The purpose of this page is to list general electronics that we use for most everything we do. Included will be discrete components, ICs and transistors, tools, and other odds and ends. Most of what we have we bought from radioshack, got as a free sample from TI or Maxim, or already had laying around. Some parts distributors that we like are:
- Mouser - Easily have the largest selection. Shipping is kinda high but if you get enough stuff it's worth it.
- SparkFun - The most expensive, by far. They have a lot of kits and boards very useful to people looking to get into electronics and micro-controller developing. Heavily biased toward adurino.
None of the tools we use are particularly high end, though we have tried to get the best tools we could afford. They work very well for our purposes.
- A multimeter. Auto-scaling models like this one are very nice.
- A soldering iron. This dual heat model from radio shack works well and has a stand built in.
- An array of small tools - needle nose pliers, wire strippers, edge snippers, screwdrivers, tweezers, etc.
- An IC puller. Stop prying chips out of sockets!
- A breadboard. ones with big metal backplanes provide both a heavy base and a large ground plane (if used properly.)
If you don't know exactly what you want, get grab bags of components to work out of. I've purchased the following grab bags from radio shack and I'm very happy to have them around:
- Electrolytic capacitors
- Dipped ceramic capacitors
- 1/8w resistors
- Switching transistors. We use the 2n2222 a bunch.
There are few individual discrete components I've needed to get, but some that are incredibly important are voltage regulators (I'm partial to the LM7805).