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  1. #1
    kss started this thread.
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    Does anyone know what this box is and if it is hazardous?

    https://imgur.com/a/BJBgpcF


    It looks like a little wrapped present... but it is from a ... 70s/80s stereo?



    Stopped when I saw it and threw the whole thing in the shred pile cause I didnt know what it was, and dont take any chances.

    Any ideas?


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    Almost certainly a transformer. If you post the bottom of the board can confirm

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    kss started this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJinLV View Post
    Almost certainly a transformer. If you post the bottom of the board can confirm

    Its deep in the pile by now, but might be able to grab it out for a pick tomorrow. Why would they cover it like that? Thats the first Ive seen anything wrapped like that so I thought maybe it was to protect against anything haazardous getting out.... but if it is just a transformer, ill rip it off and toss it in my elec motor bin

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    You'll get more $ for that transformer as weight on a low grade board than as an electric motor.
    Last edited by JJinLV; 01-24-2020 at 08:35 AM.

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    Thinking about it your yard should pay you a bit more for copper transformers than electric motors too

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    Quote Originally Posted by kss View Post
    Its deep in the pile by now, but might be able to grab it out for a pick tomorrow. Why would they cover it like that? Thats the first Ive seen anything wrapped like that so I thought maybe it was to protect against anything haazardous getting out.... but if it is just a transformer, ill rip it off and toss it in my elec motor bin
    Just guessing, but the outer wrap could be an RF shield. Some electrical components generate electrical noise. Left unshielded, they would create a buzzing or humming sound in your stereo speakers.

    The thing i would watch for would actually be the solder. They didn't have the lead free solder standard back in those days. JMO ... it's better not to mess with those boards. Once in awhile is probably okay, but long term exposure cold give you heavy metals poisoning. We had a member from Cali. here awhile back that used to like to mess with the old stuff. After awhile, he reported that he had somehow been subject to lead poisoning. Maybe it was in his drinking water. Maybe it was the kind of work he was doing. We never did figure that out but he hasn't posted in awhile. I hope he's okay.

    One way to look at it would be to ask what the best use of your time is. Figure that small transformers and small electric motors only pay something like ten cents a pound ?

    Weigh up the transformer. It's probably only a fraction of a pound ? Maybe worth a penny at most ?

    Is it really worth doing -or- could you be spending your time more productively doing something else ?

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  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJinLV View Post
    Thinking about it your yard should pay you a bit more for copper transformers than electric motors too

    I pull all transformers off as I only get like $0.05/lb for low grade where I take locally (and it hasnt made sense to hoard it and ship it at least not yet..... )

    Transformers I throw in with elec motors as the 2 local yards by me dont have a separate category... so they all go together for $0.08/lb

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by hills View Post
    Just guessing, but the outer wrap could be an RF shield. Some electrical components generate electrical noise. Left unshielded, they would create a buzzing or humming sound in your stereo speakers.

    The thing i would watch for would actually be the solder. They didn't have the lead free solder standard back in those days. JMO ... it's better not to mess with those boards. Once in awhile is probably okay, but long term exposure cold give you heavy metals poisoning. We had a member from Cali. here awhile back that used to like to mess with the old stuff. After awhile, he reported that he had somehow been subject to lead poisoning. Maybe it was in his drinking water. Maybe it was the kind of work he was doing. We never did figure that out but he hasn't posted in awhile. I hope he's okay.

    One way to look at it would be to ask what the best use of your time is. Figure that small transformers and small electric motors only pay something like ten cents a pound ?

    Weigh up the transformer. It's probably only a fraction of a pound ? Maybe worth a penny at most ?

    Is it really worth doing -or- could you be spending your time more productively doing something else ?

    This is all just hobby/play money essentially, so I am not willing to take ANY amount of risk in my scrapping endeavors.... Cuts, scrapes, bruises Im fine with and get a lot of with scrapping but I dont want to mess with lead, chemicals, or anything that could have any long term health risks. Not worth it even if it was worth $100. Thats why I quit doing microwaves, dont want the risk of the beryllium stuff. I still grab them, but sell as working (after cleaning), or cut the cord and fill it with crap and shred pile it. I do always wear mechanics/demolition gloves of coarse, but still.... gotta be careful out there, thats why I make post like this before f-ing up and messing with something dangerous.... like that one guy on here who posted after tearing down a bunch of microwaves, and people told him to be careful of the pinks things... and he said he broke them all.... I dont want that to be me lol
    Last edited by kss; 01-24-2020 at 05:40 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blackgold12 View Post
    Lead shield over radio active device.

    It legitimately could be! People used to think chemicals, lead paint, and asbestos were fine, and probably put crazy crap in everything. Better safe than sorry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kss View Post
    This is all just hobby/play money essentially, so I am not willing to take ANY amount of risk in my scrapping endeavors.... Cuts, scrapes, bruises Im fine with and get a lot of with scrapping but I dont want to mess with lead, chemicals, or anything that could have any long term health risks. Not worth it even if it was worth $100. Thats why I quit doing microwaves, dont want the risk of the beryllium stuff. I still grab them, but sell as working (after cleaning), or cut the cord and fill it with crap and shred pile it. I do always wear mechanics/demolition gloves of coarse, but still.... gotta be careful out there, thats why I make post like this before f-ing up and messing with something dangerous.... like that one guy on here who posted after tearing down a bunch of microwaves, and people told him to be careful of the pinks things... and he said he broke them all.... I dont want that to be me lol
    I think the main thing is to understand the risks that come with the job. It's like that with most any job really.

    Let's say you were a welder. You would know to watch out for burns, welding fumes, electrical shock, and the bright light from an electrical arc. It's just common sense. A lot of the guys i've talked with also understand that the job will shorten their life because the hazards can't be completely eliminated. It's one of the reasons why the job pays so well.

    I've talked with guys that work in oil drilling and refining and it's the same there too. They understand that there's a price to pay and make the tradeoff because the money is so good. They sometimes do it so that they can give their family a good life.

    It's not that much different with ewaste but the job hazards are a bit more complicated. The risks aren't well understood by most of the guys working in the trade and the pay generally isn't very good. You are probably going to be okay if you leave the boards whole. It's a completely different situation once you break a board. The nasties go airbourne as a fine dust that you inhale. They get all over your clothes and contaminate your work area. Some of the stuff can be absorbed through your skin.

    The main thing is to educate yourself as much as you can. That way you can make an informed decision about doing this kind of work.

    Have you ever noticed the RoHS stamp on a circuit board ? That mark means that it's a little bit safer to work with these boards.

    No mark means that it could be anything or everything poisonous. Some of that old stuff is particularly nasty.

    Here's a link to the RoHS standard. It explains what it's about and some of the things you have to watch out for when you're processing circuit boards & wire.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restri...nces_Directive

    Be safe out there everybody !
    Last edited by hills; 01-25-2020 at 08:33 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kss View Post
    This is all just hobby/play money essentially, so I am not willing to take ANY amount of risk in my scrapping endeavors.... Cuts, scrapes, bruises Im fine with and get a lot of with scrapping but I dont want to mess with lead, chemicals, or anything that could have any long term health risks. Not worth it even if it was worth $100. Thats why I quit doing microwaves, dont want the risk of the beryllium stuff. I still grab them, but sell as working (after cleaning), or cut the cord and fill it with crap and shred pile it. I do always wear mechanics/demolition gloves of coarse, but still.... gotta be careful out there, thats why I make post like this before f-ing up and messing with something dangerous.... like that one guy on here who posted after tearing down a bunch of microwaves, and people told him to be careful of the pinks things... and he said he broke them all.... I dont want that to be me lol
    If you're depopulating circuit boards, especially old ones like you describe then you're taking some risk of lead contamination because of the solder alone and that's before considering silica dust and more.

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    It will be Aluminium duct tape around a transformer or a RF component. Most of the time its a small sheetmetal box soldered onto the board.
    Nothing really dangerous.

    I hope the OP is getting the transformers out of the microwaves, thats where the $ is if they are Copper wire wound ones.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eesakiwi View Post
    It will be Aluminium duct tape around a transformer or a RF component. Most of the time its a small sheetmetal box soldered onto the board.
    Nothing really dangerous.

    I hope the OP is getting the transformers out of the microwaves, thats where the $ is if they are Copper wire wound ones.
    I am maybe 50% of the time. If they are larger, over the stove, or particularly old, I do take the panels off to get the transformer, and then throw the rest in shred. However the smaller and newer ones Ive found arent worth the time.... they are a lot smaller and often aluminum windings in the transformer, not copper.

    But there was an OLD and HEAVY microwave I got a few months back, the transformer alone was 18lbs. After getting the copper out of it there was a bit over 4lbs of straight up copper. So... like anything, have to evaluate which are worth taking apart and which arent. That is also dependent on how much free time I have and how much space I have.... More free time, and more space == hgher chance Ill take it apart.... less free time, less available space == less likly Ill take it apart.

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