Author Topic: Where do you source your electronics parts from? What's your favorite store?  (Read 6069 times)

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Offline zackTopic starter

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A general question on where folks buy their parts from. Also for those living near Pittsburgh, PA, is there any retail electronics store here other than Radio Shack?  :-\

Offline Steve Joblin

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I live in the other side of the Commonweath (Philly)... there aren't too many retails stores that carry a vast selection of elecronic parts, so I buy all mine on-line... either from Jameco, Digi-Key, or Mouser.

Offline JesseWelling

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Jameco or SparkFun for all my general (and not so general) electronic needs.

Offline airman00

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Jameco is my favorite
Check out the Roboduino, Arduino-compatible board!


Link: http://curiousinventor.com/kits/roboduino

www.Narobo.com

Offline Trumpkin

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WOOT for jameco. I really like Pololu.
Robots are awesome!

Offline zackTopic starter

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There are so many online stores that rip you off on shipping... $10 s&h even if I just buy an led?   :o I see Jameco seems reasonable.  Thanks for pointing out that store.

Offline airman00

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oh

also allelectronics.com is awesome but their stock is all surplus so it changes every month and they don't always have the part you are looking for
But if they DO have the part you want - its extremely cheap
Check out the Roboduino, Arduino-compatible board!


Link: http://curiousinventor.com/kits/roboduino

www.Narobo.com

Offline Admin

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I used to live in Pittsburgh, no stores to my knowledge. I get everything online:
http://www.societyofrobots.com/robot_parts_list.shtml

Offline superchiku

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USA also doesnt have local hobby electronics stores this is new...
JAYDEEP ...

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"IN THE END IT DOESNT EVEN MATTER"

Offline Admin

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Quote
USA also doesnt have local hobby electronics stores this is new...
Not true, there are some, just not many. Radioshack sorta counts, too . . .

Now that I think about it, I remember going to a RC hobby shop a few years ago about an hour drive outside of Pittsburgh. A friend drove me there so I don't remember where it was, but if you google for it I'm sure you can find it. I remember they sold lots of RC stuff, planes, rockets, boats, cars, servos, and batteries.

Offline superchiku

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isnt is supposed to be easily available i mean these things are manufactured there , there should be tones of shop having hobby electronics part like microcontrollers or servos then why buy from the internet
JAYDEEP ...

IT AND ROBOTICS ENGINEER

"IN THE END IT DOESNT EVEN MATTER"

Offline Trumpkin

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Unfortunately in Minnesota (where I live) there are no electronics stores besides radioshack.
Robots are awesome!

Offline superchiku

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why does US have such kinda problems in electronics , they are on the top of the food chain for manufacturing such devices and they dont have availibility??
JAYDEEP ...

IT AND ROBOTICS ENGINEER

"IN THE END IT DOESNT EVEN MATTER"

Offline TrickyNekro

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Man, here in Greece, in the city I leave we are about 1 - 1.5 million civvies still we have at least ten electronics stores around the city...
Man, that's funny, americans can only be supplies by two or three online stores...

And from the shop I get my parts, I even get some free cause the guys there are friends and support my effort to electronics...
( I call it donation....)

god darn man!!!


Anyhow... cheers...
Lefteris
For whom the interrupts toll...


P.S. I've been inactive for almost a year... Don't give promises but I'll try to complete my tutorials. I'll let you know when..

Cheers!

Offline zackTopic starter

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US is  a big country.  Some cities have local electronics stores, some don't. It is purely a cost based decision. It is a lot cheaper and profitable I guess, to open a store online than a brick and mortar establishment.  Most people have internet (atleast those who are into electronics!  ;D )

Also, US does not manufacture basic electronics anymore.  Most of it comes from China.  Again, purely a cost-value decision.

What *is* ironic is Pittsburgh is the home to robotics with Carnegie Mellon.  I wonder where they source their parts from.

Offline TrickyNekro

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I know that, but still may products are  made purely in america...
like iMEMs or so...

The thing is that all these site may offer great products but a hand made solution is much less expensive...
For example I was looking at sparkfun and my eye dropped at a joystick....
The matter fact is that it cost around 20$ US but with these money you get a old or second manufacturer PS2 controller rip the analog joysticks,
and have them on a board...

With the same money or less you get 2... of course they are hand made and need time, but if time and effort cost that much in america...
then average american would have been rich...
Cause of the low availability in my country of such modules (they are available only from EU countries by internet but have to pay only for postal costs since passing the boarder is free compared to imports from america...) I'm forced to do them by myself... but it turns out that's more profitable for me , without considering the money spent...,  because I learn throughout the build experience...

If you want a robot build, man, the only you will need is materials and a programmer... (you can even make your own programmer but problems do exist and you don't want to be disappointed so early... Anyhow buying a good programmer is a nice investment and it will be so for years)
Then you do anything by yourself... do not order them... That's the whole concept of creating...

And I think that people are fools to believe that by buying or by money they will have everything... And yes it annoys me when people say, I'll
buy that module or anything... if it is something easy then try it yourself... the most brilliant example here is ESCs...


Anyways, it's your choice not mine...
For me this whole thing shows me clearly how strictly GUIDED consumer based is the american market...

Always friendly speaking,
Lefteris
« Last Edit: May 05, 2008, 06:25:17 AM by TrickyNekro »
For whom the interrupts toll...


P.S. I've been inactive for almost a year... Don't give promises but I'll try to complete my tutorials. I'll let you know when..

Cheers!

Offline superchiku

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100 % correct, i completely agree with u
JAYDEEP ...

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"IN THE END IT DOESNT EVEN MATTER"

Offline pomprocker

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the US is consumerism based, and component electronics are not consumer electronics!!

you can find best buy's and radio shacks and places like that in every shopping center. same goes with automotive parts. You have Pep Boys, but they mostly sell toys and their high school sales people know nothing about cars, where you have to order all the good auto parts online.

There are a number of small hole-in-the-wall electronics shops in Southern California. The guys that work in the small shops know everything. I'm just to lazy to drive to them and spend an hour in there looking around. no time for that.

Offline TrickyNekro

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the US is consumerism based, and component electronics are not consumer electronics!!

you can find best buy's and radio shacks and places like that in every shopping center. same goes with automotive parts. You have Pep Boys, but they mostly sell toys and their high school sales people know nothing about cars, where you have to order all the good auto parts online.

There are a number of small hole-in-the-wall electronics shops in Southern California. The guys that work in the small shops know everything. I'm just to lazy to drive to them and spend an hour in there looking around. no time for that.


They are not??? :o :o :o :o :o :o :o

Man, I'm telling this because all countries of the world are consumer based... including Greece and other EU countries...
Sorry man, but that's lol to me... And I didn't noticed that before anyways...

And well... small stores always exists...

Ok then... peace...
For whom the interrupts toll...


P.S. I've been inactive for almost a year... Don't give promises but I'll try to complete my tutorials. I'll let you know when..

Cheers!

Offline scrvtch

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I live in colorado so both Sparkfun and Acroname are about 10 minutes away from where I live.   ::)

I think alot of electronics stores (like radioshack) rely on selling cellphones, ipods, and other consumer stuff instead of just hobby electronics. Places like acroname and sparkfun get probably 99.9% of their sales from the internet so they don't have to worry about being too specialized and not having enough customers.

Offline TrickyNekro

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I live in colorado so both Sparkfun and Acroname are about 10 minutes away from where I live.   ::)

I think alot of electronics stores (like radioshack) rely on selling cellphones, ipods, and other consumer stuff instead of just hobby electronics. Places like acroname and sparkfun get probably 99.9% of their sales from the internet so they don't have to worry about being too specialized and not having enough customers.


But still... can you have bulk electronics??? like I want 20 resistors 10 caps or so...but bulk...  without paying the whole package... cause package is
only a fee...

But I think it's only a matter of economy... cause even groceries here in Greece work what way... you know... bulk...
« Last Edit: May 07, 2008, 02:08:51 AM by TrickyNekro »
For whom the interrupts toll...


P.S. I've been inactive for almost a year... Don't give promises but I'll try to complete my tutorials. I'll let you know when..

Cheers!

Offline scrvtch

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I live in colorado so both Sparkfun and Acroname are about 10 minutes away from where I live.   ::)

I think alot of electronics stores (like radioshack) rely on selling cellphones, ipods, and other consumer stuff instead of just hobby electronics. Places like acroname and sparkfun get probably 99.9% of their sales from the internet so they don't have to worry about being too specialized and not having enough customers.


But still... can you have bulk electronics??? like I want 20 resistors 10 caps or so...but bulk...  without paying the whole package... cause package is
only a fee...

But I thing it's only a matter of economy... cause even groceries here in Greece work what way... you know... bulk...

Those two places sell mostly robotics-specific stuff that's already pre-made. But there is a large independent electronics store nearby that sells only resistors, capacitors, cables, etc. etc. in bulk. (JB Saunders) I think this area is pretty technological so a lot of cities probably don't have the same specialized stores.

Buying in bulk is pretty big in America too. Some grocery stores only sell food in packages of 10 or more.  :o

Offline sdk32285

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A general question on where folks buy their parts from. Also for those living near Pittsburgh, PA, is there any retail electronics store here other than Radio Shack?  :-\


http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/wwg/start.shtml has a warehouse in Pittsburgh that you can go to. They have a lot of electrical/mechanical stuff (no electronic stuff).

There is also a store in CMU that sells a lot of electronics.
Robots for Roboticists Blog - http://robotsforroboticists.com/

Offline superchiku

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evrything on the internet is nothing available locally lke a single resistor or a capacitor
JAYDEEP ...

IT AND ROBOTICS ENGINEER

"IN THE END IT DOESNT EVEN MATTER"

Offline Admin

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If you own a store in Pittsburgh, your customers are everyone in Pittsburgh.

If you own an internet store, your customers are everyone in the world.

And the cost of gas and effort going to a half dozen stores to find something you need is much greater than the $6 shipping to get something online.

Offline zackTopic starter

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And the cost of gas and effort going to a half dozen stores to find something you need is much greater than the $6 shipping to get something online.

Ah yes, but the instant gratification, PRICELESS!!!  ;D

Offline Nyx

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ebay.... There's almost always someone selling the part you need... Just need to search, then you can find the seller with the best price/shipping... So far I've gotten much better deals on ebay than with electronics stores, which always seem to sell a few items at discount price, and the rest are overpriced.

Offline kf6snj

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Given that my other hobby is amateur radio, I need a local parts source that I can depend upon. While yes there is a Radio Shack near me, it is not very popular with those of who are into amateur radio. However, there is a C&G Electronics store in downtown Tacoma. Also, there are a couple of other options. I can goto Portland and get parts at Ham Radio Outlet. This would be a good option if wanting to use a radio link between your robot and your pc. Also consider so of the second hand computer shops. Usually they have components that may not be exactly what you are looking for but can be made to work for the exact function you need. In like manner, wrecking yards can sometimes provide some useful parts, especially motors (many cars use small blower motors for the air conditioning system). Also, consider the possibility that with a little work, an old fender from a toyota could easily become the beginnings of a shell for a new robot.

Offline emmannuel

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I am lucky to live in Northern California where a lot of the companies are headquartered but its not that common to find what you'd call an electronics store.  I am lucky that I've been introduced to one of the last remaining electronics/surplus stores in my area.  Its great because you'll find stuff that can be super cheap, and some junk :P

So in under 30 min I have that electronics store, under 15 I have Fry's (if you don't have one of these near you I pity you), and under 5 min I have a Radio Shack.

Sadly I can't by a single microcontroller from any of these stores, or at least not one I want.  I get a lot of items from digikey.  I'll have to try jameco since many people here like it.
Recently I wanted a large collection of resistors values kit and looking for a particular tool on ebay I ended finding the resistors stuff I wanted.  Here is an example http://tinyurl.com/6fm36x

Don't let finding the perfect part stop you from what you want to do.  I've seen such incredible ideas implemented using very simple every day items in order to save money.

Offline zackTopic starter

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Being in N California you have tons of stores!  Why Jameco is in Belmont, I believe Futurelec is in the Bay Area too... yeah you'll get killed with the taxes and gas prices, but atleast have instant gratification and no shipping charge!!  ;D

 


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