even found the boxes of nails and shingles for my roof that I needed in one or two afternoons."

On his latest trip he found a hockey goal net, Christmas lights still in their boxes, a bunch of glass dishes, cups and a stereo receiver.

The dump is probably the only place in town where diamond mine managers and homeless Native Canadians making a living scavenging deposit cans and bottles rub shoulders and greet each other.

"This is Yellowknife's gathering ground," said Scott Cairns, 34, a geologist who brought his 7-year-old daughter Mary out to the dump one recent Sunday afternoon. "I have colleagues who are millionaires from doing well on the diamond stocks and they come out here all the time. They are not ashamed to be here at all."

Mr. Cairns said he found more than $10,000 worth of lumber in the dump when he was building an addition to his house a few years ago. "We're at the end of the world, so there always has to be good stuff left out here," he said.

The Yellowknife dump is such an integral part of life here that it has been the subject of television and radio news features for years. The Walrus, Canada's leading literary magazine, published an article on the dump last year titled, "The Last Great City Dump."

"Growth has tamed much of the frontier character, but not the desire to embrace the mythology of frontier life," the article said. "As Yellowknife has become more ordinary, the effort to seize on quirky traditions has become more pronounced."

Yellowknifer, the local newspaper, runs a weekly column called "Tales From the Dump," written by Walt Humphries, 57, a prospector known as the dump's unofficial curator. For Mr. Humphries, the dump is a storehouse of homespun wisdom and sociology, as well as the source for the planters, birdfeeder, scarecrow and caribou antlers that decorate his garden. He estimates the total value of goods residents take out of the dump every year reaches $800,000.

In a recent column, he wrote about finding a cookbook at the dump called "The Bachelor's Guide to Ward Off Starvation." Inside, he found a handwritten note from a mother to her son. "A cookbook from your mother is something you are supposed to keep and cherish all your life and pass onto your kids as a family heirloom," Mr. Humphries lectured. "It is not supposed to end up in the Yellowknife city dump."

The dump's carefree days may be ending, though. The city began levying dumping fees on July 1 for people leaving appliances and batteries, and there is that talk in City Hall of charging a modest fee next year, something in the realm of $5, for people dumping smaller items.

People who use the dump are outraged by such measures, and alarmed by rumors that the city will eventually follow the example of virtually every other municipality in Canada and keep them out of the dump entirely for fear of injury lawsuits.

"I say if they close this down to the public, what's the reason to live here anymore?" Gary Tees, 53, a territorial government worker, said with a scowl. An amateur musician, he has retrieved electric guitars and amplifiers from the garbage. He added, "It would spoil what makes Yellowknife unique: the freedom to do things you can't do anywhere else."
A looong time ago a friend took a business trip to the US, and carried his little transistor radio.
For some reason, the radio was not working, so he went to a nearby store and asked if it could be repaied.

Seller: sure.

- How much?

- 9 dollars.

He found the price a bit steep, but..

- Ok, do it.

Seller took his radio, trown it in the garbage can and gave him a brand new one from the shelf

So, not so new...
Eva said:
There is a growing waste-culture, especially in USA, a country that expends more than three times the petroleum per citizen in comparison with European countries. No wonder that gas prices in Spain (and other European countries) have climbed an outstanding 18% since January [/B]

Thanks EVA, we appreciate the compliment -- if you look at BTU inputs per unit of industrial and agricultural outputs the U.S. is one of the most efficient "energy" economies in the world.

With respect to energy prices, or the price of scrap steel for that matter -- you should affix blame to the emerging economies of Asia and India -- and who wouldn't want our friends in India and China to attain higher standards of living. U.S. energy consumption as a share of gross domestic product has been declining steadily since the 1970's.
Check this out, it contains some eye-oppening numbers.


2 Percentage of the world's population that is British.

2 Percentage of the world's oil used by Britain.

5 Percentage of the world's population that is American.

25 Percentage of the world's oil used by America.

63 Percentage of oil the United States imported in 2003, a record high.

25 Percentage of overall worldwide carbon dioxide emissions the United States is responsible for.

And even with that numbers, most of the products used in Europe are made in Europe and Asia. Made in USA products are seldom seen here.

Thanks EVA, we appreciate the compliment -- if you look at BTU inputs per unit of industrial and agricultural outputs the U.S. is one of the most efficient "energy" economies in the world.

I agree that USA has a huge industry output, maybe energy efficient, but that is because USA has outrageous needs, and that happens because everything is just thrown away after a few hours, days or months of usage.

I'm not talking about industry output versus energy efficiency, I'm just talking about industry output wasting.
Eva said:

And even with that numbers, most of the products used in Europe are made in Europe and Asia. Made in USA products are seldom seen here.
Except for music, video, movies and software.

Then again, all those bikers in the Tour de France would be nowhere without DuPont's Spandex -- their drawers would be somewhere down around their knees. We are grateful that the Hugenot French DuPont family fled France for the nascent USA, despite 1789 and the triumph of secularism.

All is solved by globalization in which all men and women come to know the strengths and faults of the upright walking homo sapiens and embrace each other as equals.
I found a Quatre DG-250 Gain Cell power amp in the scrap metal bin at the El Cerrito CA municipal recycling center. Powered it up on a variac and didn't blow fuses, no DC on the speaker terminals, so I tried it out, sounded really hard and gritty. Opened the case and checked output stage bias current, was about 15mA for a 100W/ch amp! It had 3 repair stickers on it, so on the last repair I guess they backed off the Iq so it would last a little longer. Not so hard sounding after adjusting Iq to 60mA, but this one's better as a subwoofer amp.
mpmarino said:

...now there's a town I DID NOT know had a dump! I can't believe they stand for such a thing there!

They are very dump and veggie-burger conscious -- I also have a Fisher 400 from the same dump, just no time to get it up and running. My sister and family live there.

The Millburn N.J. dump is also fabulous. One of the physicians in our parish would go there during the week, pick up stuff, have a yard sale every month. All 3 of my sons got their first stereo's at the Millburn dump.
It's easy to fool yourself about product origins. That bottle you have made in France was probably fabricated from polyester resins made in Delaware. The corks my company makes in Austria and Canada are based on resins sourced from Texas. And agro output for export also gets buried when value-added operations take place; the US exports huge amounts of rice and wheat which get converted to "local" products in other countries.

I've made a private little industry in rescuing monitors from the garbage. One particular brand ALWAYS has the same failure- a rectifier bridge and electrolytic cap. The company where I work was about to pay the added municipal fees for discarding half a dozen broken monitors of this brand. I took the monitors and 50% of the fee, spent a few dollars on bridges and caps, repaired them all in an hour, and ended up with 6 good monitors and a net $45 profit (before selling the monitors). Saved the company money, too.
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Many people are throwing away perfectly good computers because of the difficulty of removing spyware/scumware and the low cost of new computers. There's now no excuse for the audio hobbyist- everyone ought to have a dedicated computer for measurements and CAD, and now they're free.
Hate to be a downer and it's not hi-fi but- the bottom line is that human population is out of control to the detriment of most living things on this planet - just stop breeding, less humans = a better world.
I have decided to not have children!.

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