This week's haul from the alley:
- A Dirt Devil vacuum cleaner. The owner had apparently not read the manual and never cleaned a filter that has to be cleaned on that bagless model. Cleaned it, knocked a wad of dog hair out of a tube, and hosed parts of it down with Lysol overnight. Works like new now. Will probably donate to a thirft store.
- A high-end toaster. Would not turn on when the lever was depressed. Resoldered a few connections that did not look perfect then tested various things - if an electric switch was making continuity, if a magnetic coil was burned out or not, etc. My 10 year old son did some of the work and now knows how to use a volt meter for continuity checks. Concluded that everything should work, so the switch must not have been making good contract. Filed down the slot where the lever goes, so it could go down just a hair more, and it works fine now. Will either donate to a thrift store, or may keep it and give away our old one. Feel kind of silly - I checked a capacitor off-board for its value and for ESR, checked some resistors, the diodes, etc., then it turned out to be a purely mechanical issue--which it is in about 25 - 50% of cases with electronic things gone bad.