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PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2020 4:06 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2019 3:16 am
Posts: 129
Location: Ohio
There's nothing wrong in removing components to increase your dollar payout... but...
...you have a lot of factors to consider!

Time/effort in removing what you want compared to payout , as is.

quantity, quantity, quantity, takes a bunch to make that extra bunch.

Buyer/refiner and meeting quotas/deadlines to initiate the refine or send in.

Having the space to hold all the extra components and categorize or separate materials.

Finding a buyer for those depopulated and harvested boards that will match a decent rate instead of heavy discounting.

Hazardous materials and dangerous fumes from heat gun or refining chemicals

Patience and tedious operations

I myself harvest and depopulate many boards only ranging from the high grade materials, where you would get biggest bang for buck, per say.
but...
I also take a big cut if I just left as is. Do I make more in the long run? Yes. I do spend more time in removing and preparing each n every board though; which takes more turn around time for my turn ins to get paid. It took me a few years to educate myself in what components were, what precious metal type, and to find solutions in removing each component and prepare it. My working hours and duration on each board are much greater than the average "e-waster" because I have to analyze the board more. Once you get the hang of things and comfortable in doing what you want to prepare, you'll find the materials "worth-while" and the others you send down the line to the big foundry to do, get your money n call it a day ones. Brown and mid grade boards are reasonable to down grade because, mostly, they can't go any lower. If I were to promote harvesting boards, I would agree on using your heat gun or air chisel/flat head to pop off the larger ICs.

But then again...

Is it worth it? If you don't have hundreds to thousands of lbs even in just brown or mid grade boards and you're pulling off extra ICs and packages when you only accumulate roughly hundred or less lbs yearly; I would say move on and don't waste your time. Drop your material and move on to the next turn in. " dime is holding up a dollar" Even harvesting high dollar boards and grabbing the expensive ICs, MLCCS, tant caps, gold/silver oscillators, gold resistors, or even cutting fingers to get that "high rate", if you have no quantity, you just lost money in the board you depopulated and have barely any weight in what you harvested in high dollar category; literally you lose money by thinking you're making more in collecting and harvesting the high dollar materials, decreasing its' value.
As in my case, I withhold thousands of lbs monthly and take the extra time to depopulate what in my opinion is worth it or what in market value is high at the time. I can accumulate the extra quantities in the higher paying rates from depopulating boards. One thing you can happily bogart are CPU and processors. Easily removable socket to get the higher rate, obviously doesn't downgrade your board. Removable/socket ICs sometimes are 50/50, they can occasionally help upgrade your board if left in but also can be removed for a higher IC rate and the board remain in a good payout rate. Keep your ram and turn in separate, same goes for gold finger cards. Cutting fingers really isn't worth the money or time unless you have thousands of cards or memory sticks. Then again you have to find a refiner, try killing yourself to get the extra doe, or lose everything you harvested because you don't know how to correctly refine it yet; ruining everything you just did(losing money).
Like Chris mentioned, pulling off BGAs, and gold cornered flatpacks; yah you get a nice $15.00 per lb rate but if you only receive or purchase 20 lbs of motherboards and take those all off the boards, you would have 20lbs of low grade mother boards with MAYBE a lb or two of BGAs, equivalent to the same payout as just turning in the non-harvested mother boards!
I acquire hundreds of lbs of cell phones, the time and effort to take every single one apart to get that cell phone board rate would take me FOREVER. Not to mention, hazmat batteries if swollen, I have to pay and dispose of now, plastic waste to recycle and correctly dispose of, lcd screens etc etc.
There's many things just better off left as is.

All in all I just wanted to brush on this topic and give a little insight to the new e-scrappers out there. What you think will be making you extra money might not be what you're expecting.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2020 4:34 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2019 3:16 am
Posts: 129
Location: Ohio
Any questions in regarding if it's worth pulling something off or devaluing a board to maybe increase your profit, ask first.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2020 2:35 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:57 pm
Posts: 7802
Location: Low DOS
Great write up!
Absolutely agree.
To put this in. Much higher example:
Manually Removing flat packs from 1000 pounds of motherboards won’t be worth it. For most people. If you’re going to depop you need to do so completely to make money.

Keep in mind refineries that do complete recovery use automated hot air reflow removal. Computer imaging to auto-sort removed components from the (dis)assembly line.
Massive scale. 10s of thousands of pounds per day.

Again removing gold tabs or gold fingers from a thousand pounds boards is barely past break even. If you have enough and recover everything and sell it all, you’ll make more with depop
Just don’t expect Chris or most any yard to be interested in your blanks. Which leaves you on the hook to get rid of them responsibly. There’s buyers... but they want 50,000 pounds a shipment. A trailer load. Much less than that you’ll probably be paying to get rid of them.

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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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PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 8:50 pm 

Joined: Fri Feb 14, 2014 3:42 pm
Posts: 40
Location: Troy, NY
I've been there and done this before.
My personal takeaway: the only things you should depopulate from a board are ceramic IC's (or IC's in general) because they are easy to incinerate at the refinery, or 8086/CPU's.
You're wasting your time harvesting crystal oscillators, tantalum capacitors, etc.
If you are backyard refining, then godspeed.
However, if youre sending boards in here to Boardsort, or sending them in quantity to a refiner, leave that stuff on. And move on.


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