Ordering parts onesie twosie (was: One of Bay Area's last Fry's Electronics stores closes)

Boris Gimbarzevsky boris at summitclinic.com
Wed Jan 1 02:46:07 CST 2020

At 14:15 31-12-19, you wrote:

> > On Dec 31, 2019, at 13:32, Ali via cctalk <cctalk at classiccmp.org> wrote:
> >
> > I hate having to order 50 capacitors from 
> China every time I need one....
> >
>I ordered two from Mouser this week.

One of the things I miss most is no longer having 
any local electronic suppliers.  Larger cities 
have more, but all of the places piled high with 
old electronics in Seattle in 1980's were no 
longer there when last visited Seattle around 
2007 or so.  Vancouver has one electronics store 
which, given Vancouver traffic, was at least a 1 
hour drive each way.  Seems that no-one is 
interesting in restoring old systems or building 
them anymore.  The old surplus electronic stores 
in Canada seemed to fade away in 1970's, but 
Western Surplus in Edmonton was an excellent 
place to find military surplus electronics in 1960's.

Hate online ordering as don't get a chance to 
actually look at what one is getting and there's 
a minimum of a few days to a week delay before 
one gets the item.  Living in middle of BC means 
a week is closer to how long it takes.  As far as 
China goes, have waited months for electronics to 
come from China.  Really cheap, but even cheaper 
if one pulls things like 16x32 multicolor LED 
displays out of sale kids toys; a girls 
"programmable display purse" cost less on sale at 
ToysRus than buying a multicolor LED matrix new 
from China (and before factoring in shipping and 
duties) and after disassembly, one got a very 
well manufactured multicolor LED matrix as well 
as very a very shoddy, likely ARM CPU based, 
board which connected to the LED matrix.

Find that online ordering results in my having an 
excess of microprocessor development systems 
which I still haven't used, of which the most use 
in future will be Propeller proto boards as 
that's my favorite CPU after PDP-11.  Learned 
early that don't have a few glasses of wine 
before starting to order electronics online ($1500 AdaFruit order was result).

Now I just try to stock up on things that are 
likely to be in short supply and that I don't 
want to run out of.  Current system of 
immediately getting a part when one needs it very 
fragile and depends on a complex transportation 
system which can easily fall apart in a SHTF 
situation.  Also, donate old electronics to 
people who will resuse them (such as out local 
Makerspace which may represent a future form of 
distributed manufacturing).  Not having local 
stocks of electronic parts available for purchase 
very annoying and only solution I've found for 
now is to look at what parts I'm likely to need 
and order 50 of them or whatever number I get a 
decent price break.  Electrolytic capacitors have 
a finite lifetime and would prefer to buy them 
new but will just have to hope they age more slowly when not in use.

More information about the cctalk mailing list