Personally in the past I have felt it can be a daunting task for an electronic fanatic to gather the required electronic components for any project. Some parts are hard to get in some countries and the high cost aggravated by shipping and administration I find so frustrating.
However, luckily the internet is slowly taking root to nurture talents and boost young minds of such people short of cash but with innovative ideas such as Engineering Exchange ;). Here are 5 websites that show how to get; parts for free, sponsorship and all kinds of support. I’m sure building that long awaited project will now become a dream come true.
Best of Luck!
Image courtesy of Philip Taylor PT from Flickr
This site is just crazy about helping people with clear goals. In the list, Fairchild Semiconductor, Texas Instruments, STMicroelectronics, MARL and WIMA companies seem to have the best match for free components. Such companies offer parts for testing purposes. The team behind www.instructables.com also lists other methods of salvaging free parts from old electronic gadgets. That is, from; friends, computer repair shops and dustbins.
This is an ultimate site where you will find electricians discussing about their experience about how to get the best deal and bargains for parts online. Experienced project managers understand the principle clearly depicted here. It is advisable to buy electronic parts from one online manufacturer to avoid double shipping costs incase different components are needed. Price comparison is very important while bulky purchase attracts discounted sales.
Some manufacturers hate small orders since it proves expensive to them. www.futurlec.com is one of the featured sites in this discussion and it seems to understand what electricians wants. The company contains a range of all parts with best prices in the market. For instance, a mini board costs $1.90 and can be integrated with mp3, clocks and flash memories. Solar cells start at $1.20 with output of 05v-18v.
3) Ebay Versus Local Stores
EBay is an auctioning site where you can get a wide range of electronic stuffs. It is possible to strike a low deal on used and new parts since there are many sellers. However, EBay has one downside; it is possible to land into a scam. Some sellers can not be trusted and they may end up with your money. It is also not recommended to buy fragile electronic parts in this website since some may get damaged on the way.
Remember, most of second hand sellers want to dispose their old gadgets and they may lack the packaging expertise. However, if a part is genuine, this site can offer a huge saving for your pocket. Local stores are best when it comes to buying regularly used items like soldering reels. Just call different stores in advance and compare prices to get a good deal.
Old gadgets contain electronic parts which are still valuable. One can get transistors, resistors, capacitors, diodes and other various analog devices. Old CD ROMs laser diodes can be used as building blocks for DIY currency detectors. An optical mouse houses a low resolution camera ideal for a hand held scanner. Printer’s powerful motors can be used to construct a toy or an emergency door locking system. Get the old gadgets and rip off these valuable parts.
Everybody will love this site that values creativity in all aspects of life. After signing up as a project manager, one benefits from immense number of online visitors, well wishers and beneficiaries. For every project you list, supporters will pledge any amount their want until you get the whole amount. In order to get a good kick start, come with innovative ideas without copying the minds of other people. Be unique and try to convince your supporters how the project will help the society. You can be surprised to realize that you have reached your electronic dream and your project becomes fully funded.
Think of an interesting subject hard to be stolen by other rich electricians who may be nosing around. Once you set a project, you will see the progress of funding in percentage and the total amount pledged. No upfront payment for the account, joining is free!
Road Test is another great site that allows electronic lovers to build powerful projects by giving free electronic samples. All you need is to signup and select the parts that are available for a ride. You can search for your favourite parts as well. After filling all the details required, the RoadTest team will determine whether you are eligible for the spare in question. The home page of this site contains the ‘Now Enrolling Road Tests’ for easy access. You can become a volunteer and write reviews to help other electronic lovers to know about the reputation and usability of a certain part.
What do you think?
Be nice to hear your thoughts, and if you know of any other DIY electronic websites that are really good!
Sources & Inspiration for my piece
http://www.newark.com/analog-devices - Was looking for some analog devices last night and this was one of the sites I came across
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