Introduction: Harvesting Surface-Mount Components

About: There are some things you should just NEVER do.....

As a kid I used to take apart old TVs and Radios and cut out the discrete components. These were all what would be considered 'through-hole' components, but some were not even used on circuit boards but were part of a metal chassis piece of electrical equipment with point-to-point wiring.

It was really easy to pull components out of those old sets, it just took a pair of wire cutters!

Now we have densely packed circuit boards and now even surface mount components. Here is a way to 'harvest' surface-mount components....

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

You will need:

- 1. A cardboard box

- 2. A Popsicle stick

- 3. A butane Lighter, or propane torch

-4. The circuit board you want to get surface mount devices off of.

(In my example an LED off the board)

Step 2: Apply the HEAT!

Select the component you want to 'harvest' and fire up the lighter or torch! You need to apply heat only for as long as it takes to liquify the solder. Make sure you have removed any through-hole components or other flammable devices/items from the side you are applying the flame so that you don't get a flare-up and a large fire.


Step 3: Give It a Flick

When the solder has softened and liquified, take the popsicle stick and give the component a nudge or even a flick to get it off of its solder pads. The cardboard box is to catch your liberated component.

Step 4: Congratulations!

Congratulations you have successfully harvested your SMD component!

Now you can use it in your new project!

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