ELECTRICAL SUPPLIERS

Electrical Suppliers

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1. Large Electronic Component Suppliers

1.1. Avnet

Logo

avnet logo

Interface

n/a

Part Count

n/a

Supplied Locations

International

Based In

n/a

Delivery Speed/Cost

n/a

Free Shipping?

n/a

Website

http://www.avnet.com/

1.2. Digi-Key

Logo

digi key logo
Figure 1. The Digi-Key logo.

Interface

3/5

Part Count

5/5

Supplied Locations

International

Based In

USA

Delivery Speed/Cost

4/5

Free Shipping?

On orders above NZ$50 (as of 2020)

Website

http://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.

digi key automatic bom uploading please wait
digi key automatic bom uploading selecting excel columns

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.

1.3. Element14

Logo

element 14 logo

Interface

5/5

Part Count

3/5

Supplied Locations

International

Based In

International

Delivery Speed/Cost

4/5

Free Shipping?

On orders of NZ$45 or above.

Website

http://www.digikey.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, but now only offer it on orders of NZ$45 or more.

1.4. Mouser

Logo

mouser logo
Figure 2. The Mouser logo.

Interface

4/5

Part Count

4/5

Supplied Locations

International

Based In

International

Delivery Speed/Cost

4/5

Free Shipping?

Website

http://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.

1.5. RS Components

Logo

rs components logo
Figure 3. The RS Components logo.

Interface

3/5

Part Count

3/5

Supplied Locations

International

Based In

USA

Delivery Speed/Cost

2/5

Free Shipping?

On orders above NZ$125.

Website

www.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.

1.6. Alibaba

Logo

alibaba logo

Interface

3/5

Part Count

4/5

Supplied Locations

International

Based In

China

Delivery Speed/Cost

n/a

Free Shipping?

No (although individual products may come with "free" shipping)

Website

http://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!

1.7. AliExpress

Logo

aliexpress logo

Interface

3/5

Part Count

4/5

Supplied Locations

International

Based In

China

Delivery Speed/Cost

n/a

Free Shipping?

No (although individual products may come with "free" shipping)

Website

http://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).

2. Manufacturer Specific Suppliers

2.1. ST Microelectronics eStore

st estore free samples
Figure 4. The ST eStore provides free samples for some of their parts, for example, the A6986ITR isolated buck converter[1].

2.2. Microchip Direct

If your favourite Microchip part is not available via common suppliers, you might still be able to find it on Microchip Direct.

3. Hobby Electronics Suppliers

3.1. Deal Extreme

Logo

deal extreme logo

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!

3.2. NiceGear

Logo

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.

3.3. Mind Kits

Logo

mind kits logo

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.

3.4. Jaycar

Logo

jaycar logo

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

4. PCB Manufacturers

4.1. PCB Cart

pcb cart logo
Figure 5. 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.

pcb cart 4 layer 1 6mm layer stackup

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

pcb cart 4 layer 1 core 1 6mm layer stackup

4.2. JLC PCB

jlc pcb logo
Figure 6. 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.

4.3. 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

4.4. PCB Zone

pcb zone logo
Figure 7. 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.

4.5. IMP

imp logo
Figure 8. 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.

4.6. Circuit Labs

circuit labs logo
  • 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.

5. 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).

5.1. Precision Electronic Technologies

Used to be called Precision Circuits (pre 2012).

5.2. Quick Circuits

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

5.3. SRX Global

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

5.4. Texmate

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

6. Specific Components

6.1. Traco Power (Power Supplies)

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.

6.2. 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).

6.3. 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!).

7. Hardware

7.1. 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.

7.2. Deal Extreme

Website:

[www.dealextreme.com](http://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!

7.3. HiQ

Logo

mind kits logo

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.

8. Batteries

8.1. 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.

9. OLED Screens

10. Fibreglass

10.1. Gracol Enterprises

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

10.2. 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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