Pick-and-Place Grab Bag!


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.


  Look at all those delicious components.

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!


Comments 33 comments

  • Given the speed at which these went, maybe there’s a market for SparkFun to sell collections of common surface mounts parts. $10 bag of common 0805 resistors, $10 bag of common 0805 capacitors, $30 bag of common surface mount semiconductors etc.

    • I second that. There have been many times I needed some common surface mount parts while putting together a Sparkfun order.

    • $10 for a bag of common accelerometers? :p

      • Should be possible. You can get Wii nunchucks from Asia for under $4 each including shipping (2 are in route to me now), so whatever they use has got to be dirt cheap.

  • Also, not to be picky, but I believe that you are “ensuring” that each bag is created equal, not “insuring”. Though it would be interesting for someone to make a claim that the bag he received was worth less, and demand compensation for it.

  • Ok that was awesome…. As soon as I got this I tore through it like a lunatic. Scored some accelerometers, gyros, and wireless chips. Countless switches, buttons, and valuable capacitors. I even scored a few RGB leds and some light sensors! I however am looking to identify one chip… It reads:
    HMC
    52L
    “date code"
    I assume it is a honeywell part but my instant google search and digikey search turn up nothing of real value.
    Any hints sparkfun? Its about 3*3mm

    • I know! I know! That’s a 2-axis magnetic sensor, as used in their “6dof v4” board.
      http://www.sparkfun.com/datasheets/IC/HMC105X.pdf

  • Ahh, silicon quinoa, my favorite!

  • I think you may need to sell these in smaller bags, they sold out in about 20 minutes

    • I actually already halved the sizes of the bags. I don’t think we would have ever had enough…

  • we just got a pair of Juki 2070’s and 2050’s over the new year.
    I watched them warm up this morning while you guys were hoarding the goodies. That and our new flying probe.
    SFE’s is a midget in comparison. lol
    -looks like it would tear your arm off if you stuck it in there too.
    I Love my job…

  • Aaack! gone!
    uh, oh, i never thought about my employer’s SMT drop bins. ooooh, you done it now

  • ARRRRRRGGGGG!!!! I see, I want, you are sold out. OK, you guys are OFFICIALLY worse teases than strippers :p

  • Why did i have to go to work this morning! any ides if/when this might happen again?

  • sigh no more

  • Huzzah! Snagged 2!

  • I took a little video of the pick and place machines a few months go if you’re curious how fast they really go!

  • Step_1. Learn to solder SMD.
    No, scratch that.
    Step_1. Purchase something better than a “Learn to Solder” soldering pencil.
    Aurgh. Too poor. Let’s back up FURTHER.
    Step_1. Study the bite-sized tutorials and try to get enough for a Sparkfun soldering station. Yeah… THAT’S the ticket!

  • I bought 3 :p

    • Darn you mux, this looks sweet and I wish I’d got here sooner!
      Sparkfun guys, got any iffy pick and place machines doing accelerometer boards? :D

      • Mwahahahaahhaha (evil laugh) :D

      • If you’re looking for accelerometer/gyro’s you might want to buy some of the d&d sensor boards that are available right now. 3 out of 4 boards I ordered were 6+ dof. :D
        Aside, I had one of the above bags-of-awesome in my cart when they sold out!! Blast and dangnabbit!!

  • wow! Bang! Gone! They are invincible! This is a steal guys! I used to work at a electronics fab plant, and we always had ‘goody bins’ as we called them. Lots of useful parts if your into doing SMT stuff! Too bad I didnt get one in time! I hope you guys keep this up…. What you should do is throw one in for every order over x dollars, or randomly if the person checks an option stating they would like the chance for one on check out, so you might get a surprise when you open your box!

  • …and they’re all gone. That was quick!

  • Sa-weet!


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