The most valuable examples of the Commodore 64, generally speaking, are the early variants that have silver labels across the top. The silver label Commodore 64 is the earliest, most expensive example of the venerable machine.
In all, Commodore produced about 80,000 of these machines. That compares to several million of the most common variants. That alone makes them relatively rare. When you do find one, there’s a fairly good chance it’s not 100% original.
Continue reading The silver label Commodore 64
Most buying guides for monitors assume you’re buying a really expensive monitor for gaming. But there’s a lot more to look for than refresh rate and response time.
A good monitor can last 10 years and multiple computers, so it pays to make a good decision when buying one, even when you’re not spending $500. There can be a significant difference even between two $100 models, or between a $60 model and a $70 model, that will save you money in the long run.
Continue reading What to look for in a monitor
If you’re fixing an old train or some other electrical device, some of the wires have crumbling insulation, and disassembly isn’t an option for whatever reason, then you can repair crumbling insulation with a $6 product called Plasti-Dip.
Continue reading Repair crumbling insulation with Plasti-Dip
I’ve talked before about high-maintenance tenants, but today I want to dive a bit deeper into when tenants hassle you about repairs, which is perhaps the second most frustrating thing about being a landlord. Here are some strategies that can help.
Continue reading When tenants hassle you about repairs
The Marx 408 street lights are difficult to disassemble. They aren’t difficult because they’re complicated, because they’re not. But it takes a bit of coordination and more than a lot of brawn to get them apart.
But if you need to rewire or repaint one, you don’t have a lot of choice, so here’s how it’s done.
Continue reading Disassemble a Marx 408 street light
When I was 19 or 20, I paid a visit to my old grade school to do some computer repair. My fifth-grade teacher dropped in, saw me cleaning up the contacts on a circuit board, and asked why I wasn’t using Everclear. Cleaning electrical contacts with Everclear is, at least, a practice people talk about a lot.
Well, I couldn’t legally buy Everclear yet, for one thing. But let’s talk about why Everclear is good for cleaning electrical contacts but there are other things that can be better.
Continue reading Cleaning electrical contacts with Everclear
If you want to save money on appliances, I have some unconventional advice: Buy used. Yes, really. Here’s how to buy used (or refurbished) appliances and save big money without getting ripped off.
I’ve had a number of friends get hit recently with appliance breakdowns they couldn’t afford, and since I’m a landlord, I’ve probably bought a lifetime’s worth of appliances in the last seven years. A dead appliance doesn’t have to turn into a financial catastrophe.
Continue reading Save money on appliances
Internally, a Marx 709 differs little from a Marx 1209, so those instructions work for actual repair. But disassembly is a bit different, so I’ll walk through the disassembly process now.
Continue reading Repair a Marx 709 transformer
Want to repair a Marx 1209 transformer? There are two schools of thought. One is that small, sub-75 watt transformers aren’t worth fixing because they are so cheap. The other is that since they are so cheap, you have nothing to lose by trying.
Marx didn’t design its transformers to be fixed, but the design is extremely simple. The hardest part really is getting the case apart and then getting it back together. If Marx had designed them to be serviced, like its competitors did, they would have cost more, so we wouldn’t have as many Marx trains to enjoy today. So it’s easy enough to forgive Marx for this.
Let’s dive in.
Continue reading Repair a Marx 1209 transformer
When it comes to Marx repairs, the reverse unit is the end of the innocence. Motor repairs are rather easy; reverse unit repair can be as hard as you want it to be.
I’ll share some things I do that seem to make it go easier.
Continue reading Repair a Marx reverse unit