What's Inside? #5: 1250W LG Microwave? +Magnetron! (Salvaging Electronic Components)

About: -----------------------------------------------------------------16 year old, sick with a deadly disease called DIY-itis!-----------------------------------------------------------------Hi FTC! My I'bles con...

This is a microwave that I found on the street near my house.

Lets take it apart!!!

WARNING: Taking apart electronic devices is VERY DANGEROUS and especially a microwave!

Please remember that I am a trained professional idiot at taking apart electronic devices, DO NOT take apart any kind of electronic device If you don't know what you are doing!

There is a High Voltage Capacitor that MUST be short circuited with a metal tool (preferably a screwdriver) that has an insulated handle.

The insulators inside of the magnetron are made of beryllium, DO NOT risk the chance of getting sick with Berylliosis (beryllium disease) because you scratched the insulation!

Step 1: The Tools I Used

Philips Screwdriver

Flat Screwdriver

Wire Cutter

Needle-Nose Pliers

I could have used more tools to make it easier, But it wasn't necessary.

Step 2: Open It Up

After removing the screws of the outer case and opening it, This is where most of the "good stuff" is.

Step 3: The Monster High Voltage Transformer

You've probably heard that microwaves have huge high voltage transformers

This transformer weighs more than 4 kilograms (More than 9 Pounds)!!!

This is the second microwave I've ever taken apart. A couple years ago I took apart a microwave that had a humongous transformer, But I threw it away because I didn't know what to do with it... The transformer was probably about 3-4 times bigger than this one.

Did you know you can buy these transformers on eBay?

Step 4: The Circuit Boards

I've written notes on some of the components that could be good for salvaging from the circuit boards

Step 5: Plates

I like to use microwave plates while soldering because they don't conduct electricity, And don't break like regular glass because of the heat, So it's nice to have another one.

I also managed to remove the glass panel and the metal anti-radiation shield (is there a name for this?).

I also managed to pull off the handle of the microwave which could be useful for a future project!

Step 6: 220V Plate Motor

This is a 3 watt motor the makes the glass plate spin, It spins at 5/6 RPM.

The third picture shows the 220V fan, I'm pretty sure it's use is to help the let the humidity escape from the microwave, This can definitely be used for another project

Step 7: 3 Momentary Switches

These are high quality 16A 250V Max. momentary switches, I have tons of these but they are always useful

I also managed to salvage a huge high voltage diode!

Step 8: Connectors and Wires

I always keep any random connectors that can be useful for a future project because of Murphy's law...

Step 9: Incandescent Lightbulb and Thermosat

Don't ask me why, I have a tungsten collection that I keep in a small box from the filament inside of incandescent lightbulbs that I smash

The second picture shows the thermostat, I also have a collection of these but I don't think I'll ever use any of them

It's also nice to have a couple more screws for my big box of random screws.

Step 10: The Capacitor

This is a huge film capacitor and it rated at 2100V Max. And 1.05mf +/- 3%.

I guess it looks nice for my collection...

Step 11: The MAGNETRON

Cute little magnetron, I don't know if there's anything special about it because it's the first magnetron I've ever seen.

Yes, I've already written about the dangers of taking it a part

Why do I still want to take this dangerous piece of metal apart?

1. The more dangerous it is, The funner. NO well... ummm... maybe?

2. There are supposed to be ultra strong ceramic magnets inside, It should be worth it!

Step 12: Pry the Metal "Shield" Off

Be careful again while prying it off not to scratch the beryllium insulation!

This took about 15 minutes with the help of my dad, because it was my first time and I didn't know how to do it.

I also saved the "shield" and a small part of the magnetron heat-sink because I like keeping these things.

Step 13: Yep... the Magnets

I researched a lot before taking apart this microwave because I knew there was something dangerous inside of the microwave, That's how I learned about the beryllium insulators, And about the magnets.

After seeing so many articles and YouTube videos about how strong the magnets are, I knew I had to try this myself.

I guess I can say I expected them to be stronger** but they are still incredibly strong!

**I got confused by a "Rare Earth Neodymium Magnet" and a "Ceramic Magnet"

Step 14: All That Was Salvaged From the Microwave

I've written notes in most of the special components in the picture

Step 15: Thank You for Watching!!!

Thank You for watching and I hope you enjoyed this "What's Inside" Instructable!

Don't forget to subscribe to catch more "What's Inside's and other projects." I've found about a dozen more awesome electronic devices that I'm eager to share with everyone, Including another huge microwave!!!

If you've found that I've made a mistake, Please point it out so I can fix it!

Do you like taking apart electronic devices? I've made a collection of a couple"What's Insides" If you're interested: https://www.instructables.com/id/Whats-Inside-Takin...



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    18 Discussions


    Tip 1 year ago on Step 12

    A very common overlooked part inside the microwave are some some
    small ferrite rods that are found in the magnetron, down the hole behind
    the second magnet. Pull the stiff coil wire all the way out and you will find
    them 'embedded' in the wire They are useful to use as cores inside sewing machine
    bobbin home wound electromagnets used in pulse motors.
    Also, the coil in the fan is useful for pulse motor projects.
    When you have disassembled the fan assembly down to just the coil and the mesh
    of plates, set this upright on concrete, with the coil on the left side. Hold the coil
    with your left hand, and with your right hand use a hammer and hit the top right
    of the assembly as hard as you can. The plate mesh will separate from the
    core of the coil, making for easy removal.


    1 year ago

    There are many principals in salvage things, for future use.
    1) the closer to the orginal form something is, the more effecent and likely you will use it. Ex. Why not find a use for the entire microwave shell.
    Paint booth, for small items. It would be a simple matter to cobble togeather a fume filter, and uts proper safe venting.of paint fumes, also allow the proper curing of your coatings. Strip out extra parts, especialy the magnatron and high voltage sections, add fans and filters.

    2) 3d printer housing again containing fumes and allowing the mounting of hardware directly to a strong structure.

    3) electronics housing for test bench equipment. Power supplies, battery chargers, battery banks.

    Using the already built in components or physical features.
    Will save you time, allowing more free play time.

    A side note, it is the older microwaves that pose the beryillum danger, that ceramic is pink in color.
    The newer ones have white ceramics, that are said to be non poisonous.

    1 reply

    Reply 1 year ago

    True. But I don't use spray paint. I've heard the color of the insulator doesn't have to do with the color - better not take the risk!


    1 year ago

    beware,...with pink ceramics of magnetron part thats very poisoning ....its a barium ......cancerous material!!!!!

    1 reply

    Reply 1 year ago

    Yes! I mentioned it in the I'ble, and was very careful while taking it apart.

    I believe it's Berylium Oxide though. Isn't Barium radioactive or something like that.

    I've read that the insulator is made of some type of Aluminum sometimes.


    2 years ago

    Great instructable for hobbyists who like to know how things work.

    I also like to salvage parts for using in other projects than scrapping the item as it is.

    Step by step described in a beautiful way.


    1 reply
    WoodCrafts 67

    3 years ago

    Good tutorial

    I might get a hold of one of those Plate motors as I think it would make a nice projects for a rotating display table.

    5 replies

    What are the ampere of transformer and what is the voltage at secondary (centre tap) coil?

    Yonatan24WoodCrafts 67

    Reply 3 years ago

    That's a good idea, I think 5/6RPM motor could be good for a rotating table :)

    Just a short warning: I've plugged a 220V microwave plate motor into a 220V outlet and it exploded and sent motor parts everywhere! The polarity doesn't matter because it's AC Voltage and my dad and I still don't understand why it happened... Wear a face mask just in case!


    Reply 2 years ago

    Maybe it is because it was meant for a lower voltage?

    WoodCrafts 67Yonatan24

    Reply 3 years ago

    Thanks for the warning I will do some tests on it before plugging it in...

    WoodCrafts 67

    3 years ago

    Good tutorial

    I might get a hold of one of those Plate motors as I think it would make a nice projects for a rotating display table.


    3 years ago

    Very cool! Congratulations on a great haul. Those magnets are really massive!


    3 years ago

    Nice Work


    A good haul, I can't pass up a roadside microwave EXCEPT! when I see evidence of cockroaches inhabiting it. Look for little brown spots around vents and inside the cavity, you will almost never spot a live one, but they are clever and can squeeze into the smallest of hiding places. If it is suspect, leave it outside in a large trash bag and spray insect killer before closing the bag- even then dismantle it outdoors, you don't want them invading your home.

    1 reply

    Thanks for that good tip! That could end up pretty bad

    If there were any bugs inside of the microwave I hope they got fried to death from the magnetron, Obviously not that I'm contributing or encouraging in anything related to animal cruelty... But bugs are bugs