Our big box of traveling parts is in the wild

We are constantly developing prototypes, so we end up with a large pile of unused components. When we moved to a new location we realized some components sat untouched since the previous move.

A while ago we read about the The Great Internet Migratory Box Of Electronics Junk and decided this was a perfect way to finally get rid of these ‘old’ components without sending them to the landfill. Ian packed a bunch of stuff into a box and passed it to Sjaak. He’ll take something out, put something in, and send it to someone else.

A quick glance into the Box revealed the following items:

  • Some signed-by-Ian original prototypes, including some pic programmers, boards featured on Hack a Day, and some Bus Pirate prototypes
  • SMD resistors, capacitors, LEDs, and more
  • Lots of through hole LEDs and resistors
  • Some freebies from various suppliers

We quickly came up with some best practices for sending the box:

  • Take the parts out you can really can use
  • Replace them with parts you can’t use, please try to avoid too many pulled passives like old resistors and capacitors
  • Send the box to the next person within a week
  • Post a picture of what you got out of it, and a small description what you are planning to do with
  • Please no addresses in the forum to protect privacy. Please use the forum PM system for this
  • We’re starting with a few dozen active forum members to see how far it will get. After that, it’ll be open to the public!

There are some people who already applied in the forum. If you are interested and want to be part of the ‘Big Box of Traveling Parts’, head over to the forum now.

Join the Conversation


  1. This reminds me of a radio contest I experienced as a kid growing up in Phoenix Arizona a long time ago.They called the contest “Fortune on a Shoestring” and basically KRUX radio donated air time and a shoestring. Callers would swap something they had for the current item on the list. The idea being that you had something that was valuable, but NOT valuable to you that you would exchange for the current item being offered, which WAS valuable to you. For instance, the original shoestring probably exchanged for something like a used baseball, which then was exchanged for a book, etc. By the end of the first week, I recall that two cars were already on the exchange block. At some point, they exchanged for money which they donated. I’d recommend getting some publicity out of this gambit! Sounds like fun.

  2. Hmm could someone put a gps logger inside and description how to upload the data to a dedicated server machine? We all could enjoy to fetch were the package is capable to catch a signal.
    Everyone who receives the package would sponsor a new battery set before sending it away. ;)
    Add a log-book too to leave notes and maybe something small to send it finally back to Ian his new shelf still looks a bit empty ;)

  3. I have some new PICs I can add to the box, and I”m still a thru-hole kinda guy… so how do I get on the box’s distribution list?

    1. There are some people who already applied in the forum. If you are interested and want to be part of the ‘Big Box of Traveling Parts’, head over to the forum now.


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