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Topic: Beginner questions (Read 3266 times) previous topic - next topic

cgc98

Hey guys!  I'm VERY new to electronics and wanted to ask you guys a few questions (Not sure If general Electronics is the best section to do this.)

1.  Is MAKE: Electronics a book you would recommend buying?  Are there any other beginner friendly books/online tutorials I should consider buying?

2.  Where is the best/cheapest place to get electronic components (Radioshack? Digikey? SparkFun?)

Thanks!
 

Grumpy_Mike

Quote
2.  Where is the best/cheapest place to get electronic components (Radioshack? Digikey? SparkFun?)
In general Radioshack is poor for the scope of parts it offers and what it does offer are very expensive.

Digikey are a major distributor with top quality stuff, other distributors are Mouser and Farnell / Newark. These are professional outfits.

SparkFun are good for more hobby type things like breakout boards as are Adafruit.

DrBobLoblaw

eBay can be a good source of beginners kits that contain an assortment of parts useful for Arduino projects. You might wind up paying 10x the price, but when the parts are $.01/ea when bought in bulk from a large supplier like Mouser, the final cost isn't that much. If Radioshack has the part and you happen to be near a store, it can be worth the extra cost to get the part now and save the shipping cost.

A parts cabinet with a bunch of drawers to store your parts in an organized way is a requirement. Once you've accumulated a handful of components, it's the needle in a haystack problem trying to find the one you need if they are all in one pile.

The "Encyclopedia of Electronic Components" by Charles Platt and published by Make is a good reference to have on the shelf.

Grumpy_Mike

I would add always buy more parts than you need for any project. It that way the postage is not a silly proportion of the price. For Farnell you get free postage with orders over £20.00. Don't go overboard but buy two or three ICs even when you need one. Before long you will have a stock of parts and be able to tackle most projects from "stock".

pwillard

If you just want affordable generic parts and want avoid EBAY or China *free* shipping delays, there is always TaydaElectronics.com.

And then... there is the recycle approach where you take something *old* and *unused* apart and scavenge it to flesh out your "junkbox" parts.

DrAzzy

#5
Jan 12, 2015, 07:20 pm Last Edit: Jan 12, 2015, 07:21 pm by DrAzzy
Digikey for browsing for parts - they've got almost everything (with a few annoying  exceptions), and for buying stuff that's too unusual to get from tayda or ebay, or which is needed urgently. Digikey is generally not the place you want to go to buy passives or simple stuff - ebay/tayda are cheaper - but their prices are a lot more competitive on other parts.

Ebay is a great source for low cost parts, particularly in quantities of 10-500 - they'll usually undersell digikey by a significant margin. Resistors, diodes, LEDs, capacitors, general purpose transistors, WS2812's, the commonly used arduino sensors, "modules" (parts mounted on breakout boards). Also, DC-DC converter modules (want a $1 adjustable stepdown converter?).
Ebay is also where you get cheap arduino pro mini knockoffs - but don't expect them to work correctly out of the box. At best, the bootloader will need to be reburned, and sometimes the boards have design errors.

Tayda is decent for common parts, and is faster than ebay-from-china, but slower than digikey. Selection is piss poor though.

Electrodragon - for ESP8266 modules
ATTinyCore for x4/x5/x61/x7/x8/x41/1634/828/x313 megaTinyCore for the megaavr ATtinies - Board Manager:
http://drazzy.com/package_drazzy.com_index.json
ATtiny breakouts, mosfets, awesome prototyping board in my store http://tindie.com/stores/DrAzzy

pantaz

You may be able to find affordable parts locally. Some of the best places near me don't advertise, and the only way I found them was via word of mouth. Surplus stores can be a fantastic resource for all kinds of things, such as motors, wire, switches, etc.

Electrical & Mechanical Surplus Stores (USA, Canada, UK, and a few others)
http://mightyohm.com/wiki/resources:surplus

Cactusface

Hi cgc98,
                 Reading books is all very well, but just dive in! start doing the simple things like flashing an LED, then switching 3 LEDs on/off in sequence.  control a small DC motor via small FET (seperate power supply needed). Take light readings via a CDS (Photo-resistor). Get a DS1307 and build a digital clock.

Once you get the hang of the simple things, you will get the appertite for bigger things. Despite what many say most electronic components are tougher then thought, I have made some silly mistakes like getting the power leads the wrong way, putting 5V into an I/O pin, etc.

Has for suppliers here in the UK we have Bitsbox, Thechnobots, Farnell, etc. Maplin but pricey, but I have say most of my stuff comes from China via ebay...

Regards

Mel.
Open your mind! But not too far, your brains might fall out.
Also like Photography, model building and my 300+ Cacti and Succs.

raschemmel

#8
Jan 18, 2015, 09:36 pm Last Edit: Jan 18, 2015, 09:38 pm by raschemmel
Quote
Where is the best/cheapest place to get electronic components (Radioshack? Digikey? SparkFun?)
 
these are two vendors with very low prices and reliable delivery.

BANGOOD ELECTRONICS

TAYDA ELECTRONICS

With Google, you almost don't need any books. All the circuits you need are available online if you know how to search for them. For arduino projects always include the word "arduino" as the first keyword.

larryd

#9
Jan 18, 2015, 09:41 pm Last Edit: Jan 18, 2015, 09:42 pm by LarryD
Quote
BANGOOD ELECTRONICS
Have you ordered from them?
I was going to get a few things there but heard some people warning about no delivery.

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Cactusface

Hi,
      I have had lots of stuff from Bangggod and DX, and one order was lost? but paypal soon sorted it and I got a refund.
DX or Deals-extreame is another that's OK. Here in the UK Bitsbox are cheap for bulk packs and indiviudual components, carry quite a good range.

Regards

Mel.
Open your mind! But not too far, your brains might fall out.
Also like Photography, model building and my 300+ Cacti and Succs.

larryd

I'll give them a try with a small order, thank you.
No technical PMs.
If you are asked a question, please respond with an answer.
If you are asked for more information, please supply it.
If you need clarification, ask for help.

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