How to save around US$623 by scavenging from junk. If you live in a country that has regular roadside junk collection, they can be a goldmine of electronics spare parts.
I managed to pick up several notebooks. The Dell Latitude D450, which actually powered up. They are a good source of connectors, heatsinks, hard disks and displays. I could have saved it, but I was more interested in the parts I could get from it. It’s fairly easy to pull notebooks apart and there’s usually lots of tutorials online that you can Google. Basically unscrew any screw that you see. Works for me.
One of the more interesting parts you can get is the LCD screen. Once you find the model number then a simple Google will show up plenty of controller boards that you can retrofit and you’ve got a working monitor.
$15.00 – In my case I had a QD14XL07 from Quanta Display and found several controllers on eBay for around $30 a pop. Nice.
Batteries are good to save, they are usually divided up into individual cells that you can separate and use to power small MCUs.
The RAM isn’t so useful, but could be added to another notebook I had.
$3.49 – Then there’s the WiFi and Bluetooth module running a very common Broadcom module.$18.99 – The 40GB hard disk can be used on several SBCs I have.$27.50 – While the capacitive touchpad can set you back almost $30.$7.50 – And these small enclosed speakers are useful, but were a bit fiddley to get out.$6.35 – This small flat heatsink I’ll use in some of my SBC tests.$2.50 – and a bunch of buttons comes in handy.$6.35 – Another heatsink!
$5.00 – Not sure modems could be used much these days, but might be fun to check out.$0.95 – Coin cell batteries,$2.50 – Then there’s an antenna$1.50 – RJ45 connectors,
$3.50 – DB25 and DB9 connectors.$3.00 – And a couple of audio jacks.As for the rest, well I didn’t feel like de-soldering any of the surface mount components. So, that’s around $89 saved so far, nice!
But then I had another two notebooks to rip apart. Then Compaq Armada E500 I managed to get
$15.00 – another LCD screen
$27.50 – touchpad. More buttons.
$3.50 – and more DB25 and DB9 connectors.
The last notebook I managed to get
$3.50 – one of those funky thumb sticks,$15.00 – another LCD screen,$27.50 – touchpad,
$7.50 – speakers, more buttons.
$3.00 – RJ45 connectors, More buttons, which can be easily de-soldered,
$1.50 – and a USB connector, which is easy to de-solder as well,$6.35 – Another heatsink.
Bringing the current tally to just a bit over US$240. Nice haul so far.