Posts Tagged With: repair

Mend It Monday: (It’s been) A Card Made Right

Looks like that must've hurt!

Looks like that must’ve hurt!

Some years ago, the Snail bought a new digital camera that was waterproof/shockproof/80% proof. Well, maybe not the last one but I needed three things for the list. Later came the purchase of a 16GB SD memory card, which we considered to be way bigger than we would ever need. And we were right.

In the early days, the Snail didn’t have a cable to connect the camera (via USB) to a computer to download the pictures, so would remove the card to put in a reader on her laptop. Over the years, the contacts on the card have worn away, to the point where they were drummed out of the International Contact Society for failing to live up to their essential tenet, at least inside the camera. That’s when a toothpick came to the rescue. Wedged between the card and the battery, it seemed to do the trick.

Until the other day.

The camera refused to accept that there was a card in the camera and was not going to enter into any other discussions because, deep down, the camera is, in fact, a computer.

The card itself would work in a USB card reader I had, so clearly it wasn’t completely beyond rescue.

Some frankly horrific use of a soldering iron later, and I had managed to flow some solder over the four most worn contacts whilst only melting a small chunk of the card’s body. In fact, so horrible does it look, I think the picture may need a warning notice on it.

The horror, the horror! Just, ugh, horrible. But it works!

The horror, the horror! Just, ugh, horrible. But it works!

And, in a turn up for books everywhere, it seems to work! It never needs to be removed again as we have USB cables around the place that fit, so hopefully, the other contacts won’t wear to the point of failure.

I wonder how many perfectly functional SD cards have gone to landfill because the contacts have worn through?



Categories: camera, repair, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , , , | 15 Comments

ScrapHappy January 2021: Let there be light!

Fully working bright light

Fully working bright light

First, a ScrapHappy New Year to you all!

To start the year, here is an easy ScrapHappy mend of an LED lamp which the Snail uses for various crafty activities. In fact, we have two of these lamps and, although they weren’t cheap, they are well made and very useful. They feature a ring of LEDs as well as a magnifier in the top, and will run from batteries or a mains adapter. The Snail uses the mains adapter for both – the batteries are housed in a detachable box which I may well use for something else one day (watch this space!).

This particular lamp started to be like me – a bit dim. This is a strange thing for LEDs to do as they aren’t like incandescent bulbs that have separate parts that can fail independently (so one of several filaments might break but the others would keep on shining). It probably meant that the power supply wasn’t doing what it was supposed to, so I started there. A quick check with my rusty voltmeter told me the truth – the supply was only half decent. It was producing a little over 3 volts rather than 6 volts to be precise.

Half the supply it was

Half the supply it was

In the last 20 years, I reckon every household has probably had about a million* mains power supplies that have long since become pointless because the device they were supposed to power has broken. Many have (shamefully) been put in landfill, but many reside to this day in old boxes at the backs of cupboards/wardrobes/sheds. Mine reside in my office/workshop/studio, liberally scattered across shelves/boxes/drawers.

Could I find one that was suitable?

Could I find one that was suitable? - SPOILER ALERT!

Could I find one that was suitable? – SPOILER ALERT!

Yay! I could! This is the supply from an old set-top box, for receiving the Freeview digital signals (for my non-UK reader, Freeview is the UK’s contribution to the vast thousands of utterly unwatchable TV channels around the globe). We stopped using the box it powered about ten or so years ago but *I KNEW* it was worth keeping.

Of course, it didn’t have the right bit on the end of the wire so I had to chop the end of the defunct power supply and solder it onto the “new” supply. Once done, voila! LEDs that are properly bright. And perhaps a hint of a smile in the magnifier too? Perhaps…


One happy lamp


*  I checked with Twitter – it is a million.

Categories: recycling, repair, ScrapHappy | Tags: , , , | 13 Comments

Mend it Monday: Brush and Lead


Brush Fix #1 didn’t work…

A couple of repairs for this occasional Mend it Monday post (as started by The Snail of Happiness). The first is the washing-up brush – made of coconut bristles, with no plastic, and a wooden handle. The perfect eco brush except that the head just started falling out the handle (I don’t think it is designed to be interchangeable) some time into its service.

I tried putting a collar of the marvellous sugru around the neck, but this really didn’t work at all so this is the next attempt – I have filled the hole in the handle with sugru and forced the brush head into it. Time will tell if it holds for more than a nanosecond but it feels pretty firm.


Brush Fix #2 – lovely green sugru


This worked for 4:32…

It was four minutes and thirty-two seconds into washing up before the head became detached once more. Harrumph…

While I harrumphed, the Snail filled the hole in the handle with gorilla glue and pushed the head in – where it has stayed ever since. There’s a lesson in there for me somewhere…

The second mend is a classic sugru-on-frayed-cable-fix – this is the USB cable that came with my Kindle a million years ago. I noticed last week that the outer sheath by one end had worn away to expose the ground shield beneath. There was no question this time – it was always going to be a sugru mend. The only real question was – what colour?


More successful use of green sugru

Yay for mending things!




Categories: repair, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , , , | 9 Comments

Mend it Monday: On the phone(s)

Mend it Monday is an occasional post inspired by thesnailofhappiness


Headphones – comfortable but broken

I have had these headphones for about 15 years now – they were quite expensive in their day and I have used them in what I lovingly (and slightly inaccurately) called my “recording studio”. They are great headphones and, when the rubber earpiece things disintegrated, the Snail made me new coverings that are largely acoustically transparent (that is, sound goes through them like they aren’t there).

Like all these things with moulded plugs on the ends of their wires, something starts to break/come loose in the plug. I have spent the better part of the last three years carefully bending the wire near the plug just enough to get the headphones to work properly.

Well, even that stopped working yesterday, so I was forced to mend them. The wires on headphones are always thin and pretty difficult to work with, and these were no exception. Fortunately, I had an old working plug (from a broken something-or-other) to use, and it all seems to have worked!

Mended and back in action – now back to doing important things such as watching this (which just makes me laugh and cheers me up every time I see it):



Categories: repair, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

Mr Snail’s “Mend it Monday”… on a Tuesday

Downscaled RIMG0138

Could this be the dullest picture ever? Maybe… a broken salt grinder

I thought I would get in on “Mend it Monday” with a swift mend of my own, albeit on something the Snail has had for nearly as long as salt has been in existence. I did actually do the mend yesterday (Monday) but was so exhausted afterwards that I needed a lie down with a glass (or three) of wine to recover.

The Snail bought this salt grinder about 30 years ago and it cost £12 which was a lot for such an item (£12 in today’s money is about £560.72 I think).

Time and salt have slowly eroded the screws securing the plastic doobrie* which presumably holds the grinder mechanism to account. Indeed, there is the end of one of the screws still embedded in the wood – fortunately, this didn’t pose a problem.

Downscaled RIMG0139

Two shiny new screws to the rescue

Two new, bigger self-tap screws later et voila! We’re back in business, provided that business is grinding salt.

RIMG0141 - Copy

As good as almost new

Happy Mend it Monday on a Tuesday everyone!


* Technical term.

Categories: repair, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

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