Dirt cheap inverters and more.

Author Message


Joined: 18/02/2014
Location: Australia
Posts: 6
Posted: 12:58pm 18 Feb 2014      

Hi to everybody. First post here. I only just found this forum.

It's a bit of short notice but this weekend Sunday Feb 23rd 2014 is the Wyong Ham radio field day. While ham radio itself may not be the interest of most people here the event is still a very good source of cheap components.
In particular the Jaycar stand will be of interest. Jaycar saves up a lot of its damaged and returned stock. It piles up in their warehouse and once a year they take several trucks to Wyong Hamfest (Wyong Racecourse) and they basically sell everything for whatever they can get for it.
The event usually starts about 6am, but the undercover area where Jaycar is doesn't kick off until 9am. They have a very large range of items and it changes from year to year. Inverters have been commonly dumped for several here and many other items like wind turbines and solar panels also turn up.
There's no predicting as to what they will have each year. Last year there were not a lot of inverters, but I did manage to pick up a turbine with a regulator and a 2kW inverter for $5. I also picked up some other turbines without blades for $5 each.
Prices at 9am start a bit high. Obviously some items are a choice pick and some people are prepared to pay a higher price to get their hands on them.
None of the items has any warranty or guarantee. They're junk and you should treat them as such when buying them. So a $500 might inverter might sell for $50 in the first hour. However, when items aren't moving the prices start to come down.
The same item might sell for $20 half an hour later and then by 10am it might be $10. By midday you may find yourself getting 5 for $10. So people often hang around and look for the good deals.

Some tips for picking items.
It's best to try and buy a few of the same item. Remember that you will expect the units to be broken. Most of the items have a return fault card with them so they describe the problem. Picking items with different faults gives you a source of parts to fix the other units.
Inverters often have faulty switching MOSFETs, so buying three units you should get enough parts to make one good working unit.

Listen to people or ask them if they bought the same units the year before.
Not all items are worth the effort. There are some inverters which I know the faults are simple and they're very easy to fix. Usually just a small signal diode. However there are other units, like the blue powertech inverters which are made in Pakistan.
They're very poor construction. Not worth fixing but they are a good source of components for $1 each.

There are also other private sellers out in the car park flea market area.
It's not unusual to find cheap solar panels and batteries there.
I pick up second hand 12V 100Ah AGM batteries for about $100 each.
I take a multimeter with me and check their voltages.
If they >13V then they're worth their $100. If they're <13V then I usually offer $50 each. And of course the battery's age is a consideration. 5 years old they still have some good life left in them. But getting towards 10 years I don't touch them or the price should drop like the voltage.

If your anywhere near the central coast NSW then it's worth having a look for all kinds of misc parts. Other sellers like avcom often sell old satellite dishes which are useful for concentrated solar experiments etc.

The location is Wyong Racecourse, 6am-1pm Feb 23rd 2014.

Yes I am an agent of Satan, but my duties are largely ceremonial.