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'[OT:] RadioShack Canada S***s'
2004\06\15@181440 by llile

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It is quite possible to do electronics as a hobby anywhere.

Rule 1:  Never order less than 200 resistors, or less than 10 more of
anything that you need.

Rule 2: Get good at desoldering stuff.  Rob a few caps from old VCRs

Rule 3.  Keep a big, well organized junk box with lots of littlle labeled
drawers.  Avoid the H*** Box syndrome.  "Aw H*** I will just throw it all
in a box.

Rule 4:  Jameco is your friend.  Mouser and Digikey are nearly your
friends.

Rule 5.  Grab bags, assortments, and so on are good.

Rule 6:  Round out those onesies orders to $25 by adding a few NIMH
batteries each time.  You know you will need them.

Rule 7: Yes, radio shark stinks.  I still give them a lot of business
because there is no alternative locally.  They *DID* have a USB:RS232
adapter in stock when Circuit City didn't.  They *DO* have many types of
obsolate cables and such, and the store near me still stocks some
components.  All of the shops here that catered to real hobbyist went out
of business.  Radio Shark got the message and sold stuff that makes them a
profit.   I don't blame them.


-- Lawrence Lile





Robert Rolf <spam_OUTRobert.RolfTakeThisOuTspamUALBERTA.CA>
Sent by: pic microcontroller discussion list <.....PICLISTKILLspamspam@spam@MITVMA.MIT.EDU>
06/15/2004 04:51 PM
Please respond to pic microcontroller discussion list


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       Subject:        Re: [OT:] RadioShack Canada Sucks


Jason S wrote:
>
> What if you only need a few dollars or even a few cents worth of parts?
> You're still looking at at least $6 in shipping costs.

Yep.

>
> I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that without a local retail parts
> store, it's simply impossible to do electronics work as a hobby.

Yep.

Unfortunately I got used to driving by Active on my way to work
to pick up whatever I needed that day. With the change in ownership
there is so little useful inventory that I now just order my stuff
from Digikey, pay the shipping and be done with it (my time is worth
quite a lot, unlike a hobbyist). It's still on my desk the next day.

Part of the problem with doing 'hobby' design is that you often
don't always know what you need until AFTER you've sent in your order.
So you either have to plan better, accounting for all likely needs,
or live with the minimum purchase and shipping costs.

I always order a few extra of whatever I purchase so that my 'junk'
draw is pretty well stocked, so I need to order much less often now.
One always needs IC sockets, capacitors, connectors, etc. etc.
so ordering 'just enough' has its shortcoming, particularly if
ordering 10 of something makes the extra 2 pieces 'free' because
of a price break.

The big killer for hobbyists, as I see it, is the MOQ (minimum order
quantity) that most distributors now have. If I only need 25 molex
connectors, why the bleep do I have to place a factory order for 500?
For SMT IC's it's even crazier. 500pc on some things where you need
only 30 (so sampling won't get you what you need).
It is stupid that one of my criteria for designing in a part must now
include whether I can get it in small production quantities (10's or
100s).

Robert

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2004\06\15@190550 by Jason S

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----- Original Message -----
From: <.....llileKILLspamspam.....SALTONUSA.COM>
To: <EraseMEPICLISTspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Tuesday, June 15, 2004 3:15 PM
Subject: Re: [OT:] RadioShack Canada S***s


> Rule 1:  Never order less than 200 resistors, or less than 10 more of
> anything that you need.

200 of the same value?  There are very few values I use 200 of in 10 years.
If you're getting an assortment, how do you pick which values you need for a
project you won't think of for 6 months.  If you're missing a single one,
that's another order so you've lost any advantage of ordering 200 in
advance, and you still have the disadvantages.

Same goes for ordering 10 or more; it means the price for your project is
multiplied by 10 *and* you have to store all the junk, probably for years.
This is probably reasonable for business, but not for the hobbiest.

> Rule 2: Get good at desoldering stuff.  Rob a few caps from old VCRs

What good is that?  Caps only cost pennies, there's a chance the recovered
part won't work, leading to hours of frustration, you now have a huge time
investment in your junk box, you still have storage issues, and where do you
get the VCRs (even used and junked with a much higher chance of faulty
parts) for less than the price of the handful of parts that might be
salvagable from modern equipment?

Some of the repair people I know swear by the technique that the first thing
you do is replace all the caps because they're the first thing to go.  You
want to salvage and reuse them?

Even if you do get anything out of it; you'll probably end up storing most
of the parts for the rest of your life never finding a project that calls
for them.  Then you kids will throw them out because they're worthless.

> Rule 3.  Keep a big, well organized junk box with lots of littlle labeled
> drawers.  Avoid the H*** Box syndrome.  "Aw H*** I will just throw it all
> in a box.

Again, much more time and space is needed than it's worth.  The local retail
store has thousands of little drawers full of parts.  Maintaining such an
inventory at home just isn't worth it for a hobbiest.

I had set of little drawers that was stuffed with carefully sorted parts,
many of which are over 20 years old, and except for the resistors, I don't
think I'd used anything in there for 10 years.  I junked them in the move.
What am I going to do with 20 year old red LEDs that are very dim by modern
standards?  in metal housings that are covered in corrosion and I don't have
specs for?  Assorted power transistors salvaged from old circuit boards
decades ago?

Now I do have a few H*** boxes.  I try to keep an inventory for each one up
to date on the computer.  It does take 10 times longer to find anything, but
compared to all the time wasted sorting parts I'd never use and labelling
drawers, I'm way ahead this way.

> Rule 4:  Jameco is your friend.  Mouser and Digikey are nearly your
> friends.

Yes, your friend at a $6 surcharge for shipping every time you need a part.

> Rule 5.  Grab bags, assortments, and so on are good.

They're good if you love diagnosing problems.  Radio Shack was always the
worst for that, but grab bag assortments is where companies put questionaly
or faulty parts.  The best was my grab bag of 100 "untested" 7-segment LED
displays.  Every one had an "N" hand printed on it with a sharpie, and every
one had at least one segment that wouldn't light.  $10 for 100 7-segment
displays sounds like a bargain, but 5 hours of my free time testing 100
displays and having nothing to show for it but a pile of garbage sure isn't.

> Rule 6:  Round out those onesies orders to $25 by adding a few NIMH
> batteries each time.  You know you will need them.

This is totally illogical.  You're still only placing the order for a few
dollars worth of parts, so effectively you're only paying the shipping for
that.  Stocking extra batteries you don't need doesn't mean you've gotten a
better deal on shipping.  You can wait until you're ordering a few parts and
need the batteries, and then order all you need for the same flat shipping.
Why be out the money and have to store the batteries before you need them if
in the end you've spent the same amount of money?

> Rule 7: Yes, radio shark stinks.  I still give them a lot of business
> because there is no alternative locally.  They *DID* have a USB:RS232
> adapter in stock when Circuit City didn't.  They *DO* have many types of
> obsolate cables and such, and the store near me still stocks some
> components.  All of the shops here that catered to real hobbyist went out
> of business.  Radio Shark got the message and sold stuff that makes them a
> profit.   I don't blame them.

They are a ghost of their former self.  I just bought an enclosure from them
with an integrated membrane keypad covering the top.  It's shaped like a
remote control and inside, it has a 9V battery compartment and space for the
project board.  The front panel is removable and they included a transparent
red replacement piece (for using IR LEDs inside).  It seems like it will be
very useful for a lot of possible projects.  It's the sort of unique and
very hobbiest oriented part they used to be famous for.  It even came with
the 9V battery snap.  When they specialzied in products like this, it's easy
to see how they were truly great.  They only had one left and the package
was covered in dust.  It's probably been sitting there for 10 years, and I
doubt they will be restocking it.  I also got the last small piece of perf
board with an IC friendly pad layout.  I can only hope they'll restock that
item; I must have bought dozens of them over the years.

Jason

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2004\06\15@193623 by rixy04

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Jason S wrote:

>
> > Rule 1:  Never order less than 200 resistors, or less than 10 more of
> > anything that you need.
>
> 200 of the same value?  There are very few values I use 200 of in 10 years.
> If you're getting an assortment, how do you pick which values you need for a
> project you won't think of for 6 months.  If you're missing a single one,
> that's another order so you've lost any advantage of ordering 200 in
> advance, and you still have the disadvantages.

The price of 200 resistors is US$6.00. If I have to run to town and buy a
blister pack of five resistors for 35 cents, I've just wasted $$$$ for them plus
the time to drive to town to get them, and the gas it took. Total? $12 for 5
resistors.

>
>
> Same goes for ordering 10 or more; it means the price for your project is
> multiplied by 10 *and* you have to store all the junk, probably for years.
> This is probably reasonable for business, but not for the hobbiest.

It depends on how much of a "hobbiest" you are. As a hobbiest, I can stuff over
50 resistors in a simple single project.

{Quote hidden}

VCR's and other switching supplies have low ESR caps and other good stuff. I
have robbed a few chassis in my time and it has been very beneficial. Caps are
easy to test. Takes only about 10 seconds to recover a dollar cap.

>
> Some of the repair people I know swear by the technique that the first thing
> you do is replace all the caps because they're the first thing to go.  You
> want to salvage and reuse them?
>
> Even if you do get anything out of it; you'll probably end up storing most
> of the parts for the rest of your life never finding a project that calls
> for them.

Again, I have a shop full of parts. Some I may use and some I may never. I have
friends and neighbors come over all the time asking to fix something of theirs.
They pay me well. Well enough for me to look at a lot of parts just sit there.

{Quote hidden}

My "hobbiest" shop is a 24X36 foot garage. Everyone's impressed when I can
repair almost anything.

>
> I had set of little drawers that was stuffed with carefully sorted parts,
> many of which are over 20 years old, and except for the resistors, I don't
> think I'd used anything in there for 10 years.  I junked them in the move.
> What am I going to do with 20 year old red LEDs that are very dim by modern
> standards?  in metal housings that are covered in corrosion and I don't have
> specs for?  Assorted power transistors salvaged from old circuit boards
> decades ago?
>

Things do age if stored and not used. Cull out what you will never use and
hamfest them. Turn it into money.

{Quote hidden}

I never buy less than $200 from Digikey at a time. I have a wantlist and when it
gets big enough and component is needed soon, the order goes in.

{Quote hidden}

I have numerous portable devices. All have been upgraded to NiMH. I can always
use more.

{Quote hidden}

It's been so long since I've been to RadioSlack, the last time I drove by, it
had moved across town.....4 years ago.
Rick

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2004\06\15@202557 by hilip Stortz

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"to invent you need a good imagination and a pile of junk", thomas
edison.  the same goes for being an electronics hobbyist, junk
electronics are great part sources, though usually not for resistors and
small capacitors, building up a good assortment is best for that.  as
far as resistor values, 1k-10k for most mostly digital stuff, 1k-100k
for most analog stuff, and a few higher and lower.  those ranges will
cover most of your needs.

capacitors, always figure a few K uF, or more properly a few millifarads
for power supplies, o.1 uF or 100 nanofarads and .o1 or 10 nanofarads
for bypass caps, and possibly 1+uF tantalums for bypass in some analog
circuits.  assortments are good, buying a few extra of any value you use
is a good idea.

for resistor values you find yourself using a lot, buying a hundred+ at
a time is a good idea.  5% resistors for most analog and digital, 1% for
a few analog needs.  though mouser electronics just started carrying
0.1% resistors i believe, for when it really matters or you need to
match resistors closely.  believe me, design a few circuits and you'll
get a good idea what values and value ranges you are likely to need/want.

building up a good assortment is initially expensive, but it you are
playing with electronics or doing serious work you can build up your
collection over time.  buying pre made assortments from several sources
with different contents also isn't a bad idea initially.  definitely
become familiar with the larger surplus places, many ham radio sites
have links to their favorites, that's a good place to start.

Jason S wrote:
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: <llilespamspam_OUTSALTONUSA.COM>
> To: <@spam@PICLISTKILLspamspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
> Sent: Tuesday, June 15, 2004 3:15 PM
> Subject: Re: [OT:] RadioShack Canada S***s
>
> > Rule 1:  Never order less than 200 resistors, or less than 10 more of
> > anything that you need.
---------

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2004\06\15@202805 by Jason S
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----- Original Message -----
From: "rixy04" <KILLspamrixy04KILLspamspamVVALLEY.COM>
To: <RemoveMEPICLISTTakeThisOuTspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Tuesday, June 15, 2004 4:37 PM
Subject: Re: [OT:] RadioShack Canada S***s


> The price of 200 resistors is US$6.00. If I have to run to town and buy a
> blister pack of five resistors for 35 cents, I've just wasted $$$$ for
them plus
> the time to drive to town to get them, and the gas it took. Total? $12 for
5
> resistors.

How do you get to $12 for 5 resistors?  As a hobbiest, you go to the store
to get them when you're near there and you don't count your time to go into
the store to buy them; this is a hobby.  If I value my hobby time at
$30/hour then the RGB LED fader I just built is worth at least $100; so I
shouldn't have wasted the time building it when I can buy a fading LED for
$1.

> > Same goes for ordering 10 or more; it means the price for your project
is
> > multiplied by 10 *and* you have to store all the junk, probably for
years.
> > This is probably reasonable for business, but not for the hobbiest.

> It depends on how much of a "hobbiest" you are. As a hobbiest, I can stuff
over
> 50 resistors in a simple single project.

So 50 resistors at $12 for 5, that means at the local store you just spent
$120 on those 50 resistors?  The 10 or more was referring to any part.  How
many membrane keypads do you use in a year, or an LCD of a specific
configuration, or a specific sized enclosure.  Do you really want to pay for
and store 10 of each of these when your project only calls for 1?

Even with 50 resistors on the project, is it reasonable to buy 200 of each
value included in the project?  Most will probably be in series with LEDs or
as pull-up/pull down resistors, so they'll mostly be one of 2 values.  What
about the ones you only use one of and probably won't use in your next
project?

$6 for 200 is 3 cents each, $0.35 for 5 is 7 cents each.  I'd rather be able
to run into the local store and pay the 35 cents as I need certain values.
Actually my local store has the resistors loose in those little drawers for
5 cents each; and yes, I've gone in and bought a single resistor as my
entire purchase for the visit.

> VCR's and other switching supplies have low ESR caps and other good stuff.
I
> have robbed a few chassis in my time and it has been very beneficial. Caps
are
> easy to test. Takes only about 10 seconds to recover a dollar cap.

You can desolder a cap, test it, and sort it away into your carefully
labeled storage drawers in 10 seconds.  Wow, and I thought I was good with a
soldering iron.

It's only worth a dollar if you use it.  I'd stripped a quite few chassis
too.  It's a huge waste of time.  What percentage of parts your stripped
over the years do you think you've used and what percentage have you throw
out or you still have cluttering up your work space?

I once removed 32 18-pin DRAM chips that were directly soldered to a couple
of junk memory cards to use in my laser printer.  It's worth it *if* you
have an immediate use for the part; and an 18-pin DIP is quite a bit more
work to desolder than a cap.  If you're going to store the part for an
unknown amount of time, it's not worth it.  Throw away the chassis and spend
$1 to buy the part a few years later if you do happen to need it.

> Again, I have a shop full of parts. Some I may use and some I may never. I
have
> friends and neighbors come over all the time asking to fix something of
theirs.
> They pay me well. Well enough for me to look at a lot of parts just sit
there.

Most you will never use.  For the few you need, you get paid well enough to
buy it from a supplier, and your friends will wait a few extra days.

> My "hobbiest" shop is a 24X36 foot garage. Everyone's impressed when I can
> repair almost anything.

My "hobbiest" shop is the dining room table and a 2x4' storage cupboard.
Before my big move, I probably had about the same amount of space as you but
in the basement, and the space was filled with clutter; old laser printer
assemblies and other pieces of equipment in various states of disassembly, 4
oscilliscopes, from an old heathkit to a fairly modern DSO, and a lot of
other equipment and space taken over by spare parts.  I am much better off
this way, even if it does cost more overall to complete a project.  The only
gotcha is that I never have a complete parts list until I'm finished the
project.  $6 for shipping added to the total cost of parts in very
reasonable, $6 x 5 for the 5 items I didn't know I needed when I placed the
last order kills the value of the project.

I used to fix things for friends and family as well as myself.  It isn't
worth it anymore.  If it takes me 4 hours to fix a VCR that can be replaced
for $60, why bother?  My time is worth more than $15/hour.  Consumer
electronics is so cheap in price and quality these days it's basically
disposable.

> I never buy less than $200 from Digikey at a time. I have a wantlist and
when it
> gets big enough and component is needed soon, the order goes in.

I try to do that with a threshold at around $50.  What happens thoush is I
get my $50 order in, start working on the project and then realize I'm
missing something that's a few dollars.  Then do I wait until I'm ready to
start my next project and add the parts missing from the previous one or
just take the hit and waste the shipping costs?  If I choose the former, I
will never finish anything, so it has to be the latter, but there's always
something I'm missing.

To get back to the original thread, I used to hate radio shack for charging
$1 for 20 cents worth of parts, but that was when I was in Toronto where
there are electronics strores everywhere.  Now that I don't have access to
the real stores, I think that for what you can get at radioshack, it is
worth 5 times the price for small parts when you only need a few things.

> I have numerous portable devices. All have been upgraded to NiMH. I can
always
> use more.

Then buy more when you need them; don't just round out orders with them

> It's been so long since I've been to RadioSlack, the last time I drove by,
it
> had moved across town.....4 years ago.
> Rick

I stopped going to Radio Shack about 6 years ago when the US stores wouldn't
sell me a DirecTv satellite dish.  I've only recently starting going back
and that's because there's nowhere else to go here.

Jason

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2004\06\15@235421 by Matthew Brush

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> Radio Shark got the message and sold
> stuff that makes them a
> profit.   I don't blame them.

What?!  Don't make a profit?

http://www.radioshack.ca/estore/Product.aspx?language=en-CA&product=2762881&category=Semi+Conductors%2fIC's&catalog=RadioShack
(whatch for URL wrapping)

And there are some things this simple that I would be
willing to pay that for if I really only needed one.

Remember that's CAD too!

Cheers.


=====
MJ Brush
LeftClick.ca Internet Media Services
mbrush@[NOSPAM]leftclick.ca

______________________________________________________________________
Post your free ad now! http://personals.yahoo.ca

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2004\06\16@001150 by Martin Klingensmith

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Jason S wrote:

> 200 of the same value?  There are very few values I use 200 of in 10 years.
> If you're getting an assortment, how do you pick which values you need for a
> project you won't think of for 6 months.  If you're missing a single one,
> that's another order so you've lost any advantage of ordering 200 in
> advance, and you still have the disadvantages.
>

I've used probably 100 1k resistors in the past 2 years. That equates to
big bucks for radioshack resistors.

> Same goes for ordering 10 or more; it means the price for your project is
> multiplied by 10 *and* you have to store all the junk, probably for years.
> This is probably reasonable for business, but not for the hobbiest.
>

Only if you're using some odd-ball part. Most of us use things like
PICs, opamps, transistors, capacitors, resistors, diodes, LEDs. Many
circuits will tolerate different components. I have some IRF1405s that
could be used in place of a IRF540 more expensive, but I have them anyway.

> What good is that?  Caps only cost pennies, there's a chance the recovered
> part won't work, leading to hours of frustration, you now have a huge time
> investment in your junk box, you still have storage issues, and where do you
> get the VCRs (even used and junked with a much higher chance of faulty
> parts) for less than the price of the handful of parts that might be
> salvagable from modern equipment?

I have yet to desolder a capacitor that doesn't work, as long as it's
not physically damaged. Most consumer components get scrapped well
within capacitor liftime. I haven't scrapped any radios from 1940 lately...

>
> Some of the repair people I know swear by the technique that the first thing
> you do is replace all the caps because they're the first thing to go.  You
> want to salvage and reuse them?

You know repair people that still fix consumer electronics? It must not
be anything made in the past 8-10 years.

>
> Even if you do get anything out of it; you'll probably end up storing most
> of the parts for the rest of your life never finding a project that calls
> for them.  Then you kids will throw them out because they're worthless.

I've saved a lot of money and allowed myself the ability to build things
without spending a ton of money. Most of the time I use scrapped
capacitors and transistors.

> Again, much more time and space is needed than it's worth.  The local retail
> store has thousands of little drawers full of parts.  Maintaining such an
> inventory at home just isn't worth it for a hobbiest.

Where would you suggest I go to get stuff I want sooner rather than
later. And where can I get it for the cost of heating up my soldering
iron? I'm a student and a hobbiest.

>
> I had set of little drawers that was stuffed with carefully sorted parts,
> many of which are over 20 years old, and except for the resistors, I don't
> think I'd used anything in there for 10 years.  I junked them in the move.
> What am I going to do with 20 year old red LEDs that are very dim by modern
> standards?  in metal housings that are covered in corrosion and I don't have
> specs for?  Assorted power transistors salvaged from old circuit boards
> decades ago?

If all else, sell it on Bay. Maybe you don't do as much experimenting as
I do, or you have more money than I do. Either way, I'm not you.

> I also got the last small piece of perf
> board with an IC friendly pad layout.  I can only hope they'll restock that
> item; I must have bought dozens of them over the years.
>
> Jason

I've bought many little boards from them myself. Too bad they're of
terrible quality, but what do I expect from a store trying to sell cheap
parts at low quantity and make a profit.

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2004\06\16@003511 by William Chops Westfield

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On Tuesday, Jun 15, 2004, at 16:37 US/Pacific, rixy04 wrote:

>> Same goes for ordering 10 or more; it means the price for your
>> project is multiplied by 10 *and* you have to store all the junk,
>> probably for years. This is probably reasonable for business, but not >> for the hobbiest.
>>
It depends on how seriously you're going to pursue your hobby.  Stuff from surplus stores GOES AWAY and you might never be able to get it again.  No, you don't need 10 of everything.  But it's pretty silly to order ONLY one of a $2 part, too.

Save your money for however long it takes and order $100 worth of parts at a time.  I don't find it very difficult to get most orders up to $100... :-)  You don't really need to order 200 resistors if you can get packs of 100 for a similar (or even a reasonable) per-piece price.  but,
for instance, All Electronics prices look like this for 1/4W resistors:
   10 pieces of one value for 50¢ • 100 pices of one value $3.00
   200 pieces of one value $4.00

(OTOH, learn when it's ok to substitute resistor values.  For the average digital experimentor, you can probably get away with 100, 1000,
1k, 10k, and 100k resistors.  Period.)

BillW

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2004\06\16@012053 by Jason S

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----- Original Message -----
From: "William Chops Westfield" <spamBeGonewestfwspamBeGonespamMAC.COM>
To: <TakeThisOuTPICLISTEraseMEspamspam_OUTMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Tuesday, June 15, 2004 9:35 PM
Subject: Re: [OT:] RadioShack Canada S***s


> It depends on how seriously you're going to pursue your hobby.  Stuff
> from surplus stores GOES AWAY and you might never be able to get it
> again.  No, you don't need 10 of everything.  But it's pretty silly to
> order ONLY one of a $2 part, too.

It does often make sense to get more than you need, but the post I was
replying to said 10 times as much of everything.  So yes, when I do order
that $1.25 cable from All Electronics, I will be ordering a few (but not
10), and it would be stupid to order more than 1 of the $5 phone keypads;
I'm still looking for a cheaper online source; Active Annex in Toronto sells
them (or did a few years ago) for 35 cents.  You really need to think about
what you're buying and decide how many you expect to use over the next year.

> Save your money for however long it takes and order $100 worth of parts
> at a time.  I don't find it very difficult to get most orders up to
> $100... :-)

My whole point here is that simply doesn't work for the hobbiest.  If you're
building someone else's design there's no problem, but if you're doing your
own design, you always forget something or something doesn't work out and
needs to be changed.

I will need some sort of buzzer for my timer project.  Do I order 1 of each
that All Electrtonics carries and hope one has a sound I like?  I can just
buy a Piezo and see if a square wave output from the pic directly driving
the piezo will sound good.  If it does, that's probably something I should
buy 10 of, but I just don't know.  Part of being a hobbiest is that I can
experiment but a lack of easy access to parts with no shipping cost really
puts a damper on things.

> (OTOH, learn when it's ok to substitute resistor values.  For the
> average digital experimentor, you can probably get away with 100, 1000,
> 1k, 10k, and 100k resistors.  Period.)

Good start, but you'll need several more values in the 100-300 ohm range to
limit current to LEDs.  Assuming 5V supply and 1.7V dropped across the LED,
that's 33mA at 100 ohms or 3.3mA at 1k.  Neither is suitable.  If you're
working on your project and decide you want to put a couple of LEDs in
series you'll need another lower value.  You might end up using a different
voltage, especially since the PIC can work at lower voltages.

See how easy it is to miss out on a part while ordering?  Once you figure
out which values you would have forgotten by just getting the powers of 10,
you can place another order right away and eat the $6 shipping cost or put
your project on hold until you come up with another $100 order.  Neither
option is very appealing for a hobbiest.

Jason

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2004\06\16@014409 by Wouter van Ooijen

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> > Rule 1:  Never order less than 200 resistors, or less than
> 10 more of
> > anything that you need.
>
> 200 of the same value?  There are very few values I use 200
> of in 10 years.

Where I buy resistors 1k cost E 5.00, so I always buy 1k. Earlier I
bought a 20-value assorted box, I rarely need other values, so over time
I just bought 1k of most of these values. When I do need another value
it is often just one or two, so I check the 'assortmen box' I glued
together from matchboxes 25 years ago when I was salvaging components
from old television sets. Or I put two of the assorted values in series
or parallel. It might help that I do mostly digital work, where the
exact resistor values often do not matter that much.

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\06\16@025545 by William Chops Westfield

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On Tuesday, Jun 15, 2004, at 22:24 US/Pacific, Jason S wrote:

> Good start, but you'll need several more values in the 100-300 ohm
> range to limit current to LEDs.  Assuming 5V supply and 1.7V dropped
> across the LED, that's 33mA at 100 ohms or 3.3mA at 1k.  Neither is
> suitable.

Bah.  Both are suitable.

BillW

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2004\06\16@025957 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Tuesday, Jun 15, 2004, at 22:24 US/Pacific, Jason S wrote:

> I will need some sort of buzzer for my timer project.  Do I order 1 of
> each that All Electrtonics carries and hope one has a sound I like?  I
> can just buy a Piezo and see if a square wave output from the pic
> directly driving the piezo will sound good.

You get a "bunch" of random buzzers.  And a "bunch" of speakers.  If
you don't like the sound of the buzzers, and it's important enough, you
devise a circuit using one of the speakers instead.  Or your order two
each of several buzzers and use the ones you don't like the sound of in
less important places...

(The wildly varying prices of SOME surplus items that show up at all
the online stores is quite amusing.  Grr.)

BillW

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2004\06\16@052119 by Philip Pemberton

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In message <RemoveMEOF91AC37EA.9316996B-ON86256EB4.007958E4-86256EB4.007A404AspamTakeThisOuTsaltonusa.com>>          llileEraseMEspam.....SALTONUSA.COM wrote:

> It is quite possible to do electronics as a hobby anywhere.
Indeed it is - I've held a subscription to EPE since 1997, a subscription to
Elektor since 2002 and I've been building stuff out of the remains of dead
VCRs and suchlike for a good six years.

> Rule 1:  Never order less than 200 resistors, or less than 10 more of
> anything that you need.
I apply the same rule, except my MOQ for resistors is 50. For electrolytics
it's 25.

> Rule 2: Get good at desoldering stuff.  Rob a few caps from old VCRs
Desolder wick is good for desoldering SMD stuff and some through hole stuff.
If you have trouble getting the solder out of the holes, resolder the joint,
then use a soldersucker to remove the solder. I've got an Antex Pro-Desold
soldersucker and I tend to use the Chemtronics Soder-Wick soldering wick,
both of which work fine. For soldering, I've got a 50W Antex
temperature-controlled soldering station - again, fairly well built and much
easier to use than my old mains-powered 25W soldering iron. I usually keep
the temperature at around 340 degrees C for soldering, 365 for desoldering.

> Rule 3.  Keep a big, well organized junk box with lots of littlle labeled
> drawers.  Avoid the H*** Box syndrome.  "Aw H*** I will just throw it all
> in a box.
Oops. Methinks it's time to buy some proper storage boxes...

> Rule 4:  Jameco is your friend.  Mouser and Digikey are nearly your
> friends.
If you're in the UK, Farnell InOne (http://www.farnell.com), CPC (http://www.cpc.co.uk), RS
[to some extent], Mainline Surplus Sales and WCN Supplies are your friends.
WCN and Mainline specialise in surplus parts, whereas the other three sell
new components. RS are good for some of the "oddball" stuff but their prices
are a little high. CPC seem to specialise in replacement parts for VCRs and
other consumer electronics devices. Farnell just sell new components (and
significantly cheaper than most other UK suppliers, too).
If you want PICs, Crownhill Associates sell PICs at well below everyone
else's prices.

> Rule 5.  Grab bags, assortments, and so on are good.
See WCN and Mainline Surplus aboce

> Rule 6:  Round out those onesies orders to $25 by adding a few NIMH
> batteries each time.  You know you will need them.
I usually add resistors and electrolytics.
Philpem's Rule 1a: ALWAYS buy metal film resistors at 1% tolerance. Sure,
they're more expensive, but they have better temperature stability and you
never know when you might specifically need the close-tolerance values (e.g.
for amplifiers, oscillators or Vregs)

> Rule 7: Yes, radio shark stinks.  I still give them a lot of business
> because there is no alternative locally. Replace "Radioshack" with "Maplin" and you've got the UK version.

> They *DID* have a USB:RS232
> adapter in stock when Circuit City didn't.
Maplin... USB:RS232... ROTFLMAO!
GB £49 for a USB-to-RS232 converter. I think that works out at, what, US $85?

Later.
-- Phil.                              | Acorn Risc PC600 Mk3, SA202, 64MB, 6GB,
EraseMEphilpemspamdsl.pipex.com              | ViewFinder, 10BaseT Ethernet, 2-slice,
http://www.philpem.dsl.pipex.com/  | 48xCD, ARCINv6c IDE, SCSI
... How come all the buttons keep flying off my shirt?

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2004\06\16@053609 by Philip Pemberton

face picon face
In message <01c401c45339$63c73f20$6400a8c0@jason>
         Jason S <RemoveMEpicEraseMEspamEraseMECANADASPEAKS.COM> wrote:

> and an 18-pin DIP is quite a bit more
> work to desolder than a cap.
I just attack the boards with a hot-air paint stripper. It takes a while to
get hot enough to melt solder, but nothing beats a hot air gun to desolder
large quantities of parts fast :)
I've just gutted a few dead digicams - I've now got a small Ziplock bag full
of spare parts, including DRAMs, CCDs, LCDs and SD Card slots. Took me about
an hour to desolder *everything* from three PCBs.

Later.
--
Phil.                              | Acorn Risc PC600 Mk3, SA202, 64MB, 6GB,
RemoveMEphilpemspam_OUTspamKILLspamdsl.pipex.com              | ViewFinder, 10BaseT Ethernet, 2-slice,
http://www.philpem.dsl.pipex.com/  | 48xCD, ARCINv6c IDE, SCSI
... I'd like to live like a poor person with lots of money.

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2004\06\16@054854 by Howard Winter

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Philip,

On Wed, 16 Jun 2004 10:21:14 +0100, Philip Pemberton wrote:

> > Rule 7: Yes, radio shark stinks.  I still give them a lot of business
> > because there is no alternative locally.

> Replace "Radioshack" with "Maplin" and you've got the UK version.

I have to disagree here - Maplin still sell components, and although the shops' stocks aren't what they were,
you can get everything next-day mailorder if necessary.  And they will sell individual resistors (1 penny each
for 1/4W metal film 5%), and "starter packs" of 10 of each of the E12 or E24 series, whereas RadioShaft in the
US only sell packs of 5 of a value at about $1!

Agreed they do charge like a raging bull for some things, but they also have some good special offers (a 120mm
magnifyer with ring-fluorescent on an "anglepoise" arm for £20 - I'll be getting one later today! :-)

They aren't the supplier they used to be for electronics hobbyists, but then the hobby has declined.  Where
there used to be half a dozen monthly electronics magazines, there are really only two now (and one of those
comes from the Netherlands) so I can understand their diversifying into consumer electronic toys, radios,
audio and so on, but at least they're still there and their nearest shop is a 10-minute drive from me!

However, see my other message "Credit where it's due"...

Cheers,

Howard Winter
St.Albans, England

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2004\06\16@064325 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
> My whole point here is that simply doesn't work for the hobbiest.

Believe me, there are many people form whom it works, and under
circumstances much worse than in Canada, where you always can count on the
good infrastructure from the big neighbor.

I guess it boils down to the question whether it works for you. It doesn't
seem to, from what you're saying. I see it that way: either you want to do
it, then try to work with the advice of people who are doing it and are
having fun with it, or you don't -- then let it be.

Since you're talking about doing it as a hobby, it's as simple as that.


> If you're building someone else's design there's no problem, but if
> you're doing your own design, you always forget something or something
> doesn't work out and needs to be changed.

I'm not sure you did designs for somebody else. It's not easier to think of
everything when you're designing for others; it's just as difficult to
think of everything as when you're designing for yourself. But when you are
designing for yourself, nobody is after you with project timeframes and
other requirements. So you don't have the right resistor value? Solder two
or three together. Or you need that one special part? Wait until you have
enough together for an order and do a different project in the meantime.
Can't do that with a project for a customer, usually, but you can do that
easily with your own projects.

Gerhard

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2004\06\16@125844 by ColinC

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>> Good start, but you'll need several more values in the 100-300 ohm
>
Well, that might be overstating it a bit.   He probably needs 270 or 330.

OTOH, whenever I get a batch of new LEDs, I like to wire up some in
parallel with, say, 270, 330, 470, and 1K, just to see where the
brightness drops off.  If there's no apparent difference between the 270
and the 330, for example, then I use 330.

Colin

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2004\06\16@152429 by Matthew Brush

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> I'm not sure you did designs for somebody else.

I'm not certain, but I believe this guy meant doing
designs from websites, where they already have the
parts list made and you know exactly what you'll need.

Cheers


=====
MJ Brush
LeftClick.ca Internet Media Services
mbrush@[NOSPAM]leftclick.ca

______________________________________________________________________
Post your free ad now! http://personals.yahoo.ca

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2004\06\16@184112 by Jason S

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Hi Wouter,
   You're well beyond a typical user; I'm not surprised you can use a lot
more parts than me :)
   For me, what works best with resistors is to start with the 20 value
assortment; about 20 of each value, and buy ~100 of the ones I use up.  That
way I always have what I need, and for some values I still have 10 year old
resistors from my original 20, and for others I buy a pack of 100 every
year.

   I've been looking at your Dwarf boards and I'm interested in buying a
set, but I have some questions:
   To tie things back to the original topic, can you supply extra header
connectors to make my own daughter boards so I won't have to order them from
somewhere else at another shipping cost?
   Do you have a board to connect to a matrix keypad?

   I've never used ZPL or Jal.  Will I be able to develop my code in MPLAB
as I normally do and use the bootloader to load the code?

Thanks,
 Jason





{Original Message removed}

2004\06\17@021244 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
>     I've been looking at your Dwarf boards and I'm interested
> in buying a
> set, but I have some questions:
>     To tie things back to the original topic, can you supply
> extra header
> connectors to make my own daughter boards so I won't have to
> order them from
> somewhere else at another shipping cost?

Check items RC10 (ribbon cable), CC10 (the connectors that you crimp
onto the cable) and ML10 (the connector on the PCB). The ML10 connectors
have standard spacing, so you can use a standard sea-of-islands type
prototype board. If you use a solderless breadboard DB016 has
'wire-cups' so you can insert wires directly. Or use a DB014.

> Do you have a board to connect to a matrix keypad?

Yes, but I am not satisfied with it: it has its connector on the keys
side, which makes front mounting impossible. I will redesign it for
connectors at front or back, with different keys, and maybe some more
things.

But I also have a 'telephone' 3x4 keypad: just connect it!

>     I've never used ZPL or Jal.  Will I be able to develop my
> code in MPLAB
> as I normally do and use the bootloader to load the code?

Jal has nothing to do with it, that's just a compiler, except that I
provide some Jal libraries taylored to the DB's. You can use ZPL to
download code made by any compiler/assembler, as long as you don't try
to be overly clever with the first few instructions (check the ZPL
documentation).

Wouter van Ooijen

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