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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I recently moved to where my grandfather had lived before he passed some years back, and I'm currently cleaning out what was his old workshop to now become my workshop. A former tenant and thief stole and sold off most of the good stuff a couple of years ago when I wasn't around, but there are still various antique electronics and tools packed away on shelves. Most of this stuff hasn't been touched in the 30 years since my grandparents moved here, and I'm sure it all belonged to my grandfather for much longer than that since he had already retired from his career as an electrician by that point.

Anyway, I came across this thing (pictured) I haven't got the slightest clue what it is. Any ideas ? It's fairly large, maybe 2 1/2 feet wide or so.

Close up of the plate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
DC Power supply?
Here is a manual for sale for what I think you have Vtg Opad-Green Company Catalog~Selenium Rectifiers~Radio/Industrial | eBay
picture below in link looks like drawing of what you got.
Ah, yeah good call. I still don't know exactly what it's actually used for but that does look like it. Eh, maybe I should buy the manual. I wouldn't be surprised at all if it still worked. A lot of this stuff does. They just don't make 'em like they used to.

Flux Capacitor?
I wouldn't be surprised to find one of those either. There's some crazy stuff.
 

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It is just a power supply from what I can tell. The manual description makes it appear to supply power to laboratory equipment or radios. So its purpose is probably just to supply the appropriate amount of power to the device it is hooked up too. I assume now adays all that stuff is built in. For example on a laptop you have that block on the cord which is a power supply. On a desktop the power supply is on the inside of the case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
It is just a power supply from what I can tell. The manual description makes it appear to supply power to laboratory equipment or radios. So its purpose is probably just to supply the appropriate amount of power to the device it is hooked up too. I assume now adays all that stuff is built in. For example on a laptop you have that block on the cord which is a power supply. On a desktop the power supply is on the inside of the case.
hmm, that makes sense.

I am thinking this forum might be able to help you and also determine worth if you wanted to know that.
UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Discussion Forum
Thanks, I'll bet that link comes in handy with more than one thing I find in here. Determining value, if any, would be useful on this stuff in general. I have things of sentimental value of my grandfather's, but all these crazy old tools, doodads, whachamicallits, etc. aren't those things. It's neat old stuff, but I have no concept whether to throw it away or if someone out there would actually want these things.
 

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Yep, DC power supply good call USMC. I'd try to turn it into a coffee table or something for the man cave being that it was your grandfathers. Pretty cool.
 

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If you have some disposable income maybe ricks restoration from american restoration tv show? Could be a pretty cool display piece.
 

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You should display it just so you can say "rectifier! I hardly knew 'er."
 

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doesn't a "rectifier" turn AC current into DC? You could plug it into the wall and run DC devices.
Yes, that's what they do.

I'd hazard that it had a secondary use that an electrician would be perfectly aware of: automotive battery charger.
Something that might not have been available like they are now.

In any event, if its functional and the adjustment ranges are right, it might be amusing to use it as a power supply for an iPod or some other small scale modern device.
Sort of a Rube Goldburg affair like Amy on Futurama with her thumbnail sized cel phone that sits in a charger the size of a microwave oven.

Heck, youcould run mancave lights off it if really desperate to put it to use.
Incandecant bulbs don't take much to get light from.
 

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these are used for powering hams, cb radio bases, and some use these for powering trains (model trains)

my buddies dad used one for his cab service in nyc for a few years til he realized the were smaller by then

these were the old version of our phone chargers

sources.... i do clean outs and have sold one for 340 on ebay

if this is what the theif left, id like to see what he stole
 

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Yes, that's what they do.

I'd hazard that it had a secondary use that an electrician would be perfectly aware of: automotive battery charger.
Something that might not have been available like they are now.

In any event, if its functional and the adjustment ranges are right, it might be amusing to use it as a power supply for an iPod or some other small scale modern device.
Sort of a Rube Goldburg affair like Amy on Futurama with her thumbnail sized cel phone that sits in a charger the size of a microwave oven.

Heck, youcould run mancave lights off it if really desperate to put it to use.
Incandecant bulbs don't take much to get light from.
YOUR HALF RIGHT.... THERE IS SOMETHING IN USA AND WORLD OVER CALLED STEAM PUNK

it is taking items like this and adding modern parts to it and still keep it functioning

so if you used this power supply to power a digital camera setup it would be considered akin to steampunk

Datamancer.net - Technical Art and Steampunk Contraptions

the guys site i linked also makes a 10 and 20 round detachable magazine for mosins to turn victorian rifles into a more modern firearms!
 

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I wouldn't use it on any of today's electronics that generally require a "clean" source of DC voltage and current limitations. Lights should be fine. Be careful with using as a battery charger as some of the modern batteries require specific charging patterns. I wouldn't keep it hooked up to a running car as you could fry some electronics with it. Simple rectifiers do convert Alternating Current to Direct Current, but the output is very likely to be more of a "pulse" than steady flow. Still very cool though.
 

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I wouldn't use it on any of today's electronics that generally require a "clean" source of DC voltage and current limitations. Lights should be fine. Be careful with using as a battery charger as some of the modern batteries require specific charging patterns. I wouldn't keep it hooked up to a running car as you could fry some electronics with it. Simple rectifiers do convert Alternating Current to Direct Current, but the output is very likely to be more of a "pulse" than steady flow. Still very cool though.
if its a pulsing current you should reanimate a frog man.... play dr Frankenstein in your man cave!

my science teacher did it in intermediate school with 2x 9 volts
 

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I wouldn't use it on any of today's electronics that generally require a "clean" source of DC voltage and current limitations. Lights should be fine. Be careful with using as a battery charger as some of the modern batteries require specific charging patterns. I wouldn't keep it hooked up to a running car as you could fry some electronics with it. Simple rectifiers do convert Alternating Current to Direct Current, but the output is very likely to be more of a "pulse" than steady flow. Still very cool though.
This, it's probably HWDC, not full DC.
 
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