Are through hole components dying out?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Markd77, Apr 29, 2010.

  1. Markd77

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Sep 7, 2009
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    I found this while looking at Wiki about Forrest Mims:
    Clearly this is a load of nonsense, but what are your guesses on how long it will be before it becomes hard to get interesting components (micros, sensors, op amps, LEDs, transistors, etc) in through-hole?
    I'm guessing at least 20 years, but that isn't really based on anything.
     
  2. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
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    Not long at all. Passive components will last in through-hole form for quite a while, thanks to legacy applications. However, new IC's don't have through-hole packages offered from the outset.

    Radio Shack is kind of a puny guide to the future of hobby electronics. Back in 1970 they were selling flat pack IC holders as "sockets".
     
  3. kingdano

    Member

    Apr 14, 2010
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    some newer high density devices (as you mentioned) like FPGA/CPLDs and uC are not offered in through-hole.

    other devices like smaller SMPS and op-amps etc seem to have a through hole/DIP version still available from what i have seen.
     
  4. Papabravo

    Expert

    Feb 24, 2006
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    I'm guessing 3-5 years for the demise of thru hole semiconductors and ICs. There will still be pieces available on the surplus market but frontline distributors will increasingly make them non-stock items so buying in small quantities will become increasingly difficult.

    Watch the Digi-Key catalog if you can still get them to send a print copy. That will tell the story.
     
  5. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

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    Digi catalog or not, the availability of DIP packaged components is erratic. It looks like TI runs off a zillion or two of any product and simply waits until most supplier stocks hit zero before producing any more.
     
  6. t06afre

    AAC Fanatic!

    May 11, 2009
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    Should this discussion be moved to the General Electronics Chat forum for better impact. I think it should be on topic there.
     
  7. BMorse

    Senior Member

    Sep 26, 2009
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  8. Wendy

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  9. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

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    So moved. (pad,pad,pad)
     
  10. SgtWookie

    Expert

    Jul 17, 2007
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    Hobbyists don't drive the market; large companies do.

    Board space is expensive; and when you're making a million copies of a circuit, every square mm counts.

    Microcontrollers will probably still be available in DIP packages for a good number of years, but much of the analog DIPs will likely disappear. Note that most of the newer opamps are not offered in DIP packages.
     
  11. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
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    A nice easy reflow oven and surfboard type SMD to header boards will be a good product for hobbists.

    This way, your new IC arrives, you pop it on the adapter board, stick it in a 6" x 6" little $100 reflow oven for a few min, and DING. You have a breadboard ready SMD IC.

    Someone get moving on this.
     
  12. SgtWookie

    Expert

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    I nominate you. :)

    Get moving, buddy. :eek:
     
  13. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

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    Who will be the first to try the microwave oven?
     
  14. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
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    ...already tried it..... bad idea.. Still smells bad.

    Just kidding. I had an ex who loved to put CDs into microwaves.

    She had to go.

    Put a design together. Ill buy and build.
     
  15. davebee

    Well-Known Member

    Oct 22, 2008
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    I'd say it's already hard to get interesting components.

    It seems like most of the ICs I've bought lately (mostly serial ADCs) only come in some ungodly miniature packaging. It's gotten so for every IC I want, I've also got to locate and buy the correct breakout board to solder it to just so I can wire-wrap it into a circuit.
     
  16. Audioguru

    New Member

    Dec 20, 2007
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    RadioShack is gone from Canada. The quality of their cheap Chinese parts was poor (maybe seconds), very expensive and their profit was made selling cell phones and kids toys.
    Maybe I am lucky to have many name-brand parts that I bought from real electronic parts distributors like Digikey and Newark.
     
  17. t06afre

    AAC Fanatic!

    May 11, 2009
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    As long as the hole mounted components sell they will be made. I think it is that simple. Besides the fact that it is hard to bread board SMD components. I would say that at least the SO type package is something a hobbyist can handle. The same goes for 0805 resistors and capacitors. But anything smaller or finer pitched is hard to work with without expensive equipment.
     
  18. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
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    I semi-agree.

    If the SALE of through-hole components pay for their production, plus profit, they will be made.

    You and I may buy 100 through hole components a year, but BIGCorp buys 100,000,000 smd components a year.

    I really think adapters are the hobby way-of-the-future.

    SMD use less material, therefore they cost less and are more environmentally friendly, so they will fall by the wayside sooner than later.

    They can easily offer 2 products to hobbyists for that only need 1. They can sell the SMD component and a "snap-in" adapter that makes it through hole.

    Now, that, will bring them a profit. The adapters will NOT require expensive production, just injection molded junk.
     
  19. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
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    A variety of sockets are already made. See, for example, Textool by 3M:
    http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/...E3E02LECIE20KMT3_nid=R1KZCJPSC2beMXNM8F7WC9gl

    Those sockets don't have the usual pinouts, but an adapter is easily made:
    http://forum.allaboutcircuits.com/showthread.php?t=17798

    There are also the solderable adapters as has been pointed out. Frankly, except for legacy devices, I can't see why a manufacturer would make and go through RoHS certification for a TH IC when cost effective (from a commercial viewpoint) alternatives exist.

    I predict that the venerable 555 will be the last device made with TH pins and Bill Marsden will buy the final 1000 of the last lot made within his lifetime. ;)

    John
     
  20. Markd77

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Sep 7, 2009
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    Thanks everyone, it's much as I thought. Hobbyists, education and development keeping them ticking along, but not for ever.
    I'd be happy enough with clip in adaptors but they seem to be very overpriced (£5 each) so I won't be buying any soon.
    If anyone from Aries, Truconnect or AMP are listening this could be good to move on.
    Nice turned pin ones please and say 1/10th the price they are now. And some adaptors for transistors, smt LEDs, etc too.

    Tandy (British division of Radioshack) died out years ago when they started selling toys, phones, etc and reduced their range of components which was already pretty small. Then everyone realised that there were plenty of other shops selling toys and phones so there wasn't any reason to go to Tandy.
    We have another high street store called Maplin that seems to be going the same way. They only seem to stock 5 of everything, so if you want 8 transistors you mostly have to mail order. I use Rapid which is mail order but pretty decent range and fast cheap delivery.
     
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