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Offline NOOBinDistressTopic starter

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Computer scavenging....
« on: June 19, 2007, 08:14:22 AM »
I already made a post about scavenging old monitors for parts and no one really knew if there was anything worth while in 1... So now I am asking if I would find anything of value by taking a part one of my old computers (not monitors)? ok thanks.

Offline ed1380

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Re: Computer scavenging....
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2007, 08:36:37 AM »
how old?

and o yeah there is alot.

voltage regulators, transistors, little heatsinks, headers, the paralel, serial, cables, etc, etc.

you can use the psu for a benchtop power supply.
12v and 5v

motors from drives
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Offline maverick monk

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Re: Computer scavenging....
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2007, 09:03:59 AM »
also, fans, wire, LED's, you might find a use for the CMOS battery, the case for metal for the base of the bot, small switches, serial and usb ports that you might be able to mount on a board...

Offline Steve Joblin

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Re: Computer scavenging....
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2007, 03:18:57 PM »
Since most robots use some form of "processor", be it a microcontroller, or a CPU that controls a microcontoller, I would think that an old PC would be an excellent source of parts... as mentioned, they have a great power supply, motors from disk drives, switches, memory, circuit boards full of components (like gel caps used for powering the clock when the computer is turned off), etc.  In fact, I might be so bold as to say that there is no part of an old computer that could not be used!

If you remove the power supply, disk drives, case, and all the other "heavy" components, you could create a robot that uses the computer as it's "brain".

Can anyone think of a part from a PC that would not be useful?  Maybe the power cord?

Offline NOOBinDistressTopic starter

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Re: Computer scavenging....
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2007, 04:34:45 PM »
Thanks... I have not decided which old and unused computer to take apart yet... yet I know that I am going to take a part thiis broken monitor. THere should be stuff in there right????................................

Offline Eco19R

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Re: Computer scavenging....
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2007, 04:49:20 PM »
Uh if it works don't take it apart - build a base that could carry it and you have got yourself a processor thats more powerful then the micro-controllers you can purchase - of course it also is much much heavier and requires more power.

Offline NOOBinDistressTopic starter

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Re: Computer scavenging....
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2007, 04:52:15 PM »
What dont take a part.... the computer or the monitor.... I will  take your advies on that not to take it apart but what about the monitor.... Anything good in there?

Offline Eco19R

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Re: Computer scavenging....
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2007, 05:00:59 PM »
Don't take apart the computer, I don't know about the monitor. I try to dispose of my used electronics in an environmentally friendly way which is taking them to the recycling center. Old CRT monitors can have enough voltage in the capacitors to kill you not to mention any toxic substances that may have been used when it was originally made - I took apart an old VCR back from 10 years ago and I couldn't breathe right for 5 days afterword, I am not sure what was in it but what ever it was - it was not good to breathe in.

If you feel adventurous I am sure you could pull some use-full stuff off the monitor - just be care-full

Offline Steve Joblin

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Re: Computer scavenging....
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2007, 05:06:01 PM »
I would really stay away from taking apart a monitor... there are very large capacitors that store extremely high voltages that can KILL YOU!  The only "useful" parts are the electronic components, and quite frankly, it just isn't worth it... the chemicals in the picture tube are toxic and one wrong slip a screwdriver will land you in a grave... STAY AWAY FROM TAKING APART A MONITOR (or TV for that matter!)

Offline maverick monk

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Re: Computer scavenging....
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2007, 06:24:01 PM »
Old CRT monitors can have enough voltage in the capacitors to kill you

very true, my dad got blown across the room (literaly) from the discharge of touching the wrong thing wile working on a tv...

Offline NOOBinDistressTopic starter

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Re: Computer scavenging....
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2007, 06:43:57 PM »
b4 I posted in a previous post it said the charge went  away after along while... I still wont take it apart. I was just wandering...Also are you saying I should just slap that computer on a skate board add servos change wheels and program it??? Seems a little out there to me, yet it also sounds cool!
« Last Edit: June 20, 2007, 09:24:50 AM by NOOBinDistress »

Offline Eco19R

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Re: Computer scavenging....
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2007, 06:47:27 PM »
Yes create a large robot base capable of carrying the computer and accompanying battery pack.

Offline ed1380

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Re: Computer scavenging....
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2007, 07:23:12 PM »
@ eco- take what you need then bring the rest to a recycling center

IDk what you guys are talking about geting shocked. I've worked inside crt monitors before and have taken apart many tv's and have yet to be shocked.
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Offline NOOBinDistressTopic starter

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Re: Computer scavenging....
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2007, 07:26:02 PM »
Idk if I should take it apart or not some say so some say not.... I will wait to see what admin says ;D.

Offline Admin

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Re: Computer scavenging....
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2007, 07:33:46 PM »
The admin has been evoked :P

If you dont need it, dont waste your time scavenging it. Just stick it in your closet till you need something specific.

As for getting shocked by a capacitor, any normal person would just wear leather gloves and short the capacitors with a screwdriver :P

Offline ed1380

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Re: Computer scavenging....
« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2007, 04:36:49 AM »
The admin has been evoked :P

If you dont need it, dont waste your time scavenging it. Just stick it in your closet till you need something specific.

As for getting shocked by a capacitor, any normal person would just wear leather gloves and short the capacitors with a screwdriver :P
that's hard for some one us, since we have moms that want our rooms clean   :P
« Last Edit: June 20, 2007, 04:38:06 AM by ed1380 »
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Offline NOOBinDistressTopic starter

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Re: Computer scavenging....
« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2007, 08:42:20 AM »
Ok thanks!!! I wont take it apart untiil I know I need something.

Offline sotu

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Re: Computer scavenging....
« Reply #17 on: June 20, 2007, 08:50:07 AM »
I have taken appart a old computer (With a cassetteplayer built on it :P) It ways a ton and is huge like ..hell.. it looks like only a keyboard but its SO heavy you could think its a whole computer: screen, keyboard, computer itself!
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Offline NOOBinDistressTopic starter

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Re: Computer scavenging....
« Reply #18 on: June 20, 2007, 08:55:48 AM »
YAh like sotu was saying it is gona be a real heavy robot with the computer on  it and all and I am not sure I have the money to get  super expensvie motors to power it. So I was wandering if wana these would work:                                                                                                http://cgi.ebay.com/Lot-of-2-complete-and-working-older-winbook-laptops_W0QQitemZ300122910264QQihZ020QQcategoryZ177QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Offline ed1380

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Re: Computer scavenging....
« Reply #19 on: June 20, 2007, 10:36:02 AM »
to take apart or be the brains of the robot?
take apart-probably no
brains- if it has serial port, yes.
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Offline NOOBinDistressTopic starter

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Re: Computer scavenging....
« Reply #20 on: June 20, 2007, 05:48:13 PM »
so i can use a laptop as my micromajig or am I better off just buying a decent microcontroller?

Offline Steve Joblin

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Re: Computer scavenging....
« Reply #21 on: June 20, 2007, 06:41:36 PM »
PC's are great for number crunching and dealing with lots of data... microcontrollers are great for interfacing to input and output devices (like sensors as input, and motors as output).  if you are trying to do something simple like turn your robot if it detects an obstacle, then microcontrollers are the way to go... if you are trying to create a virtual map of an environment, determine the shortest path to get from point A to point B, then you would want the computational computing power of a PC.  Most robots that use a PC also use microcontrollers.

Offline NOOBinDistressTopic starter

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Re: Computer scavenging....
« Reply #22 on: June 20, 2007, 07:22:32 PM »
Ohhh I was thinking about buying and old laptop and then slapping it on like a skate board deck and getting the right wheels and then use a color sensor thingy to follow me around... Does it matter how olde the laptop is? IT just has to work right?

Offline sotu

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Re: Computer scavenging....
« Reply #23 on: June 21, 2007, 01:26:24 AM »
Sry for posting this here but u were talking about microcontrollers and i was wondering if it would be a good deal by me to buy a undone microcontroller "card", LCD in the pack, a servo along, a USB kabel fitting the USB input on the microcontroller, a book to learn about microcontrollers AND a programming program :P for programming the servo?
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Offline ed1380

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Re: Computer scavenging....
« Reply #24 on: June 21, 2007, 08:50:14 AM »
Sry for posting this here but u were talking about microcontrollers and i was wondering if it would be a good deal by me to buy a undone microcontroller "card", LCD in the pack, a servo along, a USB kabel fitting the USB input on the microcontroller, a book to learn about microcontrollers AND a programming program :P for programming the servo?

so you're talking aabout something like this and getting a lcd screen and learning.

you could also get this. you can program it with just a regular serial cable and avr studio 4. I got one and it comes proprogrammed with awesome stuff
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Offline sotu

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Re: Computer scavenging....
« Reply #25 on: June 21, 2007, 10:18:35 AM »
Im sry, i was writing wrong, not LCD but didos..:P
Anyway this is it: http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2117994
Is it a good deal?
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Offline rgcustodio

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Re: Computer scavenging....
« Reply #26 on: June 21, 2007, 10:31:45 AM »
Saw your posts at pololu's forum :) It seems that you're still quite undecided at what you really want.

Actually that Basic Stamp kit is quite good for beginners and mid-level. If you can write BASIC, you can program the Basic Stamp. It doesn't require you to learn C. You can apply _most_ of your experiences with this MCU to other MCUs. I you ever fell that you've outgrown this kit, there are available add-ons to it so that you can make a complete wheeled robot :) Lookie here: https://cart.hobbyengineering.com/cgi//search.cgi?query=Basic+Stamp&btnSubmit=Search

ed1380 got a link to the Butterfly. I have the Butterfly, its good but quite hard to program as there is very limited libraries for it, avrlib doesn't support it. So I use it as an ISP programmer most of the time. I'm thinking of making it a brain for a future robot but I still haven't started anything yet.
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Offline ed1380

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Re: Computer scavenging....
« Reply #27 on: June 21, 2007, 10:35:59 AM »
Quote
So I use it as an ISP programmer most of the time.
you use it to translate the code from the pc and then relay it to the mcu you want programmed?

kits and radioshack are overpriced, and basic is just basic, you can't take anything you learned from it and apply it in C. or ar least thats what I've heard


I don't see an lcd screen on that kit.
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Offline rgcustodio

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Re: Computer scavenging....
« Reply #28 on: June 21, 2007, 10:44:32 AM »
Quote
you use it to translate the code from the pc and then relay it to the mcu you want programmed?

It works like an ISP programmer on steroids. You can use it like a standard ISP programmer. You can also have it store your program and program several devices without using a PC.

For the curious lookie here:
http://www.fourwalledcubicle.com/ButtLoad.php

Not for the faint of heart...

Quote
and basic is just basic, you can't take anything you learned from it and apply it in C

Yep the programming paradigm will not be same but the algorithms, data structures and techniques you've initially created/discovered can be readily carried over to a more "powerful" language.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2007, 10:47:14 AM by rgcustodio »
The best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain. - H. W. Longfellow

understanding is the path to enlightenment

Offline Hal9000

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Re: Computer scavenging....
« Reply #29 on: June 24, 2007, 06:00:52 AM »
Again. be mindful that someone has created the heading 'computer scavenging'

Somehow the thread has ended up like this.
"The truth is, you can't hide from the truth, cos the truth is all there is" - Handsome Boy Modeling School

 


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