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The world beyond Jameco, Digi-Key and Mouser

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Peter S. May, Sep 18, 2007.

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  1. Peter S. May

    Peter S. May Guest

    Okay, so I was just snooping around trying to figure out what the
    cheapest PIC is that will run the application I'm working on. In
    general, it seems like, of my already memorized options, Jameco has good
    prices but less selection, and Digi-Key and Mouser have the opposite
    problem. A cursory search yielded Allied Electronics (,
    which pretty much beats all of them in terms of PICs. In particular,
    their cheapest PIC in a DIP case with USART appears to be the 16F688,
    coming in at $1.47. Jameco and Mouser want over a dollar more for the
    same thing.

    It sounds like a good deal, so, naturally, I'm skeptical. Has anyone
    ever dealt with them? Are they legit?

  2. Is Allied Electronics legit? ROFLOL, now that's funny!
  3. Peter S. May

    Peter S. May Guest

    I swear I'm not dumb...just very, very ignorant and inexperienced!
    Would you please humor me and explain?
  4. James Beck

    James Beck Guest

    We buy from Allied, Mouser, Jameco, Digi-Key, Future Electronics, and
    lots of independent brokers. They have all delivered the goods. Allied
    is a big company that has done business for years.

  5. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    I guess Win hinted that asking whether Allied is legit would be like
    asking whether General Motors is legit ;-)
  6. Peter S. May

    Peter S. May Guest

    That's obvious now, but it was ambiguous. I figured it was possible
    that he meant that asking whether Allied is legit is like asking whether
    Alex Chiu is legit. :-/ Anyway, color me informed.

  7. Allied is a well-established supplier. What about shipping charges and
    minimum order/handling?

    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
  8. To save time:

    If no credit is set up first, looks like $50 minimum as they go COD.
    With acceptable credit in place, doesn't seem to say. Shipping is out
    of Fort Worth, Texas, and although I've ordered mouse microswitches
    from them some time back for repairs, I don't recall the shipping
    being other than 'as reasonable and expected.'

  9. I'm sorry Peter, but I was bad, hard day -
    couldn't help myself I guess.
  10. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Brings up a question: Is there a large place where hobbyists can buy
    tools and all kinds of parts, like what Conrad is for Europe? I get
    asked a lot but only know Jameco which doesn't carry that much stuff.
    It's strange, Europe has lots of large hobby suppliers but no Digikey or
    Mouser. Here in the US it seems the other way around.
  11. Peter S. May

    Peter S. May Guest

    The legal terms don't seem to say anything about paying with one's own
    credit card (unless that's the same as setting up credit with them) but
    their site seems to be perfectly willing to go all the way up to the
    "Place Order" page for a ridiculously small order (the cart is 1 ct.
    16F688 currently) with shipping and tax pending. Firstly, I wonder what
    would happen if I actually hit it, but I won't...yet. Secondly, I
    wonder if the case would be different if I tried debit instead of credit...

    Still, great to be a hobbyist and not someone with a development budget,
    eh? :-/

  12. Peter S. May

    Peter S. May Guest

    A little derisive laughter never hurt anyone... >:)

  13. John Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    Allied was *the* first big electronics distributor. I think I have
    their 1964 catalog. I had a "revolving credit account" with them when
    I was a kid.

    The one I might suspect is Jameco. They claim to have a gazillion
    semiconductor lines, and I suspect they are not authorized
    distributors for many, so who knows where they get their parts from.

    Anybody have experiences?

  14. linnix

    linnix Guest

    Perhaps Digikey.
    Yes, we have been shopping around for 5000. Digikey had 2000 until we
    try to get more from another distributor. All of a sudden, some took
    1700 from Digikey and that distributor promises instant delivery of
    1000 (at high price of course).

    We might have to redesign with another part and/or change schedule for
  15. DJ Delorie

    DJ Delorie Guest

    The few I've looked at were sparsely filled. For example, they "carry
    Renesas" but they really only have a few SH cpus, no M32C at all.
  16. I really don't know, but what the heck. I'll take a shot at it.

    In Europe, there are much longer vacations, as a norm, than in the US
    and that allows more time for hobby interests. I don't know what the
    situation is like regarding watching TV in Europe, probably not that
    much different than here perhaps, but TV really sucks away hobby time,
    as well, whenever it is available. So I'd guess that TV time nearly
    zeroes out what little vacation time we have left for hobbies,
    speaking broadly as an average, but still leaves some non-zero time in
    Europe. So that probably suggests a hobby market would be stronger

    As has also been mentioned, hobbies in general don't flourish when
    there are simple products cheaply available in the form people want to
    have. It reduces the motivation needed to climb over the bottleneck
    in learning about it. So perhaps the US has lower prices for things?
    I've no idea on that score.

    There may be a small additional bias, at least for Germans, from my
    modest experiences. I'm sure they vary about as much as the next
    person, but there seems to be a bit of a cultural aspect. Those I've
    known really thought that the insult of 'stupid' was worse than
    telling them they were screwing their mothers. In the US, that is
    probably turned around. Because of that dislike, they will go to some
    lengths to rise above some basic level of ignorance in their hobbies.
    And that may mean some extra knowledge, again broadly speaking in
    averages, that plays into caring a bit more about serious hobby
    interests, as well, and thus a somewhat better hobby market. But that
    may be just a prejudice born of my ignorances. I really have no idea
    about that, either. Just a random thought crossing my mind from past
    experiences I remain curious about and haven't put into context, yet.

  17. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    I guess by now they are watching almost as much TV as people here.
    Almost. Vacations are usually not spent at home but the minute they are
    off on Friday, they pack and Saturday at the crack of dawn they head out
    to the airport, train, travel trailer or whatever. Upon which the
    autobahns will totally clog up.

    Things are certainly a lot cheaper in the US. Except sometimes
    commodities such as RAM or USB memory.

    They do take hobbies rather serious over there and open their wallets
    wider than for other stuff. To me it still doesn't explain the market
    situation though. I mean, we are >250M people.
  18. Leon

    Leon Guest

    We have Farnell and RS here in the UK, both are massive operations
    similar to Digi-Key.

  19. Tim Williams

    Tim Williams Guest

    They often have good deals (ha, I recall browsing across *RoHS* IGBTs at
    like half price), but it's hard to find anything in their inventory. I've
    seen their catalog, and it's just as hard to navigate. They don't have
    parametric search. You're probably better off browsing a transistor/IC
    vade mecum, or using someone else's parametric search, then seeing if
    Allied sells it for cheaper.

    Speaking of RoHS IGBTs, well hmm I think I'll just have to start a new
    thread on that.

  20. Joel Kolstad

    Joel Kolstad Guest

    Large place, no. But lots of small places... besides Jameco, there's All
    Electronics ( and Marlin P. Jones
    ( for lots of "general purpose" electronics (these folks
    have both been around for decades). For nichier applications, places like
    Ocean State Electronics ( is good for RF &
    robottics. Opening up a copy of Nuts & Volts magazine lists dozens of other
    such places, and when you throw eBay into the mix, you can get just about
    anything you want today far more readily than, say, 20 years ago.
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