Where do you get that special something for that special project if you aren’t quite sure what it is or where to get it? Why the MIT Flea Market, of course!

The MIT Radio Society, in conjunction with the MIT UHF Repeater Association, the MIT Electronics Research Society, and the Harvard Wireless Club, sponsors a Swapfest on the third Sunday of each month, April through October. This is a place to buy, sell, and swap amateur radio, electronic, and computer equipment. Hams and non-hams alike are welcome.

I spent the day on Sunday looking through bin upon bin of connectors, resistors, capacitors, transistors, LEDs, antique electronics, and more. Over the course of the morning, I bumped into a few friends and made a few new acquaintances. My original quest was to get some birthday schwag for a party later in the day, but eventually, I started shopping for my own hardware needs. I could have gotten more, but three trips back to the car seemed to be enough.

It is refreshing to see so many people looking for supplies and tools to do creative projects. These days, people who have extra ‘treasures’ adorning their caves can jettison their surplus in more ways, but there is fortunately still a way to sell and buy in person. There was definitely a healthy exchange of ideas and the excitement of a great unanticipated find was definitely in the air.

What is your all time best find at the MIT Flea or similar tech-styled exchange? Where are the other places you look for and find great supplies and ideas for projects?