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What may I do with my old computer parts and electronics? Answered

I have (5) CD-ROM drives, (3) 3/5" Diskette drives, (1) Zip 100 drive, (8) Video cards, some power supplies, (1) PC Mini tower PC case, an Alpine multi-disc changer. I have a bit of random stuff around as well. If I could do something like make a type of KVM or something I'd like that, but if I may do anything at all just to recycle things items (i.e. "Be Green") I'd really like that. I'm not sure what the metal is on PCB, I've been told that it's gold. I get a lot of computer stuff for free, as I'll take even junk. I try to recycle as much of it as I may. I'm fairly new to this part however. I've read that the fumes are rather hazardous from the PCB. Anyway, if you are able to think anything, please let me know. I haven't solder/desolder anything really, so that part will all be hit and miss. I figure it won't be that hard, and I learn rather quick as is. If I am able to save capacitors and such I will. I have a cheap multimeter, which I purchase from Harbor Freight Tools. So I will be able to Google and do some reading to find out how to test if anything has juice to it and the polarity. I stumble upon this site, and after reading just a little have been amazed by others. Hats-off to the vast majority of you! If you have any suggestions, please don't hesitate. Thank you. PS - I may be able to get a video around of most of it later.


Check out my entry for the dead computer contest. I'll be posting it in the next few days. I think its an awsome idea that everyone will take notice of. That will give you one posibilty on what to do with all those parts.

Give it to me! :P (seriously, do you have any AGP cards?)
Failing that, you could build a NAS or firewall box, if you find a case.
You could also scavenge for components. If nothing else, the people at http://www.electronicsrecycling.org/Public/default.aspx are really nice and can hook you up with some local programs.


9 years ago

most of the stuff you have would be great to take apart for motors and leds and such. if you get a motherboard, it sounds like you have the parts to make a computer.

Actually, I do in fact have a motherboard or so; 3 I believe.

in that case, you might have a computer or two worth of hardware... as for the other stuff: 1st: look for an instrucable using that part 2nd: salvage anything worth salvaging 3rd: anything that might be worth something to someone else, donate to goodwill or whatever charity you support.

Some municipalities have a technology drive for recycling the components - they are salvaging the materials, not the parts themselves...Check if your area has a free dropoff for old unused tech. As for reusable parts on those - some fans, or passive components if you do any circuit building/bending...thats about all I can think of.

Ok. Thanks. I may just do that. I'm not a complete "Go Green" person, but I figure enough trash goes into the ground. People just don't pay attention to what they're really throwing in the trash; what will really end up in the ground. As for the components, I figured I'd strip as much as I could; connectors, capacitors, etc and then just organize and save them. If anyone on here wanted them for something, I'd probably opt to give them whatever they wanted. Just so long as it were not anything that were to be used as a weapon or something. I know that while everyone says they make stuff for messing around, recreation, and having fun that there are those whom have other ideas. (BTW, Instructables spell check returns a misspelling with "organize". It wants me to use organ.)

its not just volume of trash - older tech is FULL of heavy metals, and plastics that will 'never' break down - toxifying the earth is way worse than just burying average garbage...

Well there is a lot of things you can do with what you listed OK for the power source I would look up on Instructables for desktop power source ( always wanted to build one of those ) ( if you really serious then you can use it for electrolysis but you have too build container and a lot of other stuff to actually make hydrogen generating efficient and useful ) I love CD-rom's I try to salvage as much as I know how to out of them I take the laser out ( i actually got one out and it still worked then I overpowered it and it burned out ) Ge the motors ( i still don't know how to take the motor that spin the disc out it is fixed onto the board ) Also there was an Instructable on how to build a simple CD player from a CD-rom and a power source and a pair of speakers PC case don't really know what to put here but i am tempted to put case modding i have always been amazed with what people can do with a bit of creativity. you don't have to put anything in it but if you want you can make it a practice for another future case. I don't know about any of those other ones ( i would just jump in and remove screws to see what i can find )

I started with a multi meter, that's a good start. The next thing you need is a variable power supply. You can make a nifty one out of a computer power supply. There many instructions on the net and on instructables. Some tips : they say that computer power supplies need a load via a 10 watt power resistor. not all of them do though,mine did not need one. If it turns on and stays on you don't need one.Once you figure out what voltage comes from what color wire look into building a LM317T variable unit to add to your computer power supply. OH BTW stay away from the large capacitors in your computer power supply they knock the crap outta ya. LOL shorting across the leads with an INSULATED screwdriver solves this problem. As for soldering start pulling some transistors,resistors and small capacitors in the 16 to 25 volt range out of your junk pcb's, thats a good way to get familar with soldering. Here's the ultimate tip. Find an electronics repair shop in your area (buy something from them for your project) and ask them if they have an outdated ECG parts cross referance book. They give them to me for free. They are invaluable for a beginner.You'll be glad you have one once you start tinkering. As for the gold. My research has revealed that the cost of removing the gold is higher than the value of the gold. It's been a few years since i looked into it though. Good luck. CAUTION electronics hobbies are more addictive than crack.lol P.S. Google Tomi Engdhals schematics thats where i got started.