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Topic: Harvesting components from devices (Read 19672 times) previous topic - next topic

oscarcar

If you are like me, you have lots of devices sitting around that the wife is begging me to get rid of.

Sometimes I think I might actually sit down and figure out how to repair them. Usually that's not the case.

But, it seems like a lot of these devices probably have some goodies that can be harvested.

And now that we have lots of toys that we will be getting rid of, it seems like I can harvest some cool things for my son & I to use in creating new things.

I've started to take out drive mechanisms in CD players/floppy drives, magnets in speakers, gears/axles in toy cars, etc. I'll probably start taking out the lasers in the CD player too. Maybe I should start collecting buttons & switches too.

What else can people suggest in harvesting? Electronically or otherwise.

I've been thinking the power supplies built into a lot of electronic devices would be good for creating stand-alone projects. I have an old mini-PC that has a very small power supply that provides 12v & 5v (such as for every PC), which seems like a good fit for an arduino project given the different voltage requirements often with devices.

focalist

#1
Jul 11, 2011, 08:16 pm Last Edit: Jul 11, 2011, 08:22 pm by focalist Reason: 1
Motors of all types.  Stepper motors are REALLY useful, and several can be found in pretty much any printer.  If you have older dot-matrix printers, the steppers in those monsters are often of CNC grade.  Typically, on a trashed older home printer, there will be two or three 5-12v stepper motors and a DC "hobby" type motor or two as well.

While you rip it apart, pull the main controller board also, as it will have the stepper controller chips that were mated to the motors.  I use a small hobby butane torch for rapid desoldering.. work fast, and you can pop off some really good power transistors and the stepper controllers without much issue.  Probably worth snagging the few power resistors that tend to be on the boards too.  Toss a handful of the small screws and such in a tupperware bin, junk the rest, and start on the next one.

Power supplies of all types are userful, I have a plastic "tote" full of wall warts and a couple of PC and printer power supply units.  I *NEVER* throw away a wall wart; I actually usually cut off the customized plugs on the output and keep those in a little bin.  When I need a wall wart, I then just find a plug that fits the device and mate it to a wall wart of the right output.  A little heat-shrink or even just electrical tape, and you've saved ten bucks or more.

Ribbon cable and inline pin connectors, headers and such are good to grab, the floppy and HDD from old PC's are a good source of short runs of ribbon cable and header plugs.

The key is to toss out the large garbage and just keep the "high value" items that are small and can be ferreted away easily.  Get some Rubbermaid bins and a shelf unit the bins fit on, and if you keep most of the Chaos in the bins, most spouses are, er, umm... well, at least they tolerate it ;)
When the testing is complete there will be... cake.

oscarcar


Rubbermaid bins and a shelf unit the bins fit on, and if you keep most of the Chaos in the bins, most spouses are, er, umm... well, at least they tolerate it ;)


Just mentioning that I NEED rubbermaid bins makes my wife happy. :)
Plus, 'it's for the kid honey' always works well too.

cr0sh

I have tons of junk like that - most of it bought from Goodwill. R/C cars and the like, mostly. Something interesting I have (but haven't gotten around to a teardown yet) is a couple of old VHS camcorders (I bought them for the viewfinder for homebrew AR/VR experiments).

Another interesting thing to tear down are really, really old Pioneer laser-disc players (the really old ones have a voice-coil actuated laser servo positioning system - plus the laser is a fairly small for the time HeNe tube laser).

VCRs and cassette tape players are also fun to tear down. Photocopiers too (especially the older ones - just watch out for the loose toner!)...
I will not respond to Arduino help PM's from random forum users; if you have such a question, start a new topic thread.

I harvested power cords, transformers, microphones, speakers, an led display, and the wireless system from a broken cordless phone. I got a speaker, buzzer,  led display, and power cord from a radio alarm clock.
Proud Member of the Nighthawk Robotics Club Team 569 B

Techone

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I harvested power cords, transformers, microphones, speakers, an led display, and the wireless system from a broken cordless phone. I got a speaker, buzzer,  led display, and power cord from a radio alarm clock.


So do I. I have also a lots of "junk"  Old radios (Tubes and Transistor type ), Toys and RC types, Old computers ( Vic 20, Apple , PC ), Old disk drive ( 5 1/4 ), PSU's and wall adapters, TV, Microwave, printers, VCR.

Most of my "junk" is from ---> The Garbage <----. Any electronics found on someone curb, any garbage bins. Heh...IT FREE !!! :D

For others locations for CHEAP electronics is second hands store ( Goodwill , Salvation Army )  and electronics surplus store. I have two store - electronics surplus - in the area I live. "Like a kid in a candy store". XD

I found "Laser Pen" , a few LCD Display, and some others stuffs.

It is a lot of fun to take stuff appart.


 

 

cr0sh

I have also a lots of "junk"  Old radios (Tubes and Transistor type )...Old computers ( Vic 20, Apple , PC ), Old disk drive ( 5 1/4 )...


While I agree that it's fun to take old stuff apart, please tell me that you research the stuff you are planning to take apart before you do so...

Some old radios (especially tube-based, and early transistorized radios) are worth $$$ to collectors; unless they are completely broken beyond the point of no return, you might be ruining potentially valuable (monetarily, and even historically) devices.
Vic-20s and Apples (in fact, more than a few of the older 80's machines) are rapidly becoming collector items as well; the music chip that was in the original C=64 is being cannibalized at a high rate, and no more are ever going to be made again. Even certain PCs are becoming difficult to buy at reasonable prices - have you priced old 386 motherboards lately? They're all over the map, some going for prices that make you shake your head.

5.25 drives are also one of those things that have shot up in price as well; when I see one, I take it home and keep it safe, because they aren't being made anymore (yet there is still a great demand for them).

Take some time to do some research on those pieces of "trash" you get; you might find out that your neighbors are actually throwing away good money!
I will not respond to Arduino help PM's from random forum users; if you have such a question, start a new topic thread.

Techone

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While I agree that it's fun to take old stuff apart, please tell me that you research the stuff you are planning to take apart before you do so...


Humm..oh.. no.  :.

Normaly, I don't want to sell the "old" stuff, just re-use the parts and possibly use the "old" stuff.  I have rigth now 2 VIC-20 and 1 Apple 2 compatible. I even have a 486. ( I got to fix it by the way )

cr0sh

Normaly, I don't want to sell the "old" stuff, just re-use the parts and possibly use the "old" stuff.  I have rigth now 2 VIC-20 and 1 Apple 2 compatible. I even have a 486. ( I got to fix it by the way )


The 486 is one thing - plenty of those out there, so have at it. Even the Vic-20 is only worth about $30.00 on the collector's market (whether or not that will change in the future is anybody's guess). The Apple 2, on the other hand (is it an Apple 2, or 2e? There's a difference to collectors) is hovering around $100.00 (granted, that's usually with a monitor and drives).

I just don't want to hear from you or someone else in the future about cannibalizing an Altair 8800 or Imsai 8080 for "neat parts" (I think if I heard something like that, I'd almost cry. I'd also wonder about the person's sanity, as they would have destroyed something worth approximately $1000.00 or more to a collector, for the sake of some old components they probably could've purchased on the surplus market for a few dollars)...

:)
I will not respond to Arduino help PM's from random forum users; if you have such a question, start a new topic thread.

Techone

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I just don't want to hear from you or someone else in the future about cannibalizing an Altair 8800 or Imsai 8080 for "neat parts" (I think if I heard something like that, I'd almost cry. I'd also wonder about the person's sanity, as they would have destroyed something worth approximately $1000.00 or more to a collector, for the sake of some old components they probably could've purchased on the surplus market for a few dollars)...


I will not cannibalizing an Altair 8800. I am awere that is an "oldie". I wonder if I can find these at yard sale. Heh, I bought an B-K 3010 Function generator. I bought for $2 Can. ( Having a bad AC cord ) . It work find and I intended to place into a new "case" so I can use it.

The Apple 2 I have is a compatible type. I don't know it working or not.

I like to harvest heavy transfomers  ( 120 / any volts ) . They are expensives. And harvest TV ( cathode ray tube type ), They contains High voltage transformer, lots of  magnets wires , heatsinks, power transistors.   

retrolefty

#10
Jul 25, 2011, 06:54 pm Last Edit: Jul 26, 2011, 05:13 am by retrolefty Reason: 1
Quote
I like to harvest heavy transfomers  ( 120 / any volts ) . They are expensives. And harvest TV ( cathode ray tube type ), They contains High voltage transformer, lots of  magnets wires , heatsinks, power transistors.


Power transformers are one of the few electronic components that have become more expensive over time compared to most other electronic components. That's probably because the costs of a transformer pretty much tracks the raw material costs of the metal and wire which pretty much tracks with inflation costs+. Real savings can be found for transformers by salvaging them from old equipment.

Lefty

Techone

Quote
Power transformers are one of the few electronic components that have become more expensive over time compared to most other electronic components. That's probably because the costs of a transformer pretty much tracks the raw material costs of the metal and wire which pretty much tracks with inflation costs+. Really savings can be found for transformers by salvaging them from old equipment.


Agree with you retrolefty. It is the price of copper.

What about you retrolefty, do you havest parts ?

retrolefty

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What about you retrolefty, do you havest parts ?


Not so much these days as storage space here doesn't justify it much anymore. I made up a saying, "even if you know you have a certain component stashed away, if you can't find it, you really don't have it".

I started collecting components as a high school student, as there was a TV repair shop between the school and home, so Iwould look over their 'throw aways'  on the way and would often drag a TV chassis home for component stripping. Later I found a great military surplus place that was selling old military electronics for pennies on the dollar for just the component value alone. So yes I have been in the past quite the electronics pack rat.

Lefty

Techone

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I started collecting components as a high school student


Same for me. I was living in a small town in NB, Canada the only electronic store in town was Radio-Shack, and the lack oof money did not help, so I stared to learn about de-soldering, soldeting, learn electronics using a "75-in-one", read magazines and books about it, and take apart TV, cassette player, what ever I can get my hand on.  I really learn about parts.  That was in the learly 1980's. And now, I still havesting parts. Thank to Cr0sh, I will be more vigilante of "high" values electronics. In my city ( Toronto ), they stared to pick-up the electronics at the curb during recycling. ....More free electronics parts.  :D 

cr0sh


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I started collecting components as a high school student


Same for me. I was living in a small town in NB, Canada the only electronic store in town was Radio-Shack, and the lack oof money did not help, so I stared to learn about de-soldering, soldeting, learn electronics using a "75-in-one", read magazines and books about it, and take apart TV, cassette player, what ever I can get my hand on.  I really learn about parts.  That was in the learly 1980's. And now, I still havesting parts. Thank to Cr0sh, I will be more vigilante of "high" values electronics. In my city ( Toronto ), they stared to pick-up the electronics at the curb during recycling. ....More free electronics parts.  :D   


Regarding finding an Altair at a garage sale (if I interpreted that right!) - maybe? If you wanted to have any success at finding old computers (or old anything electronic) that might have value, go to estate and yard sales in the part of your town (if you have such an area) that caters to retirees (here in Arizona I am kinda fortunate - we have Del Webb's Sun City, an entire town of retirees). Of course, you might be going up against people who know the value of such stuff (more often than not, you'll run into sales ran by "estate sale brokers" or similar, who run the sale as a business - if there is anything worthwhile, it either is priced properly, or goes to auction - but sometimes you find gems in there).

I actually found my Altair at a local electronics junkyard (Apache Reclamation and Electronics) - apparently it had been sitting inside a storage trailer just waiting for me to buy it, because I've been going to ARE since 1991 or thereabouts, and didn't get the Altair until a few years back. That trailer has been there all that time, and I never saw it. Some guy pulled it out, sat it on a chair, told one of workers there "it was an antique" - then left it! I ended up seeing it, and offered the worker there (for all I know he may have been the owner of ARE, who knows) $50.00 for it. He told me "no - the guy who pulled it out of the trailer said it was an antique - $100.00 firm". I told him he drove a hard bargain, but paid it gladly, laughing my a** off inside. Got the complete machine sans the 8080 processor board (it had the "Z-80 upgrade" board instead), plus a ton of other boards, and a fine case and front (no top, though - bummer). That evening someone offered my $900.00 as-is for it on an Altair users board, which I turned down.

As far as TVs are concerned - some of the older CRT TVs can be worth a bit of money. Most of these though date from the post-war (WW2) era; if you ever find a working Philco Predicta, for instance (and the seller is clueless) - well, let's say they are worth a fair bit (starting at about $500.00 USD for the ones with the vertical "stand" cabinet).
I will not respond to Arduino help PM's from random forum users; if you have such a question, start a new topic thread.

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