Despite the 1970’s kitsch-ness of the electric percolator, they are very good at making coffee and the delightful coffee smell you get when brewing-up is sublime. Here’s an advert from the time.
FixItWorkshop, Worthing, May’19, Sona advert.
FixItWorkshop, Worthing, May’19, Sona coffee percolator.
Top tips for keeping your coffee percolator in good order:
Descale using a kettle descaling solution as needed
Keep the coffee strainer clear of debris
Make sure the lid always fits between the strainer and the percolator body
A colleague found this percolator while clearing out an abandoned office cupboard. I suspect that this one might have been bought as a wedding present way back and had ended up in the office when someone had decided play the role of barista at work.
It was missing its power lead and was headed for the recycle bin, when I intervened.
The power lead needed was an obsolete design used on British appliances of the era and was similar in design to the more modern and current, IEC C13 or ‘kettle lead’. However, modern kettle leads did not fit this percolator.
More drastic action was needed. Luckily, I had an old appliance I no longer needed, so I scavenged a board mounted IEC C13 socket from it and replaced the one originally fitted.
After some soldering and a bit of jiggery-pokery, this Sona Percolator now brews coffee using an up-to-date power lead.
A colleague of mine came in with a broken microphone, which is part of a Lucky Voice karaoke set and retails for about £60.00 on Amazon. The microphone had worked pretty well, but recently had lost its ‘X-Factor’ somewhat.
The microphone is fairly standard fare and connects to a standard XLR plug and socket arrangement. As this part is usually under the most stress as the singer moves about, it seemed sensible to have a look at that first. Upon connection to my amp, there was a huge amount of crackling which seemed to coincide with cable movements at the microphone end. Swapping the lead for a known good one I had proved that the microphone was fine, but the lead not so fine.
Only one screw holds the plug together and straightaway, the problem presented itself.
The main core had detached from the connector, as the outer cable sheathing has come away from the XLR connector body clamp. Not ideal.
A quick strip back and solder job and the wires were connected back where they needed to be. A little dab of hot-melt glue on the cable grip and a re-tighten and the cable was not going to move anyway.
FixItWorkshop, Oct’17, X-Factor Microphone.
FixItWorkshop, Oct’17, X-Factor Microphone, XLR.
With the plug re-assembled and the screw put back, the microphone tested perfectly on the amp, ready for karaoke once more.
Cost of a new similar lead: £10, Cost of repair: 15 minutes, dab of glue and solder. Nice.
The owner of this drill complained that it work perfectly one minute and then stopped the next. It was making DIY a very slow process.
As this was a cut-out problem rather than a slowing down issue, power problems were a likely suspect.
On test, the cable flex near the base of the handle seemed to be the issue as giving it a good wiggle seemed to reproduce the fault.
Opening up the drill (several self-tapping screws) revealed a fairly straightforward layout with cord, mechanical connector, smoothing circuit (mains splash) and switch. Having suspected the culprit to be cable flex near the handle, I cut the cable down and re-made the connection, removing the suspect part of the cable.
Despite cutting the cable flex down by about 8″, the owner was pleased with this fix since no spare parts were required and no real issues will be noticed since it will be mainly used with an extension lead.