Best place to buy parts?


I just started playing with Arduino not long ago.

I began with a starter kit from SparkFun. The kit didn't come with any transistors, and I'll need some.

Where do you folks usually buy parts? (both electrical and non-electrical, like transistors and wheels, respectively)

Should I buy online? Any recommended sites?

...or should I just go to RadioShack? (I'm worried about prices)

...... or should I just start tearing apart my old rc cars?....

If you just started playing, I'd start by shopping at hobbyist sites like Sparkfun and Adafruit as they will guide you on which components to buy and provide some context and examples. Once you're an expert and know what to look for you'll find a much wider selection at electronics distributors like Digi-Key and Mouser.

Wheels and such can be found at robotics hobbyist sites (Robot Shop, Trossen, Pololu), or for more industrial-type stuff.

Really, the list of "where to buy stuff" is huge. Here's a random place to give you a sense for what's out there:

-- The Rugged Circuits Yellowjacket: 802.11 WiFi module with ATmega328P microcontroller, only 1.6" x 1.2", bootloader

...and when you're a cheapskate like me, you shop on Ebay, or surplus:

For other stuff, I also shop Goodwill and other "thrift" stores; sometimes you can find interesting stuff at "dollar stores" too.

A couple good places for servos and other R/C components:

...and for Arduino related stuff:

These are only -the tip of the iceberg- when it comes to the number of vendor links I have (and this just for electronics - I have a ton more for "mechanical" components)...

some standard placed in the states that are low quantity friendly

digikey mouser arrow Newark Jameco (I really dont like jameco anymore)

radio shack sometimes, they have a ok deal on a 1/8th watt resistor pack, and when you need a diode or a switch on a Sunday, and any thrift store can be a gold mine, or a total waste of time

This site is owned by terrykng228 on the forum here:

I have made several purchases from him,and always received quick shipping and an excellent price. Terry will quickly reply to any questions that you may have as well.

He has a wiki that is absolutely full of information about Arduino and how to interface components with it:

I really like these guys: Low prices on small volume (even QTY 1) on things like LEDs, caps, diodes, transistors, shift registers, resistors, temperature sensors, etc... Not the largest inventory/variety of parts, but the shipping costs are much lower than most.

--- bill

some standard placed in the states that are low quantity friendly

digikey mouser arrow Newark Jameco (I really dont like jameco anymore)

If you add Avnet Express you have a representative from basically every major electronics distributor in the business. I worked as an intern this summer sourcing electronics components, so the question where do you buy parts was basically my entire job. I often dealt with the higher volume branches of these same companies, but the parts they carry are usually the same. If you know what you are looking for one of these folks will have it. If you happen to work where I did, even if they don't have it they will bend over backwards to get it, but that is another story.

If you don't know exactly what you are looking for I would stick to the hobbyist sites, as they generally stock the most common and all around useful parts. also

Terry is the best! Many of my friends have bought from him. He supports kids learning Arduino! He's got a wide selection of chips... Where's the DIP's?