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trolouce

Source for hobby electronics components?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hello all

I am getting into hobby electronics and have some projects in mind, but dont know where to get components, i remember back when radioshack had stuff but now its "the source" and has almost nothing, and i dont want to buy everything on amazon or ebay. Ive been doing some googling but i dont know what sites are legit and reliable.

 

Can anyone tell me where i can get components? Preferebly with fast and affordable shipping in canada, i live in southern manitoba.

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6 hours ago, trolouce said:

Have you ordered from them? Are they good? Do they have canadian locations? Or ship from USA?

Digikey and Mouser are more component based and optimized towards corporate ordering rather than general consumers. I would look at Adafruit and Sparkfun if you're trying to learn. They have great educational resources if you're still learning, or need to brush up. Both of these companies are smaller, hobbyist oriented, businesses so they tend to be more expensive than the more commercial Digikey and Mouser. If you need to order like a capacitor though, you're better off with the commercial dealers.

 

Be warned though, if you don't know what you are looking for from the commercial sites, you're going to have a rough time. But if you need a TP4056 IC, or a handful and a half of 0805 resistors, they're the place to go.


I used to have guides here

CPU: 4670k 4.4ghz GPU: GTX 970 G.1 1534mhz

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Well I cannot speak for the North America, but here in Europe I get the best prices and biggest selection on ebay. Many times it comes shipped from China but is still cheaper than buying from a German seller, but if I need something quick the German Ebay sellers are still cheaper than Mouser or big German electronic online shops.

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2 minutes ago, lal12 said:

Well I cannot speak for the North America, but here in Europe I get the best prices and biggest selection on ebay. Many times it comes shipped from China but is still cheaper than buying from a German seller, but if I need something quick the German Ebay sellers are still cheaper than Mouser or big German electronic online shops.

In Europe you have Farnell with reasonable prices for some categories of products: https://www.farnell.com/

 

You also have TME.EUhttps://www.tme.eu/en/ , a Polish company... has quite a lot of products from companies that are not distributed by the bigger guys like Digikey or Mouser. Reasonable shipping charges, fast... can't complain.

 

There's also RS-Components that distributes components and they're located in Europe, so you don't pay customs fees and shipping is reasonable: https://www.rs-components.com/index.html

 

Anywhere in the world:

 

If you want cheap, another option is LCSC : https://lcsc.com/

They're distributors of components from Asian region, companies which may not be big enough to use the bigger distributors. There's also companies which can't distribute using US sellers for reasons like licensing issues, patents etc (ex. asian company may not ship a fpga chip to US because it would infringe a US patent from Altera or Xilinx)

 

It's more legit than eBay... not saying eBay isn't great, it's good for a lot of hobby parts like leds and wires and connectors, stuff that's not worth counterfeiting but when you're getting into mosfets and chips you're risking. I've seen even linear regulators that cost 50 cents or less (in volume) being faked on eBay (text rubbed off and printed/laser marked new stuff on them to make them seem more high end)

 

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1 minute ago, mariushm said:

In Europe you have Farnell with reasonable prices for some categories of products: https://www.farnell.com/ 

 

You also have TME.EUhttps://www.tme.eu/en/ , a Polish company... has quite a lot of products from companies that are not distributed by the bigger guys like Digikey or Mouser. Reasonable shipping charges, fast... can't complain. 

 

There's also RS-Components that distributes components and they're located in Europe, so you don't pay customs fees and shipping is reasonable: https://www.rs-components.com/index.html

 

Anywhere in the world:

  

If you want cheap, another option is LCSC : https://lcsc.com/

They're distributors of components from Asian region, companies which may not be big enough to use the bigger distributors. There's also companies which can't distribute using US sellers for reasons like licensing issues, patents etc (ex. asian company may not ship a fpga chip to US because it would infringe a US patent from Altera or Xilinx) 

 

It's more legit than eBay... not saying eBay isn't great, it's good for a lot of hobby parts like leds and wires and connectors, stuff that's not worth counterfeiting but when you're getting into mosfets and chips you're risking. I've seen even linear regulators that cost 50 cents or less (in volume) being faked on eBay (text rubbed off and printed/laser marked new stuff on them to make them seem more high end) 

 

I never had any problem on ebay and I buy electronics stuff on there at least once a month for years. And not just "LEDs and wires" I never had problems with µC, transistors, voltage regulators, step down converters and so on either.

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12 minutes ago, lal12 said:

I never had any problem on ebay and I buy electronics stuff on there at least once a month for years. And not just "LEDs and wires" I never had problems with µC, transistors, voltage regulators, step down converters and so on either.

Well, I guess you were lucky. Or maybe you just didn't use the parts to such degree to expose the fake-ness (for example dc-dc converters claiming they use 150kHz switching LM2596 chips when in fact they use LM2576 or XL Semi clones running at 52-60 kHz. Or, you order a part claiming it's the HV version capable of running up to 50-60v, but it's actually the clone that dies at 40-45v or lacks the reverse voltage or it's not actually rated for automotive use (can't handle alternator acting up, cranking etc)

 

But just because you were lucky, doesn't mean others can't be burned.

 

Whenever possible, my advice is to stick to authorized distributors of components.

 

I'd also like to mention that I personally used Farnell, Digikey, RS-Components and TME.eu ... so I can easily recommend them, didn't let me down.

Didn't have a chance to buy from Mouser but I know they're reputable, and LCSC was tested by lots of people on other electronics forum and they're safe to use, reliable.. i just didn't have the need to use them so far (and in general shipping from Asia is slow, sometimes it takes 3-4 weeks for customs to process packages and notify me), so I'd rather pay 3-5 euro in shipping per package and order from TME.eu or Farnell a big box of parts.

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2 minutes ago, mariushm said:

Well, I guess you were lucky. Or maybe you just didn't use the parts to such degree to expose the fake-ness (for example dc-dc converters claiming they use 150kHz switching LM2596 chips when in fact they use LM2576 or XL Semi clones running at 52-60 kHz.Or you order a part claiming it's the HV part capable of running up to 50v, but it's actually the clone that dies at 45v or lacks the reverse voltage or it's not actually rated for automotive use (can't handle alternator acting up, cranking etc) 

 

But just because you were lucky, doesn't mean others can't be burned.

 

Whenever possible, my advice is to stick to authorized distributors of components. 

 

I'd also like to mention that I personally used Farnell, Digikey, RS-Components and TME.eu ... so I can easily recommend them, didn't let me down.

Didn't have a chance to buy from Mouser but I know they're reputable, and LCSC was tested by lots of people on other electronics forum and they're safe to use, reliable.. i just didn't have the need to use them so far (and in general shipping from Asia is slow, sometimes it takes 3-4 weeks for customs to process packages and notify me), so I'd rather pay 3-5 euro in shipping per package and order from TME.eu or Farnell a big box of parts.

So you're saying because you had bad experiences on ebay, everybody else has luck if he doesn't? Btw how often I ordered I wouldn't just consider it luck in any case...
Btw. I actually had more troubles ordering at Conrad (the biggest German electronics shop) than with Ebay...

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Aside from the websites that have been mentioned, check out the following:

https://www.sparkfun.com/

 

https://www.pololu.com/

These websites are definitely geared more toward a hobbyist than say a place like Digikey where you already know what parts you're after. They specialize in modularized circuits that can be strung together and kits rather than single parts. I checked their shipping policies and it looks like they ship internationally.

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About 10 years ago I used to order stuff from https://www.goldmine-elec-products.com/  but some their products are a bit sketch (they'll sell slightly damaged solar panels and stuff at a discount)

 

That was 10 years ago and I was sketched out by them back then, not sure if they're better or worse now, but they're more towards 'hobbyist' than 'professional source'.  If you live in Canada, expect Collect-On-Delivery

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