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Author Topic: Harvesting components from devices  (Read 13324 times)
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alabama
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Ok fellas,
as my first post hear, I'll admit I have been called a scrounger, dumpster diver, trash man, hoarder, ect. ect. Now everything has come full circle and I refer to myself as a "Green e-parts repurposer". Hmm-mm, spell checker says that isn't a real word! Yet anyway.
My first Arduino should get here tomorrow, can't wait, been playing with electronics for 40+ years, guess it's time I learned about imbedded computers. This is a really great site, thanks for the help I have already gleened and the future help I know I'll need.
Tom J
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So you one of them too  smiley-mr-green
A guy who like to harvest parts. So do I, so do I ...  smiley-grin

Welcome to the forum  smiley
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Hey guys;

I just discover today a new way <-- well I read this in a magazine to remove / desolder the parts including SMT. Since CrossRoad told me about Rosin Flux for soldering, I deside to use for desoldering. I have a copper braid, and I apply the flux at the copper braid, place the braid at the solder joint, heat the joint and the braid and...  smiley-surprise  the solder was absorbe by the copper braid realy good.

I just want to share this tip, when you desolder parts for harvesting. Because on some boards, it is hard to get the parts. even using a desolder pump.
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Chile
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I want to share a method I discovered to test power transformers: the other day I was "dissecting" an old UPS that had a big transformer inside. The lower voltage part was easy to identify, since it had thick cables (it's a 1000va UPS, so the transformer is rated at about 5A I guess), but on the other side there were many cables on the primary. Following the circuitry I was able to identify the "Neutral wire", all the others were in series with the first one. Tested them with the ohmmeter, and there was just an Ohm difference between them.

Now to the idea worth sharing that I found on a Spanish site: I  used an electrical incandescent bulb of 100W in series (on the "live" line) and connected it to the other cables, then measured the voltage in the secondary when trying different combinations. This way, if I shorted by chance the test leads, the bulb would glow and nothing would get burnt.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2012, 10:22:25 am by pgmartin » Logged

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Ok, I had a good time reading the posts here.
For the original question: Save whatever you think it will be useful. Space is a concern so I tend to desolder the parts so all stuff waste less space and don’t need to keep stuff I think I will not need.

My wife is so pleasant to remember every time, when she was my girlfriend at the uni I had a small bag with all piece of clothes and a big suitcase full of wires and stuff.

1-> Wives in general don’t take well all the stuff husbands stores, classified as just "trash" but they don’t know from where comes all the stuff we use to repair stuff ! I think they will never understand the logic :p
2-> If you keep a thing for 10 years, even a insignificant piece of stuff, and throw away some day, you will need that piece of thing in the next week.
3-> Of course we cannot keep all the parts we want to keep  there’s just no space for everything.

Salutations
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Phoenix, Arizona USA
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1-> Wives in general don’t take well all the stuff husbands stores, classified as just "trash" but they don’t know from where comes all the stuff we use to repair stuff ! I think they will never understand the logic :p

Every time I complain about not having enough room for my stuff (or having too much "junk"), my wife says she knows just what to do to get everything organized (ie, throw most of it away).

2-> If you keep a thing for 10 years, even a insignificant piece of stuff, and throw away some day, you will need that piece of thing in the next week.

This is the truth - there's been things I've gotten rid of that I wish now I hadn't...oh well.

3-> Of course we cannot keep all the parts we want to keep  there’s just no space for everything.

I do my best, though; I have my shop and the attic space above it to store most of my junk; the rest is in my office (a spare bedroom in our house), and some larger things (an RL-500 robotic mower awaiting repair, a powerwheels ride-on quad for a robot chassis, and an old CD-ROM server chassis) sit in our garage (we use it as storage, as it is a converted carport that none of our cars will fit in).

I have found a different trick, though: A lot of stuff I bring home tends to come from the same place; a local electronics junkyard known as "Apache Reclamation and Electronics" here in Phoenix. I've been going there for 20+ years. Anyhow, some of their more obscure stuff has a very low turnover rate; some items there almost never move. So I use them as "storage": I note something that I think will be useful, then when I really need it, I purchase it. Generally, this works out; rarely have I passed something up that didn't stay there for a good 5 years or more (I'm still eyeing that industrial metal cutting laser they have - I just don't have the three-phase to run it!)...

smiley-grin
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A few months ago, near a garbage bin at a Elementary Public School, I pick-up this metal storage.

Here a picture.


* Image0852.jpg (234.67 KB, 1600x1200 - viewed 96 times.)
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A few months ago, near a garbage bin at a Elementary Public School, I pick-up this metal storage.

Nice find! If you subdivided those drawers, you could have one heckuva parts storage cabinet! smiley-grin
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Oh.. yeah... I already started to fill up with stuffs like... Motors, Step-motors, heatsink, Ardiuno Sheild + DIY ( I include a big pink anti-static foam ) , Arduino boards with a anti-static foam, Battery holder, transformers, speakers, LCD display with a pink anti-static foam, big variable capacitors....  smiley-sweat  Rooms for more...  smiley-lol

Thank for you comment... That one advantage when you drive a mini school bus, you do see "garbage" along the way...

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If you subdivided those drawers, you could have one heckuva parts storage cabinet

Oh.. I see.. that is a great idea... smiley-surprise
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Oh.. yeah... I already started to fill up with stuffs like... Motors, Step-motors, heatsink, Ardiuno Sheild + DIY ( I include a big pink anti-static foam ) , Arduino boards with a anti-static foam, Battery holder, transformers, speakers, LCD display with a pink anti-static foam, big variable capacitors....  smiley-sweat  Rooms for more...  smiley-lol

Thank for you comment... That one advantage when you drive a mini school bus, you do see "garbage" along the way...

I'm a master scrounger myself - always on the lookout for junk along the side of the road (I have a pickup so stopping and throwing it into the bed is never an issue).

smiley-grin
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If you subdivided those drawers, you could have one heckuva parts storage cabinet

Oh.. I see.. that is a great idea... smiley-surprise

Thinking on it a bit more: If you can find some cheap multi-compartment flat boxes with lids that will fit inside the drawers, then you could pull a single box fairly easily (plus, you could use a label maker to put labels on the lid for each space to know what was what).
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@cr0ch

Explain this to me. I was driving with the bus  ( 4 kids on board ) and near where I live around 3 PM, I saw a TV on the curb, ( I will pick-up later - I said to myself - not with the bus with kids ) I came back around 6 PM and ....  smiley-eek-blue   Gone... NO TV ... GONE...  What the ... ? Gone that fast ?  It is people in my neiborhood like to take garbage too ? e-garbage too ?  Man.. I hated that ...  smiley-mad  Beat me to it...
   


 
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Peoples Republic of Cantabrigia
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I too love to take dead devices apart... first with the hope towards arepair, second with an interest in how it was made, third to harvest components if it's truely dead.

If you're looking for high-voltage transformers, BTW, microwave ovens are a great source for them unless it's an "inverter" model. Some folk have used multiple microwave transformers in series to do stick welding projects.smiley-eek-blue

I expect these analog devices to disappear from microwaves over time thanks to the commodity price increases combined with a steady decrease in transistor prices. Just like the classic transformer/bridge rectifier/linear VR/smoothing cap circuit we used to see in all appliances..
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Chile
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When it come to harvesting transformers and motors many times I face the question of how many amps (transformer) and voltage (motors) can they handle.
in the case of transformers, I usually try to get a glance of the wire in the secondary spool and then do the guessing work. Before using them, I'll connect them and see how hot they get and if there is not much humming sounds.
Does anyone have suggestions about it? Is there a way to test them more "scientifically"??
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@pgmartin

For transformers, the secondary is usaly a heavy gauge wire, the primary a thinner wire. Except, when the secondary is higher voltage type, well, the secondary will be thinner and the secondary will be heavier. And I sometime use a ohm meter to test them.  And if I fell "safe", then I do a power test and measure the output wire to see what I got.

Here a picture of a transformer I harvest. Still did not measured yet...


* trans_one.jpg (149.26 KB, 1024x768 - viewed 42 times.)
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Here a picture of more parts to harvest. Some of the boards, it was in the backyard shed for years, and a few "new arrival " board in. That will keep me busy. Most of them, from the garbage. So I call it ---> Free parts ....  smiley-lol

Sorry for the mess... smiley-red


* garbagetv.jpg (140.48 KB, 1024x768 - viewed 64 times.)
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