Economic Multipliers (17)

Do you know what these are?

They help CREATE wealth in systems.

Parts can be economic multipliers ... if they find their way into 'good use.'


I couldn't let go of an old TV without documenting its innards: It was a black and white twelve inch television I received for Christmas in 1978: my first TV (OPEN).

Now, in my world, I prioritize on what many people consider odd things and for several years (some during which I had no TV at home), I lent this TV to my grandfather for his bedroom. My next new TV was bought in 2009: the United States went digital. Although this black and white TV had a VCR hooked up through an antenna adapter with a cable connection (OPEN) and a DVD player hooked up through the VCR, the black and white TV wasn't going to make the transition. Not only that, I needed a computer monitor and guess what the new digital TV's can be?

Appreciate that I live in a world where I am surrounded by televisions and almost always have computer or Internet access. In comparison to the greater percentage of people in the world, know that I have lacked little.

When I was going to school (in many ways, I never really stop), a very nice neighbor once even offered to buy me a television but I didn't want to take advantage of his kindness: Because he was single, I thought he might want to date me but he was many years older than I and we lacked common interests. He moved to Florida years ago and I lost touch about 7 years after he moved but if he ever reads this, know that I valued him as a neighbor and hope he found a 'significant other' to share his life with: he deserved someone worthy.

I digress. The individuals who designed my black and white color television had a very nice sense of color (on the inside – they'd probably find it funny that I considered the color selection to be a work of art since most of the parts would have come in certain colors for parts identification during construction and maintenance).

I took lots of photos so you can see what the inside looked like (OPEN). If you look at the photos and think: look at ALL those COOL parts ... I wonder what they do and what I'd be able to do with them? ... you are a project person who most likely is interested in electronics. You NEED to be doing projects (even if you aren't now).

Before I started dismantling this TV (and then changed my mind and sent it through Best Buy's recycling program), everything still worked. I looked at it (more than once) thinking about all the parts I might want to use if I ever took the time to become an electronics genius (I have WAY too many projects but part of my brain still thinks – what if I could use one of those pieces in the future?!)

NOTE: Before you open the back of ANYTHING electronic, make SURE you know WHAT a capacitor is, what they LOOK LIKE (they don't all look the same), HOW LONG it takes for them to discharge, HOW TO CHECK if they are discharged, and HOW TO short them out. If you know all these things, it's very likely that you'll never do anything 'not so bright.'

The cover of my black and white TV had a label that said not to open it and if you did, you risked getting shocked. If you open something like a microwave oven, you'll probably find a label saying: 'YOU FOOL, put the cover back on!' ... No, they don't say that exactly but anything with a capacitor (almost ALL electronics) has the 'capacity' to discharge electricity (even when the unit is NOT plugged in). If you get enough amps (combined with a sufficient amount of volts), you won't be around to finish any projects ... or could just simply end up injured – not a good plan.

I'm reading a book right now entitled: Solar Energy Projects for the Evil Genius by Gavin Harper to see what they put in it (there's a whole Evil Genius series that I recently ran across). Of course, there's nothing evil about recognizing things like: if you want small motors for solar projects or other projects, you might find them in old Walkman's and an array of other 'unused' and 'retired' electronics – a handy little tip you'll find in the book.

On the less 'techie' side of things, the other day I hung one end of a recycled rain gutter between two old closely spaced metal sheds using a (salvaged) bike cable protector (OPEN) and some wire. I wanted a steep angle on the gutter with one end going to the ground so the leaves would flush down with any rain (concrete block at the base prevents erosion). The bike cable protector is strong, has stainless steel (non-rusting) ends and I could easily thread the wire through it. I could have just used the wire but the cable protector provides a nicer 'finished' look, curves nicely for the gutter to settle into, and provides some added protection for the wire (against abrasion since the gutter can vibrate just a bit during heavy rains).

When I want to get something done, I love having parts (and hate having them when I need to clean or organize things!). Something like a self-flushing gutter for me is an economic multiplier: the sheds didn't originally have any gutters and previously I had redirected the water. But it's fall and the leaves are starting to fall: Now, both the water AND the leaves will end up where I want them.

I'm too lazy to ultimately have it any other way.