(Almost Free) Parts Repository
My favorite device to recycle parts is the old VCR. These are the last devices that came with linear power supplies. The transformers are very high quality E-core types often made-in-Japan (where can you find those nowadays). These have multiple secondaries and typically there are at least two high current 7-8V AC secondaries. You can easily figure out the secodaries with a voltmeter by measuring the resistance of the wires and by looking at the thickness of the wires.
The high-end ones such as the Super-VHS Hi-Fi are obviously the best. You can find lost of connectors, cables, diodes, switches, pots, voltage regulators, buttons, heatsinks, etc, and name-brand capacitors such as Nichicon and Rubycon. There are also knobs, IR receivers, mains EMI filters, fuses, fuse-holders, inductors, and tons of screws.
Yeah, you migh say, “but the capacitors are old”. Yes, but I’ve measured many of them and they are around 70-80% of the value printed in the cases.
When you are in the middle of a project and Digikey is several days away, just pick up your voltmeter and look up that critical resistor you need 🙂
Most of the devices are discrete. The devices can be easily removed because they used the regular leaded solder. These things were made prior to RoHS. Make sure to use common sense and avoid lead exposure (ventilate the areas, wash hands, etc). Most diy kits use leaded solder anyways, so nothing new here…
I picked up a JVC Super-VHS Hi-Fi for 5 bucks at the local thrift/charity shop. The Japanese model was listed at 178,000 yen in 1987 (Almost US$500!). I tested it first to see if it worked. Luckily it didn’t… 🙂
Update: Apparently this device is part of “video history“:
VHS had much improved, and with the introduction of ‘Super-VHS’ (S-VHS) which again used higher-quality tape and produced remarkable sharp pictures for a domestic device, the system was able to offer extremely good quality (though most people stuck to plain VHS). JVC’s HR-S5000 (left) was one of the first of this type and included NICAM reception; subsequent models introduced digital video noise reduction, making a marked further improvement in the quality and taking tape recording about as far as it could go.
NICAM is an encoding scheme. “Audio is encoded using 14 bit PCM at a sampling rate of 32 Khz”
No wonder modern DACs support 32K sampling rates.