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POWER PACK - Preservation?

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sleeplessnashadow View Drop Down
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Joined: Nov 09 2015
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    Posted: Jan 17 2022 at 8:31pm
Hi Cary.

Do you have any pics of the inside? The technology of the internals used in these appears to have not withstood the test of time. However, every once in awhile we find exceptions.

Thanks much

Jim
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote QwizardHadiract Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 16 2022 at 1:08am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote QwizardHadiract Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 16 2022 at 1:05am
Hello Jim. This is Cary R. Block. I use to Own a 100% ORIGINAL, 98%+(Plus)/99%-(Minus) "Exterior Cosmetic Condition"...99%+(Plus)/100%-(Minus) "Interior Condition", & 100% Fully-Functional, Korean War Era M3 Infrared Sniper Scope "POWER PACK"! I'll send You the Photo's I can find shortly! 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote sleeplessnashadow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 03 2017 at 10:17pm
Many owners choose not to open their power packs manufactured in the early 1950's by Oak Mfg for the Sniperscope, Infrared, Set No. 1, 20,000 volts (scope Model M3 mfg by either American Optical or Capehart-Farnsworth). This is a very logical decision given the collector value of retaining the contents of the power pack in original condition.

The problem is these power packs are over a half century old and built with the technology of the 50's. With most having been used to various degrees. Many have already been opened and had the original parts replaced with more modern technology in an effort to make them work.

Safety will be addressed in a future post (20,000 volts can kill you). The focus of this post is preserving the contents of the power packs.

So, like many of us, you buy one of these babies off Ebay or Gunbroker. Or decide to transport it somewhere. It gets packed up in the chest they came in or maybe alone and well protected with lots of padding. When it gets to where it's going you hear rattling inside that wasn't there before. So you open it up and see ....



.... or maybe this ....





I've viewed the contents of about 30-40 power packs. I have yet to see one in all original like new condition. The conditions above are very common.

Here's what the power pack should look like (sorta, Engineers drawing these improvised sometimes).



The black hard plastic base is secured to the case with 5 screws. The transformer and vibrator are attached directly to the black base. Also attached to the black base is a clear (or what was initially) not your average plastic base holding the rectifier connectors, rectifiers, plastic rectifier covers, high voltage spring and it's plastic tower. The "clear" plastic is attached to the black base using 3 screws.

What the image doesn't show are the rigid wires connecting the transformer to the rectifiers that also help secure the "clear" plastic in place.

Drop one of these power packs and the energy from the impact eventually goes thru those 3 screws securing the "clear" plastic to the black base. Then up into the plastics that cover the rectifiers and high voltage connection. Age and usage takes a toll. Notice where the breaks occurred in the pics above. Replacements ceased to exist long ago.

When I'm going to ship a power pack I open it up and remove the vibrator, rectifiers, rectifier covers and high voltage tower. I pad the inside of the power pack to minimize movement without disturbing anything and package the items removed individually and separately. I do not remove the screws or what they secure.

Sellers logically don't want to open the power pack for fear of disturbing any of the contents. It's a lot easier to just pack it up with external protection and ship it. Which is exactly what happened with the 2 power packs above.

Which brings us to the buyer who powers one of these power packs up to 20,000 volts to see if their scope works. Obviously not a wise decision given their age and voltage.

I'm going to leave a discussion on safety to someone with more experience with electronics than I have. But consider this a very important warning, DO NOT power up one of these power packs without first getting it inspected by someone who knows what they're doing and can determine if it's safe to do so.

While a few people (such as the late Sam Bases) rebuilt these there have been plenty rebuilt by Billy Bob and his cousins.

The object of this post is to get you thinking about how best to preserve the power pack's contents. Leaving them sealed up is an option. Just don't drop it or anything it's contained within. There was zero damage to the cartons the above two power packs were shipped in at different times by different sellers. They were very well packaged ... outside the power packs.

Jim
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