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Thought I would start a thread on this. I have two stores around my street, which I frequent once a week. I always run to the electronics section first.


First, my prized find. Luxo LC series combo light. Retails for $220, new. Stole it for $10. 




Second, KLH 100 model radio for $8. I love listening to NPR-Radio Lab and Click-AND-Clack. Acoustics is not bad.




Another lamp i found thrown on the street.



Please post your.. Dumpster dives and ebay finds included.

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Top three monitors are "dumpster-dive" finds. There were more, all were 'broken' in some way. Swapped out a few backlights and had three or four working. :-)


2012-05-28 21.11.44.jpg


My "workbench" is a kitchen table salvaged from the side of the road.




Repair! Reuse!

I see a VFD kit on the workbench :)

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Nice @@GeekDoc!

What are you taking apart on your workbench(lower left) and which heli is that?


That's a control box for my ELVIS sign controller.  Got 90% done, then never finished. :?


The heli was a Christmas gift; it's a "Swann Sky Eye".  It has a video camera that downloads via USB.  Pretty fun inside, but bad outside in the slightest breeze.

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Sadly, thrift stores have gotten quite expensive in the past few years, and I hear the trend has increased with the popularity of the above-referenced song.  It should also be known that most thrift stores (or the depots that supply them) skim the cream and sell it on eBay these days.


I have always had much better luck with Craigslist, Freecycle, or just driving around affluent neighborhoods on trash day.

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I have always had much better luck with Craigslist, Freecycle, or just driving around affluent neighborhoods on trash day.


I like areas near University campuses at end of quarter (especially spring).


Picked up functional 19" standard format LCD monitor one spring near the University.



One of my favorite thrift store finds - two OLPC XO-1 laptops at the Goodwill for about $12 a piece.  

(This was several years ago, before the 1.5, etc. came out.)

They were in perfect shape, batteries worked.  Only problem I had was finding the right power connector to use a generic 12v brick for charging.


Another time found a Wacom Intuos 2 tablet (6x8) for $10, in box with driver CD and everything.


(So often the local thrift store separates things like power adapters, etc.   Greatly decreases value of lot of things.

Several times I have seen Wacom tablets without the stylus.  

If donating, always wrap such things together or tape the transformer to the item.)


The DELL Ultrasharp wide screen IPS monitor I am using right now was another $10 thrift store item.



For a while they were charging to dispose of electronics around here, which really put a damper on reuse activity.

(Couldn't just pick up somebodies old monitor or computer, because if didn't work, then one would be lumbered with

the expense of disposing of it.)  Fortunately there are now several places where one can take many

electronics items for disposal without charge, so tinkerers and reusers can try to salvage items without having

to worry about being stuck with the bill for what they can't make useful again.

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Freecycle is great for this. Not thrift store, but I ended up getting a Dell W1700 TV for free that way. Occasionally got all staticy. Took it apart, a cable was loose on the display board, causing a floating ground. A year or two later, a fuse blew for no reason. I pretty much just jumpered around it. I did get some microfuses to replace it, but haven't bothered opening it up again to install them. It's been a few years. Unfortunately, no HDMI :(


As far as dumpster diving (and curb crawling), I've gotten so much. Tables and bookcases, art, a bunch of computers, digital picture frames, just a lot. Recent find, 7 brand new targus leather cases for galaxy tab.


As far as thrifts stores, that's pretty much a bust. Nothing decent around here, and goodwill is ridiculous.

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Found this at a goodwill.  I was checking out and the lady in front of me was returning it because the screen was broken.  I asked the cashier what they were going to do with it and when she said they were going to pitch it, I offered her $5.


I figured I might be able to scrounge a camera and possibly an LCD off it, but a few screws and two solder connections later I was greeted by a linux shell.


I then contacted the company, sent them a picture of the broken screen and they sent to a brand new warranty replacement.


The card slot is wired for NAND, SD and uart, so I should be able to build custom cards to do some pretty interesting things....if I ever find the time.


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