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  • Basic electronics work part stock

    I've started poking at microcontrollers again. I've got a few BASIC STAMP parts from many years of the Mystery Challenge and I ordered a lilypad arduino and some parts from sparkfun for another project.

    Every electronics guy I've ever met has an amazing assortment of parts in hundreds of bins around their workshop. Caps, resistors, transistors, regulators, all that stuff. Looking at the years spent collecting, it's hard to know where to begin. Most of it is penny's a piece but I can't order in small amounts as I need things because shipping will kill me so a bulk order makes sense.

    My question to the assembled community; what would be a good set of basic parts to have on hand for starting with microcontrollers and basic electronics. As well, anyone know if such a kit exists, something with an assortment of the most common of basic parts in some reasonable quantity?

    P.S. At this point I'm looking at LED's blinking and maybe some shield work with the arduino, but nothing huge or exotic for now. If I get more ambitious, I can order more. At this point it's trying to set myself up for the basics so I can't use the 'I'm short one resistor and I don't want to drive across town so I'll give up' excuse.
    Never drink anything larger than your head!






  • #2
    Re: Basic electronics work part stock

    Originally posted by renderman View Post
    I've started poking at microcontrollers again. I've got a few BASIC STAMP parts from many years of the Mystery Challenge and I ordered a lilypad arduino and some parts from sparkfun for another project.

    Every electronics guy I've ever met has an amazing assortment of parts in hundreds of bins around their workshop. Caps, resistors, transistors, regulators, all that stuff. Looking at the years spent collecting, it's hard to know where to begin. Most of it is penny's a piece but I can't order in small amounts as I need things because shipping will kill me so a bulk order makes sense.

    My question to the assembled community; what would be a good set of basic parts to have on hand for starting with microcontrollers and basic electronics. As well, anyone know if such a kit exists, something with an assortment of the most common of basic parts in some reasonable quantity?

    P.S. At this point I'm looking at LED's blinking and maybe some shield work with the arduino, but nothing huge or exotic for now. If I get more ambitious, I can order more. At this point it's trying to set myself up for the basics so I can't use the 'I'm short one resistor and I don't want to drive across town so I'll give up' excuse.
    Despite their apparent move away from stocking electronics parts and selling nothing but cell phones, Rat Shack still has a good basic kit called What's a Microcontroller BASIC Stamp Kit. $99USD. If you don't mind ordering it online, Digikey sells the same kit for $69USD. The kit includes an breadboard, plus an assortment of LEDs, caps, resistors, etc.; enough to get you started.

    Mouser and Digikey both sell parts in small quantities, and both have a kits of parts, although they may or may not be what you need. Digikey has a number of "educational kits" which may help.

    To answer the larger question though, it's hard to say. The best advice I can tell you is to get Getting Started In Electronics by Forrest Mims III, and make a list of the most common parts. Oh yeah, do the projects, too! The projects will give you a great grounding in the basics. Rat Shack used to see a whole series by Mims, and every hardware guy I know (since the 1970's anyway), cut his teeth on Mims' books. Ask L0st, he says the same thing. I've still got my original "Mini Notebooks" by Mims and cherish them.

    Having said that though, I've got parts drawers and bins in my work area, collected from nearly 40 years of playing with electronics and magic blue smoke, and it seems as though whenever I tackle a new project, I am still missing THE one gorram resistor or cap I need. It never freakin' fails.
    Thorn
    "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning." - Catherine Aird

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    • #3
      Re: Basic electronics work part stock

      Two of my favorite places to order parts from is Electronic Goldmine and Allelectronics. Goldmine is nice because they have a lot of industrial type stuff, as well as a good assortment of robotic things. Allelectronics has assortment kits of resistors and caps.

      I did recently order bulk LED's from www.ledshoppe.com. Prices were fair, as was shipping and it was even fast shipping from Hong kong.
      A third party security audit is the IT equivalent of a colonoscopy. It's long, intrusive, very uncomfortable, and when it's done, you'll have seen things you really didn't want to see, and you'll never forget that you've had one.

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      • #4
        Re: Basic electronics work part stock

        Some of the guys from HHV started putting together a list of items to make up a hardware hack kit of sorts. The list was started here: http://hhv.udarknet.com/dokuwiki/doku.php?id=hackit Something to take a look over
        afterburn

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        • #5
          Re: Basic electronics work part stock

          MCM Electronics
          http://www.mcmelectronics.com/

          and Jameco
          http://www.jameco.com/webapp/wcs/sto...0001&langId=-1

          xor
          Just because you can doesn't mean you should. This applies to making babies, hacking, and youtube videos.

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          • #6
            Re: Basic electronics work part stock

            If I can't get what I'm looking for locally, it's always time to dig out the phonebook sized Digiky catalog. When it comes to LED's I always go through a contact who orders them from some warehouse in China.
            "You have cubed asscheeks?"... "Do you not?"

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            • #7
              Re: Basic electronics work part stock

              There's no shortage of places to order from. Ebay is good for things like LED's in bulk, I know that much.

              I'm more interested in what one would order from one of those places. I've got a decent weller iron and meter and such. It's figuring out what are the most common used resistors, etc that I'm trying to solve.

              Rat Shack was an option around here until about 5 years ago when they changes to 'the source' and went full cellphone kiosk and poorly built RC cars.

              Maybe I should call up sparkfun, sounds like a sane kit to offer for purchase.

              Render
              Never drink anything larger than your head!





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