Sam Gentle.com

Sunday womblin'

Every now and again while I'm out for a walk, I stumble across some discarded hardware that deserves a second chance at life. By which I mean deserves to be dissected into component parts to someday be recombined into a Frankensteinian horror with no regard for their original purpose. Well, nobody said mad science was glamorous.

On the slab today, this lovely 18V "Rowenta" battery-powered vacuum cleaner: Vacuum cleaner in 2 pieces

I like battery-powered vacuums because they contain two very useful components: batteries and DC motors. Also, often they actually work just fine and the owner threw them out because they don't realise you have to empty them and clean the filters sometimes.

Anyway, this one came in two separate but equally important parts: the main body with the motor and fancy bagless chamber, and the holdy stalk thing with the battery and brains. The main body was surprisingly difficult to get apart. Initially I thought this was Big Vacuum using adhesives and proprietary fasteners as a boot pressed against the throat of the downtrodden genius home repairer. Turned out I missed some screws. The body may have sustained some minor damage during this process. Smashed up case + body innards

The motor looks like a fairly standard brushed motor, but I couldn't Google™ anything useful from the serial numbers. It was attached to a chunky 15 watt/1 ohm power resistor, presumably as a super inefficient way of doing speed control. The impeller assembly was actually pretty nice, though, the whole thing came apart pretty easily and connected to the motor with a threaded shaft and a little locking nut, making it a pretty decent candidate for repurposing. Motor

The holdy stalk yielded a couple of pretty basic circuit boards with nothing much interesting on them, except for some pretty blue 100-120 ohm resistors. There was another board that had a 3-position switch with a moderately satisfying switching action and a fairly bright blue LED, which I immediately blew up by accident. Circuit board

The real find was the 2000mAh 20-cell NiMH battery pack. Or, at least, I thought it was 20-cell, until I discovered 5 of the cells are fake! I mean, each cell is 1.2 volts, so 15 is the right number, but I never imagined that they'd just reuse a 20-cell housing and fill it with lies. I guess deep down I was hoping they'd accidentally given me 5 extra batteries. Battery pack

So that's the haul. One battery-powered vacuum cleaner equals a motor, battery pack, power resistor and a few odds and ends. All of the electronics from the vacuum cleaner