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new Mouser catalog

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by John Larkin, May 5, 2004.

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  1. John Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    1298 pages! Seems to be growing exponentially.

    John
     
  2. qrk

    qrk Guest

    Digi-Key T032: 1168 pgs, 33 mm thick
    Digi-Key T042: 1368 pgs, 37 mm thick

    Mouser 616: 1178 pgs, 32 mm thick
    Mouser 618: 1298 pgs, 35 mm thick

    Jameco 204: 169 pgs, 4 mm thick (poor Jameco!)

    I think Mouser and Digi-Key are duking it out. I remember when
    Digi-Key's catalog was a newspaper.

    Mark
     
  3. Joel Kolstad

    Joel Kolstad Guest

    I always thought that huge catalog that Newark had (has?) was some of the
    reason their prices were so much higher than anyone else!

    Hmm... I remember when Nuts & Volts was 90+% advertisements! I decided to
    get a 'life membership' ($99!) all of about six months after they stopped
    offering them.
     
  4. I can remember when Digi-Key sold small kits, and no parts. If they
    had a catalog, it wasn't much more than what we saw in the ads in
    the amateur radio magazines.

    Michael
     
  5. PaulCsouls

    PaulCsouls Guest

    That was before mail order killed off all the little Ma-n-Pa
    electronic parts stores. Now all that left is what's tucked in the
    corner of Radio Shack.

    Paul
     
  6. Robert Baer

    Robert Baer Guest

    ....you mean what *little* is tucked in a small corner of Radio Shack.
    Almost seems to shrink every month...
     
  7. Brad Albing

    Brad Albing Guest

    Michael Black wrote:
    [snip]
    Bunch o' young whipper-snappers -- I remember when we'd order from the
    Burstein-Applebee (sp?) catalog....
     
  8. Tim Wescott

    Tim Wescott Guest

    The last time I visited Tandy Aerospace they had put a chest of drawers
    in the itty bitty parts aisle. Now everything is harder to find, but
    there's 3x as much stuff as there was the month before.

    This seems to be a good idea -- you go looking for something specific,
    you don't need to _see_ an MPF-102 to know you want it, and you _do_
    know that it'll be in the "Semiconductors & IC's" drawer and not in with
    the flashlight bulbs.
     
  9. Why do you need Radio Shack when Digikey, Mouser and the others will deliver
    overnight?
     
  10. John Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    Once, there was only Allied. And they knew it.

    John
     
  11. Joel Kolstad

    Joel Kolstad Guest

    Because for a $.39 item that Radio Shack wants $1.99 for, DigiKey will
    charge you $5 for a sub-$25 order and about $15 for the overnighting.
     
  12. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    Here's something that can really piss you off...

    Apparently RS can't understand time zones... at 6AM this morning they
    called, waking me up, to ask if they could send their "Industrial
    Catalog".

    You might imagine what I told them ;-)

    ...Jim Thompson
     
  13. Plonk?
     
  14. Then they blew it.
     
  15. Tweetldee

    Tweetldee Guest


    Yeppers, Burstein-Applebee, Olson Electronics, and the venerable Lafayette
    Electronics. I bought a ton of stuff from all three stores, and
    occassionally still come across some of the stuff that got stuffed into a
    box and never used. I bought Perpetuum-Ebner turntable that became the
    beginnings of my first HI-FI system from Burstein-Applebee, back in the mid
    60's, if I remember correctly. Wish they were still around.
     
  16. Lucky you, to have a job where you can wait till the next afternoon when you
    discover you need something you don't have.

    But in response to an earlier post, it wasn't just mail-order that killed
    off the mom 'n' pop stores; it was two other things:

    - Fewer electronics hobbyists. It's not what kids play with any more. And
    no surprise: most of the interesting electronic things they see around the
    house, like cell phones and PC's, are impossible to build by themselves.
    Why would you struggle to build a rudimentary AM radio when you could just
    listen to MP3's on your iPod?

    - Tremendous variety of parts. When the Digikey catalog was just a few
    pages long, it wasn't because they only had .001% of available parts. It
    was because there was a lot less variety! There weren't 5000 different
    opamps being manufactured. PICs and microcontrollers didn't exist. There
    weren't four different sizes of surface mount resistors for every one of the
    1% resistance series.

    I think that there's going to be an implosion sometime soon. It can't be
    easy to make money stocking, or even pretending to stock, so many parts.
    How many oddball-value 1206 resistors is Mouser sitting on right now? How
    much money did they plonk down to purchase them, and what are they doing to
    service that debt? I think we're going to see a lot of distributors axing a
    lot of parts from their inventory.
     
  17. When I was working, if I needed something right away, and we didn't have it
    in the shop, there was no way Radio Shak would have it.
    You can still do some things. My son bought a kit at an electronics surplus
    store that used an IR circuit to set off an intrusion alarm. He got an old
    textbook from GoodWill and hollowed out a cavity for it with the "eye"
    looking out thorugh a hole drilled in the book cover.
    Some of the stuff I have goten from Digikey looks like it was packaged by
    the manufacturer explicitly for Digikey. I can imagine there is a lot of
    material in Thief River Falls warehouse that doesn't belong to Digikey
    untuil they pick it and pack it.
     
  18. But it's not just that there are more parts.

    It's that back then, the hobbyist was pretty much using the same parts
    as the service people, and the small manufacturers, and the small prototypers.
    There wasn't complete overlap, but the differences, be they parts unique
    to servicing or parts unique to the hobbyist, made up a small percentage
    of the parts the stores carried. And likely, they came from a relative
    handful of companies.

    This meant that the stores just had to tolerate the hobbyist, not cater
    specifically to them. They weren't stuck with much inventory that
    wasn't bought by the customer, and because they had a wider customer base,
    This last meant that the business could be reasonably profitable.

    But then as parts started becoming much more specialized, as ICs started
    to come into use, there was a much bigger division. Even thirty years ago,
    many ICs intended for TV sets were hardly useful for much beyond their
    intended use, and as the years went by, this got even worse.

    The stores could choose who their market was, or they would be stuck
    with large inventory that didn't overlap the various customer bases.

    And this came along at a time when owners of long term businesses might
    be considering retiring. The old stock wasn't selling, and to move into
    the solid-state age would require moving into completely new stock. Those
    nice downtown locations were probably much more valuable for real estate
    development than for an aging small business. The area where I first
    went in 1971 to buy parts, and discovered a while later to be a cluster
    of stores that catered to the hobbyist, is quite different and has been
    different for at least twenty years. The stores are long gone, but the
    area has been rebuilt and built up since I first visited it.

    New businesses coming into the field had the advantage of no stock,
    and didn't have to switch mindsets to solid state. They came up with
    a different business perspective, and not only was location not as
    convenient, but they often decided not to deal with hobbyists. They
    were no longer the owner who also served the customer, and maybe knew
    many of them from the local radio club, or whatever.

    I brought up Digi-Key's origins earlier and it's not particularly
    different from the beginnings of the old time places that started fading
    out as Digi-Key began its rise. Except by the early seventies, fewer
    were around who had seen those other businesses begin. And this is more
    so now. It was the newcomer back then, and now it's the stade old
    business.

    Michael
     
  19. Joel Kolstad

    Joel Kolstad Guest

    Hmm... I wonder if a Starbucks with electronic parts as well would
    survive... :) They already have (not at all cheap, as with their drinks)
    wireless networking!
     
  20. In the right market, it could be a "killer app".

    Fry's Electronics certainly proved that, at least in the Bay area of
    California, it is possible to combine a grocery store, consumer
    electronics store, and an electronics parts store in one location and
    have it be (very) profitable.

    In Vancouver, Starbucks and Chapters bookstore have some sort of
    agreement and you find a Starbucks inside most of the Chapters.
     
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