Step 6: How to find free electronic parts

Picture of How to find free electronic parts
Buying electronic parts may be very expensive, but I know a few tricks on how to get free electronic equipment which has lots of valuable electronic parts!

Getting free electronic stuff is easier than you thing, you just need to look around...


  • Schools - If you nicely ask your headmaster that you can have the electronic stuff they might throw out, they might give it to you...
  • Computer Repair Store - If you ask the manager nicely for blown electronic equipment, they will usually give it to you. If you get a blown DVD/CD burner, you are very lucky, you had got a laser that cost several hundred bucks! Check out this instructable if you do get a burner.
  • Skips - For those Americans that does not know, it is an english word for huge trash containers, what you would call dumpsters. And that is where I thrive, I find not only electronic stuff, but a lot of other great stuff as well. In England it is legal to collect stuff from skips, you just only need to watch out for the territorial people, you don't want to see them...
  • Trash Days- Go for a drive or walk around on your trash day, you can find a lot of great stuff as well. I had even found a still-working 400 british pounds ($800) pressure washer!

- Plasmana

CRT monitors!!!

What you can get:
They have a variety of parts inside them for example:
  • Crystals
  • Microchips
  • Capacitors
  • Resistors
  • Diodes
  • Mosfets
  • Transistors
  • Relays
  • VGA cable
  • Electromagnets
  • Potentiometers/Variable resistors
  • Fuses
  • Inductors
  • Buttons/Switches
  • Bridge Rectifiers
  • Transformers
Dont' know what any of those are? Then you probably won't need them...
Though if you are into electronics and high-voltage, they can be very useful!ahem AND FREE

How to get it:
Have a look around, If you see a CRT monitor (the one that isn't a flatscreen) be sure to pick it up. They are usually found at landfills, in dumpsters/garbage bins, outside places with lots of computers etc. They may not be as easy to find as other stuff on this site, but keep looking! They'll be well worth it!

If you wanted, you could modify it to be a oscilloscope, Use it for parts, Use the screen as a vacuum bomb (don't do this at home, not enviromentaly friendly either) and you can even make a high voltage powersupply out of the flyback transformer here's how

SteeleWorks3 years ago
are you sure that somebody hadn't just left their pressure washer out beside there bins
hellstudios4 years ago
hah, is that a coil from a car in that picture?
luudvig5 years ago
Here in Norway they are called containers
traeman20006 years ago
Someone down the block from me threw away an old wooden floor TV. Its still there, would it have anything? The lady said the tube is either out or the fuse. Always could modify it into something else, right?
AnarchistAsian (author)  traeman20006 years ago
there must be lots of goodies inside, but you could fix it easily too... you should go get it...
gorgo3336 years ago
yeah banks and places like that are ALWAYS upgrading there computer systems. my father and I once got around 20 working computers from a bank upgrade.
AnarchistAsian (author)  gorgo3336 years ago
oh. cool.
bmlbytes6 years ago
Thanks for the translation and all, but we call them dumpsters here too.
McDouche6 years ago
Not just schools, My Dad bummed a dozen functioning computers from his workplace (Mechanic) when the sales division upgraded to vista. $50 for a cheap videocard (+ several days mixing and matching) and we had ourselves a free, decent "Downloads" computer + 11 husks to trade in. 5 stars, btw.