How to save around US$623 by scavenging from junk. If you live in a country that has regular roadside junk collection, they can be a goldmine of electronics spare parts.
One of the more interesting parts you can get is the LCD screen. Once you find the model number then a simple Google will show up plenty of controller boards that you can retrofit and you’ve got a working monitor.
Batteries are good to save, they are usually divided up into individual cells that you can separate and use to power small MCUs. The RAM isn’t so useful, but could be added to another notebook I had.
$3.49 - Then there’s the WiFi and Bluetooth module running a very common Broadcom module.
But then I had another two notebooks to rip apart. Then Compaq Armada E500 I managed to get
$15.00 - another LCD screen
$0.95 - Electret microphone
$27.50 - touchpad. More buttons.
$3.50 - and more DB25 and DB9 connectors.
The last notebook I managed to get
$3.50 - one of those funky thumb sticks,
$7.50 - speakers, more buttons.
$3.00 - RJ45 connectors, More buttons, which can be easily de-soldered,
$1.50 - and a USB connector, which is easy to de-solder as well,
Bringing the current tally to just a bit over US$240. Nice haul so far.
Scanners are a good source of stepper motors, sensors, switches, and passive components. I could have used these excellent lights for close up shots in my studio, but I already have enough, so didn’t keep them.
$19.50 - A bunch of caps.
$1.95 - Flex cables are always handy.
WiFi Access Points
You can actually get a few bits from an old access point.
$6.95 - like the antenna, SMD buttons
And on the second access point,
$6.95 - another antenna, and I could have de-soldered the flash chip and other ICs, but it’d be good to get some of the connectors off.
$3.10 - Another WiFi module,
$0.95 - DC barrel jack, buttons, LEDs,
An old clock radio is full of a bunch of old school passives.
$1.50 power cord,
$2.50 - speaker,
$1.95 - 7 segment LED display and more buttons
Laser printers are usually a good source of stepper and DC motors, sensors, connectors, solenoids and also gearing if you’re in to robotics. There’s also solenoids, switches, and IR sensors.
$1.20 - Of course more buttons and LEDs.
$2.95 - microswitches
Then there is the laser scanner module, which I’m thinking of using as a laser leveler. I’ll just have to replace the laser with something in the visible spectrum. It comes complete with it’s own Hbridge driver IC.
The toner cartridge is useless to me.
$60.00 - But the power supply is chock full of trimpots, heatsinks, coils, caps, transistors, diodes. I reckon components alone would be around the $60 mark.
$17.00 - There’s bucket loads of sensors and microswitches of all shapes and sizes.
$36.00 - and would you believe this DC motor with Hbridge controller would cost you $36?
Inkjet printers are also a good source of steppers, sensors, switches and passives.
$9.95 - A nice 12 and 5 volt DC power supply.
$5.50 - buttons and connectors,
$1.50 - USB connector,
$3.00 - and a nice motor with inbuilt encoding wheel.
Microwaves, on the other hand, are full of high voltage stuff, but there’s a few passives you can get from them.
$6.50 - Temperature sensors,
$2.95 - microswitches,
$1.50 - connectors,
and if you’re in to dangerous stuff you can’t forget the magnetron, which is probably the reason why this microwave has been thrown out, so probably useless.
$1.50 - piezo buzzer,
So, how much would all these electronics components cost me?