Good Idea

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by MusicTech, Apr 12, 2008.

  1. MusicTech

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Apr 4, 2008
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    Now this isn't really too educationally oriented and I figured the general discussion would be the best forum to post, sorry if it isn't

    So here it is:

    I figure every engineer enjoys taking something apart just as much as putting something together. To be able to take something apart, mess with its insides and have it function differently is really cool, especially if you weren't the original designer. So I was thinkin it would be cool if they made kits of pretty simple circuits, like simple radios, simple transmitters, things like that.That are take apart friendly, but at the same time not as simple as breadboarding.

    Just tell me what you think. Just something fun to think about. :)
     
  2. SgtWookie

    Expert

    Jul 17, 2007
    22,182
    1,728
    They already do this kind of thing at surplus electronics stores ;)

    My favorite electronic parts store on the planet is this place:
    http://skycraftsurplus.com
    Their website is relatively safe to click on, as it has nearly none of the impact of being there in person.
    The exterior appears rather nonassuming - but once you go into the place, if you are a techno-weenie like me, your wallet is in deep trouble.

    You start looking at the extreme myriad of items upon display to purchase, and you start thinking, "If I had that and that and that, I could build THIS, if I only had this other thing and that other thing and that other thing"

    You're doomed.

    Like a starving fish, you take the bait hook, line, sinker, and beg for more.

    Meanwhile, your spouse wonders what in heck happened to the garage. :rolleyes:

    I took her there once.

    Her response: "Now I understand. This looks like my garage!!"

    I plead the 5th. :rolleyes:
     
  3. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
    6,960
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    As a general idea it is pretty good. Remember however, the ability to take something apart and change it is often restricted by design as a mechanism for protecting IP. As an educational tool, yes I think there is some merit to it and as Wook suggests there are options already available.

    Sadly the trend these days is to replace and not repair...

    Dave
     
  4. RaoulDuke

    New Member

    Apr 11, 2008
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    When I was a kid, I spent all my money in the Army Surplus stores!:D
    They had tons of neat stuff to take apart and you could build a great inventory of parts to build other stuff!

    And not just electronics.....also motors and gears that would have cost a fortune if you had to buy them.

    But, of course, that was back in the days of tubes!:)

    My Dad was in the Air Force, and for my 10th birthday he brought home a complete rotary telephone switchboard, complete with the relay racks. It weighed over 800 lbs......and I wired it up so that any telephone could dial in and remotely turn on and off lights!

    My Mother gave up on telling me to clean my room! HaHaHaHaHa
     
  5. MusicTech

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Apr 4, 2008
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    Haha a whole plethora of god stories, how did you ever get the lights to shut on/off with the telephone though?

    Also where can you find army surplus stores and what is the average savings. I am in school and have no sort of job and can't really spend alot right now.
     
  6. RaoulDuke

    New Member

    Apr 11, 2008
    18
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    That is a good question......I haven't found one in years....let me search a bit and get back to you. I guess it depends on where you live.
     
  7. SgtWookie

    Expert

    Jul 17, 2007
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    Army/Navy surplus stores used to sell an amazing variety of stuff. Nowadays, they seem mostly geared to sell obsolete-type uniforms, paintball gear, and camping items - much of it made overseas, and usually not much of a bargain.

    Unless you find one near a military base. Then you might find some interesting stuff.

    Look for surplus stores in areas that have defense-related industries. Products and programs change all the time; stores like Skycraft Surplus might buy out inventories for pennies on the dollar.

    Like anywhere else, it pays to be a good shopper. You might find an IC being sold for $2 that seems like a deal, until you discover later on that day that you could've bought the same part from Mouser Electronics for 50 cents. I usually try to check prices at 2 or 3 different places before I'll actually buy something.
     
  8. MusicTech

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Apr 4, 2008
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    Would you consider Mouser to have the overall best prices. I used digikey a couple times and they didn't seem to have exceptionally good prices over radioshack. They had IC's for about 2 also. Nothing to amazing. Unless you buy wholesale digikey doesn't pose too great an advantage, at least for what I've looked at. Once you factor in shipping it's probably more expensive.
     
  9. DC_Kid

    Distinguished Member

    Feb 25, 2008
    638
    9
    the only way to get good pricing is large volume and from a distributor like Arrow.

    mouser, newark, allied, digikey are all "retail" stores online. the only advantage they have over small local brick stores is their selection. there used to be a store by me called Active Component, a brick store in supermarket form with lots of IC's and components, etc. well, not many folks go shopping in a store for a resistor or a 555, so the store went under. then i found the shop that bought out the Active inventory "AMP Components" and it was a very small store front with a soldering room in the back. they made their money by hand soldering lots of boards for customers, but still had some cool parts in the store. my last frequent their was dismal, when i pulled up and got out of my truck a guy from a red taurus pops out and says "sorry, store is closed". the guy looked like he was from the fed. i recall once that when i went into the soldering room it looked like a bunch of illegals doing soldering work. i didnt think much of it at the time, but now that i think about it i think the store got pegged by the authorities for having illegals doing work.

    sucks, i liked that store..... but its all gone now, and no other store around like it, so now i have to revert to buying all my stuff from the online fronts i mentioned above. i simply shop them all for the same part and buy from the front that is least expensive.
     
  10. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
    5,675
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    I compared Mouser and Digikey on my last order. There was not much difference in total, and with shipping, it was certainly not worth splitting the order. Digikey seems to be cheaper on capacitors (Panasonic). Mouser doesn't carry much Panasonic and its selection of capacitors considering all brands seems less. On some ICs and connectors, I found Mouser either cheaper or it had ICs that Digikey didn't have.

    The biggest difference between the two is that Digikey has to add sales tax and Mouser doesn't. I have also found a little faster shipping from Digikey.

    John
     
  11. MusicTech

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Apr 4, 2008
    144
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    interesting thanks
     
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