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Topics => Device Hacking => Topic started by: oscarcar on Jul 11, 2011, 07:38 pm

Title: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: oscarcar on Jul 11, 2011, 07:38 pm
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.
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: focalist on Jul 11, 2011, 08:16 pm
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 ;)
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: oscarcar on Jul 12, 2011, 12:02 am

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.
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: keeper63 on Jul 12, 2011, 08:07 am
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!)...
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: mykiscool on Jul 23, 2011, 10:24 pm
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.
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: Techone on Jul 24, 2011, 04:12 am
Quote
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.


 

 
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: keeper63 on Jul 24, 2011, 10:13 am
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!
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: Techone on Jul 24, 2011, 07:04 pm
Quote
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 )
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: keeper63 on Jul 25, 2011, 05:55 am
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)...

:)
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: Techone on Jul 25, 2011, 06:36 pm
Quote
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.   
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: retrolefty on Jul 25, 2011, 06:54 pm
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
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: Techone on Jul 26, 2011, 03:22 am
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 ?
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: retrolefty on Jul 26, 2011, 05:12 am
Quote
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
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: Techone on Jul 26, 2011, 06:16 pm
Quote
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 
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: keeper63 on Jul 27, 2011, 07:42 am

Quote
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).
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: GlitchBoy on Nov 27, 2011, 07:08 pm
OMG copiers are great for components.  Especially the bigger ones that have a lot of paper handling i.e. many paper feed trays, document feeder, finisher (stapler).  Find a nice big one and you'll find all kinds of motors (steppers, servos, 3-phase DC), solenoids, sensors, clutches, and of course the appropriate components to control them (IC's).  Some of the motors are fairly hefty.  The components are 24v but naturally there'll be a beefy power supply in the copier to put out all the necessary voltages 24v, 5v, and sometimes others.  Lots of wires, connectors, microswitches too.

Depending on the machine there'll also be pulleys, belts, gears, bearings, bushings, rollers, shafts, etc.

If you go to your local copier dealer I'm willing to bet that at any time they're going to have one or more that they're ready to just throw in the dumpster that they'd be more than happy to give you. 

I know all this because I have a copier dealership and I've always found it a great shame seeing all that stuff go to waste.  Lately I've been trying to harvest as much as I can from them before the scrap guy picks them up, but I have a hard time keeping up.
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: copiertalk on Nov 27, 2011, 08:59 pm

OMG copiers are great for components.  Especially the bigger ones that have a lot of paper handling i.e. many paper feed trays, document feeder, finisher (stapler).  Find a nice big one and you'll find all kinds of motors (steppers, servos, 3-phase DC), solenoids, sensors, clutches, and of course the appropriate components to control them (IC's).  Some of the motors are fairly hefty.  The components are 24v but naturally there'll be a beefy power supply in the copier to put out all the necessary voltages 24v, 5v, and sometimes others.  Lots of wires, connectors, microswitches too.

Depending on the machine there'll also be pulleys, belts, gears, bearings, bushings, rollers, shafts, etc.

If you go to your local copier dealer I'm willing to bet that at any time they're going to have one or more that they're ready to just throw in the dumpster that they'd be more than happy to give you. 

I know all this because I have a copier dealership and I've always found it a great shame seeing all that stuff go to waste.  Lately I've been trying to harvest as much as I can from them before the scrap guy picks them up, but I have a hard time keeping up.




I set them out on the loading dock in hopes someone will come finish them off for us. Most times the scrap metal guys come and pick them up for the frame but if someone wanted a motor or cluch I would let them have anything they wanted out of it. They are afterall scrap to me and its cheaper to have someone haul it off for scrap than it is to pay someone to take all the stuff off and take it to the scrap yard.
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: ckiick on Nov 28, 2011, 04:33 pm
I just spent about a week cleaning up my workspace, which included harvesting parts from a number of devices.

R/C toys are pretty easy. Most abandoned RC toys do not have a remote.  If you do have a remote, try it with other RC stuff, it might work.  Keep the remotes - you never know when they may actually be useful.  The RC device itself will yield motors, gears, axles and wheels if you want them.  Keep an eye out for rechargeable batteries.  Each RC toy will have a small circuit board in it which you should keep because it will have one or more H-bridge circuits in it which can be used to drive motors.  Also the receiver chip can be used for communications if there is a paired remote.  I have a robot with an RC receiver board in it for just this purpose.  The plastic shell and other junk can be recycled. Sometimes the battery compartment is modular enough to dremel off and re-use.

Printers and scanners have tons of good parts in them.  Motors, gears, sensors, cables, connectors, rods and optical parts.  My favorite is the photo-interrupters. Most of the bulk of a printer or scanner is plastic and metal dross that can go in the recycle bin.  What's left takes up a lot less room.  Speakers can be useful so keep those intact.  LCD displays are generally hard to re-use unless there is a driver chip for them, but LEDs and 7-segment displays are easy to re-use.
Buttons and switches also come in handy. I always keep the screws and other small hardware from a tear down.

Other devices that have good salvage in them: VCRs or DVD players, copiers, mice, fax machines, old motherboards and dead computers.  Anything which does something interesting but no longer works is generally on my hit list.  I recycle the metal and plastic, salvage the motors and gears and throw the PCBs into a box.  Note that tossing circuit boards into the trash is not a good idea. Things that are not so good for salvaging are cell phones, hand-held video games, TVs and CRTs.  They either have no good reusable parts, or they leave you with bulk dross that you can't throw away or recycle.

Things that can be salvaged from an old PCB are voltage regulators, power plugs, connectors, buttons, generic ICs, sensors, cables, resistor networks and jumpers.  Most chips have identification on them, so you can look up the data sheet (if available) to see if it's worth keeping.  For large-scale salvaging I recommend a heat gun or something similar which can melt off a lot of parts at once.  Trying to desolder components from a motherboard is just too painful.  Generally, surface mount components, large ASICs, unmarked chips and large connectors are too hard to get off and not worth the effort.  Small parts like resistors and capacitors are also usually not worth the effort since new ones are so cheap.

Organizing the salvage is essential. Large ziploc freezer bags work fairly well: you can see what's in them, write on them and keep piles of them in boxes.  Sometimes I create a salvage bag for a device with all the useful parts in it.  Write useful information on the bag, like what kinds of battery or power supply the device used, or the exact model number.  I also have bags for motors, gears, cables, wall warts, connectors, speakers and other large parts.  Smaller parts can go into coffee cans or sandwich bags.  I have a can of screws and nuts that I can search through when I need to replace or fix something.

Have fun disassembling!
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: kriss-38 on Dec 13, 2011, 04:22 pm
I often get lot of components from discarded devices.
My last one was a little clock which was on my kitchen wall.It is only a very little printed circuit with 2 inputs for power supply and 2 outputs for the power to coil. On each of these 2 outputs , you can have pulses separeted by 2 seconds and if you combine both you can get an accurate timebase at 1 second. To power it (1.5V) you can use a resistor from, lets's say 5v, to a red LED of which the cathode is at 0V . between anode and cathode of this LED you can measure approximately 1.5V which is perfect.
It is possible to drive a transistor from the outputs to get a 1second period timebase at a TTL level.
I have also got several 7 segments displays from panel of microwave ovens , and in those panels i have also taken relays and very often a quadrature encoder in the size of a classic potentiometer.
I discard every "exotic" component and for every component i can salvage i use google with the search criteria : "part_number AND datasheet". By this way i have a lot of components i can use in many projects. Like this I could build a little LCmeter i found on the web site of an Italian OM , LCmeter i can connect to my old frequency counter i built 35 years ago. These two things together with a little BASIC programm let me measure a lot of capacitors or inductors with a very good précision.
I salvage also every power supply and power cord , ribbon cable and also wire which is very useful for cabling.
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: Techone on Dec 29, 2011, 04:59 am
@kriss-38

The clock idea is a good one, that can be use in an Arduino project.  And a LC meter, that is a very interresting project to do. That is possible with an Arduino also.

Right now, my basement room is full of harvest parts and devices ready to be harvest ( from the garbage - of others peoples ) and yes I am a bit overwelm to how to store and "clean" my basement room.
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: dzzyd88 on Jan 03, 2012, 04:24 am
im harvesting parts from everything old laptop to printers shit like that but for the laptop i was wondering if anyone knows how to make a ethen et hook up for the arduino without buying a ethenet shield so practicly wanting to build my own, or how about the wifi card in a laptop can it hook up with some tweeks?
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: strykeroz on Jan 04, 2012, 02:13 am

im harvesting parts from everything old laptop to printers shit like that but for the laptop i was wondering if anyone knows how to make a ethen et hook up for the arduino without buying a ethenet shield so practicly wanting to build my own, or how about the wifi card in a laptop can it hook up with some tweeks?
You could get a network module either completely built up, or as a bare circuit.  There are many on eBay.  The ENC28J60 Ethernet LAN Modules are very cheap but not so well supported by the Arduino IDE (they're not supported directly by the standard IDE 1.0 libraries so you have to either find and download one and use an older IDE version, or write your own if you're going to go for one of those.  Alternatively look for a module with the supported chipset.  In the end though not sure you'll save a heap over getting a shield, but you do get the flexibility of choosing your own pins to a larger extent.

Back to the topic at hand, I understand from one of the original posters that grabbing the stepper controllers that match to the steppers will be a good idea, but in a situation where you have multiple steppers that are unmarked and of different sizes, can you point me to a way of working out what the spec is of a component you've harvested (stepper, DC motors for example) where there is no component marking on them?  I've recently pulled down a few Canon and Epson printers, internally they have a mix of voltages being supplied aside from 12v and 5v (one Epson stepper that has a marking says it's 14v and the supply inside one Pixma puts out 24v and 32v for example).

Short question is can you determine without fear of destroying it what spec a motor or stepper is that has no markings?  Also is there a standard order for the pins/ribbons coming out of a stepper?

Thanks
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: Techone on Jan 04, 2012, 06:34 am
@strykeroz

I do understand you problem. I am one of the people who like havesting parts from the e-garbage I pick up ( unless somebody beat me to it   :0  - specially in my neiborhood )

Here what I do : I measure with a ohmmeter to help me to figure out the wirring diagram, read / search about step-motors on the Net, since I have an idea, I apply voltage to see what happen and I may do a short code to test the stepper ( seperated Vcc for the stepper control by transistor with reversed diode - a basic "relay" circuit - base transitor - transistor - diode - motor coil ).

I do the same for 7 segment display, place a voltage ( +5 ) , a resistor of 330, an connect to gnd. Check every pins and combinations I can think of. Same for a stepper motor. Figure out a combination to make it work. 

As for transformer, measure with a ohmmeter to check the connections,  connect the 120 AC very carefully ( the location I think it is ) plug the AC on, measured the output to see what I get.

As for the semiconductors, I check / search about the number on the part to find what that is.

In one of the printer that I find in the garbage and took appart... I find a very interesting 40 pins IC, non SMT, I read the number of that part....--->  8255  <---  :smiley-eek:     I say : NO WAY !!!!  an old Intel PIA chip and maybe functional.

A PIA is an I/O chip that a early CPU like 8085, 8080 or 8086 can "communicated" with the outside world... Just like an ATMega328 - Ardiuno, except the Arduino have all in one chip ( CPU, Memory, PIA, UART )

Anyway, it is fun to take apart stuffs. you never know of what you going to get. 
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: keeper63 on Jan 04, 2012, 05:02 pm

In one of the printer that I find in the garbage and took appart... I find a very interesting 40 pins IC, non SMT, I read the number of that part....--->  8255  <---  :smiley-eek:     I say : NO WAY !!!!  an old Intel PIA chip and maybe functional.

A PIA is an I/O chip that a early CPU like 8085, 8080 or 8086 can "communicated" with the outside world... Just like an ATMega328 - Ardiuno, except the Arduino have all in one chip ( CPU, Memory, PIA, UART )


That is very strange - did you test it to make sure it -was- an 8255 (and not something marked that way)? I can't imagine the reason a printer would need such a thing (PIA) unless it also had a cpu, memory, etc - I wonder why the manufacturer used such a thing (did you notice what/how it was connected - it would be interesting to me to understand such reasoning - how old was the printer, anyway?).
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: marklar on Jan 04, 2012, 05:58 pm
I hacked an X10 PIR motion sensor since I had it around and useless since I don't use X10 anymore.  To do that I just used a meter to determine what changed when it clicked and soldered to that.

Also a broken stereo had some really high quality rotary encoders and button matrix setups with nice wires - little to no soldering needed.  I posted details along with the pictures and code for the encoder, button matrix and the discovery phase in the exibitionist area - but may be useful here as well - so here is a link. 
http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/topic,67382.0.html

I have yet to hack another but will for sure pull a stereo like this before the "clam truck" eats it.
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: Techone on Jan 04, 2012, 09:24 pm
@cr0sh

The printer in question is :  Cannon  K10149  Centronic / Parallel Interface

Here the inscription of the "8255"

QH7-8787-03
V1.04
M5388002E-F1
8255B01

I may jump to conclusion to early...  :smiley-roll-blue:
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: keeper63 on Jan 04, 2012, 11:00 pm

@cr0sh

The printer in question is :  Cannon  K10149  Centronic / Parallel Interface

Here the inscription of the "8255"

QH7-8787-03
V1.04
M5388002E-F1
8255B01

I may jump to conclusion to early...  :smiley-roll-blue:


Got a picture of the chip handy? I've got a few 8255 rattling around in my shop; typically, the number will be in the first few numbers on the IC, not at the end (where it would be a date code or a batch number or something). Those numbers also look like "house chip" markings - were there any other ICs on board the PCB? Is it a 40 pin DIP IC? If it is, there were more than a few other chips in that package; it could be a some kind of 8051 or Z80 (or some other 8-bit) processor, with likely a ROM mask (to act as a printer controller) - the 8255 is just some other number.

Then again, it could be an actual 8255...

:)
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: Techone on Jan 05, 2012, 07:16 am
@cr0sh

Bummer... "in-house" chip....  =(

There is also one way to find out... : LIVE TEST ....  :smiley-eek:

PS : I try to upload pictures... no luck...
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: strykeroz on Jan 05, 2012, 11:15 am
Is there anything to scavenge from inside an old diskette, CD or DVD drive from a PC?
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: Techone on Jan 05, 2012, 07:42 pm
@strykeroz

Motors, gears, belts,  metals ( bars & slidders ), nuts & bots,  some smt parts ( hard to harvest - for me so far ), switches, IC's , resistors and capacitors.  I have a lots of drives at my place. I have at least 15 PC, all founds at the street curbs, yep --> e-garbage. 
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: Tumbleweed on Jan 13, 2012, 10:54 pm
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
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: Techone on Jan 14, 2012, 05:44 am
So you one of them too  :smiley-mr-green:
A guy who like to harvest parts. So do I, so do I ...  :D

Welcome to the forum  :)
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: Techone on Jan 15, 2012, 09:15 pm
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.
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: pgmartin on Jan 16, 2012, 02:52 pm
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.
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: DanDare on Jan 18, 2012, 02:41 am
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
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: keeper63 on Jan 18, 2012, 05:33 am

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!)...

:D
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: Techone on Jan 18, 2012, 04:37 pm
A few months ago, near a garbage bin at a Elementary Public School, I pick-up this metal storage.

Here a picture.
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: keeper63 on Jan 18, 2012, 08:39 pm

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! :D
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: Techone on Jan 18, 2012, 11:29 pm
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...  XD

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

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


Oh.. I see.. that is a great idea... :smiley-surprise:
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: keeper63 on Jan 19, 2012, 06:08 am

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...  XD

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).

:D

Quote
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).
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: Techone on Jan 19, 2012, 06:24 am
@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 ...  :0  Beat me to it...
   


Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: Constantin on Jan 19, 2012, 07:28 pm
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..
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: pgmartin on Jan 19, 2012, 08:51 pm
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"??
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: Techone on Jan 20, 2012, 01:19 am
@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...
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: Techone on Jan 24, 2012, 12:09 am
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 ....  XD

Sorry for the mess... :smiley-red:
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: fbordignon on Dec 17, 2013, 01:41 pm
In Brazil we have a kind of surge protectors that we call Stabilizer. They are useless to nowadays computers and electronics but people keep buying those, thinking they are protecting their computers. They look like UPS as this one:

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f4/UPSFrontView.jpg)


They usually contain relays inside, with a comparator that checks if the mains voltage is over or under what is intended to be.
So its nice to harvest the little control board. Rip off the comparator IC and you can identify the transistors that powers up the relays. Feeding the board 12vdc will sometimes power up a led and feed the transistors collectors. Connect the digital out pin from the arduino on the transistor base and you have a nice relay board. Usually you find 2 relays with two transistors controlling them, so you get a relay board for free. You also get a comparator IC like the LM324 that I'm sure you can think a use for that later!
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: retrolefty on Dec 17, 2013, 02:11 pm

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"??


I recall a estimating method used in ham radio to characterize unknown transfomer ratings years/decades ago. First one tries and find/measure/estimate the cross sectional area of the internal metal core that the windings are wound on. With that value and a proper graph/chart one (an old ARRL manual had one at one time) one can estimate the maximum wattage of the transformer. Once you know the wattage then one can measure the secondary winding voltage and then have all the variables needed to calculate the maximum secondary current available from the transformer's secondary winding. It can be a little time consuming but can save many dollars if a surplus or free transformer can be utilized over having to buy a new one with published specifications. Of all the standard electronics components, 60/50 Hz power transformers are probably the only component that costs more today then they did years/decades ago. Raw material costs directly effect transformer costs and they have (copper and iron) only gone up in price.

Lefty
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: retrolefty on Jan 01, 2014, 08:02 pm
Quote
I've also seen the phrase "20 Watts per pound" thrown about but haven't personally put too much faith in it.


Might be valid. I recall decades ago comparing 60Hz power transformers shipping weight Vs total wattage regardless of secondary voltage in say a Allied Electronics catalog and seeing a good correlation.

Lefty
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: m.kollenaar on Oct 25, 2014, 09:49 am
Hi there, another hardware disassembler on the forum. I love to take apart electronic stuff too. However I have the same problem with my wife as the guys here. So, I take them apart very fast and dump the not so importand stuff at the municipal recycling dump store and save the important parts in boxes. Mostly printers and old TV's. The older ones have discrete components to handle. The newer TV have components I cannot handle anymore because of the ongoing miniaturisation.  :) So DIP parts are welcome on the boards.
So today is a disassemble day. Taking 3 old Dell computers apart. My first Dell from 2001 and several others from 2006.

I use the sensors (infrared, humidity, temperature) I find in the scrap for my Arduino projects.

Hmm love it.
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: pacificstereo on Dec 17, 2014, 08:28 am
How about old microwaves?And make your own mini welding station. Careful, high voltage in the microwave. Go to YouTube of google up Sam Wasserman's electronics site and you will find how to safely remove the items for building a welder and ideas for other projects.

I learned my soldering skills through massive de-soldering sessions. If you can successfully de-solder components on a PCB, if becomes easy to assemble and solder another.
I also used the carcass keeping the light bulb, adding a simple switch and that rotating base motor and I how have a great spray booth!
Title: Re: Harvesting components from devices
Post by: arduidiot on Dec 18, 2014, 08:58 am
when i salvage, i always try to keep everything removed from the one device in the same box, and if necessary label cables that connect different individual circuit boards.

electric motors, quartz crystal oscillators, electrolytic capacitors, IC's, MOSFETS.

Take apart the very inside guts of one of those old A: floppy drives and you will find an awesome little guy, i dont know what its called but its basically a ring of small inductors enclosed inside a magnetic rotational enclosure. Im sure it had some purpose concerning writing to a floppy disk but if you pull it out and put it in a circuit on a bread board it can be used as a potentiometer but one which varies the potential by increasing/decreasing the inductance of the circuit instead of the usual variable resistor type, which i though was cool.