How To: Scavenge High-Voltage Components from Your Neighbor's Trashed Microwave

Scavenge High-Voltage Components from Your Neighbor's Trashed Microwave

For this project, I decided to rip apart a microwave I found in my neighbor's garbage can to see what was inside. With permission, of course! True story!

The saying goes, "one man's trash is another man's treasure", and with all the parts I found in this abandoned appliance, I felt like I won the lottery! Want to see what's hidden inside your old microwave oven?

I started by relocating the microwave to my workbench and plugging it in to test it out. It seemed to work intermittently, so before disassembly, I tried nuking a CD and a 60 watt light bulb.

After the light bulb blew up, I unplugged the system, cleaned the mess, and removed every screw I could find.

The casing came off easily, revealing some dangerous high-voltage components. I made sure to discharge the high-voltage capacitor first, to relieve any deadly charge that might be lingering.

When every screw was removed, I had a whole workbench full of fun and useful components!

  • Magnetron
  • HV transformer
  • HV capacitor
  • Motor/generator
  • Lights
  • Snap switches
  • Transistors
  • Capacitors
  • Diodes
  • Relays
  • AC fan
  • Charcoal filter
  • Piezo-electric buzzer
  • ...and more!

I even found two super strong ring magnets that I plan to use in a future maglev experiment!

I modified the transformer to shoot lethal arcs of high-voltage electricity, and generate such a high amperage that metal melted on contact! With a little tweaking, it was even used as an AC stick welder.

Thanks to these parts scavenged from my neighbor's generous donation, I have a whole new world to explore! The best part is, they were all free!!

Haven't see the video yet? You can still see it here!

If you like this project perhaps you'll like some of my others. Check them out at

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