12 Replies Latest reply on Jun 20, 2017 1:10 AM by balearicdynamics

    Where do you purchase components?


      Just curious where everyone gets their supplies?

        • Re: Where do you purchase components?

          In the U.K., almost exclusively from CPC or Maplin if I feel like overpaying.

          • Re: Where do you purchase components?

            In Germany, Reichelt is a good option.

            • Re: Where do you purchase components?

              I use Farnell. Free next-day delivery in the UK, and the inventory is vast.


              However, I think you're in the US, and there Newark.com has a similar inventory to Farnell, it is a sister company.

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              • Re: Where do you purchase components?

                EBAY. I have Ebay Prime so I get free 2 day delivery. SWEET!

                • Re: Where do you purchase components?

                  Hi Matt,


                  I'm up in northern Utah. I mainly purchase boards, sensors, and components through Amazon. I have also purchased online from Adafruit, Sainsmart, and Seeed Studio. At my work we have purchased the Beaglebone Black directly from Element 14. I've also purchased from Digikey for work but that usually has longer lead times.


                  I  heard our purchasing department complain that many of the engineers are submitting links to items on Amazon for their purchase requests for electronic boards and components. Amazon really can be a good place to buy components and other electronics, though the new Utah sales tax on Amazon purchases may make the other suppliers I referenced cheaper if you are buying a lot and they offer free shipping.

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                  • Re: Where do you purchase components?

                    Element14! They are have lots of stock and have a very fast delivery service.

                    • Re: Where do you purchase components?

                      Several different places, amazon.com (if they have a good deal), element14, sparkfun, adafruit, etc.

                      • Re: Where do you purchase components?

                        Several different places, amazon.com (if they have a good deal), element14, sparkfun, adafruit, etc.

                        • Re: Where do you purchase components?

                          Hi Matt!

                          As of right now, if you know some parts you may need, I know many RadioShack stores are going out of business. For the moment, it may be a good idea to check them out.


                          Outside of right now, I've used eBay for parts for years.
                          If you're not in a hurry, overseas prices are great, if you're a poor hobbyist.
                          Even then, many things are the price of other stores' clearances to buy from within the US, even including shipping.

                          eBay has a reputation for being unreliable because of some sellers.... but it's much like if people complained about getting a defective item from Wal-Mart: If you contact customer support, they'll properly take care of it most of the time. Hell, eBay has taken care of me BETTER than Wal-Mart on average.


                          Also note, some things like more extravagant sensors are harder to find except on sites like Element14.

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                          • Re: Where do you purchase components?

                            Farnell, RS, Rapid Electronics, Digikey, CPC, Avnet, Aliexpress, Amazon - in very roughly that order of frequency.



                            • Re: Where do you purchase components?

                              If I am not in a hurry, Aliexpress is my option. However, I don't build commercial products, If it is the case local sources are better. RS Components and Farnell are also good choice for commercial product designs.

                              • Re: Where do you purchase components?

                                It depends on what the primary criteria are for the purchase...

                                free                                         - manufacturer or rep

                                free and simple                       - build

                                really cheap                            - garage sales or re-purposed stuff

                                sweat equity                            - element14 competitions

                                available (new release)           - manufacturer

                                generic and cheap, no hurry   - ebay

                                panic hurry                              - local electronics retailers

                                fast delivery, available stock    - distributors like Newark/Farnell

                                one stop shopping                   - distributors like Newark/Farnell

                                specialty modules                    - distributor/manufactures like Spark Fun, The Robot Shop & Adafruit

                                volume pricing                         - manufacturers or distributors like Avnet

                                full solutions                             - contract designers/manufacturers

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                                • Re: Where do you purchase components?

                                  I always tend to make things - at least when it is the worth - using components that make it replicable in future, so I am not so used to use garage sales. Anyway here it is not posible to do it anyway as there are not garage sales nor this tradition in both Spain and Italy (in the Netherlands instead yes but I no longer stay there).


                                  Small mechanical components and gears, pulleys, bearings etc. on Amazon (es, not com that has a wider range of products). With the wide diffusion of the home 3D printers these components as well as the replacement parts for 3D printers (nozzles, heat beds, etc.) are easy to find. As it is not always easy to be sure I made the right choice there is the advantage that I can take the stuff in 1-3 days, see if it is ok and if not have it replaced or refunded for free; as far as I know Amazon is the only online distributor that offer this kind of service. with 19Euro per year I have zero shipment costs in both directions and refund is immediate. I find this great


                                  I also buy on Amazon any kind of small screws, washers, nuts etc. There are good kits between 100 and 500 pieces for a very low price with a range of lengths and sizes that here are very difficult to find; local hardware stores smaller screws are M4 size that are almost the bigger I will use.


                                  I explored several places to buy good plastic for laser cutting and until now the better provider for 3mm (any colour and size) is Kitronic. I also buy from Kitronic soldering wires. They sell 100 m coil for a very reasonable price.


                                  For 3D printer filament I bought until now from Geeetech; they sell good material at a very good price (1Kg PLA 1.75 mm 15$) but I should contract with my local custom office to rebate the taxes when I import many rolls of filament. Amazon is a good alternative but I should try before some different provider to find the better balance between price and quality.


                                  For components, I usually buy from three different providers; primarily Farnell.es (when it is available, but they tend to sell only high priced versions of some ones). When I can't find I will use RS-Online that has a very good shipping service in Spain (same day via SEUR of next day). Some stuff I  buy from Pimoroni, not rarely custom stuff that then I replicate making some update to the base. The advantage of Pimoroni is that at the date it is the only distributor that also sell in Europe at a decent price some Adafruit and Sparkfun components. In past I bought from Sparkfun online from the US but they sent me the stuff after 6 weeks that is not a reasonable time to wait for a project completion.


                                  What about discrete components like resistors, capacitors, diodes, push buttons, pin arrays etc? In 2014 I developed an almost complex project for a Taiwan clients (but the original commitment was from PayPal) e was based in California and most of the project has been done at home. Then I moved there for a couple of months to complete it. While I was developing this suf I sent him the BOM for the prototypes development; it included the most used resistors, capacitors, diodes, dip switches, pin arrays and also dual side copper plate for PCB milling). They told me that from Taiwan it was not possible to ship so few pieces for them and asked me to complete the list with all the components I was expecting to use. I included also AVR 328P, shif t registers, optoisolators and many more). And they sent me about 70 Kg in a box with 1000 (one thousand !!!) of every piece. I suppose that I don't need to buy this for the next few years ...


                                  Until now, for a lot of practice reasons I use Eurocircuits for PCB prototyping and small production. It is true that they have not super low pricing like China, but the service is exceptional and if you consider the "PCB at 5$" from China, ask for a real cost analysis for example for an Arduino shield, add the shipment time (7-10 days after they build), add the custom taxes price of Eurocircuits is truly competitive.



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