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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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Chapter 17: Ten Great Electronics Parts Sources 371
Fry's Electronics
Fry’s is a retail store chain with store locations primarily in Texas and on the west coast. The Web site is for the Fry’s chain. Each store is overflowing with electronics, including ICs and resistors. The company’s Outpost Web site provides many (but not all) of the same products via mail order. The Outpost site is handy if you don’t happen to have a Fry’s store nearby.
Jameco Electronics
Jameco sells components, kits, tools, and more. They offer both convenient online and catalog ordering. You can browse the Web site by category, or, if you know the part number you’re interested in — such as a 2N2222 transistor — you can find it by entering the part number into a search box. You can also use the search feature for categories of parts, such as motors, batteries, or project enclosures. Just enter the category term, and off you go.
Mouser Electronics
Similar to Allied and Digikey, Mouser is a stocking distributor with tens of thousands of parts on hand. You can order from their online store or their humon-gous print catalog. If you can’t find it at Mouser, it probably doesn’t exist. You can ask Mouser for a printed catalog and they’ll send it to you. It’s the same content as they have on the Web site, but we find it easier to browse for parts when they’re printed on paper. Call us old-fashioned!
RadioShack is perhaps the world’s most recognized source for hobby electronics. They support thousands of stores worldwide and now ship many of the offerings in their extensive product line by direct mail. RadioShack still sells lots of resistors and capacitors in their neighborhood stores. But you
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372 Part VI: The Part of Tens
may want to let your mouse do some online shopping when you need the more esoteric stuff, such as less-common integrated circuits or logic probes.
Outside North America
Electronics is popular all over the globe! Here are some handy-dandy Web sites you can visit if you live in places such Australia or the UK. As with North American online retailers, most of these folks also ship worldwide. Check their ordering pages for details.
Dick Smith Electronics (Australia)
Electronics from Down Under. Dick Smith Electronics offers convenient mail order (the company ships worldwide) and has local retail stores in Australia and New Zealand.
Farnell (UK)
Based in the UK but supporting shoppers from countries worldwide, Farnell stocks some 250,000 products. You can order through their Web site.
Maplin (UK)
Maplin provides convenient online ordering for shoppers in the UK, Western Europe, and other international locations. The company also supports dozens of retail stores throughout the UK.
Advice for Shopping Mail Order
For the most part, you can safely build up your cache of electronics goodies shopping by mail. Still, you may run into some hucksters and thieves out there, and it pays to be a little cautious. Here are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when conducting business by mail.
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Chapter 17: Ten Great Electronics Parts Sources 373
When shopping by mail, be sure to:
Understand exactly what you’re buying, when the company plans to deliver it, and how much you’re paying before you send any money.
^ Carefully examine your credit card monthly statements for improper charges.
^ Favor those companies that provide a mailing address and a working phone number for voice contact (not just fax). Sellers without one or the other aren’t necessarily crooks, but lack of contact information just makes it harder to get hold of someone if you run into a problem.
^ Be wary of companies that advertise by sending unsolicited spam e-mails. Also, be sure that the company Web site has an acceptable privacy policy regarding sharing your contact information.
^ Verify shipping and handling charges and service fees before finalizing your order. These costs can add to the price significantly, especially for small orders.
^ Check out the company before sending them a significant order (what qualifies as significant is up to you; it may be anything over $500, or it may be anything over $35). Check for a poor rating with the Better Business Bureau (or a similar institution for those readers outside the United States) in the company’s hometown, in the appropriate newsgroups, or in online chat rooms or bulletin boards.
^ Add insurance, especially if you’re ordering overseas. As a rule, once a package leaves the shipper, it “belongs” to you. If the shipment goes astray, you’re left holding the bag. If you don’t get insurance, you could be out money. Many shippers, such as UPS, automatically insure for up to $100. If your order is worth more than that, be sure to buy extra insurance.
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