Sunday, December 27, 2009

Festive finds

This is the season for doing good works and I'm doing mine by reducing the piles of stuff going to landfill. Best of all it has resulted in finding a source of free electronic bits. Oh yes it has.
I work part time in a local cinema which is part of a larger entertainment complex. Since it's Christmas the theatre part is full of pantomime. Ooooooh yes it is. To extract a bit of money from the parents, and to provide a valuable service to the kids, the management sell a variety of light up things. After all, who doesn't need a flashing light sabre, illuminated fairy wand or light up cutlass ?

These items are produced in huge quantities somewhere in the China where the quality control is questionable. That means there is a pile of duds to be found. Where ? Behind you ! These would head into the rubbish bin were I not to intercept them.

Back on the workbench the plastic bits are removed and what I'm left with is a string of LEDs and occasional bits of circuitry. Red, green and most excitingly blue, lights. In the sword hilts I find flashing LEDS and on others there is a little circuit to flash and entire string. Blue LEDs are a couple of quid a pop at Maplin and even the normal colours cost some money. There are even dodgy cheapo AA batteries.
At the moment I have no idea what this stuff is going to be used for. Most likely it will sit in a drawer for years but one day I'm sure a small light will be required and then I'm sorted.

So there you have it. Free stuff. Now does anyone need a plastic cutlass or sword that doesn't light up ? I've got quite a few now. Oh yes I have.

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