Brooke Clarke, N6GCE 2003 - 2015

Annotated List of US Distributors
Surplus Electronics
Shipping Options
National Electronic Distributors Association
China Based Discount Stores
Military Surplus Dealers - separate web page

For prototype and hobbyist projects getting parts is a challenge.  There are a number of ways to buy parts:

Annotated List of US Distributors

They all have on line ordering and a hard copy catalog
Tech Support
Digikey (800)
online form
online form
$5  if
They are probably the #1 Microchip disty.  Excellent engineer oriented web pages with excellent search function that leads to price, delivery and more detailed technical info. But they don't carry all the manufacturers that I buy from.
On line data sheets.
3 Dec 2008 3:20 Placed on line order.
3 Dec 2008 4:20 Order processed & shipped USPS Priority
5 Dec 2008 Order arrived.
2014 now have USPS shipping (much lower in cost than other options)
Digilent Inc
(509) 334-6306

development tools for NI, PIC, etc.
Mouser (800)
tech@mouser.com sales@mouser.com 0
Another high quality disty almost as good as Digikey
On line data sheets.
$5 if
Think of Jameco as the generic discount disty.  Their prices can be way lower than the big guys.  good selection of Wall Warts, LEDs, etc. 
On line data sheets but under Jameco# not part number so don't show up in Google.
McMaster Carr
(562) 463-4277 online form online form 0
This is the place to get mechanical parts like taps & dies including odd sizes
and raw material stock
(800) 538-1500    customercare@olander.com

Fastners of all kinds in stock
Best to phone, the on line tools are not too good, but the phone service is top rate
$5 if
Another high quality disty almost as good as Digikey
$5 handling fee merchandize < $25
on line RFQ
$25 min
Another high quality disty almost as good as Digikey
online form online form ?
limited hours
No minimum easy to deal with.
American Microsemiconductor (973) 377-9566 online form (973) 377-9566 ?
they buy up obsolete invertory
no experience with them.  There is an on line store & data sheets
no catalog, limited product line, but good prices
the only place you can get LumiLEDs
stocks Philips magnetic sensors
$10 if
Sells solder paste, needles, etc whereas the big distys only sell in case lots drop shipped.  Great phone tech support and good attitude.
Motion Ind

Nuhorizons - $100 minimum and very poor service for the small business, not recommended.  Case 1: asked for a quote and they said they would, but after a couple of weeks no quote.  Case 2: asked for samples, they asked qualifying questions and said they would, after 3 weeks no parts.  Ordered parts from Arrow (for way less than the Nuhorizons $100 minimum), and got them in 3 days.

Shipping Options

Mouser & Digi-Key offer USPS mail as one of their shipping options.  If  what you're ordering is small this is a very economical method.  Half the cost of UPS and twice as fast.
EXCEPT - on a recent order that included some flux pens the USPS option did not appear.  That's because flux pens are hazardous material so the whole order was routed UPS.  The flux pens ended up being back ordered so I ended up paying extra to get the remaining items slower.
WHEN ORDERING ANY HAZARDOUS MATERIAL DO IT IN A SEPARATE ORDER.  Otherwise your total order will be slowed down.

Surplus Electronics

There dealers buy surplus items and sell them for very low prices.  Sometimes there is a data sheet but often you just get unmarked hardware.
I'm only listing dealers that I've purchased from.

All Electronics
888-826-5432 Van Nuys, CA
(408) 778-3868
Santa Clara, CA
American Science & Surplus 888-724-7587 Skokie, IL a good sense of humor
B.G. Micro
972-205-9447 Garland, TX
Electronic Goldmine
800-445-0697 Scottsdale, AZ components, Kits

(408) 732-1573 Santa Clara, CA

Marlin P. Jones & Assoc 800-652-6733 Lake Park, FL
Olander (408) 735-1850 Sunnyvale, CA screws, hardware
bad web page so phone
Ramsey Electronics 800-446-2295 Victor, NY Kits
Surplus Sales of Nebraska 402-346-4750 ?, NE Expensive & Interesting
Surplus Shed 610-926-9226 Fleetwood, PA Mostly Optical
WeirdStuff (408) 743-5650 Ext 324 Sunnyvale, CA
Mostly complete items
computers, test equip....

National Electronic Distributors Association (NEDA)

List of Distributors - alphabetical by name

China Based Discount Stores

When ordering from overseas sources pay a lot of attention to the shipping cost.  Some items have the shipping included, but on some it's very expensive.  Also they typically use the postal service that can take a couple of weeks so allow for the delay.  In spite of the name don't expect high quality goods, but you do get cheap stuff. 

Best Hong Kong - Nov 2007 - 10mm T3 1/4 @ 100 ma warm white 20 lm @ 55 deg & 135 Cd white narrow beam - these may be HB LEDs in T3 1/4 case
Deal Extreme - When you ask about defective product there's no response
Kaidomain - large selection of flashlight building supplies
Quality China Goods - Wholsale -
Sure Electronics Hong Kong - interesting and low cost small kits - also on eBay
UXcell - Hong Kong
ChinaVision -


Japan Trend Shop - high end and innovative items


The Electronics Source Book - Useful if you know the manufacturer and part number and are looking for stock.
Thomas Register - Back PI (Pre Internet) every company purchased the encyclopedic volumes known as the Thomas Register.  That's how you got the phone number of a company that made what you were looking for.  Today many companies use the Thomas Register as their only web presence.  Many of these companies don't have their own web page and may be slow to respond to email.
Google - You can find almost anything here, but it may take looking at hundreds of summaries
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Page created 14 Nov. 2003.