Thank goodness for generous makers

Submitted to Show Off

I had a great weekend thanks to two generous makers with eBay stores. First the backstory. I’m a pushover when it comes to vintage audio equipment from the 70s and 80s. While great audio gear is still made today, and perhaps is even better than ever, the late 70s and early 80s represent the heyday when manufacturers and consumers were both excited to make and consume great audio. Plus, I have to admit it represents bit of nostalgia for me personally. I remember drooling over the latest stereo components and being frustrated that my wallet wasn't big enough to afford what I coveted.

Jump forward to today and I have three vintage receivers, new and old turntables, some vintage speakers and most recently a vintage cassette deck. I’m far from being an electronics repair technician, but I can clean the equipment up, blow out the dust, and use DeoxIT® spray to get the crackle out of the potentiometers. I had just finished cleaning the aforementioned cassette deck when I noticed the light in the cassette bay was burnt out. This particular lamp (they call them lamps, not bulbs) is soldered in place.

My quest to find a replacement lamp led me to my local electronics supply store but to no avail. Next I went online but still no luck. Most lamps for vintage audio operate at 6 to 8 volts but my lamp uses the obscure voltage of 3.3 V. I did find one person who had the lamp but he was outside of the US and obviously knew how rare the lamp is because he wanted as much money for the lamp as I paid for the whole cassette deck.

Desperate, I started emailing eBay sellers to see if they could help me out. I sent five emails and I got two replies. One retailer wrote to say he couldn't help but the other one wanted more information. This second guy was earnestly trying to assist me and offered me a solution of how I could cobble a resistor together with a lamp of a different voltage to make something work. He also said I may have some luck with another eBay seller and he provided me with his contact information.

Wanting to explore my options I contacted this other seller. I explained my situation. Of course he didn't have my lamp, no one does. However, he was willing to make a custom lamp for me! I couldn't believe it. Who knew that this could even be done? Especially when you understand the size of the lamp that is needed. It is 17 mm long and 3mm wide. It is basically the same dimensions of a fat piece of long-grain rice. Consider my mind blown.

Thanks to two retailers charitable with their time that did whatever they could do to help. The first one even passed me over to his competition to help me out, and second one could perform a service that I didn’t even know was possible. You know that whenever I need another lamp I will contact these two sellers above anyone else because they earned my loyalty. Similarly, it is my wish that when you contact Dremel customer service we will help you out to the best of our ability and earn your loyalty. Because when it gets down to it, we are all consumers and we all appreciate it when a seller or manufacturer is willing to help out before, during, and after the sale.