Build It Yourself Electronics

Choose a project you can use and learn something while building it.
How is that for a great combination?

Like a lot of engineers, electronics was my hobby long before it became my profession.   From the 1950's through the 1980's, you could purchase electronic kits along with components, books and surplus electronics from retail outlets in any major city.   For someone wanting to learn-by-doing it was and is, the best way next to attending a formal class with a laboratory.   Actually, it may be better to build an electronic kit - you build what you want, and are motivated to do so by your own interest in the project.   Sadly, the two largest manufactures of kit electronic products, EICO and Heathkit, are long gone from the kit manufacturing market.   Once common electronic kits in blister packs at retail electronic parts stores have all but disappeared (along with most of the electronic parts stores).   The good news is you can now find a wide variety of electronic kits, parts, surplus and prototyping components on the internet.

Kits and Surplus Components

Most of the electronic kit companies I have bought from also sell new and used electronics surplus. Here are some great resources for electronic kits, surplus components and gadgets.

ElectronicKits.com
All Electronics Corporation
Surplus components, subassemblies and electronic kits
B.G. Micro
Surplus components and electronic kits
Circuit Specialists
New and surplus parts, tools and electronic kits
Electronic Goldmine
New parts, electronic kits and surplus
Futurlec
Low cost new components and unique kits - long delivery time
MPJA Electronics
Surplus electronic components, electronic hardware and subassemblies
Ramsey Electronics
Unique electronic kits - great customer service
Surplus Shed
Surplus electronic and optical parts

New Electronic Components

These are the best sources I have found for ordering small quantities of new components and hardware for product development and pilot production.

Digikey
Largest selection of components, equipment and prototyping supplies - watch out for minimum order handling charge
Mouser Electronics
Passive components, tools and electronic hardware - better prices then Digikey for same items

Electronic Publications

Technical trade publication listed in order of my preference.

Electronic Design News (EDN)
Trade news and circuit applications
Electronic Design
Trade news and circuit applications
Electronic Component News (ECN)
Component and subassembly market coverage
EE Product News
New hardware/software for prototypes and products
Circuit Cellar
Microprocessor and general electronic design applications
EE Times
Electronics trade newspaper
Product Design and Development
Industrial control market coverage
Nuts & Volts Magazine
Hobby magazine with project ideas and sources of kits, parts, surplus and subassembly electronics

Electronic Prototyping supplies

Some sources of prototyping supplies for building one-of projects for fun and profit.

Antona Corporation
Prototyping adapters for SMD devices and wire-wrap wire supplies (this is my company).
Douglas Electronics
Perf boards for wire-wrapping prototypes, bus specific prototyping boards, card cages
Vector Electronics
The name in perfboard for prototyping bus specific boards

  These links are all companies that I have some experience with and found of value.   They represent a small fraction of what can be located on the world wide web by using any of the popular search engines.


Updated 09/04/10 23:00

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