Hobbyist Advice -Want to build projects but don't have money for parts

Thread Starter

Exjay

Joined Nov 19, 2015
76
I'm a fresh graduate in the field of electrical engineering but got no job. I have a strong interest in electronics have bought vital tools and equipment during school days based on the scholarship I gained. I now decided to be building electronics project from magazine but I don't have money to invest in buying components. What's your say about it? How can I go? I don't want my passion for electronics to die. Please take carefulness in giving me advice
 

Thread Starter

Exjay

Joined Nov 19, 2015
76
For instance, if I should build a project, not all the components will be available as salvage
 

spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,835
For instance, if I should build a project, not all the components will be available as salvage
Exactly. Plus it is not easy today with surface mount and LSI. Mostly everything is all on a chip these days. But you really don't have much choice.

If you are a recent graduate, why not get a job in the electronics field? You can then buy all the components you need.
 

Thread Starter

Exjay

Joined Nov 19, 2015
76
Exactly. Plus it is not easy today with surface mount and LSI. Mostly everything is all on a chip these days. But you really don't have much choice.

If you are a recent graduate, why not get a job in the electronics field? You can then buy all the components you need.
No electronics Job here. I'm even fed up.

Exactly. Plus it is not easy today with surface mount and LSI. Mostly everything is all on a chip these days. But you really don't have much choice.

If you are a recent graduate, why not get a job in the electronics field? You can then buy all the components you need.
no electronics company that go into design here. That's why I want to develop myself
 
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Thread Starter

Exjay

Joined Nov 19, 2015
76
Obviously you'd have to buy what you can't salvage. If you don't have enough money to do that, pick a hobby you can afford.
Again, some components might not be reused. like resistor the terminal will be short
 

ian field

Joined Oct 27, 2012
6,539
For instance, if I should build a project, not all the components will be available as salvage
Its how I've always done it - but modern stuff is getting lower yield every day. increasingly; cheap stuff has "black blob" chips. The chip is supplied as silicon die the manufacturer glues to the board and covers with a dollop of epoxy. not really much you can do with those.

There is stuff you can harvest parts from, but through hole is getting scarce. Old TVs still get kerbed occasionally and give a fair range of basic discretes, ICs are mostly dedicated purpose and CRT TV transistors are pretty much down to flyback types. There's not all that much worth having in a flat screen.
 

WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
26,398
For instance, if I should build a project, not all the components will be available as salvage
That's a problem that hobbyists have faced for a very long time. It's harder to salvage components today than it used to be, but it was always the case that what you could build with salvaged components was limited to the extent of the type and number of components you could salvage and that some components just can't be found via salvage. So you have to learn what you can and can't get via salvage and the kind of things that you can and can't build as a result (combined with the limited amount of nonsalvage parts your budget can afford).
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
23,940
Salvage every electronic item you can lay your hands on.
I save PCBs with SMDs. I take the resistors and capacitors off the boards when I need them.
Yes, you can prototype with SMDs. All you need is some copper clad boards and a sharp knife. I have built prototypes of high speed SMD amplifiers. I can get full speed performance that would not be possible on solderless breadboard strips.
 

WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
26,398
No electronics Job here. I'm even fed up.


no electronics company that go into design here. That's why I want to develop myself
This is a consequence of choosing to get a degree in a field that has limited presence in your area. By making that decision you are essentially deciding either to go unemployed in that area in your degree field, figure out how to make it on your own in that area in your degree field (and keep in mind that there's a reason that there are no jobs in that field in that area -- so think carefully about why you think you can make it on your own in that field in that area), or moving to another area where the jobs are.

It would be the same if I decided I wanted to become a deep sea underwater welder and managed to get all the training and certifications to work in that field and then suddenly looked around and realized that I live well over a thousand miles from the nearest coast. No jobs around here for that specialty and, no matter how hard I try, it is unlikely that I would be able to open my own shop and build up a business on my own around here. So if I had really wanted to stay here I should have given more thought to the field I chose, because the field I chose is going to force me to move elsewhere to have any chance of pursuing it.

EDIT: Cleaned up some typos.
 
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ian field

Joined Oct 27, 2012
6,539
That's a problem that hobbyists have faced for a very long time. It's harder to salvage components today than it used to be, but it was always the case that what you could build with salvaged components was limited to the extent of the type and number of components you could salvage and that some components just can't be found via salvage. So you have to learn what you can and can't get via salvage and the kind of things that you can and can't build as a result (combined with the limited amount of nonsalvage parts your budget can afford).
Military surplus was just about drying up when I was getting started - but I still found the occasional military radio remains chucked in a hedge.

Consumer electronics still gets kerbed - and the older the better. Experience is the only real guide to what stuff to look out for.
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
12,927
Again, some components might not be reused. like resistor the terminal will be short
If you're referring to through hole resistors salvaged from a PCB, the leads will be long enough to be useful in another board of the same or smaller thickness. If you want to use with a solderless breadboard, solder wires to extend the leads. Or just scrape together a few cents and buy one.

With a poor attitude and lack of ingenuity you're doomed to fail.
 

spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,835
I'm a fresh graduate in the field of electrical engineering but got no job. I have a strong interest in electronics have bought vital tools and equipment during school days based on the scholarship I gained. I now decided to be building electronics project from magazine but I don't have money to invest in buying components. What's your say about it? How can I go? I don't want my passion for electronics to die. Please take carefulness in giving me advice
Do you already have test equipment? If not, and you can't afford components then you won't be able to afford test equipment. But a cople of solutions there is your school or perhaps a builders group is located in your city.
 

visionofast

Joined Oct 17, 2018
84
I advice you to be creative in everything you start .and share / publish your creations in any media you'd easily reach.
being creative is like magic in engineering science (or in any other temporal science like it).
maybe I'd refer to an analogy in the "Jack and the Beanstalk" story....everything you create and share,would be like a magic bean you plant in order to reach a golden egg. ;)
 

Thread Starter

Exjay

Joined Nov 19, 2015
76
Do you already have test equipment? If not, and you can't afford components then you won't be able to afford test equipment. But a cople of solutions there is your school or perhaps a builders group is located in your city.
I have test equipment
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
9,025
If you have test equipment then a logical choice is to get into the service and repair business. Not only is there a great demand for those able to effectively and rapidly able to repair electronic devices, the demand will continue to grow. But you do need to be able to understand how things work in order to be able to see how they have stopped working. Service and repair may not have the status of design engineering but they are much in demand and sometimes more fun. AND, once you understand those aspects of servicing you will be better at design.
 

ian field

Joined Oct 27, 2012
6,539
If you have test equipment then a logical choice is to get into the service and repair business. Not only is there a great demand for those able to effectively and rapidly able to repair electronic devices, the demand will continue to grow. But you do need to be able to understand how things work in order to be able to see how they have stopped working. Service and repair may not have the status of design engineering but they are much in demand and sometimes more fun. AND, once you understand those aspects of servicing you will be better at design.
No there isn't - the throwaway age has well and truly settled in.
 
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