Demand for Used Electronics and Other COTS Parts?

I was going through our bins of spare parts and noticed that we had a large stock of CIM-style motors (2.5" CIM, mini CIM, and BAG motors), most of which we rarely use, as our mechanisms this year mostly use Redlines and our drivetrain runs on NEOs. In the future, I’d expect my team to use NEOs wherever we previously used CIMs, as they’re slightly more powerful and one-third of the weight.

Additionally, we have a bin full of Talon SRs, Jaguars, and REV SPARKS (the old version). While such controllers are nearly totally outclassed by the newer Talon SRX and REV Spark MAX, they (if they are still functional; they have not been checked in a while) should still fulfill the same tasks as the newer controllers, at least in theory.

Our team is looking to raise funds and is considering selling off old parts that we have too many of or simply don’t intend to use. How much interest would there be in buying these aforementioned used parts at a discount of about 30-40% off of retail? (Tangent: I don’t know how justifiable the retail prices for the Jaguars and Talon SRs were/are, as it seems all motor controllers are priced in that range, but to me, the retail prices for CIM style motors are absolutely insane. If I was a hobbyist, I would not pay $30 for an inefficient, outdated, heavy motor when a NEO or Redline could do a much better job). Our team advisor said that demand would be limited because CIMs usually come in the Kit of Parts and most teams buy new CIMs for their drivetrains, but at the same time I could see the logic in having spares of older parts for constructing quick prototypes. For example, even if we moved entirely to NEOs for our competition robots, having one or two CIMs for prototypes would be smart, as CIMs can be driven directly from a battery. The same goes for the Talon SRs: for a test board where weight isn’t important, they could be used in place of more expensive modern controllers.

How much would you be willing to buy these parts for? As of right now, they’re just taking up space in our lab.

PM me about motors.

Would be interested in mini-CIMs.

Unfortunately, I think I’m too new here to be allowed to PM people.

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My team would be interested. We are willing to take whatever we can get.

Something you might consider is that some of those older motors and speed controllers would be great for outreach or demo robots, and for prototyping. It’s VERY hard to fry a CIM without it being several years old and abused already. (Not so much on the BAGs…) And a demo bot doesn’t have a weight limit.

By the way, CIMs aren’t expensive. That 300W of power in that sort of package is actually attractive–many motors in that power class are more expensive. I dropped my boss’s jaw when I showed him the CIM specs–we ran several of them for testing for about a year, and they’re still usable.

Case in point: I pulled up a motor maker that my company goes to a bit. Brushed DC motor, CIM size: 52W, 3200 RPM, $104. I can get up to 150W 2200 RPM for about $400. Now look back at the CIM: 300W, 5200 RPM, $30. If I’m a hobbyist, I’d rather spend the $30.

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You could probably get away with selling the Sparks and Talon SRs, using them on demo bots, or keeping them around as spare parts in case of an emergency at competition. If you have a lot of the other motor controllers, the Jaguars can probably just be given away or disassembled for some 5v fans you can put on a Raspberry Pi.

246 sold a small handful of old motor controllers a few months ago, marked down slightly. As stated, they’re good for demos, or even non-FRC based projects. We might potentially like BAGs, as we have the least of those.

My team had a stockpile of old control system parts and sold them on eBay. We’re talking stuff all the way back to 2002. I would only recommend doing this if you have someone on the team who is familiar with eBay and all the “fun” that goes into it. We made a good amount of money however eBay and PayPal combined take ~13% cut which is a bit rough.

One of our old 8 slot cRio’s was purchased by someone at SpaceX!

I took inventory today and counted 7 mini CIMs and 48 full size CIMs (fun fact: our CIMs box, which still doesn’t contain all of our loose CIMs, currently weighs about 115 lbs). I don’t think we’d need more than 10 for our own uses (4 for a permanent demo chassis, 4 for experimental chassis, and 2 for random prototypes), so we definitely have plenty to spare.

It didn’t occur to me to take inventory of the BAG motors, but we definitely have at least a few to spare.

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