CQ Amateur Radio


Using Those Harvested Parts

Just about every electronics maker, builder-ham or other electronics tinkerer has a stash of new and used parts, assemblies and discarded (rescued) gadgets. Including me (see Photo A). But having all this stuff doesn’t do anyone any good if parts are stashed away and taking up space.

So, about a year or so ago I began a mission to start using my inventory. This led to one of my most popular Maker Faire displays (Photo B). In fact, the name of the creation is “Inventory Reduction.” I used eight switches, 40 LEDs, 11 pilot lights and lots of Teflon®-insulated wire in the project. It will be mounted on a wall and will function as a lamp as well as a drawer and shelf to charge my phone, camera, GPS, and other items.

Surface-mount as well as through hole parts can be harvested and reused, but many components, such as SMT resistors and capacitors, are relatively cheap and are best purchased new.

Other, more exotic parts such as a microprocessor (µP), Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC), or Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuit (MMIC)

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