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The Art of Electronics

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Clueless Newbie, Feb 3, 2004.

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  1. Hi! I printed out the posts from here, and my boss just ordered these books
    for me:

    The Art of Electronics by Paul Horowitz and Winfield Hill

    Troubleshooting Analog Circuits by Robert Pease

    The Art and Science of Analog Circuit Design by Jim Williams

    And he says that if I want to take some classes at the local JC he will pay
    all of my expenses!

    Now I have a question. He wants me to get "price and availability" for the
    parts I have been using in quantities of 1000. Do I have to call each
    manufacturer? Is there some sort of online store that sells all kinds of
    parts and which can give me a parts list? How do you dudes go about figuring
    out who has the best prices?
     
  2. Wow! Soon you will be able to drop the "clueless" from your name ;-)
    There are catalog distributors (such as Digikey or Farnell). They're
    quite useful to get a first idea, but the pricing is often too high.
    Some manufacturers have price info on their website. See for example TI
    (www.ti.com). Others want to be asked. Availability is a volatile thing,
    as you may imagine. It has generally been good over the last years but
    since the business is picking up expect shortages and extended lead
    times once again. You'll need to talk to the reps for this.
     
  3. Clueless Newbie wrote...
    Good choices!
    Good start.
    Here're two good starts for that:
    http://www.findchips.com/
    http://www.freetradezone.com/

    You'll need to signup at PartMiner / freetradezone, but the search
    of distributor inventory and prices is free. Then you can click
    the links to the distributor and get the detailed listing for that
    part, which should include the 1000-piece level. Generally they
    won't give up better prices than you see there, but perhaps if you
    can get a buncha stuff from one distributor you can talk the phone
    sales guy into an extra price break for the whole set "just this
    once, now that your starting out and trying to impress your boss."

    Thanks,
    - Win

    whill_at_picovolt-dot-com
     
  4. John Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    Locate a couple of broad-line distributors (Arrow, Bell,
    Hamilton/Hallmark etc in the USA), then call them and have a rep
    assigned as your prime contact. Then you can look up parts on their
    site, or email the rep for quotes. Expect to be flooded with
    databooks, samples, eval boards, and the occasional free lunch.

    Always be optimistic about potential quantities.

    John
     
  5. Ian Stirling

    Ian Stirling Guest

    A general question.
    A part I've been watching on the TI website, though marked as "active",
    has never had a price listed, or any stock available at any distributors.
    Does this basically mean that they have not had any large orders for it,
    so have not actually made any?
    (It's the TC253 (may have got the number wrong, it's a CCD with a
    solid-state electron multiplier and the ability to relaibly see
    single photoelectrons.
     
  6. Looking at this page:
    http://focus.ti.com/docs/prod/folders/print/tc253spd-b0.html

    They appear to have about a dozen pieces in progress. Is this
    primarily a military part?

    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
     
  7. Ian Stirling

    Ian Stirling Guest

    Oh, it's changed recently.
    I've no idea, I wouldn't have thought so.

    It's as sensitive to light as the best image intensified cameras, however
    the size of the device means that it can only use a smaller lens, which
    means it's a bit less.

    I'm interested in using it to look at stars, where it's good for short
    integration times, as you can use it to add frames without much noise
    due to the amplification.
    The part you mention is a peltier cooled version, which presumably
    would be significantly more expensive than just the bare IC.

    Then again, I haven't seen a price on it, and the couple of distributors
    I asked were also clueless.
     
  8. Tim Wescott

    Tim Wescott Guest

    And then your boss will wonder why you can't get good prices in the future.

    For quantities of 1000 at a time you will want to go to real distributors,
    the catalog guys are great but their prices are high. Developing
    relationships with distributors can be time-consuming, however, which is why
    even medium-sized companies have entire departments devoted to purchasing.

    Depending on your boss, and what you want to do in five years, you may just
    want to call a couple of the big distributors (or use the partminer service)
    and call it good -- if you do a _really_ good job of finding parts at a good
    price you may end up in purchasing when your boss realizes he needs more
    people to do the work at hand.
     
  9. I don't mind using the catalog prices for estimates, actual purchasing
    should be done differently, especially if tens of thousands of dollars
    or more are involved. It's sometimes worth placing an order for 6
    months or a year's worth of product (with releases) if you are pretty
    sure the demand will be there. The sales guy gets his big order,
    you're ethically tied using them, the price you pay is fixed, and you
    can get the best possible unit price at that point in time. If
    shortages are looming (I don't think we're there yet, but it will
    come) it can help with that too- if you have to pay "spot" price you
    might have more problems.

    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
     
  10. Joel Kolstad

    Joel Kolstad Guest

    I never found this mattered much when I was at small companies, in that
    saying '100' was no better than saying '10,' and you hopefully receieved a
    few brownie points for being honest with the later. (These were, e.g.,
    FPGAs that were hundreds of bucks a pop, so not _totally_ worthless
    accounts.) I mean, I imagine that Salesguy Training 101 includes taking any
    customer estimate and dropping a zero...
     
  11. Mac

    Mac Guest

    I am sort of assuming you are in the USA.

    Various vendors have tentative pricing (sometimes called "budgetary
    pricing") on their websites.

    You can get honest-to-goodness quotes from distributors. The distributors
    I know about are Future Electronics, and Avnet. Avnet has online budgetary
    pricing, and Future may, too. You can also get prices from Digikey for
    some parts. If you are serious, I would recommend actually calling
    distributors, because they typically have more up-to-date information than
    is on their website, and they may be able to give you a better price than
    the website lists.

    Finally, virtually every manufacturer has links on their page telling you
    who the distributors are. You can contact those distributors with your
    query. Typically they like to ask you lots of questions about what
    industry you are in, what your project is called and what it is for, and
    so on. I don't outright lie, but I always talk about the potential market
    rather than give my best realistic estimate. The reason is that the small
    company I work for doesn't typically sell in large volume, although we may
    be poised to do some larger volume stuff soon.

    Have fun!

    Mac
     
  12. Spehro Pefhany wrote...
    Microchip's president wrote an open letter to the community
    saying despite his company's building new fabs during the
    downturn, the shortages are in fact already here now. He
    was warning people to change their buying expectations.

    Thanks,
    - Win

    whill_at_picovolt-dot-com
     
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