Ebay Phone Sale!

Hi! Just wanted to report on my phone sale success. I received these old, used business phones from a good friend who was replacing the phones in their business. They were going to be thrown out, so they were offered to me for dismantling. After opening one up and finding the parts mildly interesting but not worth taking apart 12 of them, I checked ebay. Ebay returned somewhat profitable results for past sales of similar phones. I decided to “give it a whirl” and put it up for sale expecting $150 MAX. After 7 days listed on ebay, I sold the set of 12 phones for $345.49! I was totally surprised by this outcome and the major thing I learned is to never make assumptions about something you know nothing about. I’m glad that I didn’t tear all the phones down and sell them for $3 of scrap. All in all, check around and try to sell something first before you scrap it! You never know what it could be worth.






Giant Transformer Future Project


I recently received three giant 12v transformers from marine inverters. At work, we scraped three 2.5 kW marine inverters that were too broken to cost effectively repair. The transformers in them were still good and working and so my boss let me keep them. Their primary side accepts ~120v AC 60 Hz and the secondary is around 9.8v AC. When converting RMS to peak voltage the peak voltage will always be ~1/2 pi or 1.41 after putting the 9.8v AC through a full wave bridge rectifier you get out 1.41*9.8 or 13.8 VDC that output isn’t very smooth so it is fed through a smoothing capacitor and then can be used to power a up to a 2 kW HF ham radio rig. These transformers will be saved for a future project. One day perhaps I’ll get a 2 kW ham radio to use that power supply! I could also use these transformers to charge up a large lead acid or gel cell battery bank; I could then use this bank as an emergency ham radio power supply.





Selling Old Business Phones



EBay pulled through this time! I think what I’ve learned is the weirder the better for eBay. I got these phones donated to me by a business that had upgraded to a VoIP system. Lots of people know that if they have e-scrap they should call me. When I got these phones I didn’t see any value in them what so ever. None. I figured I’d simply take them apart and see what was in them. Since I had so many of them, and taking apart things repetitively is boring I decided to check eBay to see if things like this were being sold. I saw that there was a niche market for used business phones so I made a listing. I set the starting bid to just cover shipping costs. I figured I take market value and I really just wanted to get rid of them. Well, come the end of the listing it was all the way up to $344! I couldn’t believe it. I packed them up and sent them off. I could have hand delivered them since the place that ordered them was a business telephone sales shop and they were about 35 min away. I decided against it because it simply wouldn’t have been fast enough and the shipping savings weren’t all that huge once you figured gas into the equation. Overall, a great score!




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Salvaging Silver from Scrap



This calls for a miscellaneous post! I have been watching loads of online scraping YouTube videos. Particularly I like this one: www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oeg2DW1vAQ  Basically in all electronic components that switch things on or off (switches, knobs, relays etc.) there are these little silver buttons or contacts as they are called. They are used as distribution points and are designed to take the “brunt force” when the initial spark is created when the circuit is closed. These eventually tarnish and oxidize and the AgO2 acts as a resistor albeit with a small resistance. This resistance causes heat which causes more silver to be oxidized and causes a positive feedback loop that eventually causes the relay to stop working. When this happens they need to be replaced. At work we do loads of work on marine inverters which use about 4-6 relays per inverter. We regularly have to change out relays. After so many cycles they are simply kaputt. Steve, my boss at work lets me take the boards home and smash open the relays and extract the silver buttons.

I have currently amassed about 200g of buttons. As soon as I collect more I will, providing my science teacher is receptive to the idea, put them in a HCl + H2O2 bath. Hydrochloric acid and hydrogen peroxide mixed together will eat away at all of the copper and other base metals. After a couple days, only silver will be left. I can then take this silver over to my propane torch and melt it. The melting temperature of silver is 1,763°F and a propane torch can get up to 3,623 °F. Yeah, that should do it  >:) My molten silver syrup will be cast into an ingot. I will then be one home made silver ingot closer to world domination! Mwaaaaaaaahaha *cough* I mean I should be very exciting. Definitely a post on it when I get that far.










Trying to Sell LORAN Circuitboards


Just a quick post- I got these LORAN boards at work from Steve. He gave me about 30 of them. They are brand new and still in ESD pink bubble wrap. He said that he tried selling them to no avail. He gave me to do with them as I please. I tried listing them on eBay and got 0 interest. I think only 3 people even looked at the listing. Steve told be how LORAN used to be a GPS alternative until they (US Gov’t) abandoned the project. Seems like after that no one wants anything to do with LORAN. The US Government is trying to implement a new ELORAN program but so far its just a bill, sitting there on capitol hill :)

Even if no one wants to buy them, they still have useable parts. Each one contains 2 EPROM chips with the quartz window and everything. I am thinking I could – maybe in the future store Bitcoin private keys in them. Although maybe thats not a great idea due to the volatility of EPROM. There is also a really nice 20Mhz oscillator on the board. Maybe I could use those for something one day.