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A Pile of Junk Answered

Can you believe my wife called it that? Here I find out that a friend of a friend's company is clearing out it's inventory, so I score for next to nothing, all this cool vintage tech. And the first thing my wife does is call it junk, and second tell me "Don't bring that into MY house". So I desperately need to boast somewhere. Here's what I got. A PII notebook (won't boot, past setup screen needs new cmos battery) A PIII notebook ( boots couple bad spots on screen (Thinking sacrificial computer for dangerous projects)) PIV notebook Cracked screen (Thinking of docking it to replace my crufty old celery desktop) PIII Desktop (needs harddrive (same destiny as the P3 notebook) LCD projection panel, just 640X480 but NIB. A video camera, old school tape, but top of the line for it's vintage. a laser printer and a eighties vintage teleconferencer. Went around giggling like Beavis all day. Acquire any cool junk recently?


I glossed over a lot of the posts, but did not see my idea anywhere. How about posting "free to good home" type posts by region, or state. Not only will it save on postage, but it might get some Instructables junkies together and meet face-to-face, and start colaborations over cocktail napkins.

When I lived in Boston's Back Bay, you could, and I did, furnish entire houses with the stuff thrown out exactly on yearly rental schedules. Trash days on the last week of August/first week of September were goldmines of desks, chairs, couches, vacuums, lamps, and bookshelves. It's funny that your wife is keeping your awesome junk out of the house. Just last weekend I was cleaning the garage and trying to decide what to do with my wife's collection of granite. More than a year ago, a stone-working shop was moving and throwing away scrap slabs of granite. Christy heard about this and brought home a quarter-ton of inch-thick granite slabs "for some future project." I also recently discovered pounds of broken, brightly colored glass pieces she smuggled across the country when we moved, again "for some future project." While we're on this subject of awesome free junk, would any of you be interested in a list of things like this that other users were selling/giving away? Would anyone be willing to pay the shipping for some old piece of useful hardware, if you couldn't pick it up in person. What would be the best way to handle something like this? Hint, hint...

Have you tried freecycle?

We use it all the time to get rid of or get junk. Sign up to the list and post what you have. Some one will want it.

I'm surprised no one mentioned it yet.

wow -- I was just putting something together to start a "Pay it foreword" type of post. I wanted to start it off with a small collection of mine to give it a chance of survivability....

The loose guidelines I was going to follow:

Thou shall add one (1) additional item per each item taken.
Thou shall provide a brief description that must include item condition, approx. age (if very old -- vintage) and how it was used.
Thou shall include at least one(1) picture of the actual item.
Thou shall be limited to one (1) per one (1) item available.
Shipping Policy
To make this work, you really shouldn't make or break even on a pay it foreword item. That being said, you should not have to pay an arm and a leg either. Below is a table for the suggested maximum shipping rate (that is, worst case scenario across the continental US). As both parties will know where the package is coming from and where it is going - both parties can calculate actual shipping charges before the item is sent.

Remember, the goal is to give something - and the cost is minimal. Of course, special cases for heavy and over sized items need not apply. However, you are encouraged to use flat rate shipping methods as the box is free and the rate is low ;)

Shipping wit USPS
For items less than 5lbs
Shipping will be free (this is part of the pay it foreword idealogical)
For: 5<items<=10
Shipping will be no more than $1.50 per pound
For: 10<items<=20
Shipping will be no more than $0.75 per pound + $10
For: 20<items<=30
Shipping will be no more than $0.50 per pound + $15

These prices are based off of USPS online postage calculator going from south Florida to California ;) Yes, I entered 30 postage weights, recorded each cost and then did a line estimation to get a postage cost.

Once received - leave feedback on the transaction in a place that the sender can not delete (not on the orange board). If you were overcharged for shipping - let the community know.

Feedback is important to the community. It makes sure everyone does their job and prevents troublemakers from causing more problems. If you should have a problem, address the party involved directly before coming to the community. Should you need to ask for outside help, do so in a respectful manner.

Don't post a request without offering something first. This just clutters everything up making things even more difficult.

What I have
This really isn't the right time just yet... but here's a few items I have (minus photos at the moment)

-Windshield wiper motor from a '93 MX6 - untested, comes with motor transmission
-Halogen Desk Lamp - requires bulb
- Cheap 7 function Multimeter - got it from Harbor Freight, still in original packaging. I keep one in my car for diagnosing parts (resistance sensors and such) and surface voltage battery testing

I have occasionally tried to give stuff away. Alas, it seems that the people most likely to be able to make use of such stuff (students) seem rather reluctant to give out a real shipping address. I don't think I blame them :-( (did you hear recently about someone using "craig's list" to set up roberies? Sigh.)

Yes, West was kind enough to help me with a missing piece in my instructable. Which will be updated this February right after I finish midterms. (Studying really hard) Being the poor student I am, I buy quiet a lot of used stuff from cragislist (laptops, my car, list goes on...). I didn't hear anything about this robbery story though! Some people really; just takes a few of them to ruin something great.

I think a "maker seeking parts"/ "parts free to good home" listing section would be a great addition to instructables. Alot of this stuff would not be practical to ship (i.e. 1/4t granite...), but if someone has just what you've been searching for to finish that project, the shipping would be worth it. Also, for folks who happen to be in the same area, stuff could be picked up.

Hey! Now that we've got a waterjet that granite is going to be totally sweet. The mosaic glass is awesome and absolutely necessary, too, so no more whining. Remind me why we're still storing your broken kites?

granite? Waterjet? Homemade gifts? ;-) You could build a kite storage bin with dovetailed joints! Or at least a bench for the yard, squid-shaped bird bath... Bee-yootiful trivets for showing off those delicious recipes... Okay, I'll stop now.

Click, Boom. I had figured ya'll were a couple, but.... Yes an exchange or way to disseminate useful but too valueless to ebay parts would be cool. I've got two NIB US robotics modems I'll NEVER use, and lots of other stuff. Really, does one man need six soldering irons? That answer is yes, but I have other things i don't need. BTW I'm now using one of those laptops as my desktop, and I fixed up the thinkpad 380d and am carrying it around at school, the geek kids are in awe, some even stopped me to take pics.

Maybe you should sell those old soldering irons on ebay to get one of those fancy variable ones! :D


11 years ago

Silliness aside, I think it's a great idea to enable, er help packr.. er Instructable-izers to find parts and materials. (and to dispose of ancient "future projects." I come from a long line of packrats myself, so I understand. I've often (weakly?) defended myself and my scraps and tidbits by saying that if I did not do creative work (not nearly enough lately), I would have far less stuff in the form of tools, materials and stuff that needs to be repaired, salvaged parts sculpture awaiting one more part, that beautiful old chair that needs refinishing... i need a shop! Anybody in the East Bay have one to share?


11 years ago

Veeeerrrrry nice. At the nearby dump, there is a "salvage center" where i've picked up some really cool stuff, like an old pc controller and an about 30 inch CRT tv for two bucks! Viva la frugality!

I was rumaging through the attic not that long ago when I spied the coolest little gadget. When I first saw it I thought it twas an old midevil calculator. You know, the kind that you plug into the wall and have a battery life of about 2.5 seconds. Any way it turns out that that it was an aged, PC-2 pocket computer. My dad said that a bunch of people at his work carried them around until the word procesor rendered them obsolete. So I duct taped in to my bed room door as a sort of security counter measure/ key pad. Ahh nothing like dated electronics!

"Cool" is in the eye of the beholder. I got a 1983 video game called Vectrex. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vectrex
It has no joystick/controllers and is pretty beat up but the screen works. I collect joysticks and could have sworn I had one for the Vectrex but I can't find it.This will now drive me crazy for the week.
shake all electronics before plugging them in. Some pennies had been slipped inside the vectrex and it might have exploded nicely if I had plugged it in without removing them first.


11 years ago

haii wot u can do wit dose notebook computers is stick dem.....jokes wit dat p3 wot u do is check if it can work wit a data show projector if it can go to ebay buy a cheap screen or go rummaging wen ya council has pickup in ya area and connect it to tha screen out i think dats wot its called and see if its got a function button if it does it will work if u press function and f6 or f7 or mabe f5 it depends


11 years ago

Also having a wife, I find the proud moments to be when I actually manage to USE a piece of junk that I've found, rather than when I find it.

My most spectactular find was 40 Xilinx XCV1600-8FG1156 chips still in their sealed anti-static anti-moisture bag. These are rather massive FPGA devices. Digikey has them in their price list; they're apparently "worth" about $3000. Each. But *I* can't use anything in a 1156pin BGA package, and pretty much anyone who CAN use $3000 chips isn't about to use chips from questionable sources like our trash pile (not even us. I checked.) It's rather sad...

Last month we aquired....

1 Induction motor wired for 380v (80lbs) <-- from a very large 3-phase compressor
7 Rather Stiff springs <-- also from a very large 3-phase compressor
1 12' long cardboard tube <-- no clue where that came from
1 12' long ABS tube <-- no clue where that came from

That being said... last night I said to my self "I love having spare parts bikes around." I'm adding a derailleur to one of my bike abominations and having cable bits around has been a big help :P

It's council clean-up time in my suburb this week - I've been looking for 5 1/4" floppy drive to salvage the stepper motor and light sensors but so far no luck. The rise of LCD's is amazing - every second house has an old CRT out the front.