Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Beware the electro-mechanicals

Imagine a DIY job you’ve never tackled before. Most of us would botch it, saying we’d do better next time. But some get it right from scratch – always! A very special talent.

My friend Richard figured in earlier posts and had that talent. So has Graham whom I interviewed this weekend for the local website. It was Graham’s second time under the website’s scrutiny: first for his remarkable skills as a taxidermist, now as a juke box restorer. During the day he services domestic appliances.

RAF national service taught me to distrust electro-mechanicals; in any electrical system they tend to be the weak spot and are often fiendish to repair. Juke boxes, especially those made during the Silver Period prior to 1965, are almost wholly electro-mechanical. Not only the arms that pick out the 78 or 45 rpm records but even the systems that convey the choice of record provided by the push-button.

Graham faced such a moment when renovating a 1957 AMI Model H. In brief when he chose Elvis the ‘box played Bill Haley. These days a quick twiddle with the electronics would sort things. But this AMI had been repaired with parts cannibalised from elsewhere and a spinning disc which selected the correct solenoid from a circle of sixty consistently betrayed the punter. Needless to say Graham worked it out. I’d like to say it would have taken me much longer but I’d never have dared take the back off the thing in the first place.


Sir Hugh said...

Has Graham got a shed?

Avus said...

A '57 AMI Juke box - there was one of those in the NAAFI at my Devizes training depot during National Service (we belong to an exclusive, and fast diminishing club B.B.)
Brought back some memories.

Barrett Bonden said...

Sir Hugh: A shed and a half.

Avus: This is getting eerie. You using the NAAFI down at Devizes, me at the Malcolm Club (A NAAFI with soft furnishings) on the fringe of RAF Yatesbury. As I hinted before, our lines look set to intersect.

Avus said...

Trust the RAF to have a NAAFI with soft furnishings!
Us poor souls in the Royal Army Pay Corps (go where the money is!) made do with hard wooden chairs. The local YMCA was more comfortable and had cream doughnuts that I have never since tasted better....all gone now.