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> Salvaging Tantalum Capacitors
dohzer
Posted: May 18, 2010 03:43 pm
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Is it worth salvaging tantalum capacitors off some motherboards or random PCBs?
Could I experience major problems by reusing them (like to they have short lifespans or any other problems)?

Do any of you salvage other components from old electronics? Do you actually reuse parts?
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JoOngle
Posted: May 18, 2010 04:34 pm
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QUOTE (dohzer @ May 18, 2010 03:43 pm)
Is it worth salvaging tantalum capacitors off some motherboards or random PCBs?
Could I experience major problems by reusing them (like to they have short lifespans or any other problems)?

Do any of you salvage other components from old electronics? Do you actually reuse parts?

1) Only if you don't have a component collection to begin with, and it's hard to come by for you, otherwise it's not really worth it (again...unless you're DIRT POOR or something)

Because - you can easily get SMD collections for 20 bucks on eBay, often complete and with thousands of parts.

2) Most likely not.

3) Yes, I do collect used components from time to time, but ONLY speciality components like:

- Audio transformers
- Rare Earth Magnets
- Mini motors
- Geared motors
- Rare speakers
- Tubes
- Tube sockets (8-9 pin and above)
- Voltage regulators are always useful, I do pull these before I throw stuff away
- HUGE Capacitors (if they're MEGA BIG, and some KV-capacitors)
- Gear mechanics, metal parts - parts possible to build stuff with
- Screws (keep lots of them in various containers, you'll ALWAYS need these)
- Old mechanical AIR-capacitors (I'll even buy these used, they're rare)
- Nice A/V Compatible TFT displays, never toss those away
- MicroSwitches
- Sensors of all kinds
- Weird parts

Parts like resistors, capacitors, transistors, diodes, electrolytes, Linear-ICs, Logic-Circuits etc. I'm always purchasing from eBay or Radio-Amateur Bulk sales, old-electronics stores closeout sales etc. Anything I can get my claws on, these are usually bargains and ends up being enough for LIFE & Then some...nothing like being completely self supplied smile.gif


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tekwiz
Posted: May 18, 2010 08:48 pm
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I save the larger electrolytics & tantalums, but each one gets measured before use for capacity. In critical apps, new caps are the only way.
I have a whole collection of salvaged caps, sorted & in drawers, the I supplement when I have to buy caps for a project...I just buy lots of what I need.
Any other type of capacitor, like plastics & ceramics, don't have a specified lifespan & can be salvaged.


BTW: The design lifespan of most common electrolytic caps is a mere 4000-8000 hours.


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For to you, kings & armies are things mighty & enduring.
To him, mere toys of the moment, to be overturned at the flick of a finger.

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johansen
Posted: May 18, 2010 10:03 pm
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Depends on the tantalum caps, like moore's law, they keep getting smaller and cheaper.

I had some some 20 year old 100uf 60 volt caps that had a 6mm dia by 12mm long pellet of tantalum. they made better spark gap material than capacitors.
They burn with a bright yellow flame in air btw.
Today the same cap would be measured in cubic millimeters and have a proportionally lower ESR.

No reason not to reuse the surface mount stuff, but i find the fact that they are often unlabeled rather annoying.


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Sch3mat1c
Posted: May 19, 2010 03:33 pm
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Tants are worth keeping. They're surprisingly expensive new. Maybe not as much when eBayed (eh Tommy?).

Tim


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JoOngle
Posted: May 19, 2010 04:06 pm
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Well, maybe you're right Tim. I tend to be a litte biased because I've gotten rather large stashes over the years from closeout sales and nos ham-fest markeds as well, albeit components are cheap on ebay.

I purchase more modern components on ebay, components that the still existing few stores would sell for 10-20 times the price, but prefer my big bulks from the local ham sales, that way I don't have to worry about fake components either.


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Sch3mat1c
Posted: May 20, 2010 03:00 am
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Right, swap meets... wish there were some of those around here sad.gif


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Answering questions is a tricky subject to practice. Not due to the difficulty of formulating or locating answers, but due to the human inability of asking the right questions; a skill that, were one to possess, would put them in the "answering" category.
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