Electronics > Beginners

From no parts to decent stockpile, best approach?

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Hi again guys, and welcome to the next installment of beginners (played by me) asking the wise and omniscient professionals (that's you) stupid questions.

I'm a software developer trying to get into EE and circumventing 10 years of gathering parts and test equipment.
The first thing I did was build a workbench, and acquire the . Now onto the tedious part; components!

What is the easiest way to get a decent stockpile of components?

My main goal is to be able to prototype most ideas.

Is there something like the (now discontinued) Seeedstudio Open Parts Library but for everything?

I need resistors, caps, inductors, chokes, ferrites, crystals, TVSs, fuses, diodes/zeners/bridge rectifs, transistors, leds, triacs, voltregs, op amps, audio amps, logic ics, optoelectronics, some sensors, wire and connectors.

I'm tempted to make a 'reel to plastic bag' robot and make these kits myself if they don't exist.

Any ideas and pointers are much appreciated!

When buying components, (resistors, caps, etc), buy 100pcs of the part. Usually, it's much cheaper per piece than buying 1-2 pcs. only.
Also check out eBay for "set kits"... resistor kit, ceramic caps kit, diode kit, zener kit... you get lots of values (the whole range) with 10-20 pcs for each value.
Electrolytic kits are more expensive, it's better to just order a few extras when you order parts for a specific project. Over time, you'll build a good stock.
If you can afford to wait, you can buy specific parts for a project from eBay (China). Slow shipping though so plan ahead.
If you don't mind re-using parts, salvage parts from broken equipment.
Build a small decade resistor box (using the up/down switch and some smd resistors). Usually in a project, a few parts will be critical in value and if you don't have the right value, a decade resistor box will help in a pinch.
Organize organize organize -- nothing is worse than knowing you have the part, but can't find it in your stockpile.

Just wanted to comment - hell of a nice workbench there!  :-+


--- Quote from: fivefish on August 18, 2015, 11:13:48 pm ---Also check out eBay for "set kits"... resistor kit, ceramic caps kit, diode kit, zener kit...

--- End quote ---
I would recommend AliExpress instead of eBay if you are looking for the lowest price and can wait a bit more ( In my experience electronic components are cheaper ~20-50% on AliExpress than eBay, there's a bigger variety, but AliExpress sellers do take time to ship out items, some ship immediately, some after 1-2 weeks).


--- Quote from: wilfred on August 19, 2015, 12:16:42 am ---I wouldn't recommend trying. You will either have too many of things you will never use or not enough for the next project. They will take up space and time in organising them or even more time if you don't organise them.
Get a resistor and capacitor kit for breadboarding. Buy a few extra parts of stuff you are using. Either they will suit as spares or they fit the circuits you are interested in.

Have a couple of projects in mind and you can order parts for the next one whilst working on the current one.

The real problem is not having enough parts, it is having too many. How much is too much? If you can't carry it to the rubbish bin in one trip you have too much.

--- End quote ---

Quoted for truth. The only things I stockpile are LEDs, resistors, a basic set of caps, a few basic transistors and diodes, and a bunch of headers and matching connectors. Other than that, I buy as needed. I just haven't found it useful to stockpile components I may or may not need. (It helps that the main components company in Switzerland, Distrelec, delivers next-day, so if I'm really in a pinch I can get it the next day -- or order online and pick up in person.)


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