Friday, August 14, 2009

Is this what I think it is? YES - Recycle Your Electronics!

Hey peeps, I am sure not much of you read this anymore but I have some things I want to share with you all. So I previously said I would help with recycling old electronics so here we go!

WAIT!!! don't throw away that DVD player/Speaker/TV/Monitor/Misc. Electronics before you read this!

Okay so lets say you were about to enjoy a nice afternoon watching your favourite movie: Back To the Future. Lets say that when you placed your backup of Back to the Future (The original is mounted on the wall in a golden frame) in your dvd player, it EXPLODED! So what to do?

Well the DVD player itself has some cool components, if your not that involved in electronics or lack a nice supply of components (Resistors, Transistors, Capacitors, Diodes, yada yada yada)then you can recycle components from the DVD player.

Tools Needed
Soldering Iron
Desoldering bulb

hey if you do not have any of these items GET THEM NOW, they will save your life if there ever is a situation where you need to disarm a nuclear bomb (Trust me it can happen).

so lets go over how to desolder things.
*Note: this is a general rule of thumb guide so it will be most useful in most cases.

1. add solder to the joint you want to remove.
Yeah I know this step may have you thinking WTF? but adding new solder to the older solder will mix both ages of solder and facilitate the solder extraction process, don't believe me? try not doing it and see what happens. NOTE: remember to not leave the soldering iron on the joint for too long lest you want a useless component.

2. use a Desoldering bulb or Desoldering pump to remove the solder.
If you followed step 1 this should be a breeze, if not go back to step one. you may need more than one attempt to remove all solder. Make sure you can see the silver of the board underneath and that it is flat.

3. Repeat steps for each joint.
Most components will have more than one joint. For example a resistor will usually have two joints, a capacitor as well, transistors for the most part have three joints.

With enough time you'll be the envy of the town with all your inductors and capacitors and do hickeys, you'll have peeps left and right asking you to help build stuff. if(request == skynet){echo "Get Down"; ATTACK(requester);}else{echo "okie dokie";}

Yes those steps should help with the majority of your recycling projects.

Know on to some more project specific uses on recycling.

Lets say you have a CRT (cathode ray tube) Monitor or television, and it is broken (Oh Noes) what to do? I have made a couple of quick projects that will offer loads of fun.

Project: Vacuum IMPLODER:
I have not done this so I can not provide any pictures, but I know people who have so that is why I list it here. The actual glass part inside the monitor (the big heavy thing) is a Vacuum tube, so theoretically by breaking the glass correctly you should achieve an implosion where the debris will contract towards the middle of the implosion (as opposed to an explosion where the debris spreads outwards).


Project: High Voltage is FUN!
I have done this project, and it is uddles of fun. First some background info so get ready for some information. CRT monitors use high voltage to generate an electron beam that strikes a phosphorous coating on the front of the glass which then generates a color. multiple beams hit the screen that allow an image to be displayed on the glass. The CRT monitor uses a flyback transformer to generate the HV necessary for the electron beam. What is a transformer you say, a transformer is a method of increasing voltage while decreasing amperage and vice versa. In short voltage goes up and the amperage goes down proportionally, the way it works is through magnetic induction where a frequency in a primary coil induces a current in the secondary coil. The induced current and voltage is determined by the ratio of turns in the primary and secondary. Here is a picture of a standard transformer. A step down transformer is a transformer that steps down voltage, these can be seen stuck to a power line. A step up transformer is a transformer that takes a low voltage (lets say 1 V) and passes it through a transformer with a primary:secondary ratio of 1:1000000 then this will result in a 1000000 V or 1 MV induced voltage in the secondary coil, cool huh? yet the secondary coil will only have 1/(1000000) of the amperage the primary one has. Okay you got all that? good.

The flyback transformer in the monitor is a step up transformer it will take 10-20 V and step it up to 10 - 20 KV. The flyback transformer will be in a different location in each monitor setup but most of them will look like these.

I am selling flyback transformers, if interested contact me @

once you have removed all of the joints (there are lots of them) you can proceed to the circuit building

We are gonna create a dynamic frequency driver, this simple but powerful circuit will use a standard NPN transistor (try to get one suitable for High Voltage I found one inside the monitor that worked beautifully) to find the ideal frequency needed to attain maximum voltage.

so here is the schematic for this driver

The schematic was stolen from Sam Barros' Power labs page check it out!

I find that the 2N3055, while easy to find at radioschack, sucks so don't use it! They die out in a matter of minutes even when connected in parallel.

The resistor choices I have no problem with.

Okay some helpful tips that nobody ever told me and delayed this project almost a month, these are priceless.

*To find the Primary coil do a continuity test between the first couple of pins
*To find the Feedback coil do the same continuity test
*Remember to write down what pins connect to what
*to find the secondary coil connect the red suction cup thingy to a terminal of a 9 V battery from there connect the other terminal to a probe on a voltmeter then use the other free probe to individually test each pin. Whichever pin gives you a reading is the other side of the secondary coil.


For Reals be careful always use only one hand when messing with High voltage so you do not close a high voltage circuit through your arms and more importantly through your heart.

The image shown is a small spark using a crappy 2n3055 my other transistor allowed me to make a full fledged Jacobs ladder.

My last Project can be done with parts that can be found all over the place.

It is the infamous Joule Thief, Takin' joules left and right!

Things you need

Ferrite Ring
Magnet Wire
NPN Transistors (2N3055 can be used for this)

Here is the schematic

courtesy of Makezine: Thanks!

It is a really simple project but it is really cool. Lets say you have a to of useless AA batteries that will not work for anything they are "dead"; use a joule thief to make them power a simple LED. Usually a 1.5 Volt AA will not light up an LED so how does it work? if you read my rant on transformers you should be able to figure it out.

Like always and Questions or Comments place in the Comments section. I'll try to help anyone.
Have Fun! Be Safe!

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