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Things To Do With Circuit Boards

Updated on January 31, 2010

Printed circuit boards are in every electronic device you can imagine, from a calculator to the newest gadget.

Since there are literally million of circuit boards lying around the house inside old or unused electronics, there's got to be something useful we can make with them, besides their originally intended purpose of connecting the components of an electronic circuit.

Circuit boards connect the components inside electronic circuits.
Circuit boards connect the components inside electronic circuits.

Uses in the Electronics Industry

Electronics manufacturers and hobbyists use printed circuit boards to connect components to create an electronic circuit.

Circuit boards are used for their ease of use, since it is far easier to solder the components when they are mounted on a base like a circuit board, instead of soldering the individual components together. Also the connections between them are already laid out in the circuit board, and that eliminates the necesity for wire or other types of connections.

Printed circuit boards are used because they are really cheap when manufactured in number, when you are certain that the circuit will not need any additional changes.

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Make something useful. Here an old RAM module turned into a nice looking key chainMake something crazy, like this guy. He covered his entire car with circuit boardsMake something tasty. This circuit board snack makes a good way to show your friends how much you like electronics; They will too.
Make something useful. Here an old RAM module turned into a nice looking key chain
Make something useful. Here an old RAM module turned into a nice looking key chain
Make something crazy, like this guy. He covered his entire car with circuit boards
Make something crazy, like this guy. He covered his entire car with circuit boards
Make something tasty. This circuit board snack makes a good way to show your friends how much you like electronics; They will too.
Make something tasty. This circuit board snack makes a good way to show your friends how much you like electronics; They will too.

Other uses - Creative thinking

Now that you know what is their original purpose, its time to make something good looking out of them.

Depending on the amount of circuit boards you can find and the time you're willing to spend on the projects you could make anything from turning them into statues, framing them and hanging in your wall, even make jewelry and keychains with them!

Since they have a very peculiar look and feel, some electronics schools even use them to give their labs a unique look, by covering the outside walls of their labs with printed circuit boards!

Recycle - Mad Scientist Style

If you are more of a practical kind of person, there are things you can do with those old circuit boards and if you're ambitious enough, even make some money doing them.

If you can get your hands on some old, broken electronics, you can get the parts that do work and make something completely new with them. For example, staritng simple with calculators, you can salvage the screens and photovolatic cells. If you can get some old AM radios, you can get the ferrite antenna, which is very sought after by amateur (Ham) radio operators, also sometimes you can get a working power supply to use for other projects.

The posibilities are endless, once you get a feeling of what you can salvage from various electronics and put them to new use. As I said before, getting creative and ambitious and you can make some money making refurbished electronics or custom build systems!

New to electronics? Get started!

If you want to get into the fascinating world of electronics and circuits, you can find a lot of information on electronic circuits for beginners by following the link.

If you'd like there are also a lot of books around to get you started in theory and practical circuits. Enjoy and get working!

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