Also in relation to SMT parts the Ungar Princess heat gun which has a smaller barrel is excellent for a manual soldering and desoldering tool, assuming I remember the brand I been using it for years and now I'm not sure of the name.
I need to show this article and the related posts to my wife. She constantly complains about my garage lab and my collection of parts that cover one complete wall of the garage and another row of shelves paralleling the wall. My obsession started in the 60's I was given the job of sweeping up and electronics lab that my dad managed. As part of my compensation consisted of keeping any components found when doing this. The other plus was the books given to me by the technicians and engineers which added fuel to the fire and I've been hooked ever sense. I soon found that you could go to the junk yard and for a small amount you could salvage numerous parts from scrapped radios and other electronics.
I have built many things over the years using parts salvaged and expect to build many more. I have come to a saturation point on TTL and CMOS logic you can only have so many LS374's before you have to get rid of some.
Glad to see I'm not alone in this obsession.... Any one need any Motorola 100 psi board mount pressure sensors I only have about a hundred many new.
> Have you ever thought that this might not be related to your reclaiming old parts? LOL
Because I am Zimbabwean (eg not Australian) I get funny looks all the time. When I reclaim old PCBS I get VERY funny looks. But I give as good as I get (especially when South Africa beats Australia at the cricket :-)
A lot of old people talking abount ancient times here ! ;-)
I will try to counterbalance with this story that happened only last year. I was on a nice caribean island for vacation (Martinique) when oma's TV went down. Like often over there, it's the capacitors that went dry. Nowhere to buy such parts on the island, so I went to the local dump with a machete and started ripping open the scrapped electronic stuff I could find. When I found enough capacitors for my needs I unsoldered them on oma's gas stove. The most difficult part was to cleanly remove the capacitors from the TV to be repared and to solder the "new" ones with a plumber iron and his remaining tiny piece of soldering tin which was more lead than tin. Mc Gyver style.
Hi Jon. One of the most gratifying things about posting this article is to hear from people like yourself who also get bits off boards. None of my workmates do and they give me very funny looks whan I grab old stuff just "to get some good bits off it".
Great topic. Looking at other people's board work while you strip it is great training for the novice - dismantle few thousand random board designs and you will learn a lot about the art.
I started doing this myself in the early 70's - of necessity. Back then (in the UK at least) it was difficult to buy one piece of anything - pre-internet or even mail-order catalogue of course and as a result all parts were of potentrial value to the hobbyist.
I had developed a huge collection of parts by the mid 80's. I rarely had to purchase parts for repairs or hobby work. We used to actually mend things up until 20 years ago of course - not something I try very often these days.
I also used massively over-specified military transistors and recycled cold war era rad-hard op-amps to build audio amplifiers during the audiophile boom years in the early 80's. Almost everything was discrete and thu-hole back then - made things simpler. "Towers", a must have - I had forgotten that existed!
I eventually sold my rather large parts collection at 80's swap-meets and paid for a few vacations with it. My tube (==valve if you are a brit) collection was worth a ton of money - went back to the dawn or radio.
40 years later I still hoard parts - but more demo boards than discrete parts... you never know.