Ham Radio Just Saved Me $100

I know ham radio usually costs us money, but once in a while the skills and/or equipment we accumulate can actually save us some cash. In this case, I figure it saved me about a hundred bucks.

What am I talking about? Well, over the weekend, I noticed that my refrigerator wasn’t keeping things as cold as it had in the past. I cranked the cooling control up to no avail.

Monday morning, I called the appliance repair place that has fixed this particular refrigerator before—a fancy, bulit-in Sub-Zero that came with the place when I bought it six years ago. When they told me that the SubZero guy couldn’t get over to my house until the next Monday, I made the appointment, but decided to see if there was something I could do.

On this particular model, the compressors—one for the refrigerator and one for the freezer—are on top of the refrigerator, behind a panel and a ventilation grill. After removing the panel, the problem was obvious—the fan blowing on the radiator wasn’t turning, and when I touched it, it was very hot.

So, how does ham radio fit into all this? Well, I don’t know how many years ago, I bought a box fan for a buck or two at some hamfest. I’m not sure I ever really used it for anything, but there it was sitting on the shelf when I needed it. It even had an AC cord already attached with wire nuts. I put it on the shelf near the condensers and directed the airflow over the condensers and then on to the radiator. In a couple of hours, my refrigerator was as cool as ever.

Tuesday, I went and purchased a new fan. Of course, I bought the wrong one, so today I went back and got the right one. It took me about an hour and a half to get it installed and the kitchen cleaned up.

I figure the fan saved me at least $100. That is $100 for the service call and however much for food spoilage. Thank you, ham radio!


  1. JIM K8ELR says:

    Don’t mention the thousands of dollars spent on stuff purchased “”just in case” Like all the other stuff sitting right next to that fan. Your wife doesn’t read this blog does she? Oh sorry. :-P

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