My printer cost $49, and a new ink cartridge costs $29. So
when I run out of ink, instead of buying a new cartridge, I
spend an extra $20 to get a whole new printer. Then I
disassemble the old printer and list the parts on eBay as
"robot components". I have gone through fourteen printers
so far, and every time someone has always bid more than
the $20 break even amount, and sometimes more than the
full $50 purchase price of the new printer.
These printers are sold cheap as loss-leaders, so it gives
me a warm feeling everytime I buy a printer, because I
know that I am screwing the printer manufacturer, who
is trying to screw me with their stinkin' proprietary
I used to drive around in nice neighborhoods on garbage day and get
printers, computers, tape recorders, fax machines etc, for free. I could
never get the steppers to work, so I don't bother with them anymore. I
collect the gears, belts, switches, springs, sensors, bearings, encoder
wheels, plugs + connectors with mates, ground straps, and mechanical do-
I like to sit down on a rainy day and reverse engineer small PCB modules
that contain buttons, leds and buzzers.
One time I found a printer a LOT better than the one I used and tried to
fix it. I had to buy a laser ink cartridge and downloaded the driver.
Well, I couldn't get it to work and realized the problem could be
ANYTHING from a broken gear to a corrupted eprom. So, I don't do that
Anything electically powered for the most part.
If you are on a budget, components like IC's capacitors, sometimes
transistors, even resistors in a pinch.
Sensors like Hall effect devices, optical reflective or breakbeam sensors
can be found in VCRs.
Printers have sterrper motors, and associated drive electronics.
Casette and CD players have nice motors, but you still really need gears
Computer CD players have interesting eject mechanisms.
All CD players have lenses.
and on and on.
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