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Thrift Finds: Aug 2020

11 Sep 2020


So I’ve been looking for ideas on what to add to the blog other than my usual ExaStar journals and tech misadventures, and I’ve decided on starting a monthly blog entry series titled “Thrift Finds”.

Essentially, this series will be a documentation of all my findings from my frequent secondhand shop visits. That includes thrift stores, used book stores, garage sales… Basically anywhere I can buy used things in-person (so online storefronts like eBay are out of the question).

With that out of the way, here’s what I’ve gotten this month:


Tech

The first score of the month was a JVC L-A100 turntable, which was broken when I got it (luckily, it turned out to be a worn belt, and a replacement is on the way). I didn’t actually own a turntable before this (neither did anyone else in the house), and since turntables are quite hard to find where I’m from, I decided to pick it up. This ended up being the first component of the Hi-Fi system I put together from parts I mention later in the post.

A week or so later, I came across a Kodak pocket Instamatic 30, complete in box, with an unused magicube flash. For those who don’t know, I really like collecting vintage cameras whenever I get the chance, so this was a nice addition to my mostly-Polaroid collection. The camera seems to be in an unknown state (as in, I still have no clue if it works or not, since I don’t own any film), but I did see a slightly-worrying amount of corrosion around back. I can only hope there’s no battery in there, and that the corroded area can be salvaged.

When hanging out with the GF, we went a Goodwill I hadn’t visited since the pandemic happened, expecting to find lots of stuff I missed out on, but… that wasn’t really the case. There were a lot of interesting items there, but most were things I didn’t really need. For example, there were 4(!!) typewriters there, but 3 of them were electric typewriters with disappointing key mechanisms (one of which was an extremely similar model to one I already have). There was, however, a mechanical typewriter that was much older than the two that I have- in mint condition- and I’m still miffed I didn’t pick it up. Oh well.

At that store, I ended up getting a Logitech WingMan Extreme, partly because I didn’t own a flightstick, partly because it threatened me.

At the tail end of the month, I was given a small budget to find some parts to add to the Hi-Fi system I wanted to make. I already had a turntable by this point, so all I really needed was a CD player, tape deck, speakers, and a stereo receiver to link everything together. Out of the few CD players to pick from, I went with a JVC XL-Z444 due to the nice array of track selection buttons and warm, orange display. When I got home to test it, the disc tray wouldn’t open, which I feared beforehand as most tray-loading optical devices from thrift shops seem to end up like this. However, after some disassembly, I was able to get it working again. The only tape deck there was a Sanyo RDW44 which was dusty and sticky when I got it. Yuck. It’s in otherwise perfect working condition, though, and after some cleaning, the filth mostly went away. Lastly, I picked up a pair of KLH 2410 speakers. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find a stereo receiver during that single trip, so I had to leave everything in a useless stack until I eventually got one.

I ended up receiving a receiver (heh) from my Dad, who had also decided to build a Hi-Fi. Though he had a receiver before me, he ended up replacing it with a different receiver for some reason, and gave me his previous one. I also got a pair of huge speakers from him, so the 2410s got relegated to rear-speaker duty. Surround sound, anyone? Anyway, here’s what the finished system looks like (barring the receiver because I’m too lazy to take a more updated picture)!

Games

Surprisingly, a large amount of (actually good) Xbox and Xbox 360 titles popped up at my main Goodwill one day, most I already had, so I picked up 2 that I didn’t have already:

  • House of the Dead III (Xbox)
  • Max Payne (Xbox)

From the same store I also picked up a copy of Skyrim for the PS3, despite already owning it via Steam. Damn you, Todd.

Later in the month, I visited the bookstore with my girlfriend. A large number of OG Xbox games popped up there one day, too. From there, I picked up:

  • Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell (Xbox, only because I needed it to softmod)
  • Sneak King (Xbox, mainly as a joke, and it’s SEALED)

One last trip in the month to the main Goodwill yielded a copy of Kindom Hearts II (PS2), which I have no clue if I’ll ever play!


That concludes this month’s findings!


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