Does your electronics junk box runneth over?
For decades, the hobbyist "junk box" has been the traditional go-to-first place for parts. It was stocked up from goodie bags of electronic surplus, extra parts left over from projects, salvage from old equipment, and anyplace else that stuff could be found.

Since much of the hobby has moved to ICs and micros, this time, let's share our favorite sources of junk box goodies. Is anyone still salvaging from used equipment? How about ICs? Would you use obsolete parts (ICs or otherwise) for one-off projects, if you could salvage them or already have them in your junk box?

Also, we want to shine the spotlight on LabNation, for picking up the tab on this week's Cool Reads! Be sure to check 'em out.

That's It. Enjoy! 
Just in Time Parts vs the Junkbox

Cleaning out my workshop reminded me of when I first started my journey in electronics - I had a junkbox with a few dozen tubes, a pound or two of discrete resistors and capacitors, and some miscellaneous hardware. With that, I could repair or modify just about anything I came across.
I have a jukebox with many small bulbs - each receiving about 7.8 volts - that are starting to burn out simply because of old age. A cheaper alternative to replacing them is string "Christmas" lights, which are rated at 3.5 volts each. What size ...  
The Retro PIC Single-Board Computer

Over the years, I have accumulated a bunch of chips from before the era of true PCs when names like Altair, KIM-1, and Cosmac ELF were popular. As a great learning tool, I've put some of these historic chips to work in a new "computer" system with a PIC acting as the CPU.
LabNation SmartScope
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  • LabNation SmartScope
LabNation Smartscope

LabNation describes their new SmartScope as "the oscilloscope of the new generation" targeted at makers and hobbyists, as well as professional engineers. Here are the test drive results.     
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Every signal begins with an oscillator - In ham radio, the oscillator is a key element in generating signals, mixing them together, and extracting the information from them. Let's see how to make an audio oscillator, plus learn about common RF types.    
I want to control the speed of a DC brush motor using PWM with an FET as the power driver. I plan to use a 1 kHz signal with a 30% to 60% duty cycle. How do I determine the optimum frequency of the PWM? Would it be better to operate the PWM at 3 kHz?
Serial I_O Data Interfaces_ Part 1

Data is transferred serially in most applications. However, there are literally dozens of serial I/O interfaces. Most were developed for specific applications and many are similar in operation. You might say, there is definitely more than one way to "send" that cat.               
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Robots - The Ultimate Electronics Application!

SERVO Magazine is the universe's longest running hobbyist magazine for robotics. Being a spin-off of Nuts & Volts (the universe's longest running hobbyist magazine for electronics, still in print), SERVO is the perfect companion to NV with more of the same great content, only geared toward robotics.

If you love robots and tech, then SERVO
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Basic Electronics for Tomorrows Inventors
Book Pick Of The Week
From the Nuts & Volts Webstore
Basic Electronics for Tomorrow's Inventors

Learn about electronics with fun experiments and projects

Get up to speed on essential electronics concepts through fun, do-it-yourself projects. This cool, beginner level book is just the thing to get you or someone you know started. There's no intimidation here, with this book as a guide, you could really do this! We've always said the best way to learn is by doing, and this collection of entertaining experiments and gadgets is the perfect way to get your new hobby off the ground.

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