Author Topic: Recycling old computers  (Read 2135 times)

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Offline Halcyon

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Recycling old computers
« on: March 05, 2018, 07:17:08 pm »
A part of me cries watching this video.

 
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Online Ampera

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Re: Recycling old computers
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2018, 10:23:54 pm »
I cry inside for every Pentium Pro lost to scrapers. I cry even harder for every white ceramic package any monster tries to recycle in working condition.
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Offline GeorgeOfTheJungle

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Re: Recycling old computers
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2018, 01:57:26 am »
Gold isn't a "good" conductor... 45% higher resistivity than copper.
 

Offline daqq

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Re: Recycling old computers
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2018, 02:16:22 am »
While I am saddened by the loss of some of the devices (I myself have a small collection), I understand the other side of the argument as well. There's no reason to keep tons of perfectly reusable materials in obsolete components. I'm not saying that it couldn't be done better, more selectively, with grace - I'd love to have a go through the components/boards that are destined to be recycled.

But what's the alternative? Who's gonna buy/want several thousand, say, 386 CPUs for purposes other than recycling? The vintage computing community is not that big of a market. I suppose that you could let people rummage through the electronics in the massive dumpster, but that carries problems of its own.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2018, 02:19:26 am by daqq »
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Offline woodchips

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Re: Recycling old computers
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2018, 04:12:08 am »
I had quite a pile of stuff to recycle for gold, tried to sell it, no interest other than abuse, 'how much!'.

In the end I got over 4500GBP for a car load plus another 1000GBP for the aluminium, irony etc.

This was not too far from what I was trying to sell it for as chips and items.

Come to your own conclusion, but in my experience no one does anything now, books, test gear, chips, whatever doesn't get any money for what ends up as being considerable hassle. WHat does surprise me is that I have received not one offer either, so really not interested.

ps I like Pentium Pros! 1 gram of gold each.

 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Recycling old computers
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2018, 04:17:16 am »
I had quite a pile of stuff to recycle for gold, tried to sell it, no interest other than abuse, 'how much!'.

In the end I got over 4500GBP for a car load plus another 1000GBP for the aluminium, irony etc.

This was not too far from what I was trying to sell it for as chips and items.

Come to your own conclusion, but in my experience no one does anything now, books, test gear, chips, whatever doesn't get any money for what ends up as being considerable hassle. WHat does surprise me is that I have received not one offer either, so really not interested.

ps I like Pentium Pros! 1 gram of gold each.
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Offline Johnboy

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Re: Recycling old computers
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2018, 09:41:16 am »
I have an old Apple IIGS lying around. I wonder what's under the hood of that.
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Recycling old computers
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2018, 10:01:42 am »
I cry inside for every Pentium Pro lost to scrapers. I cry even harder for every white ceramic package any monster tries to recycle in working condition.

Rule number one for free market economy, anything versus money, money wins.
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Offline bsudbrink

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Re: Recycling old computers
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2018, 10:15:16 am »
The really stupid part is that, many times, the original part is worth much more that the value of any gold or other precious metal that might be recovered. It's just that the ignorant/lazy individual can't be bothered getting it to the correct market.

Another thing that makes me "cry inside" is when Joe Blow, backyard bomber, buys a "recovery kit", manages to get a few grams of gold and then dumps his wonderful soup of leftover toxic chemicals down the drain for the local sewage treatment to try to handle (they probably can't) or, worse yet, tosses it over his back fence, killing another little corner of the world.

Dave should do a bullshit bust of gold recovery.
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Recycling old computers
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2018, 10:18:34 am »
Another thing that makes me "cry inside" is when Joe Blow, backyard bomber, buys a "recovery kit", manages to get a few grams of gold and then dumps his wonderful soup of leftover toxic chemicals down the drain for the local sewage treatment to try to handle (they probably can't) or, worse yet, tosses it over his back fence, killing another little corner of the world.

Does it make money? Check.
Is it illegal? No (governments usually have a small quantity discharge exemption for residential houses).
Even if its illegal, can it be caught red handed? No.

Money versus moral, money wins for most of the time. As long as it's not strictly illegal and it makes money, most people will be bent on it.
SIGSEGV is inevitable if you try to talk more than you know. If I say gibberish, keep in mind that my license plate is SIGSEGV.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Recycling old computers
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2018, 10:29:42 am »
Does it make money? Check.
Is it illegal? No (governments usually have a small quantity discharge exemption for residential houses).
Even if its illegal, can it be caught red handed? No.

Money versus moral, money wins for most of the time. As long as it's not strictly illegal and it makes money, most people will be bent on it.
You can bet dumping chemicals like those is quite illegal in most developed parts of the word. There often are collection points where private parties can bring chemicals, but simply dumping it is generally not allowed.

If you're lucky, you get hit with a clean up bill too. Depending on the size and nature of the spill, that can get very costly indeed. As you say the changes of getting caught aren't huge, but it can be a pain if you are.
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Recycling old computers
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2018, 10:41:20 am »
You can bet dumping chemicals like those is quite illegal in most developed parts of the word. There often are collection points where private parties can bring chemicals, but simply dumping it is generally not allowed.

If you're lucky, you get hit with a clean up bill too. Depending on the size and nature of the spill, that can get very costly indeed. As you say the changes of getting caught aren't huge, but it can be a pain if you are.

I once read a document from Caswell plating company, and they've mentioned the laws in US regarding chemical discharging. There is a limit, and if you don't hit that limit, you are fine.
That is to say, as long as your single-time discharge is within the limit, even if they catch you red handed, they won't have enough evidence to correlate to your previous discharging.
If your local EPA is determined to catch you and they put a data logger and log for months of your discharging activity, then this smartness can't save you. But how big a chance there is for you, a small player, to be tagged and spied by EPA?
I know the way US government does things. They always send out a formal, mailed warning before they take actions on non imminent, minor violations to rules (DMV, EPA, IRS, etc.). That can serve as a sign to back off before get caught.
SIGSEGV is inevitable if you try to talk more than you know. If I say gibberish, keep in mind that my license plate is SIGSEGV.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Recycling old computers
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2018, 12:28:39 pm »
I once read a document from Caswell plating company, and they've mentioned the laws in US regarding chemical discharging. There is a limit, and if you don't hit that limit, you are fine.
That is to say, as long as your single-time discharge is within the limit, even if they catch you red handed, they won't have enough evidence to correlate to your previous discharging.
If your local EPA is determined to catch you and they put a data logger and log for months of your discharging activity, then this smartness can't save you. But how big a chance there is for you, a small player, to be tagged and spied by EPA?
I know the way US government does things. They always send out a formal, mailed warning before they take actions on non imminent, minor violations to rules (DMV, EPA, IRS, etc.). That can serve as a sign to back off before get caught.
You didn't mention you were talking about US law before, though it does seem that various states have differing views. I can't imagine a state like California being too fond of chemicals being spilled by citizens. I'm also not sure I would want to push my luck as a foreign national. Felony charges will generally wear out your welcome quickly. Intentional dumping as opposed to accidental spills seems to exacerbate charges.

Besides, dumping nasty chemicals is a dick move whether you get away with it or not. A lot of things in society are shit because too many people feel they're the exception to the rule.
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Recycling old computers
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2018, 12:33:12 pm »
I'm also not sure I would want to push my luck as a foreign national. Felony charges will generally wear out your welcome quickly. Intentional dumping as opposed to accidental spills seems to exacerbate charges.

Besides, dumping nasty chemicals is a dick move whether you get away with it or not. A lot of things in society are shit because too many people feel they're the exception to the rule.

I'm saying for those "professional" backyard gold refiners, not for myself.
I don't make enough money as my heart desires, but I make enough money not to touch the dodgy gold business.
SIGSEGV is inevitable if you try to talk more than you know. If I say gibberish, keep in mind that my license plate is SIGSEGV.
 

Online ebastler

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Re: Recycling old computers
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2018, 07:48:20 am »
Another thing that makes me "cry inside" is when Joe Blow, backyard bomber, buys a "recovery kit", manages to get a few grams of gold and then dumps his wonderful soup of leftover toxic chemicals down the drain for the local sewage treatment to try to handle (they probably can't) or, worse yet, tosses it over his back fence, killing another little corner of the world.

Does it make money? Check.
Is it illegal? No (governments usually have a small quantity discharge exemption for residential houses).
Even if its illegal, can it be caught red handed? No.

Is that the Chinese approach to business and environmental protection?  :P

Seriously though, I would hope that the saving grace against everybody messing with nasty chemicals and dissolving old computers is that it just doesn't pay that well. By the time you collect those old computers, buy the chemicals, remove and grind up the relevant components, extract the gold, and dispose of the residues and leftover metal, what hourly rate will you have made? You might be better off pulling empty bottles out of public trash bins and collecting the deposit...
 

Offline bsudbrink

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Re: Recycling old computers
« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2018, 08:18:46 am »
Seriously though, I would hope that the saving grace against everybody messing with nasty chemicals and dissolving old computers is that it just doesn't pay that well.
This is why I wish Mr. Jones would "bust" this.

I've used this example a few times:

When I was a kid, I had an uncle that made inlaid wooden boxes that he sold at art/craft fairs.  Among other things, he did gold inlays.  For raw material, he started with Mexican 2 Peso coins.  He had a small polishing hammer and anvil.  He could take one of those coins (a little smaller that a current US dime) and flatten it out to the size of a medium pizza.  The current spot price (I just checked) for a gold 2 Peso is $70.99.  Part of that price is the known quality of the metal, indicated by the verifiable source.  The melt price is certainly less.  So, a piece of hammered gold foil, the size of a medium pizza, is worth less than 70 bucks.  The gold on electronic components is chemically deposited and much thinner (easily 1/100th).  So, if you see a circuit board that has gold plated traces and components, ask yourself: "Is there enough gold there to cover a medium pizza?"  Even if the answer is yes, YOU ARE ONLY LOOKING AT 70 CENTS WORTH OF GOLD!!!
 

Offline woodchips

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Re: Recycling old computers
« Reply #16 on: March 24, 2018, 06:08:38 am »
I recycle gold components and PCBs for the simple reason, what else do I do?

This forum has killed the analogue scope dead, digital is everything, so what do I do with about 70 Tek 7000 and HP180 scopes and plug ins? I bought them, salted them away, and fully expected to spend much time getting them working. The market is dead, today a 7104 with correct plug ins fetched about 100GBP, the 7403 with plug ins quite a bit less. Even standard items like the 8640 sig gen are worthless now, just paid 10GBP.

In actual fact the best recycling components are RF connectors, many are gold plated, my market is the military so the gold was more than a film.

Gold plated PCBs are pretty much a waste of time, the ones made by HP in particular. It is actually called gold flash, and my recycling place says there is more gold on an edge connector, finger type, not 41612, than the whole board. You know these boards are useless when the front panel switches wear their was through the gold then the copper, 8082 and similar slide switch test equipment, all they are good for is scrapping.

I empathise with the chemicals, this is why I get a licenced place to do the work. But why are the sporting fraternity allowed to blast lead shot all around the countryside, tonnes and tonnes of it, without any restrictions?

A gold side braze chip is nice, but why do you want hundreds? Not going to use them, in fact a Pentium/486 is so complex that you simply wouldn't wire one up to play with.
 

Offline MadTux

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Re: Recycling old computers
« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2018, 07:27:22 am »
Poor boy, how much space does it take to store 70Tek plugins?
I don't mind having a collection (like 30 or so) of them on top of my shelf. Unlike the chinese stuff, I can fix them myself, if one goes bad. Having a couple of spare ones doesn't hurt either, if one makes trouble during a project, I just exchange the plugin and fix it afterwards.
 Maybe your price expectations are a bit crazy?
HP-8082 is shit, though. Bad switches and full of custom, unreliable chips
 

Online ebastler

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Re: Recycling old computers
« Reply #18 on: March 24, 2018, 08:12:00 am »
@woodchips — Do you really get more cash for the gold from a few RF connectors than for a complete scope or military electronics device? I would think that you don‘t get more than a few dollars worth of gold out of a typical instrument (after deducting the cost of the extraction service).
 

Offline factory

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Re: Recycling old computers
« Reply #19 on: March 24, 2018, 09:50:00 am »
This forum has killed the analogue scope dead, digital is everything, so what do I do with about 70 Tek 7000 and HP180 scopes and plug ins? I bought them, salted them away, and fully expected to spend much time getting them working. The market is dead, today a 7104 with correct plug ins fetched about 100GBP, the 7403 with plug ins quite a bit less. Even standard items like the 8640 sig gen are worthless now, just paid 10GBP.

In actual fact the best recycling components are RF connectors, many are gold plated, my market is the military so the gold was more than a film.

Do you have any older HP stuff?
The £10 HP 8640B, that auction site probably doesn't get as many views as ebay (I didn't know about it before joining here) and stuff doesn't make as much with collection as the only option. Also the last one on ebay sold for £130, is that less than the scrap price?

David
 

Online Ampera

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Re: Recycling old computers
« Reply #20 on: March 25, 2018, 04:01:47 am »
I'd eagerly take in 100 P5 pentiums. I couldn't store millions, but to me, a 100 pile of Pentium Pros are worth more to me alive rather than dead.

I'm aware these chips were made in the thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions, but I could easily find 100 collectors that would get a lot of joy out of having Pentium Pros in their collections.
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Offline woodchips

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Re: Recycling old computers
« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2018, 03:48:25 am »
It was 70 Tek 7000 and HP 180 mainframes, plus near 200 plug ins. That, I can tell you, adds up to a lot of space.

Much military stuff now uses DIN41612 connectors, and ordinary ribbon IDC connectors, neither are worth the time it takes to remove them. An RF connector is simply a quick snip, and a welt with the hammer to take the chassis part out. Whilst perhaps only a few grams each, by the time you heve bitzed a dozen 8640/8620 mainframes then you have a small pile of connectors, it keeps adding.

I needed a multiple GHz signal source, test the sampling scopes, why I bought the 8620's, the 8640 was just a scattergun bid. Don't want any of them after a few hours work.

Ah yes, dream about hundred Pentium Pros! Wonder how many they made?

 

Offline SeanB

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Re: Recycling old computers
« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2018, 04:38:46 am »
Funny enough picked up 2 Intel Core servers, old ones with sub 2G ram in each, and wth the good old blown caps on them as well. So they will be scrapped for the metal in the case, plus theboards will go into the pile for ewaste into the container nearby.  RAM probably worth keeping for other machines, along with the hard drives and Proline power supplies if they are not also bad.

Also got around 50kg of rack mount rails as well, many new and unused, along with plenty of rack front blanks and cable entries. As well a 2U high server case, and a number of failed Intel entry level server motherboards.

Going to be a busy time at the scrapyard soon, got a load of monitors coming in as well, but those will be given away to those who want them.
 

Offline Lionered

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Re: Recycling old computers
« Reply #23 on: July 06, 2018, 10:41:19 pm »
I tried recycling my old desktop but not all of its parts. I'm not that good in junking it into pieces and not even sure if some of its parts are of any value. While there may be expensive parts, there are parts that could be toxic if kept for long. Intensive knowledge on these parts should be ensured for intensive recycling.
 

Offline Bruce Abbott

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Re: Recycling old computers
« Reply #24 on: July 08, 2018, 03:08:59 pm »
I harvested many 286 and 386 PC motherboards for the TTL ICs. Around 5 years ago I threw them all away because nobody uses TTL anymore. Now those motherboards are vintage, rare, and going for upwards of $200 each!

But that's not the worst of it. 4 years ago I moved house and had to declutter. Out went a ZX Spectrum 48k (cracked keyboard ribbon), Sega SC3000 (loose cartridge slot), two Amiga CD32s (disc reading problems), an Amiga 600 motherboard (faulty?), complete A600 with 68030 accelerator board (yellowed keys), and an Acorn Archimedes A3000 (nothing wrong with it). Little did I know that within a few short years that junk would be worth a fortune!   

Meanwhile people keep giving me 'modern' PCs that don't have much in them worth having (I pulled some PCI slots off one motherboard to make an Amiga 600 RAM board). Perhaps in another 20-30 years these machines will also become 'vintage', but I may not live that long...

 
 


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