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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2021 8:02 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:27 pm
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Is the tip on the smaller laptop hard drive read head rhodium like the end on the larger hard drive?

TY Joe

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 1:53 pm 
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TLDR: yes

The metal is one of the more common ones chosen for magnetic read heads.

The smaller and more condensed the platter tracks the more likely you are to have rhodium.
I won’t pretend to understand the how and why of this scientific aspect but the more precision needed the better rhodium works over other material cores.

Again we’re talking very tiny amounts.
However there are two groups of users here that could benefit from holding on to it. Especially because boardsort doesn’t do anything special with drive arms with or without the heads.

Some of the companies here have the volume where even dirty-slicing the ends off could add up to a refinement shipment quick enough to be worthwhile.

Hobby Refiners.

You’ll need a few hundred heads to even begin contemplating either task but it’s still good to know.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 5:57 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:27 pm
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I just got about 50 laptop hard drives that someone took them apart for the discs. They left the read head and the board attached. Leaving me with the best of everything from the alum. case, to the circuit board, to the read head.
Which leads to the next project hopefully soon. It should be worth saving the read heads from these:

Bins measure 28"long x 18"wide x 15" deep with approx. 20 drives per layer.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 6:15 pm 
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Lmao on this on! I love it when people take the platters and leave the boards.
There’s a reason boardsort pays less for platters than standard aluminium.
For one thing nearly half of all platters are GLASS!!!! Look it up.
I’ve politely corrected quite a few yards over the years buying platters as high value aluminium. The myth of value continues on anyway!

That’s a lot of heads though. And a lot of boards!
I’ve noted elsewhere that the heads are not clean. By any stretch.
Be it a rod or pad rhodium is a tiny fraction of a fraction of the total head weight.
So it takes quite a few pounds of read heads to make a refinery interested.
I’m not sure what the actual ratio is or pricing at the moment. But with rhodium in the very low 5 digit value right now you don’t need much to get a few hundred bucks. You’re definitely in the quantity range there to get someone interested.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2021 4:30 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2019 12:00 am
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Back forty years ago, when there wasn't a whole lot of use for the iridium-platinum group metals, a lot of costume jewelry rings, earrings, etc were base metal marked rhodium plated. I have wondered if that is now worth salvaging?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2021 7:12 pm 
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It’s the same category of low yield recovery.
If you look at non-inflation adjusted price history charts gold took a while to move before it took off on its second try. Rhodium spiked from a few bucks a pound to thousands per ounce in under a month and never came back down in the early 2000s

There was an abundance of surface level rhodium. Surface being upper crust, or the first 2000 meters. And it was being found in mixed ores easily everywhere. Most geologists just didn’t think much of it. That changed in the mid 90s when deep well oil drilling produced cores with no rhodium in it. The metal went from little concerned to guarded commodity resource before the study was even peer reviewed. A brief 6 month jump to the mid thousands. Then with review the consensus was a single set of samples meant nothing and it dropped back to a few bucks an ounce. Still 30-some times the old value but still quite low.
As more companies started to send samples rather than just turning them by the late 90s the majority of deep well reviews showed the this was a low quantity metal. By 2002 it was $500 per ounce. That jumped to 5000 by 2003 and then the price was gone.
Today dirty ore is in the mid $6000 range and the pure commodity metal fluxes in the $1200-1800 range. Almost without reason.

I like old junk costume jewellery for the gold plating. Easy to recover. Rhodium is just as easy though the process is a bit more dangerous.

I just hoard and send to a refiner when I have enough.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2021 10:20 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2015 10:53 pm
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How does one find a rhodium refiner.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2021 3:00 am 
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+rhodium +buyer
?

You have safer chances with companies in the advert section of numismatics magazines.

You could also try calling jewellers or coin and reputable pawn/loan shops and simply asking the manager or owner if they know and would reveal anyone they are aware of for your material at “below 20” or “above 80” meaning the purchase price is within 20% of spot for clean before commission.

It’s not a common thing to give out but keep trying different (well regarded) stores and eventually you’ll get a referral. Especially if you tell them it’s not gold your trying to sell.
Someone will eventually let spill a company you can try.

The refiners don’t want to deal with the public that will complain over $1 or $2 on a quarter ounce 18kt necklace.
Users don’t want to risk contracts with a bad referral.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2021 7:20 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:27 pm
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Finished scrapping all the hdd in the pics of the tubs. These are a few pics of the read heads with the rhodium coating. All I saved was the small ceramic square on the end of the read arm. The larger cubes are from old floppy drives.Again the only rhodium is the tiny line down the middle of the square. I am not sure what these are worth but I am just going to keep saving for now sooner or later someone will be interested in them. The second pic I circled the end of a read arm showing the ceramic square. Scale shows .66 ounces.
TY Joe

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2021 8:37 pm 

Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 9:44 pm
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The floppy drives won't have rhodium. They work in an entirely different way. Tape drives and ZIP drives also won't. Someone else posted another topic on this recently where I linked to a couple interesting sites that show just how small the actual read/write head is on the slider and a patent on how rhodium is applied to the substrate.

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=21580

lostinlodos wrote:
...I won’t pretend to understand the how and why of this scientific aspect but the more precision needed the better rhodium works over other material cores. ...

The patent actually covers the why rhodium is used vs other materials. Gold too soft, tantalum too resistive, etc...

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