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Saturday, October 12, 2013

More MacGyver-ing

I have a 17 year old Ryobi leaf blower vac.  I like it because it is only 7# and has 2 handles which makes it really easy on the wrists.

The prongs for the power outlet have been 'wonky' for a while and yesterday one of the prongs finally broke off.  *fume*

I took the unit apart and pulled the outlet.  Simple thing, really.  But love nor money could find it online - it's been discontinued for over a decade and there is no compatible product.

I searched locally, hoping one of the repair shops might have something squirreled away in the back room.  Nothing.

*sigh*  There was nothing else to do but -- MacGyver the darn thing.

I found a regular exterior non-grounded plug to use.  (Previously I'd stopped at auto parts and Radio Shack looking for connectors, but no dice.)

So the only way I could keep the old working connectors was to cut them from the bad plug, then wire-nut them to the new plug and then connect the MacGyver'd plug using the old connectors. (Did we all follow that?  LOL)

It took waaaaaaaay longer than it that last paragraph might imply.  The first construction got power to the unit, but then it wouldn't turn off.  Ha!  I'd wonked up the on/off switch. 

The 2nd time took for-ev-er to reassemble.  One of the wire-nuts came off and prevented the casing from lining up.  Fixed that.  Took some time, though because there wasn't really a good place to shove 2 big wire-nuts in there.   I finally got it.  Put it nearly back together and -- found a piece of something on the floor.

Crap!  I bumper or slider, some kind of rubber tray.  Uh-oh.   I'd never seen it before!

Yikes.   Quick.  To the camera.  (Oh yeah, I'd taken lots of 'before' pics.)

It took some careful looking, but finally saw that thingy.  Yay.  Unfortunately, it was just laying on top of the motor.  Boo.  It took some figuring out, but I found an opening in the casing that would have been right over where the rubber thing was laying.  Yeah, there was an indentation.  Must've fallen out.  I sure hope so because that's were I stuffed it and then reassembled the blower -- for the 3rd? 4th? time.

Okay.  We got power. And we can switch it ON, LOW and HIGH.  I didn't see any sparks.  Yippee.

I'll get some electrical tape and snug up the cord were it comes out of the casing so nothing gets in there.

I'll bet I worked on that thing over 3 hours.  (That included running around to 4 (useless) shops.)  But in the end I've got my lightweight long-lived blower going again.

What, you ask?  Why not, after 17 years, just break down and get a NEW one?

Because, my dears, everything now is HEAVY and cheaply made and more expensive.

And, as you well know by now, I've got a bad case of repair-itis OCD.

When I finally DO opt to buy something new, you better believe I gave the old one a fighting chance.

===== next day, another idea =======

Why use electrical tape to keep the new cord in place?  Instead, I dug out the old plug from the trash, drilled through it, sliced it open, wrapped it around the new cord and snugged it into the casing.  I screwed the unit back together yet AGAIN and tested.  Yep.  All speeds A-OK.  I'm ready to rock-n-roll.

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  1. Oh yeah! This was a good one. God bless digital cameras. I have one of my 4-light fixtures from the plant light stand this is ' wonky'. I need to open it up and see if I can fix it. I fixed one but the on/off switch doesn't work so I have to unplug that unit........or I could just ship it to you!

    1. Hmmm. I better warn the post office. *heh* Fluorescent bulbs in the plant stand? Old ballast? Or old bulbs? I just hope nothing else needs fixed right now... this 'handy-ma'am' stuff is getting old (or is it ME?) LOL