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Scavenging and Dumpster diving Tips!

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tcmtech

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I thought the comments I received in regards to having a scavenging and recycling thread warranted my starting one, So here it is! :)

Dumpster diver Tips: Ways to recycle useful items for alternate purposes! :)

Super Scavenging Tips: Common places to get items you need at a reasonable cost. It can be an online store or just a reference to a local type business that handles something useful! :)

Please try to write them up properly and keep those none relative chat posts to a minimum! ;)

But thank you posts or relevant safety posts are always welcome and appreciated! :)

So here you go! Hope you save piles of cash and collect tons of almost useful stuff! :D


If you have an idea but are not able to word it correctly, PM me with it. I will rewrite it or clean it up and post it for you !
 
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tcmtech

Banned
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Dumpster Diver Tip!

Ever want to pull IC's off old circuit boards quick and cheap without destroying the pins or overheating them?

Canned Air!

Stand the circuit board on edge and heat the solder side joint with your soldering gun or pencil. Shoot the hot solder out from the IC side with the canned air! That little straw on the can focuses the blast right down the IC socket hole.
Plus canned air is usually made up of some type of refrigerant. It can keep the IC cooler while it’s removing the hot solder!
Make sure your hand is not inline with the solder when it blasts out the little hole. And you may want to make a back catcher out of aluminum foil so you’re not blasting hot solder fragments all over your stuff!

*Safety note*
Check out your canned air for flammability rating some are flammable and should not be used with open flame soldering pencils! Typical electric soldering devices are below the flash point of most canned air on the market but still beware of the possibility for a spontaneous flame burst if misused.
 

tcmtech

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Super Scavenger Tip!

Need some enameled copper wire cheap?

Find your local electric motor rewinding shop. They deal in large volumes of every size of enameled copper and aluminum wire you could ever need. Plus they have loads of snips and short cut offs. Talk to the right person and you will get what you need very cheap or probably free for the taking!
 
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tcmtech

Banned
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Dumpster Diver Tip!

Need a good low ohms resistor with some wattage capabilities?

Try the metal spiral out of a notebook! They are chrome plated steel on most or some may even be a low grade chromium steel alloy.
Once shaped into place it can run red hot all day without burning up. But flex it to much and the outer covering can flake off!
Resistances are a bit varied though. Typical 8.5" x 11" 100 pager is around .5 to 1 ohm.
Stop by your arts and crafts section and pick up some large glass or ceramic beads and you have a homemade low volt heater/ dummy load to dump your power too!

Mount it in an old metal can and use the fan from a old computer power supply and you have it, 12-24v 150 - 600w load capable with fan!


**** Apply common sense as needed. ****
 
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tcmtech

Banned
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Super Scavenger Tip!

Need lead acid batteries cheap?

Check with your local truck and heavy equipment repair places. They deal with big machines that use big batteries. Many of the large trucks and large construction or farm machines run multiple batteries.
Most owners will change out the whole group even if only one went bad.
That leaves one or more that are still possibly good. Those repair centers usually stock pile them and then sell them to the scrap recyclers when they get so many piled up.
If you talk to the right person you may be able to buy the good ones that you find for scrap price.

Check with the local scrap yards too. They often get large batches from factory or business fleet take outs.
Just make sure you know how to test batteries for voltage and amperage or you may just be buying duds!
 

tcmtech

Banned
Most Helpful Member
Super Scavenger Tip!

Need some power wire for your wind or solar project?

Check out local businesses or places that are remodeling. Many of the demolition crews are just there to rip out stuff and never sort the good from the bad, they just toss it all.
Check out their dumpster you may find loads of wire in many different sizes, colors and lengths. Along with conduit, electrical boxes, lights and who knows what else!

Just make sure you ask first!
 

tcmtech

Banned
Most Helpful Member
Dumpster Diver Tip!

Got a heavy lug or large solder connection you just can’t quite heat up enough with your Buzz gun (transformer type) to get it to melt all the way?

Pull the soldering element loop off and put a large copper or brass rod or wire in each socket. Now put the two open ends onto the big solder joint and try heating it up.
You just moved your heating source from external contact to direct internal.
That joints solder resistance is generating the heat right in the connection itself!
It may be just enough to melt that solder and get that valuable thingamajig off that what ever it is.

Or you can just go get the propane torch. But what fun is that?
 

tcmtech

Banned
Most Helpful Member
Dumpster Diver Tip!

Need a good inverter design to run your home electronics off of your vehicles 12 volt power?

Go to your nearest store and buy one! Your money and time ahead! Trust me! ;)

(Yea this is real obvious, but how many threads are there now related to this?
I just couldn’t resist putting it close to the beginning of this thread!) :D
 

tcmtech

Banned
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Dumpster Diver Tip!

Need a source of good low power line level switching components?

Check out compact fluorescent light ballasts.
They run at line voltage and have high voltage transistors, mosfets, diodes, and capacitors. Some even have switcher IC’s in them!

It will take some hunting though, every manufactures design is different.

All modern compact fluorescents run the lamp tube off a high frequency AC power source. That electronic ballast makes that high frequency AC while limiting the wattage.

You never know what you could make with one of those! Your imagination is the only limit with this tip.
 

tcmtech

Banned
Most Helpful Member
Super Scavenger Tip!

Need a bunch of DC brushless motors, gear belts and pulleys, gears, gear boxes, and stepper motors with drives for your automated creations?

Check with the local office equipment repair centers. Commercial copiers, printers and other office equipment are loaded with good parts. Many have large DC brushless motors and higher powered stepper motors with the proper driver circuits for them built right in.
Plus loads of other goodies too!

Most repair places get competitors machines on trade in and just scrap them to keep them out of the market. Plus they have many customer machines that were not worth fixing too.

Talk to the service department and you can buy parts or entire machines for very little or even sometimes for free if you’re willing to haul it away. But be warned some high end copiers can weigh over 800 pounds!
 
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tcmtech

Banned
Most Helpful Member
Dumpster Diver TIp!

Need a good way to filter the line power going to or coming from your latest creation?

Check out old TV’s, computer monitors, computer power supplies, or home electronics.
TV and computer monitors and power supplies have good multi stage units in that 50 to 500 watt range. Larger household devices like microwave ovens and larger home appliances have ones in the 500 - 1500 watt range.
If you’re going bigger than that you will have to start looking for commercial devices that are electronically controlled but use much higher power levels. Like welders and plasma cutters or larger commercial versions of your home devices.

And you get what you pay for; the cheap stuff has poor or often no filters while the higher end stuff often has great filter components!
 

JBrock

Member
Dumpster Diving

On the subject of True Dumpster Diving, where you actually climb in and dig around, I can speak from real experience.
The best dumpsters are behind the small job shops in industrial parks. Bigger companies don't even want you on "their" property. Small shop neighborhoods have many small dumpsters in one area, quite often with the lid open so they can just toss stuff in. This allows you to go down the row and just peek in before you get serious.
Make frequent rounds, as the goods vary constantly. I scored many varieties of copper clad board at one favorite source. Larger companies will recycle their waste for salvage. I once collected some bits of wire at the phone company. A 12-inch piece of cable with 24 different color-coded solid wires makes a great handy dispenser. But a big mean old phone tech came out one day and made me give it back. He said "We sell those scraps. That wire is MONEY!" Jeez, excuse me for stealing 25 cents worth of trash.
In Irvine California, the friendly "Little Silicon Valley South", there are companies who put up hostile signs in the parking lot. They threaten to arrest you just for parking there. Forget about their dumpsters because they are under lock and key and video surveillance.
Good luck, and let us know the results of your endeavors!
 
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Mikebits

Well-Known Member
I thought peeps in Carlsbad were all rich and surfed near the big smoke stack. Hardly someone you would expect to find inside a dumpster :)

Anyways, I think government surplus shops are great places to get stuff dirt cheap. Once you frequent a place a few times the shop keeper practically gives stuff away at dirt cheap prices. For you folks in San Diego, this spot is a gold mine.

HOME PAGE FOR MURPHYS SURPLUS
 
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