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How to Salvage Components from Old Circuit Boards

How to Salvage Components from Old Circuit Boards


You may need the following tools to salvage components from old circuit boards:

  • Solder Iron
  • Desoldering wick or pump.
  • Wire cutters
  • Pliers
  • Multimeter

I have found a mosquito bat lying around in my house for too long so i stripped it down and found a useful piece of circuit. Am going to use that circuit for illustrative purposes.


On seeing this circuit i found transformer, capacitors, a slide switch that i could use for my other projects. So i decided to salvage these and add it to my component inventory.



I just used my Solder iron and Desolder pump to salvage these components as this circuit is not very tricky to do so. Approach with caution some components cannot withstand high temperatures for long time. The heat from your solder iron may damage the components so do it quick. If you already have experience with soldering iron it will be piece of cake. Otherwise you may feel its tough in the beginning but once you get used to it, you can do it real quick.


After 15 minutes i managed to get the components i wish to salvage out of the PCB board. I have plenty of LED’s, diodes and resistors with me so i will just pass on the rest of circuit. Now am not gonna throw the rest of the board in the trash, i have a plan for it as well. This goes to my “To be Scrapped” PCB board collection. Later i will go on to local recycle shop and sell it, they know how to recycle and reuse rest of the board. This will make sure i dump no E-waste to the environment (which is great) also i will get few bucks out of it.

Now let’s point out some interesting insights about the components i salvaged from this circuit.

Component Cost (In Indian Rupees)
Step down transformer 45
Slide switch 10
CBB81 223J2KV Capacitor 35
CBB21 400v824 10
3A332J Capacitor 14 (2)
TOTAL Rs. 114 /-

The components i stripped out of this circuit is worth Rs. 114/- (approximately $2 USD). So spending 15 minutes of my spare time i have added components worth Rs.114 or $2 to my inventory.

Think twice before throwing out old electronic goods, dumping E – wastes will do no good for you nor the environment. You could expand your inventory and make some money out of it. Hope this article provides a good start up guide on the art of salvaging.