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What do you do with broken stuff?

 

I get most consoles repaired these days, but I have a few controllers I really like (a six button w/turbo genesis controller, multiple 2600 controller, and a translucent green N64 controller) that I just can't figure out what to do with. I also have an extra Apple G3 laptop that I should sell for parts or repair. As I see it we have a few options with any given item.

 

-Hoard until parts become available and you can fix item

 

-Fix item

 

-Sell for parts

 

-Toss

 

I'm torn. I hate throwing away something thinking it could be fixed, but also don't like having broken crap taking up space in my collection. What do you do for various items?

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If I can't fix it I sell it for parts or to someone who CAN fix it. If I can't sell it for parts I give it away to someone who will pay for postage.

I'd rather give it away than see it go in the trash.

Edited by Atarian7
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Really depends on what it is. If it's something I really care about, I keep it until both parts are available and/or my skill level is good enough. I have gotten better at both diagnosing things over the years and fixing them, and I've gotten better equipment too. That said, I still have a lot to learn. But a lot of old electronics (especially in the analog realm) can also be partially fixed and made usable even if they're not perfect, and I've been able to do that with a few pieces of audio equipment recently that I initially thought were beyond hope.

 

I don't think I've had any completely dead video game equipment, or even anything with physically broken switches or anything like that. Closest thing might be one of my two Intellivoices, but I have two so I just haven't bothered fixing the other one. They're like $10 on Ebay anyway.

 

Oh, my original Dreamcast died. I just got another working bare unit, also for $10. I guess that's another criteria; if it's something dirt common and both easily and cheaply replaceable, then I'll replace it rather than attempt a repair.

 

My original Game Boy right now has the screen line problem; I will fix that when I feel like doing it. That repair is certainly within my abilities.

 

Your G3 laptop, I would totally keep until I could figure out what was wrong with it and how to fix it. I'm more of a ThinkPad guy myself, but I bought a cheap $20 ThinkPad that initially had lots of problems, but the parts were all there so I thought it was worth fixing it up. Now it's perfect. Just needed a new battery (not easy to find), new RAM, "new" hard drive that I salvaged from another old laptop, and a complete virus sweep and defrag. Previous owner had thousands of viruses on it, and apparently never did any maintenance whatsoever. After doing all that, it's better than new (it's not only fixed, but upgraded too).

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Like above, depends what it is, how long I've had it - chances of it being used later for parts, etc. If it can't be fixed or not cost effective to repair, usually find someone to give it to or simply chuck in the garbage. This bad boy is sitting in my trash right now as a matter of fact. :rolling:

 

 

post-13896-0-98835600-1483735061_thumb.jpg

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Like above, depends what it is, how long I've had it - chances of it being used later for parts, etc. If it can't be fixed or not cost effective to repair, usually find someone to give it to or simply chuck in the garbage. This bad boy is sitting in my trash right now as a matter of fact. :rolling:

 

 

attachicon.gifvr.jpg

 

What is that?

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I'm pretty inconsistent on this.

 

I had two inoperable NES Advantages that I tossed. I had one that I had previously repaired that quit working. I went to a local game shop and asked them if they had any broken ones that they were going to toss that I could maybe scavenge parts from. Surprisingly they gave me one. For free! Anyway, after a few weeks of trying... cleaning things, swapping parts and such, I finally had two NES Advantages that didn't work. I went to the same shop and just bought a working one and tossed the other two. I kinda regret that now. They are nice controllers and maybe someone with more electronics repair knowledge than me could have revived one of them, but what's done is done.

 

A while back, I had lightning strike my apartment and fry my purple Gamecube. I took it to work and took it apart and saw that it was fried. I tossed it. I guess it could have had some salvageable parts in it like the laser assembly or something...

 

I had a PS2 controller that wouldn't respond when you pressed left on the D-pad. I finally tossed it after accidentally grabbing that one out of the drawer one too many times. Again, this could have probably been repaired, but it seemed like PS2 controllers were a dime a dozen, so...

 

I tossed my original Playstation after I got my PS2 because it had started having that issue where you can only get it to read discs if you turned it upside down.

 

However, I still have an NES front loader from years back that I couldn't get to work after a cat pissed on it. (I cleaned it as well as I could, but still no dice.) I also still have a Genesis cartridge (Shining in the Darkness) that I've never been able to get to boot up. I've kept an NES RF switch that has some interference issues or something... never gives a clear picture.

 

That's the only real hardware I think I've had that's failed. Looking at it now... seems that I lean toward the "toss" side. Sorry guys. I'll try to do better. :D

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I pass things along to Goodwill to sell as "untested", presumably for someone to consequently resell on eBay as "working when last used".

 

Seriously, in the past year alone I have donated a non-working ColecoVision console (that appears to have been through a flood) and a digital TV decoder that was completely bricked (from overheating?). I have also donated a portable DVD player that never worked properly for unknown reasons.

 

I do not have the skills (or equipment) to fix this stuff myself, nor do I have the space to store non-working electronics. I do not know anybody locally who is interested, and selling something online is more hassle than my time is worth. The Goodwill donation depot is much closer to my apartment than than the e-waste disposal site, and at least the store gets some revenue from selling it. Note that there are no returns on electronics; everything is sold "as is".

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I have a small sledge hammer. If stuff stops working, or gets finicky - it gets the hammer! Sledge hammer...

 

I had a Saturn recently where the gamepad ports were all glitchy (had to put constant pressure on the connector to get them to work) - smashed!

Edited by malducci
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Hi guys,

 

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Anthony...

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Depends on the item and how far gone it is.

 

If it's just shot, if some part of it can be used for future salvage I keep it. I've got a few bags full of spare buttons, triggers, plastic bumpers, buttons, rubber pads, etc from all sorts of Nintendo controllers and some Gameboys too. Even a stock of a few OEM GB Micro batteries

 

If the item can be repaired, I then look into it and see if I can do it, or if the value is there enough for me to find someone at the right price to do the job. I've picked up busted LCD games before and after learning how to solder fairly decently in the last couple years I'd just clean the spot and re-attach any detached wires (which I did with a Konami Gradius LCD handheld I had for a time.) I also had bought a bad Grind Stormer on ebay over a year ago for $15, then bought the supplies needed and a $5 Menacer cart and did a ROM chip transplant to the Sega board and made a working game for $25 vs the $60 going rate. I've also had a Game Gear with bad caps which was over my head but only got it for $30 with a stack of stuff, so I had a friend for $20 (which included return shipping) and the caps I bought along with an LED light replacement kit upgrade the thing for me which was well worth the time+money.

 

And then there's just the spare oddities like extra CD clamshells in case you get a cracked one in the mail for like a Dreamcast game.

 

Beyond that if it can't be used as some odd trophy (like a ROB) which I'd rarely bother with it's going to be sold for parts or trashed.

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I just give it to AtariBrian and he can use it for parts LOL...

 

 

OK Maybe that was just once...I assembled a bunch of broken controllers and took a pic...I'd been on chat (See, it was a while ago) talking to AtariBrian and I asked him if he wanted some controllers for parts,...He told me which ones he wanted, and I sent them to him. He PayPal-ed me the shipping amount.

 

Other than that one time I suppose I have the same dilemma...I have a huge box of stuff I consider untested and some of it is downright broken...I should sell off what I can and do some testing and chuck what is broke beyond repair...

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I've got a couple broken 2600s and Colecovisions each that I will give to someone who can fix them, or use them for parts. Have to make it easy for me to get to them though.

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When stuff of mine breaks my usual course of action is to first try fixing it myself. A lot things I can fix, but every now and then some things I can't. If it's not within my ability to fix, or it's not something I care enough about to try fixing, at that point I offer it for free to my local game store High Score Video Games to see if they'd have any interest in fixing it up and selling it. Most of the time they'll take whatever it is off my hands, but if they're not interested then it just goes in the trash.

Edited by Jin

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I try to fix what I can, but my soldering skills (and equipment) leave a lot to be desired.

 

If I can't fix it, I attempt to sell or give away what I can. Kinda hate when I feel like I'm giving away good things and somehow still get an ordeal just giving It away.

 

If those just absolutely fail... I tend to just hoard the broken/unwanted item for ages. Eventually it's just going to get tossed though. I really hate throwing things away like that, but at some point, many items just have no value to anybody.

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Since I last posted, I've added...

 

A 4 switch 2600. It may just need a new rf cable, but I've been too lazy to open it back up and try a different one.

 

A PS2 that someone found in the trash and gave to me. Seems to boot up fine, but disc tray doesn't open on its own.

 

Another PS2 that a guy in a game store gave me for parts to fix the above PS2. This one seems to work perfectly, just makes a bit of a grinding sound when the disc tray opens and is in less than stellar external appearance. (Sounds like me.)

 

A PS3 that has the "red light of death" or whatever. Won't power up for more than a second and then beeps at you. From what I've read, it's a brick. But can be used for parts if necessary... disc drive, hard drive...

 

A PS3 that works fine except for the disc drive. I got this one thinking I could switch over the drive from the one above, but then read about how it isn't a simple switchover and won't work if they are different models... which they are... I'm currently using this one and playing downloaded only games. Really need to get a fully working one... used games on physical media are a lot cheaper than downloaded games. (And look nicer filling a shelf.)

 

A front loader NES that has some wavy line issues. People seem to say it's probably a couple of capacitors in the power supply somewhere (iirc) but I'm still debating on whether I want to mess with fixing it.

 

I've had a DS lite with a broken hinge for a long time, but I'm planning on buying a new case to put it in. Still haven't pulled the trigger on that, yet.

 

A Game Gear with bad caps that a friend of mine is currently replacing since I have neither the skills nor equipment. (Need to learn to do it myself.)

 

A Sega Master System that I received in non-working condition, but works great after a coworker replaced the voltage regulator for me.

 

Numerous controllers that are busted, but keeping for parts or possibly a big "broken controllers for parts" ebay posting... we'll see.

 

I recently brought a couple SNES controllers back to life. They still show scars of a rough life, but hopefully the super glue will hold. =)

 

The SNES I got those controllers with works fine now after cleaning the cartridge connector. Was a black screen piece of nothing before that.

 

And that's about it.

Edited by Eltigro
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I am fortunate that I spent most of my working life in the electronic/electrical field. So I fix 99% of my consoles ,computers etc myself. The biggest problem for me is when to draw the line, is it worth all the time effort or cost or should it be used as spare parts. The majority of older devices have the usual problems such as dry caps, corrosion, broken traces etc and with a little practice and patience can be repaired quite easily.

I will still buy non working devices but not as much as I used to as I have most of the consoles/computers and games that I want in my collection but it is nice to have a good selection of spares just in case.

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Since this thread started, I've picked up a Bandai Intellivision that had a weird character problem (see this thread) and I have been THICK in the weeds trying to fix it. I've gone further with this than anything else ever, but I'm not going to give up. I bought a donor Intellivision to try to just replace whatever chip was faulty, but in the process discovered that at least one of the sockets is totally rusted and nothing's going in or out of it. So I replaced that. Then while I was at it I straightened out another socket that hadn't been soldered to the board properly to begin with. But then I discovered that I'd destroyed the ribbon cable, so now I'm making a new one.

 

Combine everything with the PITA of even just removing the motherboard shield to start with, and this is a major repair. Hopefully once I get that ribbon cable done, I can get back to replacing chips and getting it working again - that was all I originally was hoping I'd need to do!

 

You might wonder why I don't just swap motherboard assemblies, but the Japanese motherboard is different from the US one in a couple noticeable ways (the biggest being the channel selection). And I want to keep it a Bandai Intellivision.

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A PS2 that someone found in the trash and gave to me. Seems to boot up fine, but disc tray doesn't open on its own.

 

Another PS2 that a guy in a game store gave me for parts to fix the above PS2. This one seems to work perfectly, just makes a bit of a grinding sound when the disc tray opens and is in less than stellar external appearance. (Sounds like me.)

 

A PS3 that has the "red light of death" or whatever. Won't power up for more than a second and then beeps at you. From what I've read, it's a brick. But can be used for parts if necessary... disc drive, hard drive...

 

A PS3 that works fine except for the disc drive. I got this one thinking I could switch over the drive from the one above, but then read about how it isn't a simple switchover and won't work if they are different models... which they are... I'm currently using this one and playing downloaded only games. Really need to get a fully working one... used games on physical media are a lot cheaper than downloaded games. (And look nicer filling a shelf.)

 

 

 

I, too have an additional PS3 someone gave me that needs a new Motherboard according to it's red ring of death or something...

 

Anyway, I once bought an extra PS2 at a Pawn shop and it sounded just like yours...It made a grinding sound when opening the disc tray, but it worked...So I looked at it carefully and could see it was grinding, on the bottom part as I recall...So I just lightly sanded down the bottom part and it's worked fine ever since :)

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I'll usually strip the broken/dead item of useful parts and take an Ak-74 to the rest. Broken controllers are excellent for this. ;)

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I actually love repairing (mostly older) consoles as a hobby. I'm the guy who runs around to all the game shops in town asking for broken stuff, but I'm only lucky about 10% of the time. I would say I have a 85-90% success rate with repair and diagnosis of consoles and controllers. Sometimes I'll figure out what's wrong, but the solution isn't cost effective like a NES PPU CPU or other proprietary parts.

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I open it up and give it a shot at "fixing" it by re-seating chips, checking connections, etc. If I can't....I once got an item repaired...and twice just held onto it (an Atari 400 and an Odyssey II...both have power lights that come on, but just show a plain blank screen)...it's a matter of "maybe one day I might find what's wrong with it".

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What do you do with broken stuff?

 

I get most consoles repaired these days, but I have a few controllers I really like (a six button w/turbo genesis controller, multiple 2600 controller, and a translucent green N64 controller) that I just can't figure out what to do with. I also have an extra Apple G3 laptop that I should sell for parts or repair. As I see it we have a few options with any given item.

 

-Hoard until parts become available and you can fix item

 

-Fix item

 

-Sell for parts

 

-Toss

 

I'm torn. I hate throwing away something thinking it could be fixed, but also don't like having broken crap taking up space in my collection. What do you do for various items?

Old post, but is your clamshell G3 still available? Ive been wanting to work on one of those as a project. :)

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I open it up and give it a shot at "fixing" it by re-seating chips, checking connections, etc. If I can't....I once got an item repaired...and twice just held onto it (an Atari 400 and an Odyssey II...both have power lights that come on, but just show a plain blank screen)...it's a matter of "maybe one day I might find what's wrong with it".

 

Absolutely this- I've saved a few systems & controllers just by opening things up & cleaning them. At worst, you can try and figure out what specifically is broken to know if it's worth your time to repair the unit.

 

Failing that, I'd likely offer it up here. In years past I gave given machines to favored retro shops in the hopes that they can use it for parts.

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