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Author Topic: Where to buy part in Toronto  (Read 5024 times)
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This seems like a silly question since we have so many large electronics stores, but does anyone know where to buy parts like the ATMEGA168 in Toronto?

Mail order is not a great option because Canada Post is obscenely expensive.  The only store I know of that has MCU's at all charges 12 bucks for a PIC16F84 and doesn't have anything modern.

While I'm talking about Toronto.  Is there any sort of electronics/robotics users groups and clubs in the city?  I've heard about an artistic related one but I want something technical, not artsy.

Thanks.
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Honestly, I haven't seen the '168 in any GTA stores; Arrow and Avnet carry them, but I'm fairly certain you can't walk in and order 1 of anything from them.

If you can tolerate a few days in the mail, I carry them pre-programmed.
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Honestly, I haven't seen the '168 in any GTA stores; Arrow and Avnet carry them, but I'm fairly certain you can't walk in and order 1 of anything from them.

If you can tolerate a few days in the mail, I carry them pre-programmed.

Actually, how much is your shipping in Canada for one of those USB-boardino clone kits you posted about?  I really like the sound of them.  I just bought a pair of Diecimila boards (I got them yesterday), I wish I'd known about yours before I orderd, but I still might want one.

As far as the chips themselves, I do have an AVR-ISP so I don't care too much about pre-programmed, and I like the $2.58 price digikey has if I buy a rail of 25...it's just that shipping and customs will probably double that.  I want to get some runtime boards like nkcelectronics sells for the extra chips, in which case I'd use icsp instead of the bootloader anyway.
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ctually, how much is your shipping in Canada for one of those USB-boardino clone kits you posted about?  I really like the sound of them.  I just bought a pair of Diecimila boards (I got them yesterday), I wish I'd known about yours before I orderd, but I still might want one.
Shipping within Canada and the states is generally less than $3 for Canada Post or about $8-15 for FedEx. (The rest of the world is, um, less than $13 for post or who know how much for FedEx.)

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As far as the chips themselves, I do have an AVR-ISP so I don't care too much about pre-programmed, and I like the $2.58 price digikey has if I buy a rail of 25...it's just that shipping and customs will probably double that.
If you shop from Digikey.ca they handle sales tax, so there's no 'customs' to deal with.
You may find Mouser's flat rate FedEx shipping easier to swallow, they ship _anything_ to Canada via next-day FedEx for $15. There is generally no tax, duty, or handling on imports less than ~$100. Theres some magical formula to figure this out, but I can't remember.
Sadly, like most ICs you need to order a full tube to get a 'reasonable' price. IIRC, they're packaged in 25s, so the price/each at 25 units is roughly 1/2 the price/each under 25 units. 1/4.11, 25/2.58, and 2.39/100 is Atmel's recommended pricing, so everyone is roughly the same for small quantities.

If you're only looking for a hand-full of Atmega168s, send me a PM/email and I'll add a few extra onto my next Atmel order for you. I have to order them anyway.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2008, 12:56:31 pm by spiffed » Logged

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If you shop from Digikey.ca they handle sales tax, so there's no 'customs' to deal with.
You may find Mouser's flat rate FedEx shipping easier to swallow, they ship _anything_ to Canada via next-day FedEx for $15. There is generally no tax, duty, or handling on imports less than ~$100. Theres some magical formula to figure this out, but I can't remember.

I didn't know about the .ca site.  I will take a look.  I ordered $25 of parts from Mouser once and FedEx charged a $50 "brokerage" fee.  I've read up since then and they do that all the time, typically 50-200% of the cost of the items.  That's why I'll never use FedEx again, not even domestically out of spite.

I've had duty on ebay purchases under $50.  My total from Ladyada was $80ish and there was no duty when it got here (sent USPS).  I really wish we could figure out how they decide.

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If you're only looking for a hand-full of Atmega168s, send me a PM/email and I'll add a few extra onto my next Atmel order for you. I have to order them anyway.

Okay, that plus your low shipping rate really has my attention.  I'll send you a PM as soon as I figure out exactly what I want.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2008, 08:05:57 pm by Oracle » Logged

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I ordered $25 of parts from Mouser once and FedEx charged a $50 "brokerage" fee.  I've read up since then and they do that all the time, typically 50-200% of the cost of the items.  That's why I'll never use FedEx again, not even domestically out of spite.
Hmm, generally I find FTN one of the cheapest customs brokers. Was this FedEx Express or FedEx Ground? They're two totally different monsters. I would expect this sort of thing on an international ground package without 'brokerage select'. If it was an express package, complain to mouser, they're supposed to be pre-clearing this stuff (green 'International Paperwork OK' sticker under the FTN label, not the other way round).
If you receive more than a couple of courier packages a month, it's worth opening either a FedEx Trade Network or UPS Brokerage account. Either courier will clear the other's packages and generally for much less than the one-shot fee you're charged without a registered broker. (There's some paperwork voodoo to let them clear Canada Post/Purolator, CanPar, and DHL packages.) Call either company and ask, accounts are almost always free since their POE fees are inversely proportional to their client base. If it's a problem for you, ask at the same time for a blanket package release allowing them to leave packages unattended, if you're routinely out; the fee for repeated delivery of a package with COD customs is shocking.

In the end, everyone is sure one courier is better than the other, just like everyone is sure either mouser or digikey is better, or Futurlec is a scam or legit, or ...

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Okay, that plus your low shipping rate really has my attention.  I'll send you a PM as soon as I figure out exactly what I want.
Honestly, I charge you what they charge me for shipping; you may ship by any Canada Post or FedEx service you like, it's your package, it's your money, why shouldn't you get to choose?
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hey

I can't be bothered to track down the links on these, but with a little googleing you will find them easily....

In Toronto:

Active Surplus on Queen St/Beverly is the classic place, OK for resistors, hardware, leds and the like. Supremetronics is next door, or used to be.

There used to be a few places on College near Kensington Market, but I am not sure if they are there anymore.

Electrosonic used to be big in Canada, but their business has been wiped out by Digikey. They do have a good shipping deal- i just got two solenoids form them today,  Fedexed from toronto for $8 shipping.  

There's a place near the 401/Yonge Street called "Toronto Scientific Surplus". Really pricey, but interesting stuff/junk/motors/test gear.

Rest of Canada:
Lee's Electronics on Main in Vancouver sells stuff straight from China, and can do  large orders by phone. They have an exellent retail store for small orders too.
Addison Electronics in Montreal is huge and Amazing.
HVWtech in Alberta has similar stock to Sparkfun, and ships via Canada Post.

Outside of Canada:

Digikey totally rocks though- for $8 bucks I get my stuff at my door in Vancouver less than 24 hours after I order. I am not a fan of corporate culture, but hey, Digikey is like the greatest corporation ever invented! I get about 25 shipments a year from them, and there is NEVER a problem. Their shipping is $8 flat and goes by Purolator overnight. I really have to stress that this is like the best mail order parts place ever invented.

(I like it so much that I'm thinking of starting a church of Digikey followers, where we meet on Sundays to read passages from the catalogue, and develop our spiritual beliefs in accordance with the newest releases from TI and Maxim semiconductor. Anyone who would hesitate about ordering from Digikey would be branded an "unbeliever" in our church, and we'd send out our followers to convert them with offers of sample parts and free solder paste.)

Oh and there are some other lame places you can buy from in the States, but their company names don't start with "DIGI":

Mouser, Jameco and all those other US places,  but ship via FedEx overnight ONLY. With next day shipping, your brokerage is automatically included.   NEVER ship via Fedex or UPS ground, as they will tack on $50+++ as a special  customs brokerage/ laughing in your face fee.

Sparkfun is good too, via regular mail. Slow: takes 10-12 days to get from Oregon to Vancouver.


D
« Last Edit: April 22, 2008, 02:28:51 am by Daniel2 » Logged

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Active Surplus on Queen St/Beverly is the classic place, OK for resistors, hardware, leds and the like. Supremetronics is next door, or used to be.

Been shopping there for 20+ years.  It's gone way downhill over the past 3 or so years.  It's still worth going there but for resistors, leds, or the like, radio shack/the soruce is better, and for hardware, you're better off at home depot 99% of the time, which is just sad.  I go from time to time to look around, but I can't recall the last time I bought from them.  Definately before they moved into that upstairs hole.

Supremetronics is no more.

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Electrosonic used to be big in Canada, but their business has been wiped out by Digikey. They do have a good shipping deal- i just got two solenoids form them today,  Fedexed from toronto for $8 shipping.  

I haven't been there in 10 years, even back then they seemed to hate any customer buying less than $10,000 at a time, and their prices were absolutely deadly (unless you spent $10k to get a price break).  In this day and age, they're a dinosaur if they even still exist.  There's also Active/Future across the street from them, which iirc still wants $12 for a PIC16F84 and doesn't really have anything newer.


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Rest of Canada:
...

I wanted to avoid mail order because I end up paying $6 shipping when I want a $2 part, and then to make the shipping worthwhile I tack on a bunch of other stuff and end up blowing $50 when all I wanted was a $2 part.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2008, 07:26:11 am by Oracle » Logged

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Active Surplus on Queen St/Beverly is the classic place, OK for resistors, hardware, leds and the like. Supremetronics is next door, or used to be.
I used to work for their competitor, A1 Electronic Parts out in Etobicoke, sadly they too have gone down since they moved. I browse around when I'm in the area, but I don't know when I last bought something from them.

There's also Sayal, which feels like a mix between radioshack and a proper surplus store. Many people consider them the electronics equivalent to Princess Auto.
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@Oracle, I use to go to Active with my dad back in 1979... do you remember when it was split, half machinery, half old tubes and military surplus? the guy at the counter always said "ok, let's see the fine merchandise you;ve got here".. and then after you paid he would say "ok, get this crap out of here".


Anyhow Sayal is a good suggestion! Their store in Waterloo is pretty terriifc. I found it was a bit like the Active Components store in Montreal.

The solution really sound like moving away from Toronto.

D
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@Oracle, I use to go to Active with my dad back in 1979... do you remember when it was split, half machinery, half old tubes and military surplus? the guy at the counter always said "ok, let's see the fine merchandise you;ve got here".. and then after you paid he would say "ok, get this crap out of here".

My visits to Active only go back to the mid '80s.  The guy at the counter didn't say that.  By then it was the newer configuration, machinery in the basement, and the main floor divided along that seam into total crap, and better crap.

I remember buying fairly modern computer hardware from them to actually use.  That just seems laughable if you look in there today.

They used to negotiate quite a bit on prices.


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Anyhow Sayal is a good suggestion! Their store in Waterloo is pretty terriifc. I found it was a bit like the Active Components store in Montreal.

Funny you mention the Waterloo location.  I actually discovered them in Waterloo, I went to UW and lived on Phillip Street for 2 years before I discovered they were just 1km away on the same street as me.

I do like their Toronto store, but their selection is pretty awful and their prices are exploitative.  Like a bag of LEDs that's $5 at ledshoppe.com for $100.

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The solution really sound like moving away from Toronto.

I lived in Seattle for a while, you can't even buy a decent soldering iron in that city of 2 million.  I think we have it pretty good in Toronto.  The only advantage of Seattle was mail order postage was pretty decent.
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the best place for parts I have seen so far was a bit far away... Seoul Korea, last summer

D
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I tried to send Spiffed a PM, but I get an error that says "104 An Error Has Occurred!: Unable to open 1.txt "

Is there something wrong with the forum software?
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Oracle, looks like I can send you PMs, you should be able to respond to that, or send me an email.
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It seems to work fine now, I'm at work though so the problem could also have been my browser or internet connection at home.
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