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What to do with old computers (& electronics you save for projec...
4269 posts
I've got a bunch of retired computers (mostly P4's >2.6ghz s478 era) and parts which are going to waste in a shed

Was considering just dumping the lot, but figure there is plenty of parts that can be ripped off boards and reused for projects (e.g. arduino projects). I think I will try and give away most of it first but anything left over, trying to think of what I can do to make the parts usable and space-saving.

Wondering what everyone has done in terms of recycling pc electronics and various parts (or which you focus on putting away for later)?

Cases: the best I can think to do with them is get out a plasma cutter and cut the metal down to small flat pieces that can be stacked and stored for various uses

- Headers, heatsinks, fans, jumpers, buzzers, cables, battery/mount: I can always use.
- On-board connectors: I could see uses for (ps2, serial, audio, ide, vga, usb, etc)
- Surface mounted electronics: I doubt I can get off cleanly (or re-use without wrecking) but larger electrical components I can see purpose for storing (for those days when I go for a specific trip for a specific bit).
- Multilayer PCBs: I can't think of a use except as mounting boards.

CPUs: ?

Old ram: ?

Floppy/ODDs: can probably use motors, lasers, cabling, cases

Power supplies: Larger easy to remove components and plenty of cabling + connectors + fans.

* If you may need any of the gear send me a pm and i'll send you the list probably when I fly home on Friday - just checking with family/friends first.
09:36am 20/01/13 Permalink
09:36am 20/01/13 Permalink
Brisbane, Queensland
10449 posts
Good question Jerry
I've resigned myself to needing to get rid of anything:
pre-socket 775
pre-PCIe (video card wise)

So consequently I have three or four PCs worth of parts, P4 2.x ghz etc
09:44am 20/01/13 Permalink
Melbourne, Victoria
8414 posts
I have a lot of stuff that I want to get rid of. CPUs, m/boards, RAM, HDDs, cables, cases and so on. You could probably build a reasonable PC out of the parts and I have thought about doing that and putting it on eBay. Then I see it's only worth $100-150 and just can't be bothered with the hassle.
09:58am 20/01/13 Permalink
Sydney, New South Wales
1899 posts
I usually just get some semblance of a pc running with what I have left and hand it off to a mate.
however that only really works if the majority of your mates are computer illiterate spaz's who've only just figured out they can watch porn and facebook till the cows come home.
10:20am 20/01/13 Permalink
Nerf Lord
Brisbane, Queensland
7172 posts
I looked into it ages ago, there's specific places which you can drop them off and they'll donate them to various 3rd world or recycling efforts (there's tiny bits of non-renewable gold and rare metals which go into making computers, but I doubt that it's economical for individuals to try to get any money back for them).

That being said I never got around to it due to not having a car. Your best bet it seems is to wait for the brisbane river to swallow your house, then the army will take away all your ruined muddy crap including old computers.
10:42am 20/01/13 Permalink
Brisbane, Queensland
5330 posts
i give them away to ppl at work there is aways someone who wants your s***
10:45am 20/01/13 Permalink
Brisbane, Queensland
5706 posts
Their just going to hoard it.
11:01am 20/01/13 Permalink
Gold Coast, Queensland
348 posts
Has anyone ever taken them to a recycling place? I have some burnt out boards and cards from years ago still hanging about.
11:31am 20/01/13 Permalink
Brisbane, Queensland
57 posts
I was involved at my previous workplace in setting up machines from old parts/pcs and having them setup for seniors and kids to learn with.

If you call around to some community groups they will take interest, they are great linux based internet machines for the less fortunate.

Ubuntu makes things even nicer since it's easy enough to use and with some choice mods acts quite similar to Windows. Depends how giving you are.

They would be beasts for teaching kids to program in python or something... hmm... ideas indeed. Oldest machine I have here is a Core 2 Duo 2ghz but I think it's been dibbs by the sister in law.
12:11pm 20/01/13 Permalink
4270 posts
Has anyone ever taken them to a recycling place?
i was considering something like that until i read up on one that:

- takes your old gear
- gives you 'credits' for any parts that can be used elsewhere
- charges you for parts that aren't
- potentially end up paying to recycling stuff you could otherwise dump

i did write a post earlier but it didn't seem to get posted - was saying that i will wait a week then put it up to the OCAU trading vultures as they are generally always all over free s***

and i found an interesting non-functional use for the ram/cpus (art):

this is the list:

- Pentium 4, 2.8ghz
- AMD64 (X1) unknown speed/model + Zalman HSF
- Pentium 4 2.8ghz
- AMD (old, possibly duron, unknown speed)
- Pentium 4 ‐ 3.2GHZ + Heatsink/Fan

- Abit Motherboard (model Unknown – 2xSata, 2xIDE, PCIe, PCI, PCIe‐mini)
- Soltek Motherboard (for AMD Duron, probably dead, won’t power)
- Soltek AMD64 (X1) M/B – rusty capacitors, power won’t start
- Asrock 775i65G Motherboard
- Gigabyte 85651MP‐RZ motherboard
- Gigabyte 85651MP‐RZ motherboard

- Asus AGP Videocard (Model unknown, has DVI/VGA) Complete case
- Nvidia 6600GT 256mb AGP videocard
- Generic AGP videocard

- Coolermaster Case, complete
- Case missing sides
- Solid large black Antec case (complete)
- Case missing sides
- Complete generic case
- Complete generic case (has CDrw drive)

- 1gb DDR1
- 2x1gb DDR400
- 512mb Corsair XMS twinset DDR400 ram
- 1gb DDR400
- 512mb DDR1 333mhz

- 400w PSU
- 400w PSU
- 250w PSU
- 400w PSU
- 350w PSU
- Antec Earthwatts 80PLUS 380w

- Coax network card
- Thermaltake and Aywun cpu fans/heatsinks (Aywun for LGA 775/1156)
- Winfast DTV1800 H tuner – no remote
- 1x ALI Sata/IDE RAID card (pci)
- 3x VIA Sata/IDE RAID cards (PCI)
- 1x Promise IDE RAID card (PCI)
- Avermedia USB2 Analogue TV tuner/recorder w/ accessories
- USB 5.25” Caddy w/ DVD Rom
- Stack of very old ram (pre-SD)
02:51pm 20/01/13 Permalink
Brisbane, Queensland
6321 posts
Very cool :)
02:52pm 20/01/13 Permalink
Brisbane, Queensland
9907 posts
04:31pm 20/01/13 Permalink
Brisbane, Queensland
11801 posts

I've done some volunteer time at Computer Bank QLD. They refurbish old hardware and build customized systems and give them to old people, retarded people, visually impaired that kind of thing.

The council have a list here:
09:50am 21/01/13 Permalink
Brisbane, Queensland
10689 posts
I hoard it all. Recently I categorised everything. Wow that was fun looking up parts made obsolete in the early 90s.
10:02am 21/01/13 Permalink
AGN Admin
Brisbane, Queensland
36678 posts
If you are in Brisbane:
Brisbane residents can, as part of the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme, dispose of e-waste at the transfer stations for free. The transfer stations will accept a maximum of 15 items per delivery of televisions, computers and computer products including printers and scanners free of charge from householders and small businesses.
I hate throwing out old working stuff, but it's basically more effort than it's worth to sell some of it, and if there's a broken component or it needs work I feel like it's almost cruel to donate it.
11:15am 21/01/13 Permalink
4271 posts
I don't think im going to even bother trying to donate this stuff. I thought I was doing the right thing by offering, and got made feel like an a******.

Looks like they have been picked over.
Suggest you dump them, but not with us as we are not a dumping ground.
Thank you,
Computerbank Qld.

I thought I was helping by offering, because their site says:


We refurbish donated computers to help as many people as possible, including pensioners, disabled people and children, experience the way of the future. Our clients can surf the Internet, send emails to friends, play games, do social networking, word processing, sound and graphics becoming part of the on-line way of life. When you upgrade your system don't toss out the old one, please consider donating it to us as we can use it, or its parts, to build other computers.

Suitable Donations
- P4s with minimum specifications of 1.6 GHz, 256 MB RAM, 20 GB Hard Drive, CDROM, Ethernet and Sound.
- Keyboards, Mouses, Screens 17???+
- SD 256+, DDR 512 MB+, DDR2 512MB+
- PCI Sound, PCI & AGP Video Cards

They say, they could use parts.. most these systems just need a HD + OS and they are fully functional.

So based on that, i'm just going to solder off all the parts I can and dump the rest.
10:59pm 24/01/13 Permalink
Melbourne, Victoria
8423 posts
Nice one troggles! From your info I found my local council also participates in the national scheme. For the locals down here;

Director Environment and Engineering Mark Varmalis said Coldstream Transfer Station was now participating in the National TV and Computer Recycling Scheme.

“Residents can bring their old TVs & computer equipment to the Ingram Rd transfer station free of charge,” Mr Varmalis said.
11:14pm 24/01/13 Permalink
11:14pm 24/01/13 Permalink
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