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Electronics for dummies - McComb G.

McComb G., Boes E. Electronics for dummies - Wiley publishing, 2005. - 433 p.
ISBN: 0-7645-7660-7
Download (direct link): electronicsfordummies2005.pdf
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You also donít need to buy everything brand new. Used and surplus items can save you a ton of cash on electronics test equipment. Buying used and surplus has one disadvantage ó most of this stuff doesnít come with instruction manuals. Sometimes you can buy the manual separately, or you may be able to find it online. Owners of popular test gear often scan the pages of their old equipment manuals and post them online for the benefit of others.
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368 Part VI: The Part of Tens
Check out these sources for used equipment:
eBay and other online auction sites: Before you bid, check out other auctions, including those that have already ended, to see what the going price is for similar products. Set your bid accordingly, and use a proxy bidding feature so that you donít have to stay glued to your computer to stay on top of the bidding.
Electronics mail order and local surplus outlets: These outlets are another good source for used test equipment and are handy if you donít want to wait for an auction to finish or you prefer to know the price up front.
Whether you use an auction, mail order, or a local store, be sure that the test gear you buy actually works. Have the seller guarantee that the equipment is in working order by giving you a warranty. You may pay a little bit more for it, but if you donít make sure that it works, and youíre not so good at fixing broken test gear, you may just be buying an expensive paper weight. If youíre brand new to electronics, have a more experienced friend or work associate check out the gear for you.
Pass up sellers, especially on eBay or other auction sites, who arenít willing to guarantee that their products are in working order. Plenty of sellers take the time to check out their wares and guarantee that the item wonít be dead on arrival.
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Chapter 17
Ten Great Electronics Parts Sources
In This Chapter
^ Parts sources from around the globe ^ Tips for buying mail order
^ Understanding the pros and cons of surplus parts
ooking for some great sources for your electronic parts? This chapter gives you some perennial favorites, both inside and outside of North America. This list is by no means exhaustive; you can find literally thousands of specialty outlets for new and used electronics. But the sources we list here are among the more established in the field, and all have Web pages for online ordering (some also offer a print catalog).
North America
Check out these online resources if youíre shopping within the United States or Canada. Most of these outlets will ship worldwide, so if you live in a different country you can still consider buying from these stores. Just remember that shipping costs may be higher, and you may have to pay an import duty, depending on your countryís regulations.
All Electronics
All Electronics runs a pair of retail stores in the Los Angeles area and sends mail orders worldwide. Most of their stock is new surplus, meaning the merchandise is brand new but has been overstocked by the company. All Electronics has a printed catalog; the latest updates are available on their Web site. Be sure to check out the Web Only deals.
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370 Part VI: The Part of Tens_
Attied Electronics
Allied Electronics is whatís known as a stocking distributor. They offer goods from a variety of manufacturers, and they have most parts available for immediate shipping. A minimum order requirement may apply. Allied is geared toward the electronics professional, but they welcome hobbyists, too. The Allied catalog is huge. Itís not practical to browse it cover to cover, but they do have a useful search feature.
B.G. Micro
Selling primarily surplus odds-and-ends, B.G. Micro has great prices and terrific customer service. You can buy either from their printed catalog or online. Check their Web site for the latest deals. Their stock tends to come and go quickly, so if you see something you especially like, be sure to order it now! Otherwise, some other eagle-eyed evil scientist may beat you to it.
If you want it, Digikey probably has it. Like Allied Electronics, Digikey is a stocking distributor, carrying thousands upon thousands of items. Their online ordering system is particularly easy to use and includes price, available stock levels, and even quantity discounts. The site offers a handy search engine so you can quickly locate what youíre looking for. Digikey will also send a free printed catalog, but to read the tiny print, you have to get out your glasses. The text has to be teensy-weensy to fit everything in.
Electronic Goldmine
Electronic Goldmine sells new and surplus parts, from the lowly resistor to exotic lasers. Theyíve divided up their Web page by category, which makes ordering very easy. Most parts include a color picture and a short description. Be sure to check out their nice selection of project kits.
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