Published on Micro Basics (


By stienman
Created Aug 8 2008 - 12:30am

I heard about The Great Internet Migratory Box of Electronic Junk from a Hack-A-Day article [1], and put my name on the wiki as desiring to receive one. TGIMBOEJ is best explained as follows (from [2] ):
The Great Internet Migratory Box Of Electronics Junk is a progressive lending library of electronic components. An internet meme in physical form halfway between P2P zip-archive sharing and a flea market. It arrives full of wonderful (and possibly useless) components, but you will surely find some treasures to keep. You will be inspired look through your own piles, such as they are, and find more mysterious components that clearly need to be donated to the box before it is passed on again.

Recipient Conditions for The Great Internet Migratory Box Of Electronics Junk:

1. Take out and add as much electronics junk as you like (but keep it small enough to fit in a USPS flat-rate Priority Mail box).
2. Write up, photograph, document or otherwise publish in some way online at least one thing you took out (suggested flickr tag: TGIMBOEJ).
3. There is a little book in the box. Add a checkmark by your name to show that the box has been to you. Also propose a future recipient by adding their name and e-mail address to the book.
4. Within two weeks pass the box along to one of the people whose name is in the book. Before mailing it to them, send them this list and make sure that they want to participate.

Shortly after, Carl Trimble started a new box and I became its first recipient!

While it's still junk, it's always exciting to get something unknown, and this box was full of interesting bits and pieces.

I took two items from it, a DLink USB radio, and a Staple's Easy Button:

DLink DSB-R100 USB radio [3]

Staples Easy Button [4]

I used to have one of those radios, and it worked reasonably well - the FM chip inside has a reasonably readable and available datasheet so I can hack it in innumerable ways, but I might simply use it as is (assuming it works) and capture a few radio programs that still have yet to provide full podcasts (Prairie Home Companion, I'm looking at you!).

I've always wanted a Staple's easy button, for no particular reason, and there are many things that can be done with that. I've got a lot of other projects on my plate right now, though, so don't hold your breath...

I added a tool, a microcontroller development kit (with ethernet and TCP/IP), and a few other items - hopefully they'll be useful/interesting/entertaining to some recipient down the line.

After scanning through the list of people who would like to receive one [5], I randomly chose the John C. Frement Library District Technical Department, contacted them, and Kieran H. speedily responded in the affirmative - the box goes out tomorrow.

I haven't removed my name from the list as I certainly wouldn't mind seeing another one - I've got lots of stuff to get rid, share... with my fellow electronic enthusiasts! Maybe I'll put a box or two into the system - as of right now there are 17 boxes [6], and looking at the list of people who want one I can see the demand is larger than the supply.


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