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 Post subject: Gold pins
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 10:07 am 

Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2016 1:35 pm
Posts: 5
Has anyone ever figured out how many pounds of gold pins you would have to collect in order to get an ounce of gold?


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 Post subject: Re: Gold pins
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 3:11 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:57 pm
Posts: 8251
Location: Low DOS
Yes!
And No!
As for boardsort’s pricing;
For a long time boardsort paid custom quotes after testing materials. Over time a combination of factors lead to a more generic weight based on realities of business. Boardsort isn’t a refinery, they don’t buy gold watches.

That said I have extensively tried to pull gold value from everything out there that Boardsort buys.
And the forum is littered with my comments on the topic. Basically it’s a waste of time. YouTube users that tell you you can can live off refining are flat out lying. You’ll notice all such videos are either monetised or sponsored if not both.

USB: you’ll need well over a thousand pounds to get an ounce of gold.
SATA is close to usb. SAS is literally an extension of SATA. Same pins. HDMI and DP falls here too.
That’s the reason for the low pin rates in general.

ATA? A few hundred pounds. Somewhere around 5-7 hundred should do it. Same for VGA and DVI pins.

With IDE (the actual IDE, not PATA), your closer to the 300-500lb point. Apple desktop bus falls here too.
Surprisingly RJ connectors are even better. About 100-200lbs make an ounce.
But 90-99% of the weight of a registered connector is plastic so they aren’t worth more as a connector than, say, VGA ends.
Motherboard wire pins are a joke. You need thousands of pounds of fan pins to get half an ounce.
If you took 20 minutes to dissect a 1984 PBPP (printer) connector: you’re in the money. It takes less than 100 lbs of pins. But it takes a dozen such connectors to get an AP ounce in the first place.
So at 4 hours per ounce that’s expensive time wise. 16 ounces per pound. At 100 AP LBs per T oz that’s a LOT of work!

By far the most expensive pins you can refine are CPU pins. There’s a reason a cpu drops to pinless (or less) if you cut the pins off. 10-30 lbs of 486 pins will get an ounce. Less for SM long pin chips like the 4004 and 4040. But a 4004 would get a custom payout from Chris if you had more than a pound and that would definitely be higher than the 8086 rate.

So again even if you don’t mind the expense of buying jars and drums, acids, bases, etc. Protective gear. What a list.
You still need to get the pins.
All of these Apx numbers are based on raw pins and best practice methods in refining. Your first try will NOT be best practice.

You /could/ just toss whole connectors into acid baths. But you need many many times the weight of whole connectors. And more steps to sort out the mix and end up with gold. Removing dozens of different plasticised metals polymers, metals like nickel, copper, iron, chromium, lead, silver, tin, ... ... ... !!!
Raw pins take a few days. Whole connectors take a few months and constant mixing and modifying of the bath.
Gold pins take 4 steps. Soak. Break (separate). Drain. Refine.
Those old printer port connectors take more than 20 steps of breaking alone. Each break requires starting over at the beginning with the new mix’s recoveries.

You can always try reverse electroplating but recovery rates are less than 50% of the source gold. So everything is more than doubled. And that’s Playing with some high, potentially deadly, amperages.

If you really want to do this pins is not where to start.
Buy a small ball mill set. A 1ton equivalence machine weighs about 50 lbs and uses four bolts to mount to the floor.
Buy a few dozen pounds of 486 CPUs.
Grind them up and head over to the GRF for info on refining milled CPUs.
And take your luck on who you follow. The GRF is elitist. Many users don’t treat noobs well. Though some members can be quite kind. Most with more than a few months of membership know what they’re doing but you need to read through and filter the quality knowledge from the crap ideas.

Ultimately if all you want to do is try...!
Buy an older pyrite measuring cup. 4 cups or larger.
Get 3 or 4 gold test kits from ebay or amazon.
Buy a MAAP or MAPP torch tank and a BRASS head.
A small graphite pouring kit.
A graphite mould
Other base chemicals depending on who’s guide you follow
A microfibre cloth.

Pour your acids (use the 18 and 22kt mixes) into the cup. Gently add your pins. Wait a few days or weeks.
Follow the GRF breaking instructions
When you have your dry powder cake scrape it into the crucible. Heat it for about 20 minutes with the torch. Pour it into the mould.
After it Cools but before it drops below 50•c (122•F) dump it and polish it by pouring room temperature distilled water over it. Then rub dry and shiny with a microfibre cloth. Enjoy your tiny 14-20kt pure button. =D

Keep in mind most people will get between 14kt and 20kt. The best you can get purely from chemicals is going to be around 22-23kt. It takes electricity and clean room processing to get to .999
24kt doesn’t exist outside of nuclear physics.

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-- my grades are my own and do not represent an offer from boardsort, nor are they guaranteed. Please keep that in mind.


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 Post subject: Re: Gold pins
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 6:14 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2019 12:00 am
Posts: 94
Thanks for the analysis and tutorial: I gave up ideas of home refining years ago, but was still debating saving the gold pin connectors...


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 Post subject: Re: Gold pins
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 7:07 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:57 pm
Posts: 8251
Location: Low DOS
The reason connectors are so low compared to pins is they literally mill and refine.
Old SCSI type 1 cables have some of the more valuable pin to weight ratios.
Refining commercially is done with a mix of chemical and electrical separation.
It’s really kool to see the whole process laid out in front of you at a commercial refinery.

Honestly though the best place for a first try is with ball milled CPUs or gold fingers.
Ceramics are the more generous processors but I found black fibre CPUs like the intel Celerons and the like, are the easiest to a-z from whole.

As for edge connectors, the computing name for finger card connectors; they’re super easy to get /some/ gold from. Just line them up vertically with space between them in an acid bath just high enough to cover the gold ends. Takes a day or two to get most gold dissolved. Especially when you use a percolator.

Gold pins ... everyone talks about them because it’s obviously gold. However excluding some rare examples (above) the cost to value ratio is against you before you even start.

_________________
-- my grades are my own and do not represent an offer from boardsort, nor are they guaranteed. Please keep that in mind.


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 Post subject: Re: Gold pins
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 7:07 am 

Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2016 1:35 pm
Posts: 5
Thanks for the insight. I always figured it would be a lot and I never considered doing any refining on my own unless it was just melting it. I wouldn't want to mess with any chemicals. Something I was thinking about when pulling pins out of connectors because sometimes it's very aggravating! It is fun when you have a whole bunch of them though.


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