A simple repair that is good and cheap

AnThis is a problem that many of us "ham-handed" hams face sometime in our Amateur Radio careers. I had a really nice Drake MN-2700 antenna tuner. It was fine for its purpose and worked flawlessly although it was perhaps forty years old. It looked good and worked good.
And then I did a dumb thing. I was in a fast operating situation and I "hot switched" one of the band switches and out poured the smoke. When I opened it, I found that the wafer on the switch I had abused was on an right-angle drive and three of the contacts were fried.
What to do? First I had a major job of disassembling the thing to get to the wafer but that was accomplished. I held the damaged wafer in my hand and debated what to do to repair this fine tuner. The first thought was to find a replacement wafer. Good luck with that option. The tuner had not been manufactured for many years. The only hope was to find a similar tuner that had been "parted out" and purchase the wafer.

I visited all the auction sites and was disappointed to find that nobody had the part I needed. Without that switch the antenna tuner was worthless. But.....hams never give up! I finally found a wafer in England that was a direct replacement for my fried one. Unfortunately, the ham who had it for sale wanted $90 for it. I don't question his price, anything is worth exactly what someone will pay for it. I was not prepared to pay ninety bucks for it

Back to the drawing board.
As I sat staring at the wafer it occurred to me that I had plenty of switch wafers in the junk box. As I checked them I found that I didn't have one with the appropriate number of contacts in the correct places. However, as I looked at my distressed wafer I saw the contacts were secured by brads. If I could drill them out, I had plenty of contacts on old wafers in my possession so if I could find a way to replace the burned contacts I would be in business. I drilled out the damaged contacts. Then drilled out some from an old wafer. All I need then was a way to secure them. I couldn't brad in the new contacts without the possibility of breaking the ceramic wafer. Not expecting much success I went to an old ACE Hardware store with my wafer. With little conversation the clerk went to an old bin and produced extremely small bolts that were the exact size I needed! I bolted on the new contacts, reassembled the MN-2700 and it worked perfectly. I have since passed it on to another ham and he has it in daily use and my repair job that literally cost me pennies is still going strong.

Repaird Switch