One thing that really makes me want to laugh is how people or organisations are willing to take your old computers off your hands. Probably a good thing, but are those old systems really worthless and unusable? Here a just only a few examples of why they may not be.

We have an old Commodore monitor from way back when. We also have a tv with the same kind of connections know as composite input. Tv stations and entertainment vendors would have you believe they are worthless. Not necessarily so. For example I still use my monitor as a tv with a digital converter and also as a monitor for one of my pcs. Since the monitor supports what is know as svideo, it still works great.

To go even farther, we harvest old parts from computers for new uses as not have to buy when we already have. Actually, what is now called obsolete systems can be very valuable if you or someone you know can harvest them for you. For example, If you say want to use an old 5 1/4 inch floppy drive, most people would snicker at that. But at what could be twenty dollars to buy the same part we just gave to a recycler does not make sense. We like to extract the stepper motors from the drives. they can be very easily adapted for robotics and other projects. The stepper motor pictured will go to an antenna motor set up that will cost all together just a few dollars. Stepper motors can be used with microcontrollers such as the Arduino, Parallax Basic stamp, and others. The www.instructables.com web site has a wealth of articles that anyone can make using them. Even if you do not have any old goodies, Goodwill, resale shops, friends who want to clear out the garage, or people who leave stuff for garbage pick up can be a wealth of equipment.

We bought two radio control cars for two dollars apiece. I extracted the power train that will be part of my pc robot. At a robotics store, they could be at least ten to fifteen dollars apiece. I still can use the radio receivers also for another project which is another twenty dollars in savings. So I made eighteen dollars on that deal so to speak for each rc car. The little truck I bought at the dollar store for a dollar. It could be used very easily as a slot car or even as a mini-robot. To power it, I took some cdrom motors from a unit that would not read cd’s. No problem as the motors worked fine. Another few bucks in savings there also. Guess what I am saying is that something is worth as much as you can use your ingenuity and not take for granted that something is automatically worthless. I have a ton of examples, but these few should whet your appetite to what can be done. Sites such as www.makezine.com, www.hackaday.com. and www.hackedgadgets.com can be good starting places to bring out the geek that is in everyone. Do not forget to visit www.instructables.com/member/computothought if you get a chance. Happy saving!

—————–

The cookie monster is alive.

Good day.

Advertisements