MRI scans, while neat, do leave something to be desired in the “fun” and “comfort” departments. After surrendering every sliver of metal and some percentage of clothing, the patient must sit or lie stock-still in a cold room for long stretches of time. As the giant magnets do their work, ear-splitting tones and rhythmic pulses fill the room. For those who lie down to enter the giant magnet-coffin, it’s easy to feel like the Frankenstein monster in some mad scientist’s German techno experiment.

The noise is so bad that most facilities issue earplugs to their patients- but some, as Evi relates, spring for $1,500 headsets, and $10,000 systems to play music through said headsets. Seem steep? No doubt the 1–3 year warranties, ranging from $1,500 to $3,500, raise eyebrows too- but it was well outside the warranty period that Evi learned the true extent of the fleecing.

The power supply for the headphone system had failed. When Evi called the company for help, they claimed they couldn’t possibly repair the system, but would be happy to send a new power supply- for $1,500. Taking matters into his own hands, Evi used a multimeter to determine that only the 9V voltage output was nonfunctional.  He readied his soldering iron and opened up the case, expecting to replace a 7809 chip and call it a day.  Instead, he found…

 

Four cheap Chinese power supplies- one for each voltage the power supply was supposed to output- hot-glued together.

Evi ordered a new power supply from Amazon, and hot-glued it into place. Total cost? $10.