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Buying electronic components

  1. Aug 29, 2012 #1
    When you need a component (ex. SCR) with specific requirements (ex. 12amp max and less than 20mA gate trigger current) how do you go about finding the component? How do you know what's out there for purchase in extremely small quantities (like just a few). This always becomes a problem when I am doing a project. I know what I need but I don't know how or where to get it. I hope I have explained myself well and I hope there is someone that will read this and guide me in the right direction.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 29, 2012 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    You spend a lot of time with catalogs and browsing around surplus electronics stores, talking to the strange and wonderful people who keep such places stocked.

    There is some standardization in components though - which helps.
  4. Aug 29, 2012 #3
    If you are in Europe, I would suggest googling Farnell. If you are in the US, google digikey, newark, mouser, arrow, or avnet. You can use their websites to do a parametric search. Also, you can check manufacturer websites to see if they make the device you're looking for, and then use their parametric searches to find one with the right specs and then search that part number in any of the above distributors.
  5. Aug 29, 2012 #4
    The big part of being a real engineer is component search!!! In school, you study theory, in real world, you study and keep up with what's out there in the real world. There is no short cut ways, you have to pay the piper. You do your research now and it'll pay off later.

    I remember when I first started out, I spent so much time on what's out there, I studied the whole Ti TTL data book on what is available. Then start calling. Now, I still have to do research every time I run across some new requirement. When I got into music electronics last year, I spent over one week to look for audio frequency transistors, op-amp that are low noise, low power for battery powered electronics. I just spent over a week looking for switches, enclosure, connectors, potentiometers........... Everything is about research, no short cut.

    Start with DigiKey


    They sell small quantity and ship fast.

    All places like Mouser, Digikey, Newark etc. have search engines for you to use. Another way is the go to manufacturer sites like Ti, ON-Semi etc and look. But mostly is leg work. It'll pay off in the long run for you.
  6. Aug 30, 2012 #5
    wow thank you all so much for the replies. I had no idea! I actually enjoy researching and looking for components I just needed a better strategy. Thank you all for the tips. I think it will help me in my future projects. I will probably be posting in this forum more since I am now studying Electrical Engineering at the University of Cincinnati.

    Thank again (:
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