Get Electronic Components Fast!




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Have you ever wanted a bunch of components from an old pub, but don't want to waste an eternity with a soldering iron and pump? Look no further! Just follow these simple instructions and you'll have plenty of random components that you can make stuff with!

Although this may not be groundbreaking news, it is a trick i learned from a teacher i had a while back who also does electronics in his spare time (but, the old school stuff).

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Step 1: Stuff You'll Need

A heat gun (mine is a wagner model from home depot for 20 bucks)

An old PCB (mine is from a CRT TV)

Probably want a vice, but if you lay the PCB down so that the components fall out on the floor, thats good too.

Some needle nose pliers (they'll work for all but the beefiest of components)

A glove (to protect your hand from heat)


The heat gun + the PCB = stank @$$ fumes. Be in a well ventilated room, preferably with a fume fan and an open door or window

Also, work over concrete or treated wood so that you don't set things on fire. Heat guns can blast air over to 700 degrees fahrenheit, so if you use carpet, you're gonna have a bad time.

You may also inadvertently set off a signal for Queen Chrysalis to attack you or something.

Step 3: Procedure

Pretty simple actually.

Clamp your PCB in a vice (or lay it down so that it's elevated with the components face down)

Just find the component you want (in my case, i found a cool op amp)

Locate the pins on the PCB (the little silver hershey kisses on the back of the pcb, those are solder dots)

Aim the heat gun at the solder dots that hold the component in place

Use the tweezers to wiggle (wiggle wiggle) the component out of its PCB prison

Tah-Dah! You found _insert_component_here_ !

Step 4: Pros and Cons of This Method

Pros: within 5 mins, I got a lot of components out. The pic I'm showing includes some electrolytic caps, ceramic disc caps, a random resistor, a crystal oscillator (oooh, shiny), 2 op amps, some kind of transistor, a fuse (i think), and an AC capacitor.

Cons: the heat gun will destroy the circuit board. DO NOT USE THIS IF YOU ARE PLANNING TO REUSE THE BOARD. HOWEVER, if the board is just collecting dust and has no actual use, go right ahead! (the pic i show is some smoke that comes as a result of the board being burnt)

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    9 Discussions


    2 years ago

    I agree with you, yet another nice method. In my experience it will fail at more layered pcb. The pcb will burn before the heat reaches the top solder layer on the other side. I've tried to harvest some plugging connectors with heat gun or flame. At least the pcb burned out and the legs became too hot and melt the connector case.
    My final solution was to cut the pcb around the part with a cutting disc on a dremel and then cut between the legs. Then I resoldered the chunks separately. At least it requires to wear safety googles and run a vac while cutting.

    1 reply

    2 years ago

    For a bit more money you can get a digital heat gun and set it just above temp for solder to melt. Pretty hard to damage components and motherboard that way. Use to use that to reflow Xbox 360 chips to fix red ring of death.

    1 reply

    2 years ago

    I've done this with a propane torch. Melts the solder faster so it's less likely to damage the components.

    1 reply

    I prefer the heat gun because i'm not the best around flame. Plus, the flame could burn the PCB if the heat gun can make it smoke.


    2 years ago

    I like your idea and have done similar things myself to get lot of used parts to build new circuits. But be very careful that the heat also doesn't damage the components you are harvesting as well. You could use little heat sinks on the components while heating the legs until they drop out. Just an idea. It is always a good idea to test the components once they cool off and discard any that just doesn't measure up. But all that said, it is a very good way to get those parts. Good thread.

    1 reply
    The Science Bronygm280

    Reply 2 years ago

    The components seem to work for me after I test them, but yeah. Good call

    The Science Brony

    2 years ago

    Send me ideas on what you want me to do next!