Circuit Board Disassembly


Introduction: Circuit Board Disassembly

About: I'm a refugee from Los Angeles, living in backwoods Puerto Rico for about 35 years now and loving it. I built my own home from discarded nylon fishnet and cement.

I never liked electronics.  I'm determined to learn about radiant energy and over-unity circuits now, though, and the place to start is the beginning.  To get some parts to play with, I am disassembling a computer power supply.  This instructable will cover the graceful butchery of the circuit board.  

Snipping the wire leads on parts results in short stumps that are hard to work with later, so I decided to unsolder all the parts from the circuit board.  Wires from the component parts pass through holes in the circuit board and are soldered to printed circuitry on the back side.  

To help facilitate work, I came up with some helpful tools and techniques I would like to share.  In this photo, you can see the circuit board being held by a pipe clamp vise adaptor.  

Step 1: Pipe Clamp Holding Device

The pipe clamp normally uses a piece of 3/4" iron water pipe, threaded at the end attaching to the crank.   Since I had no iron pipe, I used 3/4" PVC pipe, heating the end to soften it, and then pushing and turning as it self-threaded into the crank unit.  

The pipe goes into a PVC vise adapter for holding pipe, and can rotate on that axis for easy access to either side of the circuit board.  To make a similar adapter, see my instructable:

Rubber floor mat pads are Gorilla glued to the clamps jaws to firmly, but gently hold the circuit board by the edges.  The circuit board wouldn't fit directly into my vise, but a pipe clamp can be big enough to handle anything.  

Step 2: Hand Tools

These are some of the simple hand tools I used, along with a small soldering iron (not shown).  Most of the tools are used in conjunction with the soldering iron.   The soldering iron loosens the part while the tool pulls.  

Exacto knife -- for cutting rubbery caulk-like material sometimes used to keep parts from vibrating (I guess).  

Screw driver -- for screws, and prying parts up.

Wire pulling hook -- it has a sharp hook on the end for getting under wire leads and pulling them.  Especially useful on small resistors.  

Cement nail sharpened to a chisel tip --  Nice hard steel.  Good for prying up bent over wire leads, so you can pull them out through the holes in the circuit board.  

Hemostat -- For holding and pulling wire leads.  For removing resistors, I usually use a hook on one end and then the hemostat for the other end.  The hemostat also serves as a heat sink to help protect components from heat traveling up the wire lead during unsoldering.  

Step 3: Pile of Parts

These are some of the tiny treasures I scavenged from the board.   I'd tell you what everything is, but I don't know yet.  I'm sure learning will be fun.  

To see the project I am planning to make go to Imhotep's Lab:     This is an invention by John Bedini, a wizard in the field of radiant energy.  All, or most of the parts can be found in an old computer power supply, including the fan.  The end result should be able to charge car batteries, producing more energy than it consumes.  Sounds like magic?  I can understand any skepticism because I was one for a long time.  Keep researching, and you too will become a believer.  It's all about free energy from a 4th dimension.   Search Youtube for "overunity".



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    I new this was from an ATX Power Supply, I recognize those heat-sinks!

    1 reply

    Those are the cheap heatsinks. Better ones would be of the extruded variety. Here is an example of what a higher quality PC power supply looks like internally

    The hook up wires are heavier gauge, and the filter capacitors are better name brand ones too. Here's one with anodized aluminum extruded heatsinks

    Pretty much the best heatsinks commonly available. That is a Corsair brand PSU. Although I must say I am not a big fan of YL box fans. That is still probably a pretty nice PSU though.

    I've had this conversation more times than I can count. Long story short, using PCB rework techniques in order to salvage parts is WRONG!

    You have two viable options open to you. One is to use some sort of a blowtorch to carefully evenly heat the substrate material to release the components. The other is the method I employ, it is a bit more temperature controlled by its nature. I use what is called a solder pot bath to remove components from PCBs.

    I pull more parts with it in an hour than the most dedicated idiot could manage in a lifetime with a soldering iron.

    I'm not going to believe in over unity power generation because it goes against the second law of thermodynamics. I do believe in incompetent boobs improperly performing experiments and their subsequent erroneous results though.

    Here is one for you to Google at your leisure:


    11 replies

    Disagreed-Not everything in life has to be done too quickly, And you don't learn anything from un-soldering components with a solder pot/bath, What's fun about it anyway...

    You might enjoy this video (part 1 of 2).

    I didn't believe either, for the same reason, for a long time. The energy source seems to be in the time dimension, related to dark energy and quantum physics. Anyway, this video is from a physics professor with access to all the right equipment and his circuit does 8 times over unity.

    What is the photo you attached of?

    It is my solder pot. What I use to strip circuit boards with. When it is plugged in and heated up the whole middle of it about 3 1/2 inches across is a pool of molten solder. Then I put a board on it, and pull out whatever I want off of it. Well, any part that'll fit in the pool. Most do. I can pull a 64 pin DIP package IC in about 2 seconds flat.

    Cool! Experimenting with a solder pot would be fun. I'm just beginning and did what I could with what I had. It would be interesting to know how many of the components I removed were internally damaged. The solder pot probably increases your level of confidence and saves time from troubleshooting later.

    When you scavenge parts there is no guarantee they work to begin with. But with most semiconductors you are better off heating them no more than about 3 seconds. Things like resistors and capacitors can take more heat. So it pays to have a strategy when you disassemble circuits. I go after the most sensitive parts first. Or the ones I value the most that are delicate. One must pick and choose.

    It always pays to test used parts before you commit to using them in a project. That increases confidence, and saves time troubleshooting entire circuits later.

    I bought a commercial solder pot but I'm sure someone handy could make one. It is just a metal cup filled with lead solder, and a heating element under it. I'm sure something can be made for a reasonable cost.

    Nice idea, making a solder pot. It also sounds good to learn how to test parts before using them.

    I just watched a video on YouTube the other night about this village in China where a lot of electronic scrap gets dumped and in it one fellow had a dished sheet of metal over a heat source with a shallow puddle of molten solder on it and he was going to town popping parts off boards.

    My idea of porn.

    As far as testing parts goes get the datasheet for your part in question and towards the back of them there usually is a basic test circuit that was used to write the parts specifications with. What you want to do is build the simplest circuit possible with whatever component and just make sure it does what it is supposed to do. If it works it works.

    If it doesn't take a heavy pair of diagonal cutters and break it. You don't want to be testing that junk part again! Plus it is sort of cool to look inside some parts.

    I've been removing components from boards for a while and find using a soldering iron is tedious. I took to using an air heater and that was easier. I'll get a solder pot. Following reading what you said I looked on eBay and they are mostly Chinese made and for only $20 I can get one that is stated to be 150 Watts (I have no idea if that is adequate). Can I ask what power (Watts) your solder pot is?

    The solder pot I have is rather large, it has a 5 pound capacity and it is 800 watts. I'm sure a smaller unit would do an adequate job as well. The advantage of using a solder pot is in wetting. Frozen solder flows fastest when it is wet. Wet means liquid solder is in contact with the frozen solder. To get an idea of wetting try to solder with an untinned soldering iron. A properly tinned soldering iron is considered to be "wet". It works a lot better too.

    Thanks for the tips. Where do I get the datasheets for the used parts? Online?

    Most electronics have part numbers associated with them. There are a few rules to deciphering what all the cryptic numbers found on parts mean. Usually the first line is the house part number and the second line is the batch code. Someplace in the house part number is typically a sequence of alphanumeric digits that correspond to the generic industry part number.

    It takes some practice to glean the actual industry part name from some house part numbers but after a while you get familiar with the systems, what prefixes and suffixes to drop etc.

    But yes once you manage to distill the actual industry part number from the house number along with some educated guessing you can find the data sheets by doing web searches for them.

    Get the data sheet, compare it to the part you have in front of you, and that should be the final determining factor on whether you were successful in your decrypting of the device.

    I cracked one yesterday for someone in a forum here:

    It isn't a great example because the house number has nothing to do with the industry number but it gives you some idea of what it takes and what can be had.

    Much like a good detective story I enjoy the thrill of the chase. Happy hunting!