It can become quite challenging for some electronic lovers to build awesome projects because of the escalating prices of electronic products and components. However, if you are short on cash there are many ways in which you can the electronic components you need for your project. This article will show you how you can save big bucks and continue building awesome projects.
Image courtesy of oskay from Flickr
1) Check At Home First & Ask Friends
Every home contains some form of old electronic gadgets. Checking at home and visiting your friend’s home can to see if there are any salvageable electronic components lurking in old gadgets can take you one step further towards your getting the bits and bobs your project requires. For instance, old TV sets contain transformers that you can use to step-down power from the mains when working on 12volts projects. Radios and cameras are also full of capacitors, resistors and diodes, which can be used in any project. Once you’ve gathered a few of these things, check the part numbers to see if you can use them in your own project.
2) Go To The Dump
The dumpster is also another place where you might find valuable electronic materials. People have a tendency to dispose of old cell phone chargers, which contain a lot of Zener diodes, useful for building power control circuits. The heating elements of some heaters still function even after the top plug burns out. Old cameras contain flashing units that you can use to build a photographic lighting unit. It is also amazing to discover that some bulb-like fluorescent lamps work great after changing the tube part.
3) Electronic Repair Shops
If you live near an electronic workshop, you might have seen a lot of debris outside, which will never be used again. You can politely ask the owners to give you the old circuit boards and you might even get a transistor or an IC. Some old integrated circuits like the TDA2822m can make scalable 3volts stereo amplifier when combined with a few capacitors and resistors. Old and burnt transformers are also ideal since they provide thin-coated wires for making solenoids.
4) Free samples
Manufacturers like; Fairchild Semiconductor, Texas instruments, STMicroelectronics, MARL and WIMA give free samples to promote their brand. You can liaise with such companies to test their parts and see whether their samples can be of benefit. Such marketing campaigns are great for both the company and its beneficiaries.
5) Element 14 – RoadTest
One that works particularly well is RoadTest. It ships samples to electronic project managers all over the world. Just like their name, you simply sign up to get a chance to road test some free electronic components. It can be a processor or any other circuit that manufacturers want feedback on. You must fill your accurate details for the company to decide whether you are suitable for the test. Their main aim is getting a review of your experiences as the part’s user and probably making further custom changes or improvement on their product.
6) Financial support
Some websites can help your idea of project get funding:
This site is great for project builders. The kind of dream that you have does not matter. You just have to create an account with this site and interact with guests who want to know about your creative project. People all over the world love fun innovative ideas and if they like your project they may want to contribute money to see you achieve it.
Simply come up with an idea, describe it, you could even add a video for demonstration. Your admirers will then back the project with finance. Setting a budget and a deadline is a requirement. If the funds are realized within the stipulated time, all your subscribed donors’ credit cards are charged. You promise to see the project through once you get full funding. After its launch in April 2009, $250 million has been realized and 2 million supporters have backed over 24,000 projects
For those wishing to build and enhance their projects, Indiegogo can be a great resource for them. This interesting platform attracts people all over the world to support campaigns and joining is free. You have to be creative, unique and descriptive to catch people’s attention. Tell them what you are doing get the recognition to achieve your electronic dreams.
The company uses media and social network sites to boost your campaign and support. The idea you embarked on should be something remarkable; think outside the box and come with a solution to a problem in society and promise to solve it. You can for instance try to build a laser light fake currency detector, antitheft circuits and many more unique products.
About Author | Amie is an electronics enthusiast, passionate about connectors & fluke products on sites like Newark.com. Reguarly building and crafting new electronics models in her spare time.