Rebuild and reuse?

I was just thinking today. I want to get a soldering gun with a desoldering bulb or some kind of device to suck up solder so I can remove parts. I have nearly heaps of old computer motherboards, video cards, ram, and all sort of other things taking up space. And I'm not talking like pentium 3 or old p4 parts, more like P1 and even a few tandy and 486 parts kicking around. I've seen people making earrings and wreaths out of these old parts, but I'm thinking more practical, like what could I be building out of these components. I've never really gotten into things like pic programming and building things on bread boards, however I do have the know how to operate a soldering gun and I wanna get into these things. Could someone point me in the right direction or point me to a forum at least?? It'd be greatly appreciated because I really need a new hobby to do in my spare time instead of blowing my amps.

Topic by Punkguyta   |  last reply


Reusing RAM memory?

Hi everybody. I'm looking on the web if there is a way to reuse my old Ram memory. And I don't find anything.... As you know, each time we change for a new computer, we have to change the Ram to match the CPU and motherboard. And I'm stuck with a lot of useless Ram, life warranted for most :) So is it possible, to reuse the chips or add usb plug or something to use it as a external usb key? I'm understand, it could be not easy but ... I 'm curious. :) Thank you. 

Topic by nico7677   |  last reply


How to Reuse Toroids

I am trying to re use some toroids that I salvaged from a broken computer PSU and motherboard. I have some electronics experience however this is mainly with digital circuits. I am reusing the toroids by removing the original windings and hand winding the several coils required by the circuit. I have noticed that while the one largest (2.2cm diameter) core works exceptionally well, all other cores salvaged from the devices work poorly. My goal is driving a nixie tube. While the "successful" core yields about 180 volts AC the rest can barely top 60v output (all have similar numbers of windings, roughly 150 turns on the primary, 5tap5 on the secondary, 10 on the feedback). Clearly there is some level of variation between how the toroids perform. Is there any easy way to work out which cores will work? Can anybody explain which factor(s) are likely to be the cause? Visually the cores appear to be the same, looking like they are all made of soft iron. For reference, I am using the toroids to make a Royer oscillator - which does appear to be working, as my source voltage is 5V. Any help appreciated, Thanks, Drew.

Topic by andy   |  last reply



Mobile Cameras reused?

Hi I have two china mobile cameras do any one have any idea to use them wireless with the computer?

Question by m.sand86   |  last reply


Reuse of old mobile

I am using a mobile phone  tracker site to track my car in case it is stolen.  I wanted to adapt the old mobile phone by stripping it down to essentials to ensure that the sim signal was still running but there was no need for the display / keyboard.  Is there an instructable or website that offers advice on how to do that? The phones are old nokia phones so not worried if they get trashed.

Topic by carter54   |  last reply


Reuse laptop screen

Hi I had the greates luck finding an old laptop screen in a dumpster at school (they're currently changing computers, dumping the old ones). When I got home I also found a Video to VGA converter, which made me think - can I somehow connect these two into a working screen for  let's say an old nintendo? Either that or I go back to find a compatible motherboard and videocard and rewire it somehow - but it most rather not. So, any ideas for how to make it work as a screen? :) Fact:  - IBM 12,1" TFT screen branded M360 - Konig Video to VGA converter Sorry for the bad images, Ipads camera kina sucks :)

Topic by Maxteria   |  last reply


Reusing an old hard drive

I was recently disecting an old laptop (HP, roughly 6-8 years old) trying to find a use for the parts, as i have had very many replacements since I had stopped using that one. I removed a 10GB IBM hard drive. From the picture, you can see that it has a total of 44 pins. I am not sure if each pin goes to the same destination as the one opposite to it. i was wondering if there was any way that I could convert this into an external drive that I could attach via USB or something similar. If you have any ideas, let me know. Id love to find a use for this instead of just throwing it away.

Topic by phephq   |  last reply


Dremel Micro Repair/Reuse

Recently at the end of 2016, I acquired a Dremel Micro cordless rotary tool from a garage sale/yard sale for about $20. I used it maybe 3 - 4 times until it didn't want to hold a charge for long. Basically when I put it on the charger, the LEDs scroll top/down indicating it is charging but after a minute or two they stop their normal scrolling sequence and they all stay lit up, which isn't even mentioned of in the manual. The fuel gauge battery indicator shows up red meaning it's near its battery life. At this point, I'm considering either to salvage the motor or buy a new battery for the dremel (which are 2 Sanyo 14650 batteries that are soldered onto a circuit board inside). I'm just wondering is there something that I have failed to do that would make the dremel not hold a charge? Thanks in advance!

Topic by TXVisual   |  last reply


reusing LCD LED strips

I have just cannibalized an LCD (B156XW02) I managed to save the LED strip and the control board that it attaches to. was kinda wondering how to reuse the LEDS on this strip. any ideas?

Topic by Revolverkiller   |  last reply


Can sim cards be reused? Answered

Our church is having a yard sale, and somebody donated some tmobile cell phones. one of the phones had a sim card. Would it be possible for someone to buy it and reactivate it as their own?

Question by schoonovermr   |  last reply


reuse an old laptop screen?

I have some old laptops that do not have the speed needed for today's internet but I would like to 'harvest' their screens which are in excellent shape. Is there a way to separate and rewire so that I could use the screens as second lcd's for my existing computers?

Question by    |  last reply


Can i reuse an phone display?

Can i reuse an huawei P8 lite's display for my arduino?If so can anyone help me

Question by Ferferite   |  last reply


Reuse a solar panel from calculator? Answered

I have a solar panel from an old calculator, I'd like to use it to make a motor spin to make a junk bot.  It doesn't spin the motor when I hook it directly to the motor like I would a battery.  Do I need a capacitor or other electronics to make it work?   I used a multimeter and the panel shows 2 volts in bright light, the motor does spin with a 1.5v battery.

Question by rachl009   |  last reply


Reusing old laptop & cordless components

Hi, I have an old laptop which stopped working due to variety of reasons (I suspect it was mostly a SW issue). I have reason to believe that its screen and lots (or most) of other HW components still work fine. (I have done the easy part of removing its HDD and am using it like a portable disk). Can someone suggest or point me to instructables for to reuse components from this laptop? Same for my cordless phone which is a Panasonic KX-TC1486B . (I have taken the phone apart already and have labeled parts as originally found just for ref). Thanks, Sushrut.

Topic by sushrut.j.mair   |  last reply


Reuse the LED from a TV Question?

I had an LED Tv break and I decided to remove the LEDs out of the TV and reuse them as background LEDs for the new TV.  The issue that I am running into is that I can't figure out how to power them on.  I know they work because i can get a segment of 3 to light up by using wires connected to a 12v battery.  Each strip has 57 LEDs and a 4 wire connector.  I was guessing that this means it is a RGB strip, but there are nothing but +/- symbols on the strip so it is confusing as to what the wire does what on it. I would appreciate any help that anyone may have for me.  

Topic by RyanL3   |  last reply


How to take the project off of the arduino board? Answered

So i have been looking for a long time for a way to "take the project off of the arduino board" (unsure what else to call it so that hampers my search) in order to reuse the board without buying a new one, or dissemble the old one each time i do a new project. Then i stumbled upon this instructable https://www.instructables.com/id/Convert-2-LED-Lamp-to-50-Smart-Lamp/ i see how he just used the arduino only to program it. How do you design this circuit?? i was unaware that the pins on the arduino correspond directly with pins on the chip, without extra parts between the chip and the pin. is this correct or am i mistaken? in theory if i have the blink program loaded up on the arduino and then i take the chip out and wire it up with power going to it and the correct leg of the chip wired "directly" to the resistor and LED would that work?   TL;DR I want to be able to program a different IC (assuming the correct model of chip is purchased) and use that in the final project so that i can then reuse the arduino. Are there instructables for this already? and i dont mind doing footwork, i just need to know what to search for.

Question by bpwmd   |  last reply


i ve 3 old black and white dead mobiles can i make use of them by modification?

I ve 3 mobiles nokia 1600 sony ericssion w830i nokia (basic b/w model) they are not working. but i dont want to throw them in dustbin. plz suggest me how can i make use of them (in any manner)

Question by pvs1   |  last reply


Looking to reuse old laptop built in speakers

I recently removed the speakers from my old Dell Inspiron 1400. I'm looking for tips on how to make them into a pair of DIY speakers. Do I just connect them to a minijack and it'll work? There are four colored wires coming out from the pair of speakers (red, black, blue and white) and I read about speakers right and left being red and black but I'm unsure about the white and blue. Appreciate any feedback on this =D

Topic by GrowingT   |  last reply


Laptop's fingerprint reader, is it possible to reuse it on desktop?

The dead laptop is a HP Pavillion dv3 4010sl, the sensor is a Validity VFS301 (cdk1071_r04_hf) as written on the sensor itself. if i remember correctly it was shown as a USB peripheral. maybe is simple and it need just some resoldering to a USB cable, the problem is that the flat cable connecting it to the motherboard has 6 pins/lines and my knowledge in electronics is quite limited... I've found online what seems like a motherboard schematics (pg.48) and the vendor's sensor's manual. Does Anyone knows if is possible, If yes how?

Topic by CladZo91   |  last reply


Is it possible to reuse cable dish on roof top?

I cancelled my dish cable service.  Is it possible to reuse the dish as an antennae booster for my tv?  My Turk antennae was expensive and is borderline effective for decent visual and sound reception.  Please advise.  Thank you!

Question by clarei   |  last reply


HD-DVD Players; Any Reuse Ideas?

 So I happen to have a Toshiba HD-A30 HD-DVD player and I know it's a fairly powerful piece of hardware but unfortunately all Google turns up are a few references to the idea of hacking or moding but no actual information on any attempts. The limited info I have managed to find indicates similar models being nothing much more than a P4 running Linux with an IDE HD-DVD ROM. Anyone have any ideas on what I can do with this thing?

Topic by milsorgen 



CPU grill?

I recently decided to make a mini-grill (similar to the gas/charcoal ones found around the site), but I want to be able to do it with electricity. My plan is to overheat a CPU with a heatsink attached and allow the actual heatsink to be the grill. The only trouble is that I can't figure out from the pinout which pins I have to supply power to. Could anyone give me an indication as to which pins they are? Also, any other advice would be appreciated. =) CPU Pinout: http://download.intel.com/design/Pentium4/datashts/29864312.pdf

Question by DELETED_DELETED_Taneth111 



How do i reuse an broken cell phone camera?

How do I reuse a broken cell phone camera?

Question by Julien26   |  last reply



California Government tries to prevent reuse; issues ACCRC a violation

Just the other day while I was cleaning out old computers I thought to myself how wonderful it was that the Alameda County Computer Recycling Center was nearby. The ACCRC is a not-for-profit organization that accepts old electronic parts to build working computers that they give away to people in need. Anything they can't use gets properly recycled, and they do this all without charging any fees. The Department of Toxic Substance Control of the California Environmental Protection Agency is causing trouble for the ACCRC, and this may ultimately lead to the ACCRC's demise. In short, the government is using the letter of the law to do totally bone-headed things, and has slapped the ACCRC with a violation. It's our government, and it should work for us to encourage smart ways, like the ACCRC, to lessen our impact on the environment. Even if you don't live in California, this is important because California typically leads the nation on these types of issues.There's a couple of things you can do, including contacting people at the government agency and donating directly to the ACCRC. Check ACCRC's founder James Burgett's blog for details on both. More coverage here at Boingboing.

Topic by ewilhelm   |  last reply


Possible to use iPhone 3Gs screen in another project?

I have an iPhone that suffered some water damage and no longer functions, the screen seems hardly affected so I wondered if it could be reused? Is it even theoretically possible (assuming it still works)? How might I go about testing it? would I be able to make an adapter to some usable connector? Sorry for the far-fetched idea but it seems like it would be very cool to reuse it like this. Thanks, fusorx

Question by fusorx   |  last reply


if i stack old computer fans will it blow harder?? Answered

My question is will it blow harder or the same ? 

Question by tobyscool   |  last reply


What is the best use for an old CRT monitor? Answered

It's lying around. I don't have enough room on my desk to use it as a second monitor. It'd be cool to have it doing some sort of visualization or lighting effect. Is the tube useful for anything? I'm game for it all. Thanks!

Question by curtisseligson   |  last reply


Any ideas on what to do with them? I'd apreciate anything interesting enough to be done..?

Hello ! I've got some old (attachable) computer speakers, an old CD-rom and an unuseful optical mouse..Any ideas on what to do with them? I'd apreciate anything interesting enough to be done..?

Question by R.S.E.   |  last reply


I found a bunch of parts from two ipod' s!

I want to start a project using various parts scavenged from dumpster diving. A bag containing two ipod hard drives an ipod 2nd gen circuit board three brand new replacement screens, the outer shell of the 2nd gen video case. wheel clicker. I have basic soldering skills but unsure what to do with all these great parts... Any suggestions would be praised!!!!

Question by scrappunk   |  last reply


What should I do with my broken 3rd Gen iPod Nano?

My screen broke and my click wheel was sticking so I removed all of the internals except the click wheel and the piece of plastic which holds it in place. The chrome back plate is twisted from when I removed it to gain access to the internals. My only idea so far is to use it as a photo frame (and use the empty space from the LCD screen as the picture holder.)

Question by Cookie-Monster   |  last reply


I have a few toroidal transformers and want to do something with them...

It seems like I see posts where people say, "but I didn't want to spend x for a big toroid....". Well, I have what I think are some pretty big toroids, the part number is TOG543021F0 and they are made by TENPAO. I think they are 230V? I have a half a dozen new ones and another 10 or so used ones that look brand new...? What about a desktop tesla coil or a coil gun?

Question by cwleveck   |  last reply


How to set up a powered subwoofer pc speaker set, without the powered subwoofer?

I have a set of pc speakers, no mfgr markings, that were to include a subwoofer. Given to me without the subwoofer. Only reason I know about subwoofer is one side has a port that has printed next to it,"to subwoofer." I'd like to just make it into a set without the subwoofer. It has 3 stereo male plugs, in weird configurations, and I think it may need rewiring. Also has a volume "wheel" switch on one speaker. Oi, this is too much trouble, isn't it? Well, anyone have ideas, even if your suggestion is to go buy a new/cheap set. Thanks folks!?

Question by fireguard   |  last reply


Cell phone as walkie talkie

Does anyone know whether it's possible to re-purpose old cell phones as walkie talkies? I have some "old" phones (1X Tri-mode - 1.9 GHz and 800 MHz CDMA and 800MHz AMPS), and I'd love to be able to use them for our ski club as a short range back channel for communications in addition to the radios we use when we host races. I'm assuming we'd need to get some sort of base station, not sure where or how. There are probably some laws we'd have to comply with, assuming that something like this is even possible (I'm in Canada). I'd consider activating & using them normally, but the cell coverage on our mountain is very weak and unreliable, hence this post. Any ideas on how to get something like this started? Or is it a non-starter?

Topic by celltalkie   |  last reply


How can I reuse a USB webcam board?

I scavenged a no-name brand cheap webcam. This means I have a lil' board with four wires coming out to USB, and a tactile switch that sits on top of the board. How can I interface with it in the crudest way possible? I want to get a signal out of it that I can use for a robot, or a HUD, or even out to a TV. Is this possible?

Question by Udon   |  last reply


My new instructable about reusing burnt LED!

Hello all! Here is my new instructable about reusing burnt LED, I want you to post here your ideas how it can be used in projects. If your LED is shining different color than in my instructables you are welcome to post photos here! https://www.instructables.com/id/Bring-Your-burnt-LED-back-to-life/ Every project that uses my Idea can be linked in my instructable!

Topic by kondzio29   |  last reply


How to reuse old tablet battery for a usb PowerPack

Hi, i have two 3600mah batteries from an old chinesse tablet, I would like to use as an portable battery pack for charge a cellphone. i searched for similar instructable but i have no find anything, what is the next step

Topic by vtlaxcala   |  last reply


Soda can as crockpot rack - clever reuse or poison? Answered

I like to roast meats and poultry in my crockpot, but they often wind up stewing in a pool of grease at the bottom. I'm thinking of putting a washed, crushed aluminum can in the bottom to lift the food. Is there any danger from the can or inks on the outside? Sure it's foodsafe in its normal usage, but that doesn't include heating or food coming in contact with outside surfaces. Any chemists or metallurgists care to weigh in? Thanks!

Question by ToniRose   |  last reply


Reuse Fingerprint Scanner from Lenovo W510 Laptop

I have a Fingerprint reader from a Lenovo W510.  The model number of the circuit board is 48.4CU13.011, which seems to be shared by both my Lenovo and another Fujitsu laptop.  The fingerprint reader is a spare part, and I thought it could be cool if I could hook it up to a PC by USB.  When connected to the laptop in question, it shows up as a USB device: UPEK Touchstrip TCRD4C - USB ID 147e:2016 The chip is connected by an 8 pin ribbon cable to a larger ribbon cable which also connects to the touchpad.  Looking at the board under a magnifying glass, it looks like there may only be 4 of 8 pins connected to the ribbon cable connector.  The chip on the circuit board appears to be a TCD50 fingerprint reader controller, made by UPEK or possibly Authentec (did Authentic take over UPEK?) I was hoping someone might have some experience wiring this board up to USB, or could point me in the right direction to figure out what pins go where.  I looked for datasheets, schematics, and pinouts without success, but I don't have much experience searching for this type of stuff.  I'm pretty handy with a soldering iron, so I feel confident that if I knew which pins went where, I could get a cable hooked up. 

Topic by Jozer99   |  last reply




Can we reuse fused CFL's with automobile headlamps or any other bulb considering there is a PCB in the CFL's.

Is there a possibility to reuse fused CFL's of 23W,15W.9W etc. With the PCB in the CFL can we possiblly connect an automobile headlamp and make it glow with a few alteration and/or additions. What is the power output in voltage of a CFL. Sombody please suggest a way to reuse fused CFL's in any way.Thanks

Question by Vijapa   |  last reply


reusing scanner lamp w/o heavy duty adapter?

I've been trying to do something similar to these https://www.instructables.com/id/Scanner-Parts---Desk-Lamp/https://www.instructables.com/id/Recycled-Scanner-Hack!/I want the lamp to work without a heavy duty ac to dc adapter, but it looks like there's no practical power cord that has low enough voltage. I've tried using a basic voltage converter ( http://www.amazon.com/VX-79NP-MULTI-PURPOSE-CONVERTER-MULTIPLE/dp/B0014JUGTQ/ref=sr_1_20?ie=UTF8&s;=electronics&qid;=1209273618&sr;=1-20 ) set at 12 volts, but the bulbs don't light.Does anyone know if there's a way to do this without the giant adapter, or if there's a way to light the bulbs using a USB connection? I've looked online, and the only thing I've seen is this: http://www.danielandrade.net/2005/12/27/howto-using-the-scanner-light-inside-your-computer/ but they're using a male molex connection. I'm just looking for a plug that's a little more practical: an electrical outlet being my first choice, a usb port being my second.Thanks!

Topic by seebrown   |  last reply


3d wax printer

Is there a wax 3d wax printer on the market that uses reusable wax (like candle wax) or is it possible/cheaper to just make one? I want to use this for lost wax moldings and I want to be able to reuse most if not all the wax used to make the mold. Any information would be great.

Question by pmk222   |  last reply


Salvaging copper from transformers?

I am trying to salvage copper wire from transformers. I get these tranformers from old elctronic waste. I wondered if anyone had suggestions or thoghts about doing this. Has anybody on here done this? Thanks

Question by nurdee1   |  last reply


Acer AspireOne 10" salvaged display comnnected to Raspberry Pi?

I have just started my work with Raspi (ver. B). In my desk, there is a salvaged cover from an AcerAspire nebook - all complete, nicely disconnected. Features LCD, camera and mic. Now, for a week or so I keep searching for an instruction how to adapt the display to work with RasPi HDMI port. The bonus would be to connect camera and microphone, but this may wait. Any suggestions?

Question by LWDF83YAXU   |  last reply


fake magnetic/shaker flashlight to real one?

Hi , I have a fake magnetic flashlight that had lithium batteries. anyway I decided to turn it into the real thing. I wrapped wire around it and replaced the piece of metal inside with strong neodymium magnet. It produces 20 to 100mv when I shake it.I have decided to use 1N5819 diode for full wave rectifier (is it better than 1N4007 ?) . What I need is the proper circuit for charging a 50mAH battery that I am going to use in it. any suggestions would be appreciated :-D

Question by ehsan_zt   |  last reply