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Since the beginning of time - well actually since we purchased our first Pick-and-Place machine sometime in early 2007 - the SparkFun Pick-and-Place operators have been keeping bin upon bin of loose electronic parts that accumulate in the machine. On average we would (very roughly) estimate this to be a less than 1% loss of parts.
Where do all of these tiny parts come from? Some get discarded by the optical inspection process of the machine, some get stuck in the tape and reel and get discarded below the feeders, and others are dropped when the nozzle of the Pick-and-Place machine doesn't have a strong enough vacuum to hold it in place while moving about at blazing speeds.
So you might be asking yourself, “Why are you telling me all this needless information Bob?” The answer is simple - we want you to utilize these parts! Even though we are pretty sure what these parts are, once it has been removed from its packaging we don't want to risk hand populating a board with an incorrect component. And with the speed and volume at which we are building products these days, it doesn't make sense for us to try to use up every last 0.1uF capacitor. It's not easy to part with these, um, parts...but we know they will go to a happy home. Like the saying goes, “One man's spare capacitor is the key to another man's autonomous waffle iron project". Or something like that.
And this is what you get - a bag of random, yet awesome, parts.
The possible parts in these bags will range anywhere from a fraction of a cent (think 0603 capacitors and resistors) to over $10.00 (ICs, sensors, etc.). So what's in a bag? Using a Geiger Counter as a random number generator and a little bit of magic we were able to properly mix all the parts to insure that each bag is created equal. Nah just kidding, we put all the parts in a bag a shook it around a bit. Who knows what you will get! Think of it as a Woot-esque grab bag. Click here for a PDF list of all the possible (note, we said "possible) parts. We are 99.9% sure that all this stuff is in working condition, however some of it is older, so be warned. Dig in and enjoy!