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La Verne Power Equipment
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Congratulations to Leo Villaneva the winner of our KTFR27 raffle!
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Mark Your Calendar for the Biggest Sale of the Year on Lawn & Garden Equipment Saturday, April 20, 2013. The Entire Stole Will Be On Sale. Tell Your Friends!
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Product demo with the Pacific Stihl Group in Germany
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Check Out How One Man Is Changing Lives By Plating Gardens In South Central Los Angeles http://ow.ly/iu8b1

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20% OFF ALL Shindaiwa Products For One Week Only! Starts Monday February 25, 2013! (in-store only)
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Get Ready For Spring With 10% Off Kawasaki Trimmers & Blowers!
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Alas, the life of a maker

My hotplate dies while preparing dinner.  It's one of those really cheap sorts, so I figure, how hard can it be to fix?  After all, it's just a switch, rheostat and heating element.

So I open it up and get out the handy multimeter to troubleshoot.  Multimeter  has a dead battery.  Walk to the corner store, grab a new 9v, and I'm off and running again.

Test the resistance of the switch.  Infinite.  Short the leads of the multimeter together, infinite resistance.  So the test leads have an open.  No problem: solder together some new leads.  Now they read zero resistance when shorted.  Off and running again.

Check the rheostate -- no problems.  It drives a simple SCR circuit to regulate the current and that seems all happy.  The switch on the other hand, is a mess.  Fine.  I have switches in my parts bin.  Grab one that fits the best, use a tapered reamer to enlarge the hole to fit it, and solder it in.

The switch is now good, the rheostat is good, so that just leaves the heating element.  When the hotplate is on, no current flows from the SCR output.  Bad coil.  So I take the coil out of the plate-like housing and find that it's just a bunch of nichrome wire wrapped around a mica board.  And (of course) there are some opens in the wire.

You can't really solder nichrome wire back together, so I just wrap the bad parts around some good parts, hoping that I'm making good contact.  All is well and good for a few moments, until the nichrome wire burns a few new opens into the points where I wrapped it.

Two hours later, I'm out one cheap hotplate, and I'm not even hungry anymore.  Oh well.  Sometimes you lose some.  Dinner now consists of a cold beer.

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Get A $50 Coupon On All Honda Generators. Valid through February 28th

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Check out our new line of Gasless Power Products. No Oil. No Tax. Free Shipping.
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Congratulations to +Susan Kegerreis of Leroy Michigan! You won a brand new battery powered lawn mower!

We'd like to thank everyone who enrolled. And if you didn't win this month there will be a chance to win another great prize next month.

Stay tuned!
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