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The Dumpster Dive - 1 lb.

The Dumpster Dive for September 14, 2022 is over! Thank you, everyone, for participating!

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 a pound (give or take, 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 five years worth of Christmas morning excitement, all condensed down into a single moment (individual results may vary).

Rules for the Dive:

  • September 14, 2022, at 12:00 p.m. MDT
  • Limit one $30 box per customer
  • One-pound boxes only
  • US customers only
  • Economy shipping only
  • No combining orders
  • No on-site sales
  • No support or returns
  • Box contents vary and nothing is guaranteed to work.

Please be aware that having a Dumpster Dive box in your Shopping Cart does not guarantee that you'll receive one! The only way you'll know that you are getting a Dumpster Dive box is to complete your order and receive a confirmation number.

Due to the overwhelming number of non-Dumpster Dive related orders that we've received over the last few weeks, our Shipping Department is working hard to fulfill every order we receive in a timely manner. We expect to have every Dumpster Dive order shipped by the end of September. Thank you for your patience in this matter!

Please be aware that we are limiting sales for the Dumpster Dive to the US only. This decision is still based on shipping restrictions becoming stricter, compliance complications, and material handling safety concerns. Once all units have been purchased, we will not be making anymore until the next Dumpster Dive.

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 and we will not combine orders.

  • One Pound of Awesome
  • Endless Wonder
  • Overflowing with Anticipation
  • Mystery and Intrigue
  • Much Product


Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • Member #148961 / about 3 years ago / 2

    WooHoo! Finally got my Dumpster Dive!

    I hope it arrives in undamaged condition. I'm really looking forward to that 'One Pound of Awesome' and I can really use that 'Mystery and Intrigue' too!

    Thanks SparkFun for taking the time and trouble to make these available. Should be fun.

  • Member #393127 / about 3 months ago / 1

    Yeah, I'm going to have to take a while to calm down...I have been wanting to a dumpster dive for years... And between work schedule or other conflicts could be sitting here waiting. But today was my day I set my alarm several times down to the minute, refreshed my page and 2:00pm came around my time and ..... nothing. I'm checking pages, refreshing etc etc etc, only to find out that with all the googling of time zone and alarms and everything... IT was actually 1:00pm my time... Google used mst instead of mdt... honestly I'm boiling, tomorrow is my bday and thought I'd gift myself... Not sparkfuns fault, but very upsetting none the less..

  • Member #230204 / about 3 months ago / 1

    So, I just ordered one, FINALLY, after years of missing out on it, but my order status page looks really weird, showing me as having ordered one for a cost of $0, and an amount due of -$30??? Can anyone confirm I will actually receive one, and not be effectively scammed and miss out on it? I really don't want a refund either, I want my Dumpster Dive box!!

    • Member #230204 / about 3 months ago / 1

      Update, it has successfully made its way through processing on the website, it's now listed as being in the "picking" stage! I'm so excited to get it! 😁

  • Member #1017440 / about 2 years ago / 1

    I put this item in my cart right when it was available, then got 7 minutes worth of 502 gateway errors while trying to purchase it and now it's apparently "retired". This is not good.

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5

Based on 29 ratings:

Currently viewing all customer reviews.

1 of 1 found this helpful:

Wasn't very lucky this year

Opening the box IS like Christmas morning and was very exciting. Sadly, this year, I got socks. Or rather little that is usable. Strips of surface mount components with no visible markings. Tiny little circuit boards of unknown purpose. A battery that I think is for wearable electronics. I will find use for the baggie of capacitors and the t-shirt was nice. I'm not complaining because I got some fun stuff in years past and I will gamble again next time.

1 of 1 found this helpful:

A truly mixed bag

So my box contained three items: a T-shirt, an XLR microphone cable, and two Spectacle boards (one Motion, one Light). Since I don't do anything with audio, I'll end up donating the cable to my church. And I will say that all of these pieces were in pristine condition (visually) - I'm surprised they were headed for the recycle bin!

While the Spectacle boards are interesting when I get a project needing either of them, I'll have to purchase a Spectacle Director Board to make either work. They are usually $25, but now (Jan 2021) they are $9 - that discount makes me suspect they are being discontinued, so if I don't find a project soon the other two Spectacle boards will be worthless (I assume).

Still, I knew it was a grab-bag and it was fun to receive a surprise gift. In a perfect world, it would be nice if the boxes could be matched up with past purchases so I'd receive compatible pieces, but that would take a lot of extra manpower to make happen.

But better than any other vendor I've worked with - usually the landfill gets more usable but "blemished" items or you have to "know someone on the inside" to get the pieces.

1 of 1 found this helpful:

Good stuff....

I received some working boards that I have never used before. They are out of productions, but I think I can find a use for them. I also got a set of metric Allen(Hex) wrenches. The wrenches are probably $10 - $15 any where you get them. The boards were all between $10 -$20 each and I recieved 4 of them plus a connecting cable. Overall a really good deal.

1 of 1 found this helpful:

A little disappointed

Most of my 1lb box was a hugh XLR cable. Reading other comments I would have been happy with a t-shirt.

3 of 4 found this helpful:

FOMO Award

Winner of the Fear Of Missing Out Award!

I got an email asking me "how the dumpster dive 1 lb was working out". It's right over there in the corner with a lot of other flotsam.

It seemed like a good idea at the time, but ultimately I paid to take care of some of SparkFun's electronic recycling. I do appreciate the usb cords, never seem to have enough of them.

3 of 4 found this helpful:

Surprisingly Good Stuff!

I didn't know what to expect from what is ostensibly a box of trash, but boy was I floored when I opened this box and discovered the goodies inside. Lots of microcontrollers and accessories were in there, in various states of disrepair. Some of the boards work like new, several have most of their functionality, and there's even some goodies that I would never have considered using on my own but present exciting project opportunities for me and my family.

And the "broken" boards have already increased my electronics-fu as I've worked through diagnosing and repairs. Probably some of the best money I've spent at Sparkfun.

2 of 3 found this helpful:

Great surprises!

Thanks for all the great surprises! Walabot Developer, MakeyMakey, big LEDs, Edge2 Looking forward to sharing these with students at the University of Colorado, Boulder, when we have face-to-face classes again... :-(

Meanwhile, the Walabot Developer is providing an opportunity to think of creative applications of this: "Walabot is a programmable 3D sensor that looks into objects using radio frequency technology that breaks through known barriers, bringing highly sophisticated sensing capabilities to your finger tips. Walabot uses an antenna array to illuminate the area in front of it, and sense the returning signals. "

2 of 3 found this helpful:

Awesome box

Alot of my stuff was micro:bit based, I have just started getting into this nifty system, so thanks for the add ons

2 of 3 found this helpful:

Fun to see what came, but...

Some fun and interesting parts- It was fun to see what came, but I was rather dismayed at finding a piece of kit with a LiPoly battery that was damaged and on the verge of bursting. No indication on the box that LiPos were inside. It was a week or so later that I opened the device to find the "balloon" of a battery.

I'll not order dumpster dive again...

1 of 2 found this helpful:

More junk and less t-shirt would be more fun

... and it's only a medium! Would rather have more electronic stuff to mess with than a ill-fitting t-shirt.

1 of 2 found this helpful:

Over half of the weight was a shirt

Disappointing. Better than a pound of rocks I guess.

2 of 4 found this helpful:

Actual Garbage

Was hoping for something useful but got a shirt and miscellaneous cables.

2 of 4 found this helpful:

A box of fun!

It was worth the cost of the box just to see what was in it. Add to that the fun of thinking about the projects I could make with what I found. I will definitely try to get another one next year!

2 of 4 found this helpful:

Very disappointed

I understand the idea behind the dumpster dive. But literally, I got a heavy three pronged power cord, a remote with batteries in it for something I have no idea what it is and that's it. Those two items made up my 1 lb. Yeah, I might try again next year, but I got severely screwed. Thanks for nothing.

1 of 2 found this helpful:

Not worth the $20

Was sent a Standard Allen set, a couple blank PCBs and three 8" end pieces of SMD reels. I was hoping for something at least partially useful and at least worth $20 retail.. - not really worth it.

1 of 3 found this helpful:

Extremely disappointed

This was like diving into a dumpster behind a supermarket filled with nothing but spoiled meats and rotten vegetables. I have literally climbed into dumpsters my entire life to retrieve useful wood scraps or any kind of thing that I could repurpose to build fun and useful projects. I have been an electronics technician & hobbyist for more than half a century and built parts aboard the Curiosity rover on Mars.

Other than a few miscellaneous parts that will find their way into my junkboxes that MAY eventually find a use, most everything seems absolutely useless. I fully expected the majority of things to be relatively unexciting, but figured that there would be one or two really good finds. The circuit boards that were in there inspired some curiosity that they might be fun to play with until I went to the Sparkfun website only to find they are discontinued with absolutely zero useful information. Had I found ONE THING that I could have experimented with like a sensor board (WITH DOCUMENTATION AVAILABLE) I would have been satisfied. Had you charged me only for the shipping, I'd have no complaints, as the stuff really is dumpster food. In this case the value of everything in that box was worth about 50 cents. The small women's t-shirt will be a good rag to wash my car with since I don't know anybody that wants it.

Not useful

Many of the boards are wearables for which there is no support or the main boards are not available in market.

The worry is over: it arrived!

I probably should deduct one point for the worry I experienced waiting for the Dumpster Dive box to arrive. I had said to myself, "If I just get a decent MCU development kit, I'll be happy." I am happy.

My box included:

1x Renesas EK-RA6M3 development board, with an ARM M4 processor, 3x USB ports, 1x Ethernet, 2x Grove I2C ports, full set of Arduino Uno compatible headers, mikroBUS connector, 2x PMOD connectors (includes SPI and GPIO pins), and headers exposing all of the MCU's pins. The kit is not the one which includes a TFT display. The board is beyond my expertise, but I hope that will change. [Board appears functional.]

2x Bluetooth modem breakout boards

2x Triple Axis Accelerometer breakout boards

2x 1/8" jack stereo M-M cables

1x breadboard (MB102)

35x RGB Diffused LED (10mm) [I think]

1x ELastoLite INV133 (which includes a rechargeable battery)

Overall, I am very happy.

Box of discontinued items

Second dumpster dive. You will receive a box of items that, when items were available, add up to a lot more than the $30 paid. There was a reason why the product was discontinued. Nobody wanted the product. So you probably won't get much value out of the items. My box had, a vacuum pump, FreeSoC2, MultiStar, micro servo, and misc cables.

Dumpster Dive box

I could not find anything useful in the Dumpster Dive box. There is no spec for the 3.5" LCD and the wires came with the box is pretty much useless to me. I also find that the two circuit boards that I still could not find spec for it. They are presently useless to me. The is one item looked like a capacitor, and I don't think that I can find any use of it. Overall, I think that I probably wasted my money.

Second time, very different, but well worth it

This was my second time getting in to the Dumpster, the last go around was a little disappointing, but still gave me some fun stuff to play with (the STEMterra is in use everyday). This go around I picked up a lot of development boards, hardware, switches, jumper wires, and a few bluetooth boards to explore. Also got a FreeSoC2 dev board in perfect shape. Just about everything this go around was in new condition, still sealed in bags, value vs what I paid was fantastic this time. Can't wait for the next go around.

Good overall. Fun event

I got a Arduino development breadboard with built in Arduino and power. Great idea. Also some LED drivers. And other stuff. Overall a fun idea. I love the Sparkfun is such a playful company. I sometimes wish I worked there. Keep it up!

Also, just want to say for those who are expecting to get exactly what you want in the Dumpster Dive, I think you are missing the point. This is supposed to be a surprise and not a guarantee of perfection. Please be more flexible and tolerant. It will make the world a better place.

Hell yes, i got a Jetson Nano!

And it works! Maybe the rest of it was kinda meh but that more than made up for it!

0 of 1 found this helpful:

A lot of fun, if you can get one!

Absolutely worth the price of admission!

0 of 2 found this helpful:

I gave it a try

Fooled me once....

Meh. It is a gamble after all

Naturally you get a small pile of LEDs and a few cables (qwic/stemma/i2c, I can use these) but the rest of the stuff was kind of weird. A bluetooth modem? Sure, I guess I can throw it away for them. Shipping was also ~1/5th of the cost.

Like getting a Christmas present when I was a kid!

Going through the contents of the Dumpster Dive box was like opening a Christmas present back when I was a kid back in the mid 1960s.

There were a few "retired" items, some stuff that was apparently "over-stock" (some were parts that aren't available separately in the store but are components used in things that are in the store), some things that are clearly "engineering samples" that SparkFun obtained either as potential components for their products or that SF considered selling themselves, but either chose a different supplier or decided not to carry -- one item in this class was still in the DigiKey packaging! I really lucked out on one item, as I suspect that there would be only a couple of buyers of the Dumpster Dive boxes who would find that item useful!

Financially, I guesstimate the contents to be worth several times the price of the box. I'm delighted with the contents, even though I haven't had time to test everything in the box, I expect many items to be useful over the coming months.

I probably should mention that I've done Dumpster Dive boxes before, and at least once got one that I only found one or two items useful to me, so was a bit hesitant about it. However, the 2022 box more than made up for the earlier disappointments!

As promised, but "surprise factor" still a letdown somehow

This was my first Dumpster Dive, and while everything was as advertised, my box-of-mystique contained basically two fairly similar and fairly-complete beginner-level kits; although these are undoubtedly preferable to disjointed components and things with missing parts, it also meant that pawing through the haul was rather short on surprises. I'm probably just being ungrateful (and weird), but I would happily trade one of the kits for a scoopful of tiny parts and dust bunnies from the warehouse floor.

I do have one concrete complaint: the nice round $30 price tag doesn't mention the nearly $15 added for shipping. Ouch.

My best (and first) Dumpster Dive Ever!

As well all know, the content of your Dumpster Dive is random and there is no guarantee that it won't be anything but garbage - caveat emptor! However, the box I scored would have been worth it even without the big-ticket item: Laying innocently in the bottom of the box containing magnetic PCB holder, antenna, rubber wheels was an anti-static bag labeled "PureThermal Mini Pro JST-SR (with FLIR Lepton 3.5)". I expected to find a used napkin in the anti-static bag but lo! It contained exactly what the label said. And it worked! No doubt the luckiest Dumpster Dive this year. In addition, there was a motor driver board, RED-V Thing Plus (powers on but no USB programming), LoRa transceiver module, two 16x2 LCD (new) along with other assorted "junk". Thank you all!

@sparkfun - In case you missed it, I left a Thank You video on Twitter! https://twitter.com/insurgent/status/1578971985698521088