ELECTRICAL SUPPLIERS

Electrical Suppliers

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Contents

Large Electronic Component Suppliers

Sorted in alphabetical order.

Avnet

Interfacen/a
Part Countn/a
Supplied LocationsInternational
Based Inn/a
Delivery Speed/Costn/a
Free Shipping?n/a
Websitehttp://www.avnet.com/

Digi-Key

The Digi-Key logo.

The Digi-Key logo.

Interface3/5
Part Count5/5
Supplied LocationsInternational
Based InUSA
Delivery Speed/Cost4/5
Free Shipping?On orders above NZ$50 (as of 2020)
Websitehttp://www.digikey.com/

Digi-Key is a very large international supplier. Although their website isn’t that aesthetically pleasing, they have a powerful search interface and display a fair amount of the component properties without having to dig into the datasheets (helpful!). One gripe however is that they don’t provide sensible ways of selecting ranges within their parametric search, nor selecting groups of peripherals when selecting say, microcontrollers.

Their pricing is usually a little expensive for one of components, but they are by far the cheapest if you buy in large quantities. I definitely recommend using Digi-Key if you are taking a circuit into production.

Automatic Part List/BOM/Order Creation. This speeds up the ordering process. Directly upload BOMs as text, csv, or Excel Spreadsheet (.xls) files to DigiKey, select the appropriate columns, and then instantly create orders.

DigiKey has a PandA (Price and Availability) tool which allows you to check the pricing and availability for a list of products that you provide either manually in the web form, or by uploading a .xls, .xlsx, .csv or .txt file.

Element14

Interface5/5
Part Count3/5
Supplied LocationsInternational
Based InInternational
Delivery Speed/Cost4/5
Free Shipping?On orders of NZ$45 or above.
Websitehttps://element14.com/

International online component store that stocks most electrical components. In my opinion they have a nicer online layout than RS, and a easier to use search engine. Formally called Farnell. Element14 had free shipping (in New Zealand) for while in 2010-2011, and offered over-night delivery speeds from Sydney! As of 2022 this delivery time is now many days, and free shipping is only offered on orders of NZ$45 or more.

LCSC

The LCSC logo.

The LCSC logo.

Interface3/5
Part Count3/5
Supplied LocationsInternational
Based InShenzhen, China[^bib-lcsc-about]
Delivery Speed/Cost4/5
Free Shipping?No
Websitehttps://lcsc.com/

As of May 2022, their slogan is “More Asian Brands, Lower Prices”. During the component part shortages of 2021-2022 they managed to provide stock of some critical MCUs that were completely out-of-stock on DigiKey/Mouser. They sell clones of the STMicroelectronics STM32 microcontrollers, including the HK32 (by HK) and GD32 (by GigaDevice).

LCSC supports a single sign-on/account across JLC PCB, EasyEDA and LCSC.

Mouser

The Mouser logo.

The Mouser logo.

Interface4/5
Part Count4/5
Supplied LocationsInternational
Based InInternational
Delivery Speed/Cost4/5
Free Shipping?Yes
Websitehttp://www.mouser.com

International online component store that has a large range of electronics, and a leading competitor to DigiKey. In my experience they are normally one of the cheapest and best stocked suppliers. Generally cheaper than DigiKey. Easy to use search engine, much like Element 14’s.

Mouser supports reeling small component order quantities that are under the amount needed for a complete reel. They charge US$7 for each MouseReel.

RS Components

The RS Components logo.

The RS Components logo.

Interface3/5
Part Count3/5
Supplied LocationsInternational
Based InUSA
Delivery Speed/Cost2/5
Free Shipping?On orders above NZ$125.
Websitewww.rs-components.com

International online component store that stocks most electrical components. As of 09/12/2010 they were offering free shipping around New Zealand.

Alibaba

The Alibaba logo.

The Alibaba logo.

Interface3/5
Part Count4/5
Supplied LocationsInternational
Based InChina
Delivery Speed/Costn/a
Free Shipping?No (although individual products may come with “free” shipping)
Websitehttp://www.alibaba.com/

Alibaba is a huge international trading site that offers goods a whole sale prices (if your prepared to buy in quantity). Prices are sometimes listed, but it is normally up to you to contact the seller and organise prices/quantities. Normally you can buy direct from manufacturers, offering very good deals!

AliExpress

The AliExpress logo.

The AliExpress logo.

Interface3/5
Part Count4/5
Supplied LocationsInternational
Based InChina
Delivery Speed/Costn/a
Free Shipping?No (although individual products may come with “free” shipping)
Websitehttp://www.aliexpress.com

A spin-off of Alibaba, AliExpress is geared more towards single customers and smaller purchases than Alibaba.com. The difference is that AliExpress has listed prices for all items, and a built in shopping cart/checkout system which allows you to directly pay the seller from the website. They also offer a secure cash holding service until you confirm the goods have arrived. The goods can be slightly more expensive than on Alibaba, but are still normally very cheap (quality can be questionable though).

Manufacturer Specific Suppliers

This section has info on IC manufacturers self-owned supplier stores.

ST Microelectronics eStore

The ST eStore provides free samples for some of their parts, for example, the A6986ITR isolated buck converter[^bib-st-estore-free-samples].

The ST eStore provides free samples for some of their parts, for example, the A6986ITR isolated buck converter[^bib-st-estore-free-samples].

Microchip Direct

Microchip Direct's logo.[^bib-microchip-direct-home-page]

Microchip Direct’s logo.[^bib-microchip-direct-home-page]

If your favourite Microchip part is not available via common suppliers, you might still be able to find it on Microchip Direct. Also known as Microchip Purchasing & Client Services.

Warning

The displayed available stock of a part on Microchip Direct does not drop as orders are made, and nor is the shown lead time that accurate. Instead, a manual review process is done in the 24-48 hours after an order is made, and someone decides if they can full-fill your order. At that point you a sent another email with a confirmed dispatch date. It feels like a poor way to do business!

Warning

Hobby Electronics Suppliers

Deal Extreme

[cols=“1,2”] |=== | Logo a| image::deal-extreme-logo.png[width=100px]

| Interface | 2/5

| Part Count | 4/5

| Supplied Locations | International

| Based In | China

| Delivery Speed/Cost | 5/5

| Free Shipping? | Yes

| Website | http://www.dealextreme.com |===

An American online store that sells selected popular electronics components for cheap (as well as hardware). One of the best things about this site is that they offer free international shipping on everything, no matter how cheap the item is!

NiceGear

[cols=“1,2”] |=== | Logo a| n/a

| Interface | 4/5

| Part Count | 3/5

| Supplied Locations | International

| Based In | NZ

| Delivery Speed/Cost | 5/5

| Free Shipping? | On orders above NZ$50 (last updated August 2014)

| Website | https://nicegear.co.nz/ |===

NiceGear sells a range of DIY electronics such as Arduino gear, cables and connectors, some components, and tools. The best thing about this electronics supplier is the friendly service and the fast shipping to NZ locations. Surprisingly, NiceGear also undercuts larger suppliers with pricing. For example, in 2013, they were selling the Arduino Due for about NZ$15 cheaper than Element14.

Mind Kits

[cols=“1,2”] |=== | Logo a| image::mind-kits-logo.png[width=100px]

| Interface | 3/5

| Part Count | 2/5

| Supplied Locations | NZ

| Based In | NZ

| Delivery Speed/Cost | 4/5

| Free Shipping? |

| Website | http://www.mindkits.co.nz/ |===

Good, cheap site with a fair amount of components. Supplier of SparkFun components to New Zealand customers, so you can skip the high shipping fee you would receive buying from the US.

Jaycar

[cols=“1,2”] |=== | Logo a| image::jaycar-logo.jpg[width=100px]

| Interface | 2/5

| Part Count | 1/5

| Supplied Locations | NZ/Australia

| Based In | NZ/Australia

| Delivery Speed/Cost | 3/5

| Free Shipping? | n/a

| Website | http://www.jaycar.co.nz/ |===

The one benefit of Jaycar is that they have physical stores in many cities, meaning they are good for getting those components that you desperately needed hours ago. But apart from that, they are expensive and have a limited range

PCB Manufacturers

PCB Cart

The PCB Cart logo.

The PCB Cart logo.

  • Website: wwww.pcbcart.com
  • Number Of Layers: 4
  • Min Track And Gap: 0.1
  • Min Hole Size: 0.1
  • Min Annular Ring: 0.10
  • PCB Edge Clearance: 0.3mm/12mil (1-2 layers), 0.2mm/8mil (>2 layers)
  • Rigid-Flex: No
  • Plated Through-hole: Yes
  • Soldermask/Silkscreen: Yes
  • Instant Quote: Yes
  • Based In: China
  • Supplied Locations: International
  • Notes: Cheap supplier for boards, but they do take a while to manufacture. Offers extensive features and a nice web ordering interface with on-the-spot quotes. Although I did have an unpleasant run-in with them once, see the post " Stack-ups: Here is one of their default 4-layer, 2core, 1.6mm thick stack-ups.

image::pcb-cart-4-layer-1-6mm-layer-stackup.jpg[width=400px]

Here is a similar 4-layer, 1.6mm thick PCB stack-up, except with only one core.

image::pcb-cart-4-layer-1-core-1-6mm-layer-stackup.jpg[width=400px]

JLC PCB

The logo for JLC PCB. Image from https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/jlcpcb, retrieved 2021-03-03.

The logo for JLC PCB. Image from https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/jlcpcb, retrieved 2021-03-03.

JLC PCB is (and I quote from their website) “China’s Largest PCB Prototype Manufacturer”. I believe them on this, they are an absolutely huge PCB fabrication house in China, and offer a very streamlined, fast and cheap PCB manufacturing service for “standard” PCB designs. Pricing can be laughably cheap for 2-layer/4-layer boards (e.g. on USD$5 for a 4-layer PCB!), as long as you don’t have any non-standard manufacturing requirements.

JLC PCB supports a single sign-on/account across JLC PCB, EasyEDA and LCSC.

Silver Circuits

  • Website: http://www.custompcb.com
  • Number Of Layers: 2
  • Min Track And Gap: 0.1778mm (7mil)
  • Min Hole Size: 0.3048mm (12mil)
  • Min Annular Ring: ?
  • Rigid-Flex: No

PCB Zone

The PCB Zone logo.

The PCB Zone logo.

  • Website: http://www.pcbzone.net/
  • Number Of Layers: 2
  • Min Track And Gap: 0.20mm
  • Min Hole Size: 0.30mm
  • Min Annular Ring: ?
  • Rigid-Flex: No
  • Location: New Zealand

Manufacturer of PCB boards that is semi-tailored to hobbyist/DIY productions, offering cheap prices for limited runs.

IMP

The IMP logo.

The IMP logo.

  • Website: http://www.imppc.com.au/
  • Number Of Layers: 2-8+
  • Min Track And Gap: ?
  • Min Hole Size: ?
  • Min Annular Ring: 0.10
  • Rigid-Flex: Yes (outsourced)
  • Location: Australia

Manufacturer of small-runs of PCBs, usually for a prototyping or small manufacturer service. Very good customer support. Also produce/supply membranes, decals, stencils and LCD screens.

Circuit Labs

image::circuit-labs-logo.jpg[width=100px]

  • Website: http://www.circuitlabs.co.nz/
  • Number Of Layers: 2
  • Min Track And Gap: 0.152mm
  • Min Hole Size: 0.30mm
  • Min Annular Ring: 0.10
  • Rigid-Flex: No
  • Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Specialise in small-quantity PCB manufacture.

Electronic Manufacturing Service (EMS) Companies

EMS companies specialise in component sourcing, component placing, soldering and general PCB assembly. They don’t normally do the PCB design themselves (although some business do both, and others sub-contract this part to another company). A good EMS will support small-pitch components such as 0201s and BGAs (see Component Packages), and have a large number of basic components on hand (such as resistors and capacitors).

Precision Electronic Technologies

Used to be called Precision Circuits (pre 2012).

Quick Circuits

Helpful and have a good range of experience when it comes to PCB manufacturing. Capabilities include encapsulating/potting.

SRX Global

Gone through a series of name changes (used to be Aims, then Startronics, now SRX Global).

Texmate

  • Location: New Zealand. Have not done encapsulation before.

Specific Components

Traco Power (Power Supplies)

Website: http://www.tracopower.com

Traco Power specialises in power conversion, specifically AC/DC converters, DC/DC converters, and DC/AC inverters. Element14 stocks a range of their products, including a range of complete DC/DC converters priced from NZ$8-16.

Molex (Connectors)

Website: www.molex.com

Molex is one of the industry leaders for electrical connectors. They have a comprehensive set of connectors, from tiny pitched SMD mount connectors all the way up to IP67 rated ethernet connectors. They also have 3D models for most of their connectors (in PRO/E, IGES and STEP formats).

Samtec (Connectors)

In my opinion, Samtec has one of the best websites for finding/deciding on electrical connectors. They also have an awesome rapid free sample service, in where you can order samples and they will pay for everything (including shipping), with the goods typically arriving in a few days (and I live in New Zealand!).

Hardware

Hobby King

A Hobby site that sells anything to do with RC (radio controlled) toys. They sell brushless DC motors (BLDCs), speed controllers, batteries (both Li-Po and NiMH), battery chargers, as well as complete kits. I used this site to buy the motor and associated hardware for the electric skateboard. It should be noted however the first ever Turnigy Li-Po battery I brought from there was defective, as well as a connector on a battery charger being connected around the wrong way, and a faulty ESC card programmer! I was not that impressed. They also take a hard-line on refunds, giving only a 30-day warranty for Li-Po batteries and no refund if they have been tampered with.

Deal Extreme

Website:

www.dealextreme.com: An American online store that sells selected popular hardware for cheap (along with components). One of the best things about this site is that they offer free international shipping on everything, no matter how cheap the item is!

HiQ

[cols=“1,2”] |=== | Logo a| image::mind-kits-logo.png[width=100px]

| Interface | 1/5

| Part Count | 2/5

| Supplied Locations | NZ

| Based In | NZ

| Delivery Speed/Cost | 3/5

| Free Shipping? | n/a

| Website | http://hiq.co.nz |===

Large supplier of Hammond enclosures for NZ.

Batteries

Shenzhen Shirui Battery Co.

  • Location: Shenzhen, China
  • Chemistries: Li-Po
  • Support: 4/5
  • Price: 5/5
  • Range: 4/5

Shenzhen Shirui Battery Co. stock many different sized single-celled Li-Po batteries ranging from 30mAh up to 1000mAh+. In my experience, they have fast response times and more than eager to help (and proficient in English). Datasheets are not included on their website (as with many Asian suppliers), but they will provide them at your request.

OLED Screens

See the OLED Screens page.

Fibreglass

Gracol Enterprises

Christchurch manufacturer of fibreglass pultrusion (different from protrusion!) and hand-made products. Useful stuff when building strong and light chassis or frames!

GJH Fibreglass

Palmerston North manufacturer of fibreglass products (especially moulded). Do not sell protruded fibreglass. Can purchase mat and resin.

  • Phone: +64 6 357 0390
  • Address: 1 Settlers Line, Palmerston North, New Zealand
  • Website: None

Prices (as of Jan 2011, GST inclusive)

  • Chop Strand Mat: NZ$11/metre (1.05m wide)
  • Polyester Resin: NZ$16.50/L

References


Authors

Geoffrey Hunter

Dude making stuff.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License .

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