Are electronics recycling facilities good for getting parts?

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Are electronics recycling facilities good for getting parts?

Postby cm0n3y34 » Sun Nov 18, 2012 8:28 am

...like broken devices for scrapping components from or getting complex assemblies that are only found in certain devices? Does anyone know if these places let you go through broken stuff or anything like that, for free or cheap, like junk yards but with electronics?

I ask because my financial situation doesn't allow for buying much more than some solder, so besides an occasional rare find on the side of the road, and stuff that irreparably breaks around here, I don't have many sources for parts and stuff. I have tons of ideas, but very few of them I have ever been able to actually make.

I am also trying to get ahold of an tgimboej or 2. I do have a bunch of parts I have no use for to put into the box(es), and I posted on the box of junk USA thread.

Are there any other people here who like to make and modify things, but can't afford new components/parts/cases/etc?
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Re: Are electronics recycling facilities good for getting pa

Postby Chuckt » Sun Nov 18, 2012 5:30 pm

I've never tried. My suggestion is to call one first, tell them who you are and what you want to do. I guess it depends on how they are run / managed. Keep in mind, they still might be suspicious of anyone doing what you are doing because people are distrustful.

I saw a video on Hackaday on using a solder pot to rescue parts. What percentage of the parts are damaged due to re-heating?

If I were you, I might call some of the box stores and see what their policies are. Maybe you can save them some money from recycling because my township charges $5 to throw away something. You're going to end up with the same problem if you have to pay to recycle what you have to throw out.

I know some people who rebuild computers from colleges and there are computer professionals that give their clients the best computers but decide it is cheaper to recycle 2 year old computers instead of fix them up because they feel there are reasons not to give people anything but the best stuff.

There is a thrift store near me which basically sells electronic junk. I can get a VGA monitor for $25, cords for $2 or $3.
You might want to track down your local "Good will" store as well.

If someone had electronics to throw out, what would you like to play with?

Also, if you could teach someone for parts, what could you teach?
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Re: Are electronics recycling facilities good for getting pa

Postby cm0n3y34 » Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:38 pm

Those are some good ideas! I'll have to try those, and call some of the recycle places.

To answer your questions, I would love to play with anything that used an embedded computer, some camcorders (a few motors, and the viewfinders that are way easier to drive than I thought when I tossed a bunch out years ago :'C ), and possibly some broken tools, that I could fix and add to my kit :D. But I've always taken anything, even half of a random circuit board lol

I did try my hand at a makeshift solder pot (using a rusted out cast iron pan on my stove...yeah no one appreciated the smells lol)
Done correctly, you don't lose too many parts. I lost about 4 components (that weren't tiny and turned to ash when it accidently fell in lol) due to overheating a smaller board, and the perma-heatsinks on the board of a PSU caused more problems and smells than its worth.

As for recycling, I try to reuse as much as possible, down to reusable pieces of metal lol

And what do you mean by teach, like teach someone how to make something or how to use a computer, and get their junk or something?
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Re: Are electronics recycling facilities good for getting pa

Postby Chuckt » Sun Nov 18, 2012 7:40 pm

So you are just looking for embedded computers or microcontrollers? And tools? What do you want to make?

Don't forget that companies accumulate stuff they can't sell over the years. A warehouse places an order to stock and then the buyer decides to stop buying stuff. That is where warehouses and companies end up with stock they can't sell and they are afraid to throw away.

You could teach someone programming, electronics, etc., and use the money for parts. Some people are looking for help getting started. Others are looking to build things they can't build themselves.

Some warehouses confiscate the assets of companies because their tenants don't pay their bills. The owner of the building I work at threw away skids of used or broken Atari monitors. I was besides myself because I never owned Atari and wouldn't know how to fix them but the owner had no use for them and I don't have room at my house for stocking a lot of stuff. And how do you contact people at the spur of the moment and move skids of electronics? Last week they threw out a long dumpster worth of two year old soda.

I think you could set up a website as a reviewer or maybe you could subcontract for one of these blogging sites to review products. The company would send you products to review and maybe you wouldn't have to send them all back.

There are also samples you can get from different companies but they may stop giving samples if the process is abused.
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Re: Are electronics recycling facilities good for getting pa

Postby cm0n3y34 » Sun Nov 18, 2012 8:09 pm

I didn't think about that. I wonder if there are any of these warehouses near here...

I was thinking about starting a review series on youtube for awhile now, I wonder if that would work. I suppose I could look into the legality of doing reviews on stuff I already use, and go from there.

I am intrigued by the idea of these places just tossing this stuff out. Like the thought of them tossing lots of working stuff just amazes me lol

And I know about the sampling thing, I got a few ICs from TI before, but I forgot to make sure they weren't extremely tiny SMD chips >_< . I try not to abuse the process with these places, only asking for stuff I can use, and only occasionally. Do you know of any places other than TI and Serpac that have a samples?

As for what I like to make, usually case mods, and modifications to how devices work, swapping components or adding components to enhance it's function or add some new function or enable something disabled. And LEDs. Lots of LEDs. But sometimes I will either realize I could make something to make some process easier, or of course there's the random ideas from my junk box. However I've always been pretty limited in tools and parts (I didn't even have a soldering iron until a few years ago!) but I still try to make stuff with what I have on hand. I haven't been able to make too much impressive stuff. A couple minty boosts, a portable 3DS speaker dock, a modified PSU for powering devices for testing, a gaming hand cooler (aka 2 80mm fans bolted to the back of my keyboard tray :D ), that level of stuff. Nothing programmable, almost no board based projects, unless the board existed for something else already and could be adapted.

I have one project I REALLY want to do, a pretty new idea, a complex game console case mod (which I am keeping secret until I can actually do it, I don't want someone to beat me to it!), and of course, I've always wanted to get my hands on an Arduino or some other development board and turn it into a robot, but of course everything costs money.

Most of my usable parts are normal through-hole hardware parts, and some small motors. I have a bunch of random chips, but none of them seem too useful for anything right now. All of them are for some one specific purpose and I cant think of any use for them.
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Re: Are electronics recycling facilities good for getting pa

Postby Chuckt » Sun Nov 18, 2012 9:45 pm

My house was built by someone who had access to some building materials. Every window is a different size because the owner was a do it yourself person and he used left over parts from different jobs. It is frustrating at times because he messed a lot of things up.

I think there are enough users in the forum that could help you find cheap parts.

You can get cheap LEDs off of ebay. If you buy parts by the hundreds or thousands, the cost comes down and you can resell them or trade.

A lot of the sites that carry Arduino are cheap because their audience is students and people without a lot of money. Seeed Studio comes to mind.

The MSP430 by Ti was $4.30 at launch. I bought two Stellaris boards from Ti on promotion when they were $5.00 each.

Pics can be bought for less than $2.00. The most expensive part will be the Pikit 2 or Pikit 3 programmer. I also know a site that has tutorials for Pic chips.

NXP has some ARM chips for .39 cents.

Protostack has some cheap AVR development boards.

You might want to check out:
http://www.taydaelectronics.com/

Sparkfun has a resistor pack with 500 resistors of different values for around 7 dollars. I would have to check the exact price.

I have dealt with Futurlec but other people say to be wary of them. I did get some components cheap from them.

I bought an ARM board from Mouser for $16 but the Jtag connector was like $50 and I'm not looking forward to buying the ST Link. This is where electronics can get expensive because the development boards were just as expensive.

There are some electronic stores with junkbox electronics but I am not going to suggest going there.
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Re: Are electronics recycling facilities good for getting pa

Postby Chuckt » Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:10 pm

The other thing you might want to study is "Surface Mount Parts". The parts are smaller and use less material which would seem to the average person that they are less expensive. I think if you bought a hard drive today and examined it, they use surface mount parts because large companies don't want to spend money either. I have the suspicion that surface mount parts don't last as long as through the hole parts. And you might not want to use surface mount parts for audio. The downside of this is that you would have to have a special circuit board made and unless you do it yourself, they cost money but itead studio is cheap. I think you want to check out seeedstudio because they are cheap and you probably want to learn some free software like Eagle. You also need esd (electric static discharge) tweezers and a really small point on your soldering iron. You might need a magnifying glass if you are over 40 and have bad eyesight. But you will probably need a parts box for keeping all these surface mount parts seperate and organized.
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Re: Are electronics recycling facilities good for getting pa

Postby cm0n3y34 » Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:32 pm

Thanks for all the suggestions and information! I'll have to look into all this stuff. Especially the cheap development chips and kits.

Why wouldn't you recommend stores with junkbox electronics?

Oh, and I just turned 21 today, so not too much worry about eyesight (I'm near sighted anyway), but I don't have an iron suitable for surface mount soldering (and I'm really pushing this old tip, it badly needs replacing lol), and I can't really afford to have boards sourced. More often than not, unless I'm adapting another board for reuse, I just use wire and through hole parts, once in awhile with those radio shack proto boards for the more complex stuff and stuff that needs support (the plain boards with the grid of pads, that you either use with wires, or you can draw traces with solder if you are careful)
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Re: Are electronics recycling facilities good for getting pa

Postby Chuckt » Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:06 pm

Having goals and a plan is essential to building what you want.

Chips follow two paths. Some people buy chips because they are new and create a buzz but they don't have any staying power. Just think of some chips that are EOL (end of life). What you want to do is buy a chip that has been around a while and has some staying power.

I look at my own buying patterns. I bought stuff because they were new and there was excitement but I am new to learning so I can't do much with them right now. Then there are boards that fit a purpose and my purpose is to learn. An example would be that the Arduino or Raspberry Pi community has more tutorials than there might be for the Beaglebone.

As a result of my buying patterns, I have a box of cheap parts that doesn't necessarily work with other items but you have to know what you want to learn or what you want to do because if you don't, you will end up with items that you won't use and everyone has a junk box of sorts that sits there and has nothing to do with what they are doing today. I'm not saying it will never be useful but how many times do we use everything we collect?

A store that sells a lot of junk:
http://www.goldmine-elec.com/
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Re: Are electronics recycling facilities good for getting pa

Postby cm0n3y34 » Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:19 pm

Not often but I prefer to be safe and have a pile of spare parts for anything I may come across. I also hate to toss working parts, even when they are inside a broken device lol.

I looked at the TI launchpad, and it's still ~5$, one or 2 of those, and a couple DIP sockets should be a good place to start, right?
Ialso looked at tayda electronics and I can't believe how much cheaper they are than radioshack, even after shipping! (I knew radioshack was more expensive but holy crap!) I may try to get ~30$ to boost my parts for my projects and to improve the projects I have already started or finished.

And looking at that link you just left, I have a LOT of browsing to do!

One more question, where would you suggest getting good quality tools for cheap, I could use an upgrade to my soldering iron (7$ walmart one) and maybe my multimeter(15$ walmart digital one, reliable but doesn't measure caps or anything like that), and the case mod project I'll need hot glue or something along those lines.

And thanks for all the help!
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Re: Are electronics recycling facilities good for getting pa

Postby Chuckt » Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:34 am

Radio Shack doesn't necessarily get a discount on products they sell to you. That means the Quickstart board by Parallax which normally costs $25 will be $43.99 which means they marked it up by $18.99.

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index ... d=12310183

The reason is that they are paying rent plus wages for a salesman to come bother you at the store and say, "Can I help you?" I study prices through ads, the internet and through stores.

I bought one of those Radio Shack soldering irons and the tip was too big for through the hole soldering. You basically want a soldering iron with a 1/32 of an inch tip or 1/64th of an inch. I strongly suggest you call Elenco directly but they have something like this and they have the tips individually for sale.

I have their kit and I suggest not bothering with the unassembled form:
http://cs-sales.net/sostkitw40wi.html

Just don't bother with the kit and I think you can get the iron seperately:

http://cs-sales.net/sl30t3.html

I think I have their SR-6 iron but I don't know if it is available at their site or whether it is renamed. Resellers might have it but you need tips as well so you might want to contact them about a low cost iron that could be used for surface mount soldering.

If you want something that heats up faster, you don't want this iron. I would try to find a better link but it is late and I need more time.

http://cs-sales.net/sl30t3.html
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Re: Are electronics recycling facilities good for getting pa

Postby cm0n3y34 » Tue Nov 20, 2012 12:09 am

I am intrigued by the kit lol, but I would prefer a pre-assembled one anyway. I am thinking about a gun shaped one instead of a pencil shaped one, but idk if I want to get used to a new shape lol. Anyway yeah the one I use, the tips were a little big to begin with, and I didnt take good care of them so they degraded pretty quick...
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