Scrounging For the Pieces

Stever

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Newbie to electronics, if I was looking for a 555 timer or counter or reed relay what kind of stuff has those parts and could you scrounge them. I am not being cheap. It is just that someone here said get wire from printer cable, great suggestion. I also have old kids toys, cell phones, clock radios and other stuff, that would be great to recycle into trail cam parts.
 



Archilochus

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Hi Stever,
Scrounging through old stuff is one of my favorite ways to get parts to build things!  Made some pretty neat gadgets out of all sorts of discarded junk.  Yup, I AM a cheap bugger!

Printer cable/mouse cord is a great source of flexible, fine gauge wire.  Dead floppy drives often have super-fine gauge wire.
Computers are a source for all sorts of useful hardware - nuts, bolts, standoffs, etc.
In answering machines can be found relays, optocouplers, op-amps, all sorts of diodes, LEDs, sometimes a 555 or 556, numeric displays/drivers, motors, sound ICs.
VCRs are a gold-mine of assorted transistors and other parts - If you can properly ID them! Also usually have a remote control receiver module - lots of fun!
Kids toys have fun stuff too - switches, LEDs, sound ICs, light sensors, etc.

Sadly, as manufacturers switch to surface-mount components and micro-controller solutions, scrounging parts has become more difficult.  Tear apart cheaper electronic products to find through-hole components and discretes.

Get a CD copy of a manufacturers data sheets - try ST Microelectronics.  You'll need to identify any interesting ICs you might come across.

Test a product before ripping parts out of it - you'll have better luck using salvaged parts if you know what the operating voltage was - especially for electro-mechanical items like relays.

Finally - beware of using parts from a product that has suffered any major accidents - got soaked with water or fried by lightning etc.

Got a part# off of an IC that you want to try and identify?? check:
http://www.freetradezone.com

Good Luck!,
Archilochus
 

Tinhorn

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I too, am a scrounger.  

I have organizers and jars of parts already removed, bits and pieces of TV's, PC's, toys, 8-tracks (oops, just aged myself), tubes, oops again, better get off what I got.....

For the past 30 years I've been meaning to throw away some of that stuff, and someday I will, maybe   :crygreen:

Nearly all my LED's on the cams came from a single, external 2400 Baud MODEM (got about 6)  I looked thru all of them trying to cabbage an OptoCoupler that would work on the shutter.....



BTW, if you got some junk you want to get rid of, I'l Q@#@TH#^#%@&^&@$G%%   o

Sorry, my wife says to ignore that    :cry-blue:
 

Possum

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It's okay to be cheap here.  That's the name of the game.  My hardest part to find was the foam that I use to hold the camera in place.  I picked mine up out of the road on the way to the dump.  Got a big old piece-it is that black/grey kind that works so good.  The dollar store is a good place to buy wire.  I use the phone lines...50ft for a $1.  I get 4 strands, so about 200ft all together.

Joe DiMaggio sells a timer chip for about $10 plus shipping.  When built it is around 15-18 dollars total.  Includes 4 timer modes and a counter.  Great deal.  Not hard to build either.

(Edited by Possum at 6:16 pm on Nov. 16, 2001)
 


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