Which Components Are Worth Salvaging From Electronic Devices (And Where They Are Found)




Introduction: Which Components Are Worth Salvaging From Electronic Devices (And Where They Are Found)

About: I've been making Instructables since I was 13. Now, I mostly make videos of my projects, however I'm still active here, so don't hesitate to reach out! Sick with a deadly disease called DIY-itis!

Taking apart electronic devices is one of my favorite hobbies, My whole room is full with electronic component collections :)

If you want to see more of these kinds of projects make sure to check out my Instructables page and subscribe!

Do you like taking apart electronic devices? I've made a playlist of some electronic devices I've taken apart called "What's Inside", If you're interested:


This Instructable is being edited right now (sorry for mistakes that show up because I'm working on it now), You'll see the final result if you subscribe!

Step 1: What Parts Do I Need? and Where They Are Found


Relays: (HQ Stereo players, UPS's)

Resistors: (everywhere)

LED's: (any device that lights up...)

Magnets: (Motors, Speakers)

Switches: (Devices that need to toggle on and off)

Lens: (Flashlights, Disk Players)

Buzzers: (Printers, Computers, any Device that makes a "beep" sound)

Speakers: (Any device that makes a sound. Phones, Computers, Car Audio Players...)

Solar panels: (Garden Lights, Solar Power-Bank Phone Chargers...)

Heat sinks or strong and flat metal pieces: (TV's, Computers, Variable Power Supplies, Devices that need to be cooled)

Fans: (Computers, Power Adapters, Devices that need to be cooled)

Plugs: (USB, HP plugs, Audio 3.5 mm, Female/Male Plugs of any kind) (Power Adapters, Computers, Cars, Phones, UPS's,)

Springs: (Printers, Disk/Cassette Players)

Photo resistors: (Clocks, Phones, Automatic Adjustable Screens)

Diodes: (Power Supplies, Voltage Regulators, Everywhere)

Bridge rectifiers: (DC power supplies, they are made for AC to DC Converters)

Lasers: (CD Players)

Voltage regulators: (Everywhere)

Huge Tranformers: (Microwaves, Stereo Players)

Step 2: Electric Motors

Usually Found In: Moving Toys, Disk/Cassette Players

Step 3: Rechargeable Batteries

Usually Found In: Garden Lights, UPS's, Phones, Cars, some Generators...

You'll usually find the batteries:

Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cad)

Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH)

Lithium Ion battery (Li-Ion)

Step 4: Variable Resistors/ Potentiometers

Usually Found In: Adjustable Devices, Stereo Players, Variable Power Supplies

I also keep salvaged knobs for future projects

Step 5: Electrolytic Capacitors

These are found everywhere

I've also published an Instructable on "How I Organize My Electrolytic Capacitor Collection" If you're interested

The second picture shows only part of the collection...

Step 6: Wires

Wires are found in all electronic devices

I am in the process of making an Instructable explaining "How I Organize My Wire Collection", And I will put the link here when I upload it. The picture shows only part of it...

Step 7: Screws!

Found In any electronics appliance, Well you know...

By the way this collection has more than 7 killograms (15 pounds) of screws!

Step 8: Stuff I Collect But I Will Never Use

Tungsten: (from incandescent light-bulbs)

Cameras: (from phones or laptops)

If you want to see more of these kinds of projects make sure to check out my instructables page and subscribe :)

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    7 years ago on Introduction

    If you have any questions or recommendations, Feel free to post them in the comment section :)


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    hi, so how do you take it apart without breaking the components?


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    First, It depends what I am taking apart.

    For example:

    1/4 watt Resistors I take apart with pliers but 5 watt ones I unsolder from the pcb.

    It depends on which component, but after you practice a long time everything will be really easy.

    Have Fun :)

    And yes, There are components I break accidentally


    Question 8 months ago

    Where do you guys get coils? There is a video on youtube by Robert Murray-Smith, and he get coils from microwaves and making VAWT. wondering if you guys know of any other electronics to get coils.


    1 year ago

    I love it! Every component I use in a project is salvaged!


    Question 1 year ago

    How do you salvage the parts from the old boards?? do you use a desoldering gun or a different method, scrapping for parts is my favorite way to get good components please any recommendations would be most appreciated, I've tried desoldering guns good ones too and most of the time they overheat all the smaller components I need such as 2N222A NPN transistors almost every time. I could only get bigger components which I have little use for. I use Arduino,s a lot so I need a good method to scrap the smaller resistors, transistors, ETC... Any tips would be so great full, Take a look at half my parts stock but if you look at the pic with the tranny and capacitor you'll see how I'm struggling to get enough of their pins out so they can be used. Thank you so much for listening and taking time out of your day to read this response. God Bless!


    7 years ago

    I think your instructables are really interesting and I find them very informative. You impart some of the joy and curiosity of youth to us older folks! I also enjoy taking electronic devices apart and salvaging them. Have fun!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I think this is the beginning o a good instructable, but it needs more work.

    I've been reading the work you do, and you are going too fast.

    Slow down, and put a little more time into each one. This is a good idea, and if you put in the work, it could be an award winning project.

    A simple thing to do for this one would be for each item in your list:

    a) show a picture of the item

    b) show the electronic symbol for the component

    c) talk about how to remove it without damaging it

    d) what devices commonly have them (you already have this)

    e) something interesting or noteworthy about the component

    This would be a lot of work, but if you do that, I can pretty much guarantee you'd be featured.


    Reply 7 years ago

    Thank you for the tips, I will improve this Instructable and add what you suggested