Dad’s Custom Stereo

My Dad, Dave Johnson was an audiophile in a time before the word came into widespread use. An avid fan of modern Jazz in his youth, he came of age in the 1950s. While 33 1/3 RPM records were well established as the contemporary standard, stereo had not yet come to market. I’m not sure what year it was when he built his audiophile stereo system but it was around the time that stereo records were just starting to become available starting in 1958. It was made up of a pair of Heathkit Preamplifiers, a pair of 20/25 Watt Heathkit Power Amplifiers, a Music Master Idler Drive Turntable and a pair of 2 way speaker cabinets he built from scratch. Here are some pictures of the amps and turntable…

The Power Amplifier…
Heathkit W5M

The Preamplifier…
Heathkit WAP Preamplifier

The Turntable…
Music Master Idler Drive Turntable

No photos of the long gone speaker cabs though.

I have many fond memories of listening to that system as a child

Hey everyone! Here’s another one of my favorite Electrical Engineering YouTube Channels

As is common with the Internet, a while back, I stumbled upon the YouTube channel of “Photon” when reading some postings of another YouTube favorite, Photon is a consummate master of High Voltage and “Releasing the Magic Smoke”. But wait there’s more! Photon’s deadpan (British Dry Humor) delivery is absolutely hilarious. Quite educational (and safe when viewed online). Fun for all…

Electromechanical Timer Teardown

This basic electromechanical timer was installed in a low voltage landscape lighting transformer.  It lasted a couple months short of 10 years.  I opened it up to see and show how it was designed and why it failed.  The clock motor was still working.  The contacts got eroded enough over the years that they were no longer closing.

A good example of simple and low cost electromechanical product design.

Another Entertaining Blog for Engineers

I was watching the latest “Mailbag” episode on Dave (That Crazy Australian Bloke) Jones’ EEVBlog wherein he mentions another Video Blog (VLOG?) “”. Todd sent in a Chinese market Fluke meter for Dave to “analyze”. Buyer beware, the meter doesn’t stand up so well to Dave’s first impression. He hinted at fun future plans for it though, I think the magic smoke may be released soon!

By all means check out “”. as well…


While Todd may not be quite as “Energetic” as Dave, if you like nuts & bolts it’s definitely one for your favorites.