Recycling and testing components

Thread Starter


Joined Oct 4, 2012
Before disposing an otherwise unusable board, I'm used to recycle components that are easy to remove. I used such components successfully in experiments in the past. But I wonder if they are reliable.

In this case I recovered them from a boar with at least three electrolytic capacitors leaked. I measured these from the picture with a tester and they are all around 9µF (marked as 10µF) so I guess they are within 15% tolerance, and that should be ok.

But is there a chance that they are further damaged?

Transistors over there have all 190 hFE according to the tester. If I can confirm that with the datasheet, should I trust them?

What about LM78XX?

I would like to know your general opinion about components recycling.


Joined Oct 2, 2009
Not a problem as far as I can see. I do it all the time but only for hobby projects. For professional jobs I try to use pristine components.


Joined Feb 11, 2008
All small electros are suspect, better to buy new ones. LM78xx regulators are worth saving and usually good, likewise other large transistors. Part of the fun of a hobby is being able to make something good out of some old junk.

For the small transistors I just buy new in bags of 100, they are cheap enough (a few cents each) and the main benefit is you know the spec and exact pinout (which I write on the bag, nice and handy). ;)