During the mid 1990’s work was a bit slow and to try and generate a bit more service work, contact was made with our local aerial installation company. We were already passing work to them and they agreed to take in repairs for us. These were usually dropped off to us in the evenings.
So I arrive at work one morning to find a radio cassette player had been left for repair, the job ticket said “dead” I picked up the unit, put it on the bench and gave it the once over. Everything seemed OK apart from the normal figure 8 mains connector. This had been removed and someone had fitted a fixed mains lead with the cable coming out through the hole where the original connector had been.
I picked up the cable and plugged it into the mains and switched it on. There was an almighty bang! A bright blue flash appeared through the vents followed by a cloud of smoke! When I picked myself up off the floor I unplugged the cable, swearing and thinking what the hell just happened! If it wasn’t dead before it certainly was now!
I removed the back cover to see the extent of the damage and to try and figure out what had happened. On inspection of the charred remains, this new mains lead was not a mains lead at all! It had been connected to what was left of the bridge rectifier on the DC side! After speaking to the customer I was told that this radio cassette player is used in a caravan and the customer had installed standard UK mains sockets to the caravan, all connected to a car battery and modified the radio cassette to work in this way. There was no mention of any this on the job ticket. Needless to say this item was a write off.