I've been having a recent bit of difficulty with our pipette pullers in the lab. Well, pulling program parameter searching is no news to any of the l33t electrophysiologists who frequent this blog. We've all been there, and we'll all surely revisit that terrible state of being.
But not too long ago one of the pullers started making a horrible noise when switched on, as the cooling fan must have lost a ball bearing. The company service folks were in the area for the recent Biophysical meeting (how was it Dr. Samways?), and made a swing through the lab. They offered to refurbish the whole thing and replace the fan for $2000. Not a pressing issue, but apparently as the heat builds up inside the puller, it would slowly dim the display, making it hard to edit programs.
Economic times being what they are, we demurred. Which is a good thing, because when we pulled the front panel off that sucker, the fan was just a 92 mm fan like you'd have in your computer. So we got one of those, pulled out the old dead one, and slipped in the new. Voila! And while we were at it, we got rid of the decade plus layer of dust in that thing.
Still though, I miss the old P-84 I used in my thesis lab.