Ways to find free electronic parts

Best way to get Electronic parts is from old electronic devices that are ether broken or have no use. This little guide will list on what devices have what and so on.

Typical passive parts are plentiful in all electronics. Older devices are thru-hole and easy to salvage. I honestly avoid SMD/SMT parts. They’re a pain to remove let alone to solder begin with.

CRT TVs and Monitors are great for Power-Resistors, Voltage Regulators, huge Power-Transistors and sometimes Relays. Some people even reuse the flyback transformer for high voltage experiments. Take extreme caution, CRT TVs and Monitors are deadly if you go poking around inside if it hasn’t had time to discharge. I myself wait a day or two before hand and if I really need to get inside I will discharge the flyback primary to ground. Watch a couple of video on YouTube to see what I am talking about.

Flat screen TVs don’t really have anything to offer other then speakers and the power supply if it isn’t already dead.

Radios mostly have Crystals, BJT type Transistors, variable resistors and variable capacitors that are worth taking.

Power supplies at times have great stuff like the Transformer, Voltage Regulators, High-Voltage Capacitors and Diodes. Switching power supplies don’t offer much more other then Mosfets, negative Voltage Regulators, Fans and wiring. You can salvage typical stuff like resistors, caps and such but if you’re like me you’ll be up to your eyeballs in these parts by then.

Printers can have some great things. However I am not talking about that printer you bought right before Windows Vista came out and found out you can’t use it. I’m talking about fifth-teen years or older. You can get Motor controllers, stepper motors, brushless motors, belts and sometimes AVRs. A few times I found some GAL chips that come in handy for some old school 8-bit computing. Even Scanners of this vintage has the same stuff and if you are lucky a photocopier.

This maybe a sin to some people but old retro computers have a goldmine of 74 series and 4000 series logic for the taking. Also a good source for Tantalum capacitors, EPROMs and LEDs.

This may sound crazy but it is simply genius as well. Automotive junk yards are perfect for Wire, Relays, Solenoids, electric Pumps and Sensors. Most junkyards worry about the typical automotive parts like cylinder heads, seats alternators and such. If you walk up to the pay-booth with a box of wire, sensors and relays they will most likely pull a number out of their butt and typically a low price deal of $20.00. However fuel pumps and solenoids might matter and they might have a higher pricing point. You never know and most junkyards will have pricing sheets to give you a idea.

Most modern electronics are not worth messing with for salvaging parts due to being SMD type and sometimes you will run into parts that the datasheet is only in Chinese or never find any info at all. A lot of older electronics also don’t use jellybean parts like 2n3904 transistors and use some off the wall cheaper version that is some what compatible. This is why the internet is great for looking up stuff and if you get stuck a transistor tester from eBay can tell you.


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