10 Places to Find Arduino Parts and Components
You can find many Arduino-related shops in the world, but there are also a number of suppliers that are good to know about when shopping for the right parts and components.
RS Components (World)
RS Components markets itself as the world’s largest distributor of electronics and maintenance products, so it’s a reliable source of products available in an extensive range and at low prices. RS also has a sister company that operates in the United States, Allied Electronics.
Farnell is a British suppler of electronics with an enormous range of components to choose from. It operates worldwide under the Premier Farnell Group. This company is made up of several sister companies that allow the group to distribute to 24 countries in Europe (Farnell), North America (Newark Electronics) and Asia Pacific (Element14).
Rapid is one of the United Kingdom’s leading electronics distributors. Its main promise is to source components quicker than other suppliers. Among its stock is a huge selection of educational electronics kits, ideal for those who are just starting out with soldering.
Digi-Key is one of the largest distributors of electronic components in North America. The company originally started by supplying the hobbyist market of amateur radio enthusiasts, but it has since grown into the international electronics distributor that it is today.
One person’s junk is another person’s treasure, and eBay is a great source of tech products that need a new home. Many parts are available through eBay — even quite specific ones. But better than that, you can find other bits of consumer electronics that you can hack to suit your own ends.
Maplin is a consumer electronics shop that can be found in most city centers across the United Kingdom, providing all sorts of electronic products as well as a fair selection of components, kits, and tools. Maplin can be a lifesaver for Arduin-ists when they’re caught in a tight spot. The company has also recently started stocking a range of Arduino products that show off the new Arduino branded retail packaging.
RadioShack sells a wide range of consumer electronics product accessories and has more than 7,000 stores in the United States. As well as stocking more conventional consumer electronics, it offers a selection of electronics components, kits, and tools.
Ultraleds is a U.K.-based specialist supplier of LED lighting products and other accessories to use them. Ultraleds stocks more conventional LED replacement bulbs for use around the house and offers a wide range of low-voltage DC LED ribbon and bulbs at extremely competitive prices.
EnvironmentalLights.com is a leading supplier of sustainable and energy-efficient lighting based in San Diego, California. It offers a huge variety of LED lighting that can be used for an equally huge number of applications. The company may even give you ideas for new projects as well.
Skip/Dumpster diving (World)
People are always amazed at the amount of useful stuff that’s thrown away, but they rarely know what’s useful and what’s not. The key is to know what you’re looking for and find out whether you can salvage the parts you need for your project. This may take a bit of Googling because there are so many products and components out there that could be of use to your project.
The motor is one such component that can be extremely expensive if bought new but is used in a variety of consumer electronics that are often discarded. Printers and scanners use relatively complex and expensive stepper motors to work, which can be used again another day. Even the cost of a new printer with several motors can be cheaper than buying motors on their own.