Instructables

How To Get FREE Electronic parts!

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The cost of buying electronic parts for our projects from Radio Shack or Maplin are quite expensive now days...
And most of us have a limited budget in buying stuff.

But...

If you know the secrets of how to get electronic parts for free, you could be saving your self hundreds of bucks!

Heres how...
 
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Step 1: Free samples

Picture of Free samples
You probably have never notices this, but most manufactures and suppliers will give away free samples of their high quality electronic parts.

However, control your self! Don't ask for hundreds of components! No company will give you that much, just ask for a few.

Here is a list of some companies and manufactures that will give you some of their free samples...
Fairchild Semiconductor
Texas Instruments
STMicroelectronics
MARL
WIMA

For more information, check out this instructable! List Of **FREE STUFF** For your projects

Step 2: Talk!

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Talk to the people you know well, like your family and friends if they have any electronic device they are going to throw out, they may be glad to give it to you.

I had successfully got two portable TV's and a radio boom box by simply talking!

Step 3: Computer Repair Stores

Picture of Computer Repair Stores
You can find pretty good stuff from the computer repair stores...

If you ask the manager nicely for blown electronic equipment like PSU's DVD/CD burners, they will usually give it to you.

If you do get a DVD/CD burner, you are very lucky...
Because inside a DVD/CD burner, it has a laser diode that cost several hundred bucks! With that laser, you can make a cool burning laser flashlight if you check out that amazing instructable!
Laser Flashlight Hack!!

I had successfully got a working 200 watts ATX power supply unit and converted into a lab power supply using help of those two instructables...
Convert an ATX Power Supply Into a Regular DC Power Supply!
ATX to Lab Bench Power Supply Conversion
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If you live in a college town then you know about all the amazing discarded stuff you can find during dorm move-out, otherwise known as 'hippie Christmas'!

Schmidty161 year ago
where can i get computer fans

I recommend that you go ahead and ask your neighbors if they have any old towers (PC's) that you can have. If you get one, your gonna find at LEAST 3 fans. Also go to a local electronics store and see if you can find them for fairly good prices. I also would go to amazon or ebay. You can find tons of parts other than fans too for dirt cheap and bulk amounts.

Thanks - Sam.

jack4761 month ago

If you're a student, a lot of manufacturers have discounts or special packages if you can get a professor to sign off saying it's for academic work. Some of them can be sticklers about that but many are happy to help you when they see you taking that initiative...got $100 off a myDAQ this way.

Machine3 months ago

TVs are packed with reusable components. Harvest anything electronic from the throwouts (every two weeks here) and tear them down for the good bits inside which can include power transistors, DC motors, DC pumps, ICs, transformers large and small, inductors, high voltage and low voltage electrolytic capacitors, speakers, displays, buttons and switches and LEDs and lots more.

nancyjohns5 months ago

Oh, also you can get ton of free stuff on craigslist.com

nancyjohns5 months ago

Once, my neighbor was out of town and he got the inside of his house pretty much taken apart (every thing out of the house ect.) and EVERYTHING was in a dumpster on his driveway (they were just going to throw it all away!!!). So we got some pretty not-bad stuff.

nancyjohns5 months ago

Once, my neighbor was out of town and he got the inside of his house pretty much taken apart (every thing out of the house ect.) and EVERYTHING was in a dumpster on his driveway (they were just going to throw it all away!!!). So we got some pretty not-bad stuff.

ARKtest5 months ago
its not free, but Goodwill sells electronics for a couple of bucks. and if you're lucky enough to have one with an outlet, they sell stuff for even less.
SugarCluster10 months ago
Wow!
Where did you got that SID chip from?
flashbang211 months ago
freecycle.com its where you can get things for free also
JesusGeek1 year ago
I got 5 computer fans from my dads stuff and an old computer. I got a lot of magnet wire from the ferrite rings in the computers power supply. Cut components out of you can't solder.
VyreRain1 year ago
....its not Illegal in Oklahoma =P
I'm not really doing a project, but i like putting electronics together and building stuff. Thanks!!!!!
~CableGuy1 year ago
Try this too if you have an ordinary transformer:

Connect the Xenon tube to a transformer(HV), and other two wires of the transformer(LV Out) to a battery. start jerking the wire on the + head of the battery and watch the Beautiful Spark Show in the Xenon Tube! have fun!
~CableGuy1 year ago
man I did the same thing for whatever I have (but my 555 timers!). I spent most of my time un-soldering the components of the boards!
I got CD players, VCRs, Car Cassette players, PCs, and so on by simply "Talking"!!
try dumpster diving the radio shack dumpster.
you could break into the local dump. im only 13 so this is not a very possible solution.
didn't know that. wada you know learn new things every day
frodobot5 years ago
Be careful taking apart TVs. They can keep charge for weeks and could kill you if you don't discharge the load capacitors (and don't use the screwdriver method cos you'll probably be electrocuted and fried. The screens also need discharging
Tkdwn frodobot3 years ago
Ah, that flyback discharge <3 <3 <3 It shook me good lol!
syfire Tkdwn1 year ago
Hehe, yeah, I remember the first crt monitor I dismantled. My little brother put his finger right on the driver capacitor. Nasty shock and he got a flesh burn. That is how I learn that disconected electrical appliance couls still have power in them.
the other day I tore apart a crt monitor without discharging the screen. i just dropped a BIG rock on the deflection coils and broke off the neck of the tube then salvaged parts.
(removed by author or community request)
no, just try turning it on without a power source, it should discharge
monty3242 years ago
i dont think laser diodes from dvd burners cost 200 dollars
-max- monty3242 years ago
i have seen the whole drive as high as 70 but not 200, either.
I think what they mean is that to buy the Lazer Diode alone would cost $200. Which makes sense, because companies that sell the seperate device would put it in a housing and have a power source connection.
I have had a great experience with Samtec. I was able to get some really nice USB ports from them for free, no questions asked. And the best part --free next day air shipping! But only get what you need so we can all use their wonderful service.

http://www.samtec.com/SuddenService/samples/samples.aspx
Schmartboard is giving away samples too. http://www.schmartboard.com/index.asp?page=schmartland_samples
nurdee12 years ago
I am interested in getting free parts but I don't have a company email adress. All I have is a gmail adress. Are there any places where I can get free parts without a company email adress?

Thanks.
Modarius5 years ago
My walmart said that i couldn't have a camera because of liability but your might be different.. Just something to note :-)
i went into walgreens one time and asked and the dude was like"no you cant have any because we send them into the factory and they recycle them"wat kind of crap is that?!?!!?!?!?!!?
Because the way they open them they can send to the factory and they good condition ones get new film and re-packaged. They also do this with disposable digital cameras.
As a matter of fact they do. I have gotten disposed disposable camera's that were all taped together again. No doubt a more than once use. The paper cover is supposed to hide that all :-)
DIGITAL? do you mean the camcorders?
No they actually make disposable DIGITAL cameras!
i have already learned the error of my ways...
Plasmana (author)  Sandisk1duo5 years ago
Some companies make one-time use digital cameras... They are like ordinary film disposable cameras, but it is in digital - with a LCD screen.
So they have a little chip or whatever that stores the pictures inside the camera? If so,1)Theres probably a way to get them off the camera yourself and 2) Isn't that expensive?
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