Introduction: How to Get FREE Electronic Parts!

Picture of How to Get FREE Electronic Parts!

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.


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

Heres how...

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

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

Step 2: Talk!

Picture of Talk!

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

Step 4: Disposable Flash Cameras

Picture of Disposable Flash Cameras
You can find disposable flash cameras at photo developing places that can be found in Wal-Mart or ASDA or other places like that.

If you ask the cashier or the manager nicely for disposable flash cameras, they are likely to give you a lot of cameras for free!
However some evil photo developing places will charge you for every camera you want...

With those cameras, you can do a lot of fun projects with them, and here is a list of instructables you should visit...
Coilgun Handgun
Disposable Camera Ring Flash
How to build a Taser for free!
Build a World's Smallest Electronic Shocker!

And they are many other great instructables you should check out...

What you can find in a flash camera are:
  • 330v capacitor (that can cost a few dollars each if brought new.)
  • Small inverter
  • Trigger transformer
  • NPN transistor(s)
  • Small diode
  • 400v film capacitor
  • Resistors
  • Xenon tube (the glass tube that makes a flash.)
  • LED or neon bulb
  • AA or AAA battery

You can find a lot of good stuff inside a camera.

Step 5: Trash Days

Picture of Trash Days

You can find some pretty good stuff during trash days by going for a walk or drive around...

I had found a still-working pressure washer that worth over £400 ($800)!! So keep your eyes peeled!

Step 6: Skips and Dumpsters

Picture of Skips and Dumpsters

Almost like trash days, but you can get a lot more from skips and dumpsters...

Grab your tough protective clothing and gloves and go out for a drive and find those skips or dumpsters.

Try avoid skips or dumpsters that are filled with rotten foods or other disgusting stuff, because it smells bad and you may end up having some health problems...

Try grab some stuff that you can sell on ebay, car boot (trunk) sales, garage sales.... You can make a good chunk of change doing that.

Step 7: The End

Picture of The End

I hope this helps you with some of your projects!

If you have any questions, or need help, or found an error, or anything, make a comment! I like comments! :)


tovrea45 (author)2017-03-19

I need a free AMD, Nvidia or Intel video card for my computer it has to be a low profile one as my computer is an HP slimline, quad core computer. Can you please tell me where i can get one of these for free? Thank you so very much

the minecrafth (author)tovrea452017-09-30

Sorry bud thats not possible xD

Bananagunz (author)tovrea452017-05-27

Are you kidding me? It's bad enough tons of people go grabbing up all the free electronic components they can without any intent of ever actually buying from the company after sampling the product, ruining it for the rest of us that utilized the samples for testing; like a sample is intended. You want a GPU, go buy one! You people are mixing up SAMPLE with a handout. When you go get ice cream and ask for a sample of a flavor you don't expect them yo hand you an entire cone for free(or you probably do), you get a small bit to test prior to settling on your purchase. That is a sample. Sure, you may try the product and realize its not what you thought and not make a purchase, but it's not some free giveaway. What you want is a handout. Something free with no intention of spending any money or otherwise ever doing anything to justify being given something, let alone something that isnt cheap...

mike.blais2 (author)2015-01-30

Be careful when requesting free that they don't nail you with a fee after it deliver. Some company use UPS, FedEx or DHL. These are great if you need something quickly, but in my case I don't need it quickly and it a free sample I don't care if it get lost in the mail, I just re-ask for it. Some people believe we should pay for sample, I say no. If you give sample away, it should be free including shipping charges. As a person who get these free sample shouldn't a profit on these free item. I believe they should be used to build prototype, that if you want sell thing. Myself, I want free sample just for myself.

Bananagunz (author)mike.blais22017-05-27

You're the reason companies started doing that sort of thing. People that "will just order another free one" with no intention of ever buying the part. Scumbag

Vardhanbatavia007 (author)2017-01-24

Can you tell me the exact link for free samples as on MARL and WIMA I cannot find free samples anywhere....please help if you found it

Blackhoodhd (author)2017-01-15


3967 (author)2016-01-19

that is how i got im my youth several xx-Kilgogramms (under 100kg i guess) of electronics. You can get everything exept small resistores. You can unsolder the 1/4Watt resistor too but they arent relly wrth the time, the bigger resistor(0,5W and up are worth). All otherparts are worth for desoldering. Rememer to periodicly open your window for fresh air if you desolder longer than 10 minutes since it can get unhealthy.

thomcomstock (author)39672016-01-20

Good comment. Thank nyou for the health tip. I have a tendency to forget such.

3967 (author)thomcomstock2016-01-20

I my youth i didn't know the solder aerosols are toxic, i experienced asthma like symptoms until i found out i need to open the window to refresh the air in the room atleast every 15mins. Another soloution would be a aircleaner. There are instructionables to for them. But to be safe i would recommend aircleaner+ hope the window, or doing the desoldering in outdoor. Another tip is using safety googles can't be wrong for 2 reasons. 1 the fumes are not only toxic they are irretating the eyes. 2. Some people manages to get soldering lead into the eyes (when its hot it can fly xD) greetings

pucafanny (author)2015-07-20

Wtf. I've Fairchild semiconductor has been giving me the run around all morning. Then they ask for a corporate email for one sample.

slanwar (author)2015-03-28

Most towns in New Jersey have a recycling yard which people dump TV's, computers and any electronic device they have at home.

jdillon6 (author)2015-03-12

Any suggestion where to get the following part? RS2004M, V822. This is needed as a replacement part in the circuit of a quartz electric heater. So of course it has to be "new" or at least tested to be in good working order. This is not for resale, it is a hobbyist project and believe me, I am using "safety first." The heater will not be used at all unless surrounded by heavy metal of the fireproof variety. Dismantling it revealed the heater was built using about 50 percent plastic. Far less plastic will be used in rebuilding the bracket holder/mount. Also I will seek to have it checked by a qualified electrician. So I just need the part. I am willing to find the part in old junked appliances that it would be used in, so if I know what appliances to look at, I might locate a good one at the local recycler (after asking permission first).

WilliamD11 (author)2015-02-02

This is totally true! I found a working computer in a dumpster!

Webmsater (author)2014-10-12

Getting electronic parts in free is a risky one. But
thinking smart way gives some electronic parts such as don't waste electronics components
in home. All the components have at least one good part, collect that and use

Webmsater (author)2014-10-12

Getting electronic parts in free is a risky one. But
thinking smart way gives some electronic parts such as don't waste electronics components
in home. All the components have at least one good part, collect that and use

pulgasvestidas (author)2014-07-02

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'!

jack476 (author)2014-06-02

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 $100 off a myDAQ this way.

Machine (author)2014-04-04

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.

nancyjohns (author)2014-02-23

Oh, also you can get ton of free stuff on

nancyjohns (author)2014-02-23

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.

nancyjohns (author)2014-02-23

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.

ARKtest (author)2014-02-14

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.

SugarCluster (author)2013-09-29

Where did you got that SID chip from?

flashbang2 (author)2013-08-15 its where you can get things for free also

VyreRain (author)2013-05-21

....its not Illegal in Oklahoma =P

ulises soriano (author)2013-02-20

I'm not really doing a project, but i like putting electronics together and building stuff. Thanks!!!!!

~CableGuy (author)2012-12-06

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!

~CableGuy (author)2012-12-06

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"!!

smiley G.I JOE (author)2012-12-04

try dumpster diving the radio shack dumpster.

smiley G.I JOE (author)2012-12-04

you could break into the local dump. im only 13 so this is not a very possible solution.

smiley G.I JOE (author)2012-12-04

didn't know that. wada you know learn new things every day

Schmidty16 (author)2012-09-24

where can i get computer fans

frodobot (author)2009-03-24

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 (author)frodobot2011-07-08

Ah, that flyback discharge <3 <3 <3 It shook me good lol!

Sarah86 (author)Tkdwn2012-09-10

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.

devicemodder (author)frodobot2009-04-26

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.

monty324 (author)2011-12-03

i dont think laser diodes from dvd burners cost 200 dollars

-max- (author)monty3242012-02-10

i have seen the whole drive as high as 70 but not 200, either.

rantipole (author)-max-2012-08-24

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.

marshall_lee (author)2012-08-22

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.

powerman666 (author)2012-08-07

Schmartboard is giving away samples too.

nurdee1 (author)2012-02-21

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?


Modarius (author)2008-12-16

My walmart said that i couldn't have a camera because of liability but your might be different.. Just something to note :-)

pyro man (author)Modarius2008-12-30

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?!?!!?!?!?!!?

Wesley666 (author)pyro man2009-01-09

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.

diy_bloke (author)Wesley6662011-10-29

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 :-)

Sandisk1duo (author)Wesley6662009-01-20

DIGITAL? do you mean the camcorders?

Wesley666 (author)Sandisk1duo2009-01-25

No they actually make disposable DIGITAL cameras!

Sandisk1duo (author)Wesley6662009-01-25

i have already learned the error of my ways...

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