Creative Commons images are CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

Description: Want to rummage through the SparkFun dumpster? We have a lot of products that we either can’t or won’t sell for various reasons. This can include customer returns, damaged products (physical or cosmetic), overstock, production samples, or anything that’s just not selling well enough on the site and we need to get rid of. Instead of this ending up in our dumpster (or environmentally friendly e-waste recycling programs), we boxed it up and are offering you a chance to rummage through our virtual dumpster.

Each SparkFun Dumpster Dive is 1.5 pounds (not including the box) of random parts. We tried our best to provide a wide assortment in each box, but due to the nature of the contents, each box is completely unique and random. You could get almost anything, as long as it fits in the box.

Opening each box is similar to 5 years worth of Christmas morning excitement, all condensed down into a single moment (individual results may vary).

Note: The Dumpster Dive is a gamble and the contents are not guaranteed. We will not provide tech support or returns on any of the goods since many are not products we ever supported, or might be returns with unknown defects. Every box will still have many usable parts. If you are looking for fully functioning, well documented goods, we would advise against getting a Dumpster Dive. Limit one per customer.


  • 1.5 Pounds of Awesome
  • Endless Wonder
  • Overflowing with Anticipation
  • Mystery and Intrigue
  • Much Product

Recommended Products

Customer Comments

  • I want to see SFE do this sort of thing more often!!!!

  • Anybody else get their order as an exception after placing it?

    EDIT: Just go follow up with myself: My order shipped on Friday (My invoice was at 11:59:48) and it’s already on my front porch… (Waaaaay better than Woot’s BoC.)

    • Customer service is currently working through these exceptions and we’ll be clearing these as fast as we can. Any further inquiries should be emailed to


    • My order just cleared exception and is now a “new order” (12:49 MT) and I made my order at 12:00:45. Woot! Can’t wait to see what I scored!

    • YEAH BABY !! I am no longer an Exception i am now a NEW ORDER !! woot.. please do this more often SFE i love the adrenaline rush !

    • Anyone get an answer to this Exception business?

    • yeah I did.. but when I placed my order there was 44 still in stock.. so I hope I got one..

    • I got exception too… but after I placed my order there were still 15 in stock sooo…

    • page didnt show up for me until 12:01 kept hitting f5.. now i have an exception

    • Ditto…

    • Yep - got one of those too. Hopefully it’s not a big issue.

    • exception as well. I kept hitting F5 and nothing showed up… didn’t realize you had to click on the image. Guess we’ll see.

    • Yep. Me too

      • I managed to get back to the page after placing my order and making a comment and saw 22 left. I’m going to assume it’s a verification to make sure nobody could place two orders. :-)

        • Mine said 22 as well I got expectation thing and turned out to be I didn’t get one :(

        • lol.. another echo.. Me too.. I got back here around the 27 mark. was amazing watching the quantity drop as fast as it did. Now the wait begins..

  • The sense of entitlement some of you harbor is amazing to me. I’m sorry that Spark Fun didn’t have enough dumpster dives for everyone.


    • Anyone know if another of these will be made this time around? (Not a regular redditor here)

  • And here I was refreshing


  • Here’s the contents of my Feb. 28th, 2014 Dumpster Dive box with pictures:

  • Sparkfun, you shall fill my march break with joy, as i have challenged myself to use every. single. thing. in this red box of epicness

  • Looks like I’m good to go! Thanks, Sparkfun!

  • dang, that went quicker than expected!!!

    • I literally woke up, opened my laptop, watched your video, and ordered one. That is the complete extent of my day so far.

    • So does that mean this will be a thing? Because this should totally be a thing!

      • a recurring thing :-)

        • Use the knowledge of how this instance failed and ticked off your customers so that next time you don’t fail with the instructions.

          Failure #1: No reference of SYSTEM TIME on waiting page. Countdown or active clock would be the east fix.

          Failure #2: No notice on the ‘pending’ page that the item went live. (F5 trap? Seriously?) Offer CORRECT and COMPELTE instructions. If your going to set up an F5 trap, be honest about it.

          Failure #3: No notice of how the lucky winners would be placed in Exception Status. Doesn’t effect me, I didn’t get one, but there are ALOT of comments from those that think they did.

          • You’re taking this thing kind of seriously man. Its just a box of literal garbage, maybe you should calm down.

            • Perhaps your right. I’ve missed out on all the other SparkFun giveaways to date.

              Problem is, I’m upset with a growing internet commerce trend. Those with ultra fast connections or turbo F5 keys and no life, get the prizes, and those of us on wireless connections in the working world get to watch.

              Yes, I’m unhappy I missed the goodies. Yes, I understand that it could be a worthless pile of junk, and to my current projects it probably would be even if everything worked too. I’m trying to expose the problem of the system not the prize.

              If you feel that is being unreasonable, that’s unfortunate. SparkFun is a good DIY supply company, they listen to their customers, and I was hoping they would listen to me and not just dismiss me for ‘sour grapes’ as you did.

              • They’re giving these away for basically nothing (time to gather components and fill the boxes costs money). They didn’t have to do this at all and it’s the “sour grapes” that act as a deterrent for things like this in the future. I encourage you to take a positive spin on this and support them doing more things like this in the future (Improves your odds anyway).

          • The only thing that might be improved is to let people know to click on the image that was on the page they originally linked to. Other than that, what else would have been better so you would be happy? It’s obvious you aren’t happy about it and feel cheated so it would be nice to have clarification on what they could do better instead of just complaining about it.

            Looks like you edited your comment after I wrote mine.

            • I don’t typically scream about a problem unless I can identify the problem, and often I can offer a potential solution.

            • There needs to be a method to hold the item in your cart so that you can actually checkout.

              • We’ve talked about that aplenty, but it’s a more complicating problem than it might seem like on the surface. I just ran a couple of quick-and-dirty queries that might illustrate why.

                • Current physical stock of products: 1,168,910 units (some percentage of these reserved to existing orders).
                • Current sum of products in carts for registered users: 1,107,560 units (plenty of these probably retired or replaced).

                This is very back-of-the-envelope stuff, and I wouldn’t draw too many conclusions from it. It’s been a long day and I don’t have the ambition right now to make sure those numbers are reliable. But they should point at the following questions:

                • Should all carts hold stock, or just those for registered users? (There could easily be another half a million units stashed in the more-volatile storage we use for sessions that aren’t associated to accounts.)
                • How long should stock be held? Minutes? Hours? Days? Weeks? Forever?
                • If you have a concrete answer to “how long” that won’t put us out of business, how do you implement expiry of the hold? Do users need to be informed when the hold is up?
                • How does the hold interact with the stock values we show everyone else?
                • What happens when we want to retire or revise something with holds still in place?

                …and so on. All possible, but TANSTAAFL.

                • Just so everyone has a reference point here is Digikey’s statement on inventory in cart.

                  “Quantities are not reserved until the order has been submitted. You will be reminded of backorder quantities at submit time. Available quantities may have changed due to real time inventory.”

                  I’ve missed chances to get a dumpster dive and I’ve also managed to get the dumpster dive. IMHO I say leave the system as is since we aren’t talking about a contest, but merely a product that has occasional inventory. If somebody as big as Digikey isn’t holding parts until you hit pay, why should Sparkfun? I prefill my cart if I’m hoping to get a DD and have my payment info ready to go. People just need to learn the ropes and if you fall off the rope, don’t blame the rope, just climb back on for the next chance.

                • Have you bought concert or show tix from TM lately? They have this all worked out. There is a solution already, the question is whether SF is willing/able to pay for the solution…. And the answer to that is 42…

                  • They have this all worked out.

                    For values of “worked out” which include “an incredibly unpleasant user experience” and “doesn’t involve the sale of a physical good” and “burn TicketMaster to the ground”, they sure do.

                • My 2 cents: + All carts can hold stock but only for 14 days (enough time to wait for that biweekly paycheck)

                  • IF you are registered, you have the option to save your cart, which will then be emptied after 30 Days unless it is saved again. If you save it again then it gets cut down to 15 days. After 45 days your cart gets emptied. This means after 45 days either you have to purchase what is in your cart or your cart is emptied (hopefully this would only happen with someone who has forgotten they had something in their cart).

                  +IF you are registered and your cart is about to expire, you can opt in for a reminder email that you still have products in your cart and if you don’t act within a week the cart will be emptied.

                  +IF you are unregistered or registered and you have something held in your cart that goes into low stock / about to get retired / about to get revised you can opt in for an email (for registered members only) letting you know that the product stock is low and will be removed from your cart within 24 hours and placed back into the pool for someone else to grab. This solves the problem of hot items that have low stock. I log in, put it in my cart, and it is guaranteed to me for 24 hours, and if I don’t purchase within 24 hours then it gets returned back to the pool for someone else to grab (then they would have 24 hours to checkout). For things like the dumpster dive there would have to be another system in place that limits how many of the product can be added to the cart, in this case only 1. If the user tries to add more it won’t allow it.

                  sidenote: This COULD be abused by someone going around and adding all available quantity of any given product to their cart causing the product to be removed from anyone’s cart who is holding it after 24 hours. Not sure how to work around that problem; would have to look into how many other items where in the cart that caused the inventory system to drop the product into low inventory status.

                  This would take care of people who had problems with PayPal or the server having issues during the checkout.

                  Again, just my 2 cents. If you think it is a stupid idea, please see the complaint department. :)

                  • Again, just my 2 cents. If you think it is a stupid idea, please see the complaint department. :)

                    In this context, I am the complaint department.

                    • so did you read my suggestion, get up, find a mirror, then say to yourself “that was a stupid idea”… ? :)

                      • He says that to me pretty much every time I come up with something awesome, don’t take it too personally :)

                  • I don’t think a 14 day hold stock is anywhere reasonable. Your sidenote is only part of the problem - the bigger issue is I have stuff added to my cart to just check price totals all the time. If you were to do any sort of “hold” it would be after you enter in shipping, billing, and are about to confirm the purchase.

                    Is the fast internet speed process fair? no. Is there an easy way to fix it without invoking a giant mess? not that I can think of thus far.

                    Another way SF could do this. But it invokes different legal issues, is you purchase the product in advance, and depending on stock available, random orders are fulfilled. But there are strong legal problems with this - is it a lottery, sweepstakes etc.

                  • Saved carts for 14 days??? No good for business if that saved cart is reserving stock. I have items in wish lists for that purpose. So that when I am ready to buy it, if it is available then I will add it all to the cart.

    • The process smacks of a “game of chance” and a “lottery” Especially when in the video one box looked to be stuffed with an Arduino Mega (or the newer mega footprint version). I’m not the only one that was wondering just which fifty members got the prize.

      • that was literally a random shot of a box. that wasn’t a ‘lucky winner’ by any means. there were maybe a dozen or more arduinos in total. it takes a lot of boards to get up to 1.5 pounds. hopefully people will come back and post what they actually got once orders start shipping.

        • That actually makes me feel MORE cheated, not less. I was following the instructions, only to find out I failed the Sparkfun dummy-test. Not amused.

          I would seriously like to know who the fifty contest winners were.

          • Since this is actually a purchase and people didn’t get anything for free, I don’t think we can release names of the people who have purchased this. While someone else here at SparkFun who knows more about this stuff may correct me, I believe that would go against our privacy policy. Like Robert said, hopefully people will post what they get in their swag boxes. It looks like there was a reddit thread started about it as well, so perhaps they will post there if not on our site.

            • Looks like I got a box. Might have to do my first ever unboxing video. It’d actually be fun to watch since, from what I gather, each box will be different. What would be more helpful, a youtube link here or on reddit? Full disclosure it’d be my first ever reddit post, too.

            • This is right on the money. We don’t give out that info unless compelled by legal process.

            • Sorry, your right, a contest can be entered without purchase.

    • So, how fast was it? Surely you know and are you really that surprised????

      • unofficially, looks like 1:45. we had a lot of orders hit at the same time, so we’re gonna have to sort that out. :-/

        • For people wanting to give a guess on their chance, check the printable invoice (it has the time of order). Doesn’t look good for me.

        • So your saying the Customer Service department will have to pick and choose from the orders that the website accepted?

          Sounds more and more like a rigged game Robert.

          • Nope, they go through the orders and see the first 50 that went through. How is that a game?

            • Conflicting instructions, a system that took more orders than available inventory. The first fifty to go through, or the first fifty to be placed? The first fifty to come out of exception status, or the first fifty in the log? The first fifty the CS team deals with in however they designed their workflow to handle it? There are multiple interpretations available, requiring at some point command decisions as to who gets disappointed.

              I’m dropping this as it suits no further purpose. I’ve said my piece, that’s an end to it.

              • People like you ruin everything that is good and fun.

              • I would imagine the customer service folks would clear the exception log in order, so the first 50 in the log should be the first 50 to come out of exception status.

        • Would just like to say… 15 were in stock after I placed my order….

        • Is that why my order says Exception and not to worry? ;‘)

          • Since the quantities were limited to one per person, each order goes into exception by default. And of course we ended up with more than 50 orders so we’ll have to sort that one out. Hopefully we’ll get it sorted and the 50 lucky ones will know soon enough.

  • Received an awesome box of junk! Rarely does one want for a lifetime supply of 330 ohm resistors but that’s one thing I’ll never have to buy again! Thanks Spark Fun! :-)

    • Me too! I got 11 packages of twenty 330 ohm resistors PLUS one 1/8th watt resistor in the bottom of the box. :)

  • 11:58AM MST - refreshed, saw stock status change, added to cart

    11:59AM MST - confirmed order - blank page. errorless error?

    12:00PM MST - opened new browser window to this page. stock status: all gone

    12:15PM MST - I’m seeing no payments made to Sparkfun, no evidence of an order being placed.

    Sparkfun: I love that you guys do this, but given the supply and demand, you’re setting up the majority of those interested for disappointment. My logical brain can accept that my timing wasn’t right. My lizard brain wants to avoid Sparkfun because Sparkfun == disappointment.

    Maybe there’s a better system? Let people opt in to “Randomly include a 1.5lbs mystery box of parts when I order from Sparkfun”, and surprise us? I’m not sure what the system should be, but I am sure about this: the current one really took the wind out of my sails today.

  • I want to see the site traffic data and the spike that happened at 12pm, that would be pretty neat.

  • I’m really happy with the contents of my Dumpster Dive box. I got: Assorted 30A rocker switches Baggie of big variable resistors w/ nuts for mounting 3 Olimex dev boards (LPC-H2103, LPC2106-MT, and LPC-P212X) Early/prototype SparkFun LED Matrix w/ backpack XBee Pro S1 Older model Arduino Uno i-Racer (w/ charging cable, stickers, and instruction disk)

    I haven’t tested everything, but the Uno seems to work just fine and the i-Racer works great (it does have the charging issue people report in the comments on the i-Racer SparkFun page, but “jumping” the battery fixes it right up).

    Overall, I couldn’t be happier with this grab bag of goodies. Thanks SparkFun!

  • Got my box in today, and I was super happy with my haul. Inside were Olimex LPC-H2103, LPC-H2214, LPC-H2294 ARM7 dev boards (runs $30 for the 21, $90 each on the 22s), and a PIC-MT-USB PIC dev board with a 16x2 LCD ($30). Some kind of Parallax BASIC Stamp starter kit, the devboard is whatever but it comes with a nice little baggy full of LEDs, resistors, caps, trimpots, a 7-seg LED and a cute little servo (runs about $50?). Rounding it out are two lit rockers, couple of pretty beat up looking orange lamps, a pile of universal mounting hubs, and half of the parts for a Quadbot kit but not the half you’d want.

    Lots of micros but thankfully that’s the kind of thing I like to play with! Definitely got my $22 worth, thanks Sparkfun! I’ll be there the next time you guys fill up your dumpster.

  • Just got mine, pretty cool! Bunch of olimex dev boards and usb programmers, some PIC microcontrollers, an iphone lcd screen, a bunch of bulky switches, and weirdly enough, the exact pololu mounting hubs I was going to order from them this week. I could post pictures on imgur or something if folks want to see.

  • Seriously??? I logged in, some error occured from Sparkfuns site, and they’re gone! Damn you server-side-troubles!!

  • Hey guys you should make this some sort of subscription service like, arcade block, 1up box, or loot crate I know I would love to have something like that but electronics related with some sparkfun swag, t-shirt, and some useful components that any hobbyist or beginner would love to have. I run a youtube channel and I would love to have something like that to show off and be a part of.

  • Got it yesterday, was not disappointed.

    Pics here

    Thanks SF!

    • Got mine and was pleasantly surprised also! I got another of the ubiquitous blower motors like you did :-), but the big prize for me was an LCD-09568 (serial LCD) which seems brandy new except that a header has been soldered on already. $30 of goodness for $10 right there – and it’s something I actually did have a use for already!

      Other interesting and useful things too like a DIP-8 amplifier IC and a Lilypad battery board. I will never buy male breakaway headers again! (31 x 12-pin headers included) Which is good, because I use those like candy anyway.

      Also: nice SparkFun pocket protector. :-)

      • Got mine in the mail today, video is currently uploading. I am stumped on a component that i received though I got about probably 200 of them they are a SOT26 device the the markings CAA and I can’t seem to find any info on them. One site suggests they are a temp sensor another says the are a step-up converter. So im a bit lost here. Any hints sparkfun?

        The video will be up in a bit, got some pretty cool stuff.

    • Looks nice, not to hot on the jpeg trigger boards i got one of those as a ding and dent, can still be used as a micro controller if it works. I will be getting mine on Thursday, might do a video of the contents. I’ll post a link if i do. Thanks for the pics btw.

      • The JPEG trigger board with the microSD slot seems to work, or at least blinks the LED different colors when I apply power. The gnarlier one’s FTDI works, but I haven’t powered the micro yet. It looks like the DTR reset cap is missing along with a couple other discretes so not sure how much I care to debug it. I don’t have the matching camera so it’s just a spare Arduino for… things.

  • GRRR I freaking missed it AGAIN… man, this is so bullshit, people waiting until the exact second it’s posted and then hitting F5 till they get it. These should be given away as prizes for actually building something cool, instead of whoever happens to be on their computer in the what, 2 minutes they lasted this time??? I wish I could swear here…

    • Entitlement generation strikes again!

    • I waited nearly 3 hours to get it, I don’t believe you can say that it’s whoever happens to be on their computer.

      You should start reading Sparkfun news each friday to see their new products instead.

  • Oh how you taunt me little yellow circle. You should post a warning on the home page a few hours in advance, then activate the single “in stock” Dumpster Dive for purchase at a set time. See how long it takes to sell. 10 seconds? Less?

    • it’s going back in stock, for the next time we offer the dumpster dive.

      there are a lot of pending orders still.

  • Is it just me, or is the yellow indicator on for everybody else for this?

  • It says that there is one left in stock And I want it. With my red eggs and ham.

  • I scored big. I got a Parallax Board of Education shield for an arduino, a bag of x-box joysticks, a bunch of PIC chips, big bread board, Parallax robotics kit minus the wheels and motors, 2 different types of cases. I have more stuff I in the box but I still have not looked at the surface mount MCU. What is the best / easiest / free way to upload an image without creating an account?

  • Well, I got my dumpster dive box and it wasn’t all that. I’ll forever be stocked up on resistors, screws, and male/female headers now. Still was fun wondering what might be in it!

  • Disappointed. They couldn’t have disappeared in the time it took to reload the page.

  • AAAAND my Dumpster Dive box has arrived! WOO! First thing my daughter said: it rattles! Gonna unpack and start cataloging what all came in it.

  • Bummed.. Missed out again.

  • I was going to spend 61.60 USD along with getting this box. I had all the other items in my cart and when I entered my info and submitted it, I get the infamous “OUT OF STOCK” BS… Wow.

    Now, I will spend nothing and save me some money and laugh at the new posts in a week or so when everyone gets their “junk”…. :)

    Not sore, just bummed I couldn’t give you my money.

  • Are these sold out already!?

  • Hmmmmm … seems placing it in your cart does NOT mean you’ll get it. I managed to grab one early, then went on to shop for a few other items. By the time I got to checkout it was not available anymore. Guess I learned my lesson for next time.

  • Um.. Guys? Did anyone see a red box? About 1.5 pounds?
    [Edit: Turns out, the Girls had it. My bad.]

    • I would venture to guess that no one did as they haven’t actually been delivered to their respective recipients yet.

  • Seriously? Had one in my cart at 12:01. 115 in stock and took less than 30 seconds to check out. None left. It had to be physically impossible for me to check out any faster.

    • I made it through the checkout process, used PayPal express, got my order confirmation, PayPal shows the charge … but … the order status went to “BO Arrived” and nothing shipped on Friday. I sent a query over the weekend to customer service and the response was that even though I had completed the order, they were oversold. So, I did not get one of the original offering. However, CS indicated that they made up a few boxes for people like me and it should ship out today.

      Sparkfun writes their own code for all of their web site, e-commerce included. It is a non-trivial thing to have such a limited supply, a time window for purchase (add-to-cart to payment-received) and a huge number of buyers.

      They have a few more options for this, one would be a lottery system that would provide a “ticket #” or “Coupon” kind of like the wrist-bands for concert tickets. Or, they could turn this into an auction/bid system with a window for bidding.

  • And….. They’re gone.

  • Dang. Refreshed at precisely 11am Pacific and already sold out. Apparently my time zone is something like 1 hour and 30 seconds later than Mountain time… :-D

  • Cart was ready at 12:00, ordered, and it was lost by the time PayPal checked me out. WOW!

  • All gone in 15 seconds. Disappointed.

  • Is there a hole in my shopping cart?? I had a dumpster dive box confirmed - went to check out and it’s gone!! What’s up with that??

  • Whhhhaaaa? 11:59a: Refresh, refresh, refresh, Add, Checkout, Shipping option, no longer in stock. I COULD NOT HAVE HUMANLY GONE ANY FASTER AND I MISSED IT? ARE THE REST OF YOU ROBOTS?

    • Well, I guess I could have humanly gone faster, because I got one this time – but only after months of intense training to prepare for this moment. Also helped to already have my cart ready with other things I wanted, my shipping option already selected in my head, and my credit card number ready to Ctrl-V. I’ve learned my lesson: Dumpster Dives are not for the faint of heart! :-)

      Checking out is now an aerobic activity.

    • In past SF promotions I’ve thought the same thing. Robots with magical SF browsers. But today, on slow WiMax internets, I got lucky and I think I have one coming to me. Happy about trash? Yes, for it is SparkFun trash which has to be awesome. All rainbows and puppies, right?

  • Really guys, what kind of webshop is this?, I managed to add the product to cart, and selected shipping, but when going to payment the product was sold out? when product is in the cart, it should stay there so it’s possible to pay ????

  • And now we wait for the statistics … how fast they went, how many orders per second … I have to give kudos to the IT team over at SFE for having a stellar system able to handle a rush like that. Can’t wait to my box to arrive.

  • So….had one of these in my cart…..went to check out….and “something broke” came up….cart was emptied……..way to keep the servers working!!

  • I had one in my cart, and it was taken away before I could finish checkout. I give up on the special events!

  • FIRST?! Maybe tenth or twelfth? Does anyone else think “twelfth” looks weird?

  • I’m ready!

  • I figured i would post what I got as well, 1 iMAX B6 charger in working condition, 1 1.7in oled 4D display, 1 series 2 xbee (havent tested yet), 2 OLIMEX LPC-H22XX, 1 OLIMEX PIC-ICD2-POCKET, 1 OLIMEX MPLAB ICD2, 2 lighted rocker switches, 2 Polulu hub kits and 1ARM-JTAG cable assembly. Im pretty stoked about the oled display and the rocker switches, anyone complaining about what they got really doesn’t understand that it was about the possibility of what you got not a guarantee.

  • My haul seems to be fairly average here. 4 Olimex dev boards, a Olimex pic programmer, an IPhone screen, and a yellow RaspPi case. Intriguingly, none of the Olimex boards are pics, so the programmer is not exactly useful, but having a full pic programmer can be a good thing.

    At first glance everything seems to work. The dev boards look useful, but only time will tell if I have a use for them or have the time to learn how to use them or a way to program them. The lack of documentation and community support for these boards is quite evident and is likely why they are not all being sold here, so it is going to take some time to get into using them. They may also get donated to the dev board closet at my college for some honors student to work with as a project.

    All in all it certainly gave me something to learn and yet another thing to dump my time into. The total retail value of everything would be in the hundreds of dollars, so it definitely was a good deal in that regard, and at 1.53 pounds Sparkfun met their commitments 102%.

    Oh wait I almost forgot I got a little fabric butterfly with three blue sewable LED modules sewed on. The stitching is kind of messy, but it is slightly cute in a strange way. I didn’t know what kind of battery to hook up to the terminals, so I just used my current limiting supply to light it up. I’ll take a picture and reply with a link here before I salvage the LEDs.

  • Got my dumpster dive earlier today:

    Beagleboard xM, Olimex LPC-E2468, (3) 16x2 serial character displays, ATmega128RFA1 dev board, Arduino Cellular Shield, USB Weather v2 board, IOIO, EM-406A GPS, 4D OLED display, Olimex LPC-H2103, Olimex PIC-MT-USB, (2) Illuminated rocker switches, (10) 10k potentiometers, and a partly assembled i-Racer.

    Can’t wait to work with some of this stuff!

  • My dumpster dive contained: * Olimex development board LPC2478-STK * Olimex development board SAM7-P256 * Olimex prototype board LPC-P2124 * Thermal printer with hand written label “Not Printing” * Pololu Universal Aluminum Hub. Like this but labeled differently. * 2 Illuminated switches

  • Just out of curiosity… Who was first to place an order/the fastest. My order was at 12:00:20.

    • My invoice says 11:59:48

      And my box is on my front porch already. This is going to be a loooong afternoon. (USPS Priority to Michigan FTW!)

  • For those of us who got one do we finally get our dumpster diving patch?

  • I couldn’t get one because school blocks :(

  • Woo, mine’s off exception, now it says “New Order”

  • Hey, Sparkfun, up the transparency and let us know who the fifty contest winners were.

    • Sorry, no can do. Transparency is awesome but not when it comes to the private data of customers, and this wasn’t a contest - it was a popular limited run product that just sold out really fast.

    • This wasn’t a contest, it was a first come (well, first successfully through checkout, at least), first served type of deal which involved actual purchase.

      If we gave out customer information like that, we’d be doing something seriously wrong. It has nothing to do with transparency, and all to do with expected privacy.

    • Better yet: How about time to first purchase and average time between purchases? And I’m really curious to know where I came in line. :-P

  • Ahhh ya … Successful dive! And now I hope mine comes with a pick and place machine that SF had lying around.

  • He shoots and he SCORES!…..and then his order shows as an exception. I ordered at 12:00:34 according to my printable invoice. Yes, mine shows as an exception as well. We’ll see what happens but I did get one in when it showed 37 in stock, completed checkout, went to the home page, clicked on the link again, and saw 7 more in stock so hopefully mine went through. I also got to capitalize on the $10 off a $50 order since I had a couple of little items in my cart already so shipping was basically free. I’m sure we’ll know soon enough.

    • Just got to open up my box of stuff.

      The contents were:

      3x Olimex SAM7-P256 but one may not be working properly

      1x Olimex LPC2478-STK

      1x iPhone display

      2x Backlit switches

      1x Bus Pirate

      1x Olimex PIC-ICD2-POCKET

      I was hoping to score an Arduino of some sort but hey, maybe I’ll look in to learning on one of these other Olimex boards, especially the LPC2478-STK since it can run Linux and has an LCD onboard.

      Thanks SparkFun! It was fun seeing what was inside.

    • Congratulations on getting one.

      • Thanks. I was lucky as I had everything pre-set. I’ve missed out on every Free Day and haven’t been able to get in so I feel fortunate enough to have gotten this one.

  • Is this ever going to happen again?

  • I want one of these soooo bad >.< It’s almost unhealthy! I am 12 so I will need to start cleaning under the couches for some loose change though :/. I can’t wait until these come back in stock! SF is absolutely amazing, and even better with these awesome dumster dives! You awesome guys at SparkFun fuel all my projects and it is awesome!

  • Any ideas when the next will be?

  • Will this be happening again? Just saw this and want to give it a shot.

    • At some point. It is surprisingly a lot of work. Our poor kitters have to try to evenly distribute things, weight things, get them to fit in the box, etc. One day when they aren’t busying building SIK we’ll try to bribe them to tackle some more of these. I recommend setting up autonotify for stock. Once stock appears (but before you can order it) keep checking the site, we’ll probably announce when they are going live soon after that. Once live though they sell out in under 5 minutes.

  • Wait so how do I get these? Do they only drop at certain times?

    • Basically when we’ve collected enough junk we box things up, announce it and grab some popcorn to watch the show. In the past we’ve sold out within 5 minutes, so it can be a bit of a mad house.

  • How on earth do I get one of these?

  • Is this out?

  • Where do i find out when the next one will be and when will it be for me supposing i live in Australia GMT +8. I do truly think thesis a good idea for the price!

    • Keep checking back, especially the New Friday Product Posts. This is where we usually announce them. While we do plan on continuing to do these we don’t have a current date yet for the next one. Also, don’t forget the auto-notify feature on the site.

  • So are you out or can we still buy???

    • The quantity listed on the site should always be correct. We only build these up every few months and they are always out of stock within 5 minutes of being released. I would recommend just keeping an eye on the site and selecting the auto-notify on the page.

  • It finally arrived today. I made an imgur album.

  • Here is what I received in my Dive. Video

  • Wohoo, got mine last night. Unfortunately in my eagerness I connected the power supply for the GPS module the wrong way around :( A real shame there wasn’t a canister of blue smoke included so I could re-fill the GPS module :(

    Loved the anticipation and what was included. Probably won’t use much, but well worth the money in entertainment value alone.

  • This is literally going to ruin my relationship with SFE :/

    • We will be doing the dumpster dive again, so don’t despair! If you have feedback for us as to how we can improve, we’d love to hear it.

  • Missed it again. Sad user is sad.

  • I just got a notification that this was available, and the box isn’t even showing up on the right?? WTF?

  • Man are they gone already!?

  • umm, this emailed as available and there is not even a price or option to add to cart. huh?

    • Unfortunately these guys only lasted 2m17s before selling out. Dumpster Dive will be back, though.

  • Got one. I was here refreshing every 5 seconds for a few minutes prior to 12:00 and when the Add to Cart button finally appeared I immediately clicked and was given an undefined javascript error message. Not to be thwarted, I then added it to my wishlist and checked out from there. Huzzah!

  • That was fast! glad I got one, Ill let you know what I get when I get it.

  • 2:03 pm EDT and it’s gone. Frick! I had one in my cart, foolishly tried to add something else to the cart, hit check out and it wouldn’t let me check out because it had sold out!!!

    Time to take my frustrations out on my co-workers…

  • I got one this time!

  • That was quick but really painless! I was sure the website would slow down awfully, that it wouldn’t work and anything but actually after ordering, making sure everything was fine and paying, I still were able to see like 80 units in stock. Everything was sold out around 12:03.

  • Wow. Took to long to log in and now no stock. When I was logging in it was at 115 then by the time I logged in it was gone.. that sucks

  • yeah, got one :-)

  • Nice, got one! Looks like it took less than 2 minutes for all of them to disappear.

  • I finally got one! Looks like they lasted a little over two minutes this time.

  • 12:00:49 Yey!

  • Holy god, I switch over to my password manager for one minute and they’re gone!

    • This is why you log in and have everything ready to go beforehand. Better luck next time.

  • well that went fast

  • Wohhoo. Got one : :) :) Will be sitting by the door with bated breath until it arrives.

  • WOOT! Finally got one this year :D

  • Yoink!

    • And they’re gone. 3 minutes.

      • Mine just arrived, here are some early notable items:

        A whole lot of TINY SMC parts on reel strips, looks like a bunch of LEDs, some resisters, transisters, maybe some capacitors.

        Green Arduino Mega Case

        Broken Clear RasPi case (looks like it was stepped on)

        IOIO OTG (haven’t tested it yet)

        An LED Christmas Tree with a resister inserted but not soldered

        BMA180 Breakout

        7 segment shield

        Pro Micro with “KG” written on the back in sharpie

        MAX7456 Breakout

        Blackberry ball breakout

        A single Pololu wheel

        an opened bag of LM317AT adjustable regulators

        1 USB Cable

        various QFP chips including Atmel, PIC, chips

        Pololu md07a board

        AD9835 Breakout

        Pics coming soon.

        • The Christmas tree was probably a victim from a class, all of the components are soldered on the wrong side of the board with the wrong polarity. The ATTiny still looks good, as long as they didn’t try to power it up.

  • WHY DID I NOT SEE THIS 2 HOURS AGO!!! I think I’m gonna cry.

  • I guess I’m late to the party. I don’t see how I can acquire this product. Is the offer no longer valid?

  • Why on Earth is this listed if we can’t buy it!?! Just to tease us!? ;(

    • You’ve caught on to our little plan! Dang you! I guess we’ll have to be sneakier next time. (The ding and dent category is usually out of stock because as much as we like you guys we try not to build bad boards that we have to throw away). Keep looking though, we do plan on doing these every once in a while.

  • When is the next one?

  • Are you ever doing this again?

  • How do I get one?

  • Ode to the yellow dot: (edited to placate the English majors)

    Little yellow dot
    As a new spring flower bloom
    You cannot be bought
  • What in the world???

    • trolled

      We just canceled an unpaid backorder, which automatically put one back into stock, at least theoretically. Probably very theoretically. Still not selling them at the moment.

  • I AGAIN failed to get one because the announcement never showed up in my feed reader ?!!?!!?!?!??!???!??!!??!? SIGH

  • I like the Doge reference

  • Nothing showed up. Did something go wrong? I was clicking and clicking!

  • Did the Dumpster Diver finish his deep dive?

  • I got one!

  • I thought it was safe in my cart while i grabbed other stuff to order, I was wrong :(….

  • I missed it! NOOOOO! Oh well, I got one last time, all is fair in the end. But I did have an email alert set up for when it arrived back in stock, but never got one? I realize by the time I would have navigated to your site it would have been too late, but I was just wondering. Anyway it’s awesome that you guys got to pull this off again…hopefully I won’t miss the next one!

  • I got one, cool beans. I need some stuff for my quad experiments (

  • I don’t get it. I put one in my cart, added a few more items then tried to check out - but it wouldn’t let me because there were no more in stock by that time. i THOUGHT THAT IF WE GOT IT INTO THE CART, ONE WAS RESERVED?

    • I thought the same thing :/ just like on black friday, someone swiped it out of my cart before I made it to the checkout.

  • Aaaand they gone, lol.

  • Going, going, gone!

  • Wicked. Got mine @ 12:01:39.06391

  • WOOT!!!!!! I have not been able to get in during any of the Free Days, but I was able to get this! :) I am a little excited right now. Thank you!

  • Wahoo! Best day ever! Well until it arrives :) That was much more fun that I assumed it would be and after I scored one it was awesome to watch the stock drop down to 0 in… what… 90 seconds! Also as promised 5 years worth of Christmas excitement!

  • Huh. I got it into my cart but couldn’t check out fast enough. Doesn’t seem fair. Here I am in line at the checkout. Someone TAKES something from my cart and jumps in front of me, while I’m typing in my paypal address.

    • You need to train more.. do battle on the ‘black friday’ sales and come back wiser. ;)

  • Dang, that was quick. in a matter of two minutes…

  • whaat? it lasted just for 2 minutes

  • hit refresh, no buy button, hit refresh, buy button, add to cart, already out of stock :/

  • Success!!!

  • That took 3 minutes to get it out-of-stock!


  • GOT IT! Woohoo!

  • I got one!

  • Hoody hoo! In for one!

  • Wow! Gone in under three minutes!

  • I think I actually got one this time!

  • Yeah!

    • WOOT! Simon Says $10 well spent. Our Makerspace is going to love hacking Much Awesome with this junk.

  • Wooo! Ordered and got back with 92 still in stock. :-D

  • That was fast. It didn’t start until about a minute late too.

  • Got one at 12:01:25 pm 2/28.

  • and begin the mashing of F5

  • Is there a datasheet for “Endless Wonder”? :)

  • Is it noon yet? Ready to go!


  • On your marks…

  • how do I order one????? :O its here but how! the button is missing!

  • I am curious how many people are in line for a Dumpster dive box this time around. i know i am :D thanks sparkfun

  • Geez, I totally missed this! I guess that’s what happens when you have a baby and haven’t stayed current with everything haha. You wouldn’t happen to have any of these left, would you?! I will gladly take it off of your hands if you do! :)

  • IT IS BACK! AWESOME! LOVE YOU SFE! I hope I can score one today!

  • I want one but it doesn’t have a product add button for cart! It’s in stock :)

  • Is the add to cart button not showing up for anyone else? The “Dings and dents” page says it’s in stock and there was a new product post on it. I really want to get my hands on one!

  • when will you guys be doing this again? i only ask cause i really wanna get a box.


  • isit worch it to buy this one (sorry for my english i am lithuanian

  • You should set something up so that there is a limit of 1 or 2 a customer until you sell a certain amount of these.

    • I believe there was a limit of one per customer when we initially ran this. I believe that will be followed for the next time we conduct this as well.

  • Whoops…Guess I missed this…Darn summer..taking me away from the place I love!

  • damn. too late

  • My Dumpster Dive is pretty much, well, going into my dumpster sorry to say.

    Came with two Olimex boards, which jazzed me pretty good at first because one of them is the LCD-screen it-runs-Linux versions but there is no LCD screen so it’s pretty much worthless unless I can source a replacement LCD cheap.

    Came with two Olimex USB programmers but neither one connects to anything on either of the Olimex boards.

    Came with two serial 16x2 LCD screens… very cool until I find out someone reprogrammed the PIC controllers on both (with the same thing no less) so I can’t program them, one of them has no working backlight and they both have several horizontal lines that are not working. They look very used and were obviously returned because of the non-working lines.

    Came with a iMax B6 battery charger which seemed good on the surface… appears to be a counterfeit from what I’ve read about it online and not a very good one at that. Both side panels removed, lettering and LCD display smeared, obviously very used and returned.

    And it came with one item I may acutally use… the Poulou aluminum hubs everyone else seemed to get.

    IMHO, I completely wasted $22 that could have gone to something that I could have used for something actually useful.

    EDIT: now I actually feel like I actually got ripped-off when I see that the only thing in the box that is actually useable I could have purchased for $7.49 + about $2.00 shipping. So, basically I paid $22 for the privilege of throwing away their garbage for them.

    • I thought we were pretty clear about this product. As stated in the video and the description, this was stuff that would have normally ended up in the dumpster, hence the name “dumpster dive” and the accompanying video. I’m sorry you felt like you would get something else, but we cannot predict how each person will interpret ‘value’. The Olimex programmers are worth well over $10, regardless if you have a use for them or not.

      That being said, the character displays can sometimes be easily fixed by just re-seating the screen (it uses a zebra connector and it gets mis-aligned sometimes). Also, the battery charger might just be cosmetic damage. There were several that went into the dive many of them worked just fine, but has cosmetic issues from shipping. Yes, they are ‘knock-off’, but they are good chargers.

      • Things are worth what people are willing to pay for them. Did you include those Olimex programmers because they fall in the category of “couldn’t sell them on the site to begin with?” Then obviously SparkFun placed a value of $0 on them or they wouldn’t have ended up in the e-waste pile to begin with so are they worth more than $10? Obviously not to SparkFun. But they should be worth >$10 to me???

        As for the chargers, you say “many of them worked just fine…” Are you saying you knowingly put some in that don’t work? (Like BOTH of my LCD screens and the Olimex board that is worthless to anyone without its screen.) And if so, you are ok with that because of the “fine print?”

        I did NOT have high expectations going into this but do I feel like I got screwed and my complaints about that are getting glossed over because all you (and Customer Service) seem to want to do is hide behind the “fine print?” Absolutely. Lesson learned about how SFE “takes care” of its customers.

        Your “fine print” is full of the “randomness” of the contents but when someone’s random box is full (if you call eight items full) of worthless junk you are not willing to admit to the fact that this “randomness” could actually cause that outcome…

        • Are you kidding me? You literally purchased a box named the ‘dumpster dive’ and you feel you got screwed simply because you didn’t READ before purchasing. Nothing but the fact that you screwed up is getting glossed over. There was no deception here at all on SFE’s part. Suck it up, and learn to read next time before clicking add to cart.

        • There is the challenge of taking something discarded and turning it into something useful. There is finding, experimenting and learning about something new outside your norm. There is the opportunity to be creative. If these things don’t excite you, then dumpster diving isn’t for you. Next time let someone else have the chance to make something fun. If it’s only about money, you’re obviously going to be disappointed.

    • If you don’t like it, offer to sell it to one of us who didn’t get one. You could probably even get away with charging a markup.

  • Hey all! Just wanted to report back on the ACTUAL CONTENTS of my received order. First, yes, this is a gamble. Much of the box was jammed full of these retired chip programmers, Sadly, I don’t have much use for them. Other oddities included a front face of an iPhone4, a few resistors (can always use those), some random ICs, and a few lighted switches (can certainly use these). The highlight is probably a “partially complete” Mr. Roboto kit. All in all, I’m a little disappointed in not getting a Pi or Arduino, or even more common, usable parts, but it’s a fair deal I guess. I would try again, just with more modest expectations.

    • well, the MPLAB sold for about $70, the iphone screens were $100, I’d say you did pretty well for $10. sure, you might not be able to use everything, but it’s still a good amount of stuff.

      • I do not disagree in the least and am looking forward to the next time this Dumpster Dive is available. My only regret is not being able to put everything in the box to use, but there is plenty there that I can use.

        Here is a pic of the goodies:

        Didn’t notice it the first time, but there’s a BlueSMiRF Gold hidden inside the little white plastic box. :)

  • So my order got approved and is getting ready to ship. Now I’m like a kid near Christmas, wondering what will be in the box.

  • Wow!!!! I want to see SFE do this again as well!!!

  • I’m pretty sure everyone got an exception - so I wouldn’t be worried if you did. They probably just need to verify there are exactly 50 (and remove people who ordered two, if they are going to enforce that)

    • Mine just moved to new order also. Got mine in at 12:00:55 according to the invoice.

  • Yes! Order exception has been removed!

  • It says limit one, but it let you check out with as many as you want. I tried picking one and it crashed so I picked 10. Tried to hit continue and the button doesn’t work @12:03.

  • Well, if a minute forty five was the real sellout time, I should be swimming in dumpster-dive goodness, as my order was complete at around 12:00:32.

  • What would be interesting to see would be to have the 50 who were lucky enough come back and post what they got in their dive.

  • I placed an order about 20 minutes before this went up with the sole intention of saving my CC info so I could get through the checkout for this quickly.

  • Same as everyone else…got an Exception after I paid with Paypal, but noticed ‘Settle Payment’ button, so I paid with my Visa. Hope I don’t get double charged! The anticipation was awesome!

  • Fudge! I slammed one into the cart, 49 were left, checked-out - PayPal crashed - and someone else yanked it out of my cart… x(

  • I had one in my cart, went to check out, got an error from the web server saying it would be logged, logged back in, cart missing dumpster dive, congrats to those that got one…

  • Sparkfun, are you planing on producing another batch?

  • Add to cart. Error. Log in. Error. not in cart anymore. :(

  • Wow. Was able to add it to my cart but by the time I tried to checkout (right after clicking add to cart) it was already out. Didn’t even have enough time to hit the checkout button. Bummer. =/

  • Should have resisted the temptation to look anywhere else… snatched from my cart like Lindbergh’s baby!

  • I got an exception too. I didn’t realize it was 1 per customer (a friend wanted one too and I just ordered as fast as possible) so I wonder if that is what caused it.

  • i got an exception wtf does that mean?

  • got 2! anybody? as low as $25/each + ship ;)

  • whaaaat ??? so disappointed…

  • exception, depression.

  • Gone…

  • I was done with my checkout at 12:00:41, and got an exception. Really hope I made it in the top 50!

  • Oh god an exception. I was so fast too…

  • YES!

  • a minute 45.. .. that was quick.

  • Yeay!!! Got 1!!!1! I think??

  • And they are gone!

  • first time I’ve ever gotten anything before it ran out!

Customer Reviews

5 out of 5

Based on 3 ratings:

5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star

11 of 11 found this helpful:

Buy early and often!

What can I say? It’s a box of mostly random crap. Mine was full of SMD roll cutoffs, wire, a badly soldered LED Christmas tree (Every component was soldered backwards and on the wrong side), etc. There was also a IOIO, an Arduino Micro of unknown operating voltage, some enclosures, and a couple breakout boards. All in all it was probably about $50 to $80 worth of random stuff for only $10.

The key thing with buying a dumpster dive is that you have to complete the ENTIRE checkout procedure as quickly as possible. Just having it in your shopping cart doesn’t guarantee you a box. Make sure you’ve got your shipping and billing address already entered in your account, as well as credit card info. Finally, make sure you know the exact time (for YOUR time zone) that the dumpster dive will become active. I snagged my dumpster dive about 30 seconds after it went in stock, and 45 seconds later it was sold out.

7 of 7 found this helpful:

Pheonomenal Value

This is the best electronics purchase you can make, especially if you love tinkering with electronics. While I can’t tell you what to expect, I’ve ordered two of these now, and have never been disappointed with the contents. Lots of quantity, and lots of quality.

As the description says, there are some damaged products in there. Sometimes they can be fixed, sometimes they can’t. I really enjoy the challenge of trying to identify the problem and make the fix, but it’s not always possible.

Cons: These sell out really quickly.

8 of 8 found this helpful:

$100 of sh*t in a $10 box

If you can’t help but look in the trash cans in the lab at work every time you walk by, you will not be disappointed. If you can’t relate to that idea, nothing to see here, carry on.

This is 100% high-grade random junk. Expect prototypes without documentation. Expect discontinued products. Expect blue wire, janky soldering, and flux everywhere. Expect cut tape of…something or other. Expect blue felt and unidentifiable connectors. Expect to set the current limit on your supply. Expect to bust out your UART cables and AVR programmers. Expect surprises and hours of fun. Do not expect finished products.