An often asked question is whether it is not perhaps faster to sell or find used parts through the classifieds in printed media. My own choice was and to a certain degree still is to look in local printed media but the problem is – as I found out to my dismay that purchasing something now may end up in the same paper a week later at a few bucks less. One of the intentions of this website was to make it easier for anyone to come straight to this site and do a search in the classifieds – even possibly in the auction section.  As we have by no means sufficient readers at this stage to even think about being a one stop shop we do hope in time that this will happen. And with a bit of luck have enough hits to get viable sponsorship. I’m not going to advocate that we start crawling websites and make duplication postings – we need to sit it out and do more marketing.

A raeder recently asked us about shipping and the safety and security aspect. This is always going to be a problem – ensure that you have enough information on a would be buyer or seller before making a commitment. This applies to your own personal safety as well. There are a lot of scam artists out there wanting to make a quick buck – make sure you have the money first before passing over or shipping the goods. Likewise when buying the goods know that is is what you are looking for and the seller is legit. Our website cannot be held responsible for a sale going wrong as we are essentially only middle-men and not charging for the service. If in time we do start buying and selling used parts then the story would be different but at this stage the risk is yours. Please always remember that when making a sale to someone coming to your premises that you take your personal safety into account. This just as equally applies to you if you are buying.  Make sure a purchase or sale is done in the public eye and with witnesses. Ensure you have paperwork and identification of buyer or seller. The law makes no exception to anyone buying or selling off stolen property.



I recently lied. Yes, I lied about when I was going to buy version ten of Alpha Five. I actually purchased version nine when I said I was going to get ten.



Having searched high and low for an obscure part for my Suzuki I decided to post a site where the used parts community could get together and discuss issues, get parts possibly through an affiliate but most importantly – use our services to find the part you were looking for.



This article is open to debate so please give us your comments. What would you say is the main difference in your (our trusted reader) experiences between Thermionic Tubes, Bipolars and Mosfets in amplifier sound.

Power Corrupts


I just had to write this article. For starters in South Africa we never had a power problem until about two, three years ago.



Having served in the merchant navy many years back I’m comfortably biased to this industry although I’m currently working in ‘IT’. I welcome any articles from seafarers covering the experiences they had with their on board equipment.



I would prefer this to be in line with electro-mechanical technology though. If stating the name of the ship please give details regarding the classification, engine type, call-sign, etc. Although I worked as a radio officer until Inmarsat changed the ways of communication I still had a passion for the electronics on board merchant ships. I’m currently also working on a website dedicated to the armed forces and merchant navy – strictly for looking up old crew and friends, so would like to keep the technical stuff here.

In a recent edition of Popular Mechanics the writer describes the flaws in CAD when designing for certain industries. I wonder how much planning and design goes into building a ship nowadays without CAD and this applies to every piece of equipment on a modern ship. A colleague of mine found out to his dismay that his Mercedes engine had to come out to get to the faulty starter motor. Marine equipment was always easily accessible for servicing but the schematics were sometimes weird to say the least.  I had an interesting issue with a receiver where the callibration was out – the manual was Japanese English and I ended up doing more harm than good. Fortunately the ship also had an American receiver as  the emergency receiver and the unit was exactly the same as the Japanese. Needless to say the manual was easily understood and I managed to sort the problem out. The question remains – the Japanese receiver was a copycat, so why not keep the manuals the same? Electricians used to complain bitterly about the French and Italian service manuals – it was almost as if they were written on different planets. Get used to the Italian way of doing things one year and the next year you end up on a French ship. I’m not knocking them, their equipment was excellent but one would think that a component, like a zener diode, should have an international symbol. Actually in this case it was switch-gear. Boggles the brain now to think about it but really, things are the same in the computer industry, consumer products, industrial electronics. I was told by a ‘lecky once that ‘they weren’t called cable ties – they’re called runlocks’. In my day I wish an electronics guru had a hand in the schematics and not the electrical guru because believe me, electronic schematics are easier for me to read than electrical schematics. If I am out of line here I’d love to know about it.

I note a very big trend nowadays is for the manufacturer only to supply a block diagram of his equipment. In it you will find all the relevant voltages, what current each module draws and with a bit of luck the voltages on strategic components. I deal with technical staff on a day to day basis and that’s how they think as well. While I would have been pondering about a problem years ago the modern technician would have been on his sixth job.  A lot of the engineers I have dealt with have been very methodical and capable people and rely on that schematic. That was then. I had the good fortunate to spend time in Asia with a computer motherboard design engineer. If you don’t have the fundamentals you will not be able to move from point A to B because everything is linked to an integrated circuit.  Hence the block schematic evryone relies on these days. Are things easier to fix nowadays compared to twenty-thirty years ago? I doubt it.

I welcome any articles written by sea going engineers, either currently employed or retired.The world is an interesting place but not as interesting as the equipment one would find on a ship. Having said this, I know nothing about aircraft but do know two people that are ex airforce electronic engineers. You are also more than welcome to drop us a line.

You can contact me directly at the webmaster address.

Thank you 



The service department or Parts-Ring feel that it’s about time that motor vehicle manufacturers finally start to put indicators on the vehicles sold off in South Africa. We always thought that a trafficator on a motor vehicle was a regulation but possibly this only applies overseas.



Many years ago it was my thought to have in place a network of the following artisans to provide a service in the small town (50 000 inhabitants) that I lived.  Home and Garden – builders, interior decoration, painters etc.  Plumbers.  Electricians. Refrigeration and as an added service through the electrical service, electronic repair services. This never materialised […]



This article is not about which power supplies to use in your PC or system, neither which one is good or bad but more about the design of power supplies, possibly the most misunderstood part of a very complex device – your home computer. 



Finding the correct used car part (or motor-cycle part) can prove to be a nightmare if not adequately prepared.

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