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Author Topic: Where do you buy your Arduinos?  (Read 1078 times)
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Windy City
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As the subject line asks, where do you buy your Ardunios and other stuff and why?

A couple of months ago I was going to buy 2 Uno's and a bunch of other stuff and was looking for a seller.  I was half thinking of Sparkfun, but their price on some stuff was fairly outrageous.  A friend suggested another place, and when I checked with them, the order was going to cost about $20 less!  And I got more stuff, so, of course I went with them.

Now here's the thing.  I was recently in a email conversation with on of the folks at the shop I bought that order from about some questions I had (yeah, try that with Sparkfun) and somehow we got around to how many Arduinos they sell.  They said that since December their Arduino sales have completely tanked.  Only 1 to 2 a week, if that!  Then I checked the stock index at Sparkfun, they sold 200 in 2 days!!  Now, Sparkfun charge $30 for an Uno and Aztec (the other store) only charge $28. smiley-eek-blue

So, I'm a little confused.  There are all sorts of other examples too from that order I had.

2N3094 - Sparkfun $0.75 for 1, Aztec $0.99 for 15
ATmega328 w/bootloader - Spakfun $5.50, Aztec $4.25
ATtiny85 - Sparkfun $2.84, Aztec $1.80
12mHz Crystal - Sparkfun $0.95 for 1, Aztec $0.99 for 4
LEDs - Sparkfun $0.95 for 1, Aztec $0.99 for 5
RGB LED - Sparkfun 1.95 for 1, Aztec $0.99 for 2
10K trimpot - Sparkfun $0.95 for 1 single turn pot, Aztec $0.99 for 3 multi-turn pots
400 point breadboard - Sparkfun $5.95, Aztec $3.99
0.1uf capacitor - Sparkfun, $0.25 for 1, Aztec $0.99 for 10
CDS photocell - Sparkfun $1.50 for 1, Aztec $0.99 for 3

There was more, but I think you get the point

Given then that Aztec sells the Arduino for $2 less than Sparkfun, and pretty well everything else, what's going on? I mean, I could understand if they sold maybe 10 times as many, after all Sparkfun has been around  long time and are better known, but 1000 or more times as many, and at a higher price?  I don't get it.
 smiley-confuse
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I've bought a few things from SparkFun over the years, not common components for sure ( for basic parts is hard to beat http://www.taydaelectronics.com/ on price). What I do like about SparkFun is their user reviews and comments on most all their products and their publishing of links to schematics, datasheets, arduino software libraries to support specific offerings. AdaFruit is also another company that goes out of their way to add support stuff to their offerings. So maybe that has something to do with the following and sales that some arduino distributes have over others?  Price alone is not always what closes a sale.  smiley-wink
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The last time this came up, I put together a list of places I look at or buy from: http://www.the-meissners.org/electronics.html
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I make my own, haven't bought one in several years.
www.crossroadsfencing.com/BobuinoRev17

Parts sources:
blank uCs from mouser, they generally have the best price
digikey.com,
dipmicro.com,
taydaelectronics.com,
avnet.com, (TPIC6B595s)
phoenixent.com,(connectors,wirewrapping - best if >$50 total)
arrow.com, (only source for some things, like AD595 ADC)
PCBs from iteadstudio.com, internationalcircuits.com

Sparkfun.com, gravitech.us, adafruit.com, nkcelectronics.com, pololu.com, mdfly.com for the occasional module in no particular order
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Designing & building electrical circuits for over 25 years. Check out the ATMega1284P based Bobuino and other '328P & '1284P creations & offerings at  www.crossroadsfencing.com/BobuinoRev17.
Arduino for Teens available at Amazon.com.

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Sparkfun is an example of excellence in marketing.

Most people out there, first-timers, new "makers" out there, only use Sparkfun as the source for their parts.
The newbs are not intimidated by SF.
For example: Say a newb needs an NPN transistor (because his MAKE book says he needs an NPN transistor).
Go to SF, and search for NPN transistor, and you get (2) results.
2n3904 - $0.75
BC547 - $0.95
He reads the great reviews and comments about these products from the other newbs, and so he feels confident buying it and paying $0.75 for an NPN.

If you direct the newb to go to Mouser.com, and search for NPN transistors.... you get 6,309 results.
A newb will say "which one do i use?"  They'll probably run back to Sparkfun and just pay their exorbitant prices.
At mouser, the same 2n3904 is $0.07
while the bc547 is $0.06

So I guess people pay for the confidence knowing they're buying the right part because their other fellow "makers" out there are buying the same exact part... plus they feel good they're supporting open hardware/open source, blah blah blah makers blah blah blah.


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For parts never bought from Aztec but generally will buy from Mouser or Newark/Element 14.  

Sparkfun is one of those places that will easily over charge you if you are not careful.   Also always read the comments of their products. I find a lot of people end up pointing out deficiencies in their design which often leads them to coming out with a new version of their product somewhere down the line.

Not bad mouthing them, it's just the way it is.
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Quote
open hardware/open source, blah blah blah makers blah blah blah.

heh  I always found it amusing that you can take an off the shelf part, mount it on a break out board and BAM its open source hardware for the community

back to the question though

I bought one arduino style clone from modern device (a bare bones kit) in 2007, last year when I needed a mega I bought that off of some china site, and surprise it was DOA cause god help they plug the stupid thing in at least once

other than that its too simple to plop an arduino on a breadboard, or perfboard, especially if it has a specific task and not as an open ended dev board

« Last Edit: February 15, 2013, 11:49:07 pm by Osgeld » Logged


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As the subject line asks, where do you buy your Ardunios...


Quote
...and other stuff...

http://www.digikey.com/
http://www.mouser.com/
http://www.adafruit.com/
http://avnetexpress.avnet.com/
http://www.allelectronics.com/
http://shop.evilmadscientist.com/

Quote
...and why?

DigiKey - price, availability, selection, delivery
Mouser - price, availability, selection, delivery (I live about 100 miles from their headquarters.  Using even the cheapest shipping, I get orders the next day.   smiley-grin)
AdaFruit - cool stuff
AVNetExpress - occasionally very very good prices, delivery
AllElectronics - weird stuff, price (e.g. Dome LED)
EvilMadScientist - cool stuff
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Like others said, where you get your parts depends on your skill level. I get mine where it's cheap (and often reliable). As long as you can pick out the exact part from a large catalog, you've graduated from the school of part purchasing. I also purchase on ebay but quality and availability are both issues. If you DIY and prototype, that's ok. If you manufacture 100 units, possibly go with digikey (in my back yard) and mouser.
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Quote
where do you buy your Ardunios and other stuff and why?

The Answer is only ONE Arduino is enough no need to buy further! it provides you that much of a solid base that very soon you would just buy ATmega's and put them on your own circuit and even more serious users will go further to ARM and other more power uC's(like me) and still remember the Legacy of 'Arduino' that once helped feel those butterflies ,that once started the phenomenon of leaving your imagination blasted!
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I've used sparkfun only and the reason I like them best is for the support, the easily navigatable website, great user and customer support, and the wide variety of products they sell.  And I've had email conversations with many people at SparkFun, why didn't you think they did that?  Their prices may be a bit high for individual parts, but that's what we have digikey and mouser for.  they even recommend buying from other places if you order small pieces like that in bulk.  Also, if you complain about the price being so high for whatever product and show them an example of the same product somewhere else for less, they'll either tell you why their part is more expensive, or they'll lower the price.  Sparkfun isn't just an electronics website--Their a family!!  Plus, where else do you find so many great tutorial, daily videos/posts, and awesome people like that?
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If you follow spe long enough you will see the family has shoddy engineers that don't know to put resistors in series with leds.They may be willing to help but certainly less willing to make design changes. They are growing a culture much like apple. So use them as long as you like them.
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I don't want to be rude, but I beg to differ!  Look at all those tutorials!! They aren't incorrect.  Surely they'll make errors here and there, but just as much as you and I
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-Matt-

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I don't want to be rude, but I beg to differ!  Look at all those tutorials!! They aren't incorrect.  Surely they'll make errors here and there, but just as much as you and I
Which tutorials? If you mean spe makes mistakes, that is not as acceptable as we make mistakes. They hire engineers supposedly experts, unlike us to design their stuff. Yet, basic mistakes were made and numerous suggestions were submitted only to find no official response. Tell me you accept that. BTW, I didn't make that led mistake. If you do, we tell you. We will grill you if you are a repeat offender.
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Buy them?
Doesn't everyone get them for free?
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