Noisebridge loves donations! But we don't love all donations. We can't use everything, and some things take up lots of space and/or cost us lots of money to get rid of. Which results in Noisebridge being poorer than if we never got the donation in the firstplace.
Also, if you donate a resource and do not guide its use, then it is possible that it may get turned into a ROBOT. Yes, a ROBOT: a lifeless husk of wood and plastic.
How to Donate to Noisebridge
- Check to see if what you'd like to donate is listed below as something we definitely don't want. If we don't want it, please don't bring it to Noisebridge. We won't change our mind, we promise.
- If it's something that's big, and you have any doubt that we might want it, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org before you plan to bring it in, and we can give you a sense of whether we'd like it or not. Ask for Zach if you do not get a reply.
- Bring it in! You can leave your donation near the hackershelves down the hall (opposite the Sparkle Forge). There is a table there currently with old test gear underneath, leaving your donation on top is a good spot. But please, make sure it is something we can actually use (hint: if it is 30+ of some debug or single-purpose item, we probably don't want it).
- Ask a NB voluteer to write down what you donated, and your name+address, and email it to email@example.com (if you are interested in tax write-offs).
- Our awesome treasurer emails them a PDF receipt. NOTE: We can't provide valuation information on the receipt. The receipt will simply list the items you donated and it's up to you to provide a value if you want to claim a charitable donation for tax purposes.
Donations We DONT Want
Beige: a good general rule is we don't want beige-colored stuff. This stuff is usually pre-2002 or older. "if its beige it stays (with you)"
Monitors We Don't Want:
- CRT Monitors (Cathode Ray Tube large glass cube-shaped old TVs)- we do not want CRTs unless they are broadcast or highly specialized monitors i.e. the Sony PVM and BVM professional broadcast monitors. There are some specialty CRTs that will do unique inputs and resolutions that were not sold to consumers. So please, don't bring grandmas old 80s Zenith.
Why? CRTs are large, put out a lot of heat, and are difficult to dispose of. We can't accept donations of CRTs unless they're very special-purpose, because e-waste disposal of CRTs is very expensive in California. The exception is for unique devices, for example the slow-scan CRT in the SEM or the vector CRT in an old arcade stand-up console. A special-purpose but uninteresting CRT, like from a commercial security system, would probably not qualify. A very small full-color CRT (9" or less) would be OK though (Zach is looking for one of these to hack)
- LCD Monitors: If it is 22" or less we don't want it, sorry. These smaller ones show up everywhere nowadays and we have a lot. We also do not want broken, cracked, or badly scratched LCDs. The parts inside really aren't that useful. LCDs that are working and >20" we will take. Ones smaller than 12" are welcome as well.
Computers We Don't Want:
- PCs older than Intel Core 2 Duo (around 2006). The easiest way to tell is if your computer has a "Windows XP" sticker. That means it is too old. We only want Vista, Win 7, Win 8, and Win 10 era machines.
- Apple computers that are pre-Intel (around 2005, i.e. G4 towers or older). If your OS X was 10.5 or older, that means we don't want it (Power PC) If it is Snow Leopard or newer (10.6) we want it.
The same goes for all laptops. Windows XP sticker laptops we don't want.
Why? XP is the last hurrah for the single-core Pentium 4 series. These were power hungry beasts, and cannot utilize much RAM either. They are very limited by today's standards and even refurbishing them will not save them from being obsolete.
Power PC Apple computers (pre-2005) are no longer compatible with almost every piece of software there is. Apple killed off that generation by making browsers and sites like Youtube unusable as well as many other things.
This all applies to laptops as well.
Batteries We Don't Want:
- Car Batteries
- Lead-Acid batteries that have been sitting around for >6 months without charging (they are dead now) or measure <9VDC
- Ni-MH batteries that are more than 2 years old and have not been charged.
- Ni-CD batteries that are more than 2 years old and have not been charged.
- Coin Cell batteries that are >5 years old.
- Lithium Ion Batteries that are >5 years old (see computer section above for IDing your computers age for laptop batteries).
As you can tell there is a pattern here: we don't want old, dead batteries. If you have working, charged, attended to batteries we will take them. Some will last in a drawer and some will not, thus the year difference.
Other Things We Don't Want:
- Printers: almost all inkjet printers are worthless to us (no, we don't care about the motors). They are on every sidewalk in SF, and many are sold brand-new for <$50 nowadays. If you have a nice, working laser printer or very new (in the last year or two) working inkjet printer, we will take that. Or if you have a specialty printer that prints 11x17 or other special formats we can make posters with, we will accept that happily. But we get lots of regular beige or janky pre-2012 broken or ink-less printers that are of no use. Please recycle these elsewhere.
- Scanners: Not very useful for parts and most All-in-one printers have a scanner, and you can find these are super easy to come by.
- Servers: Sometimes people leave their companies old XP servers or server gear (power supplies and stuff). Please, don't do that, we don't want it. Please see the computers we don't want section above.
- Vintage Test Equipment: Sorry, we don't want grandpa's old workbench supply from the 1970s. We don't want anything from the 80s either. If you have nice, working, made in the last 20 years equipment then we will most likely take that. Even some broken stuff we will take if it is useful to our hacking area and we don't have it already.
- Busted Speakers: We don't want busted, cracked, punctured speakers. The magnets are not that interesting to us hackers and these take up a lot of space.
- Old Routers, DSL/Cable Modems, and Non Gigabit Ethernet Gear: We get a LOT of this stuff. We don't want wireless G routers or switches that are not gigabit. We already have commercial grade APs installed and gigabit ethernet infrastructure.
- Boxes of Ethernet Cable: Don't need it.
- Plumbing Supplies, Electrical outlets, and general construction odds and ends: We don't even have a section for these and it is not useful to us.
- Broken Power Tools: i.e. bad chucks, bad motor, bad motor brushes. We will take tools missing a battery or charger, but we don't need more broken power tools in the space.
- Most Appliances: Please check before donating! These take up a lot of space and are not often hacked.
Donations We DO Want
- Development Boards
- PCs and Apple Computers post-2006 (Intel Core2 or Intel-based Macbook Pro (or G5s and newer)
- High Quality Desk Chairs (100% working ONLY)
- Laptop Chargers (especially Apple kind "magsafe" of any type)
- Industrial Tools (Air Compressor, Drils, etc - size appropriate) - please check to make sure someone can receive very large bench tools
- Non-Industrial Tools (working DeWalt drills, Dremel (need one really bad), electric screwdrivers, etc).
- SMD Rework tools of any kind
- Electronic components (organized parts IC bins, LEDs, breadboard, organized resistors, etc).
- Soldering Tools (solder, soldering irons, hot glue guns, tweezers, magnifiers, etc).
- Bluetooth Stuff (Functioning Headphones, Speakers, Boomboxes, etc).
- Audio Gear (nice professional amps - broken or not - studio headphones, mics, etc.)
- Awesome, funky old things (live old tube-amplifiers and 1940s or earlier vintage stuff!)
- Robots / Drones / Helicopter toys
- Bulk Hex or Square Bolts with matching nuts of various sizes.
- Bulk Dupont Plastic Connector Female, especially single connetors for Raspberry Pi use.
- ????? Put stuff you want here
- Check the black donations table in the hackitorium next to the elevator gate for incoming donations, and/ or around the hackershelves area (in the hall opposite the sink):
- Hack shelf and component donations on the donation shelves below the turing classroom window, to the left of the hack shelves.
- Sewing supplies: ???
- Books: Books MUST be added to the library-org electronic catalog before being shelved. Please see the signs in the library for instructions or check out the library wiki page.
- Other: Store it in the area would we use it.
- Clothes, etc.: Mission street is a 24 hour salvation army.
- When we have sufficient hack shelf/component donations that need processing, a small group of people meet on Thursday nights at 7pm to go through the donations together.
How to Handle Common Things We Receive
Keep anything intact that has a Core 2 Duo (or equivalent) or newer. Anything older should be E-wasted or used for parts if possible. We generally keep memory (DDR2 or DDR3), power supplies, PCI cards, and drives, and E-Waste the rest (Computer Case). PCs, even with some parts removed, can be used to pay ewaste recyclers for taking the rest of our crap.
We don't want CRTs - they're large, put out a lot of heat, and are difficult to dispose of.
LCD monitors should be tested to see if they're working, and then labeled with a piece of a tape and a sharpie with the date they were tested, and whether they work or not. Also checked for obvious scratches and made note of.
Examples: scanners, printers, ice makers, coffee machines, etc.
Unless it has obvious direct utility in the space (and we don't already have a better one), then we generally Don't want these. If they are already in the space and there is motivation, someone can take these apart for parts/useful subsystems for people to use in projects. Usually only a few parts or subsystems are of any use, which make up a small fraction of the overall bulk of the appliance. The rest is E-wasted.
The goal of this wiki page in part is to cut down a lot on unnecessary E-Waste and keep NB sorted with good, useful donations.
Currently, we have to pay to dispose of most of our e-Waste, so please discourage people from dropping off stuff on our Do Not Want list. E-Waste SF is only a few blocks away and will accept many items for free or a small fee.
There are people that we've used in the past here: https://noisebridge.net/wiki/Resources/House_Keeping#E-waste [TODO: not sure how up to date this is]