Optoisolator/coupler difference? And where can I find them?

Hi all!

I'm having a small problem building a MIDI interface for my Arduino, I can't find a 6N138 optoisolator locally and nobody knows what I'm talking about when I ask for an optoisolator/optocoupler. Also, finding female MIDI connectors is proving to be a problem as well! Does anyone know if RadioShack normally carries things like those? I'm about to drive around to a few around here and hopefully one of them will have some!

Thank you very much! :3


You will spend less money on shipping components from Digi-Key than you will spend (waste) driving to Radio Shack:

http://search.digikey.com/us/en/products/6N138/160-1795-ND/1969179 http://search.digikey.com/us/en/products/SDS-50J/CP-2350-ND/97033

-- The Flexible MIDI Shield: MIDI IN/OUT, stacking headers, your choice of I/O pins

Yeah, my experience with local shops like Radio Shack has not been overly positive. You will pay TREMENDOUSLY for components you thought were $1-2. It’s hard to go back after that. There are times when you are still kinda inventing the project in your head where it makes sense to see/hold the gadget first, but even then I generally prefer ordering. It is a pain waiting, unfortunately, which is only made worse with my inability to see more than one step ahead.

As for most components like ICs any glaring differences will be illustrated in the datasheets which places like Digikey and Mouser have readily available.