Prototyping / Experimenting Component Kits

Jim McCorisonJim McCorison Posts: 359
edited 2005-01-05 - 15:20:09 in General Discussion
Greetings All,

Has anybody run across someone that offers a "starter" kit of components for prototyping and experimenting? I'm thinking of a selection of TTL chips, or resistors, or whatever, that would have a good selection of the most commonly used pieces that you could order as a single line item. Granted a little of everything type kits as a general category tend to have more parts than you'll ever use. But it sure would beat ordering a $0.90 7404 from Digikey or hoping that a drive to Radio Shack will find one in stock.

Jim

Post Edited (Jim McCorison) : 1/3/2005 7:05:09 PM GMT

Comments

  • Jon WilliamsJon Williams Posts: 6,491
    edited 2005-01-03 - 20:10:19
    On resistors ... you can't go wrong if you get a little five-compartment case and have these values:

    220
    470
    1K
    4.7K
    10K

    -- will get you through most projects.

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    Jon Williams
    Applications Engineer, Parallax
    Dallas, TX· USA
  • Paul BakerPaul Baker Posts: 6,351
    edited 2005-01-03 - 20:31:12
    http://www.abra-electronics.com/catalog/kits/ttl_kit.html

    http://www.elexp.com/ics_3200.htm

    http://www.jameco.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryDisplay?storeId=10001&catalogId=10001&langId=-1&categoryId=11108

    there are some sources such as http://www.jdr.com/interact/categories.asp?cat=Integrated+Circuits·which offer prices on individual components a fraction of what digikey sells the parts for (the 7404 is $0.59) you may find grabbing larger quantities of parts you use more often a better buy than ending up with·5 7408's (8 in nand) you'll likely never use.

    Another option availible and is actually quite cheaper (especially in the long run)·is abandoning discrete IC's altogether and go with CPLD's. For instance Atmel provides free development software (WinCUPL, simulator and part fitters), a schematic of their download cable (which you can assemble yourself for less than $10 in parts (by getting some compenents (such as the·parallel connector) from cheap electronics distributors such as www.allelectronics.com), or buy thier cable for $59) (you can also use the ByteBlaster cable which schematics are also available on the net) and quite a few documents to help you along (plus quite a few example circuit configurations). With a single chip you can replicate the function of many discrete components with the added capability of changing the logic configuration at any time while the CPLD is on your board. With a 7400 series cookbook in hand you can directly copy the logic equations (or truth tables) for any 7400 part into your CPLD. If you don't want the hassle of constructing a homebrew CPLD programming·system, digikey offers atmel's development kit http://dkc3.digikey.com/PDF/T051/0314.pdf·for just under $100 (you get an 84 pin·5V CPLD and an 84 pin 3V CPLD with the kit) (adapters for other chip sizes are extra $)

    Paul

    Most radio shacks carry a (I think 500pc) 5% 1/4W resistor kit for around·$15

    Post Edited (Paul Baker) : 1/3/2005 8:48:51 PM GMT
  • steve_bsteve_b Posts: 1,563
    edited 2005-01-03 - 21:24:44
    I took electronics in College up here in Canuck-land and I was part of the student chapter of IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers) and we sold a starter kit to the students.

    Of course, this kit was based on what lab courses demanded.· I actually still have bits and pieces of my kit still (no component listing though).
    But I might check with your local college (if your college is local shocked.gif ) they may have a starter kit for a few bucks!

    look for op-amps, transistors (3904 & 3906), resistors of various values (from big to small -- don't really need less than 100ohms unless working on RF!).·
    Different IC's for different tasks!!· Some digital IC's (gates: ANDs, NANDS, etc...).
    Diodes (including zeners of different voltages).
    LEDs (various colours!)....it's nice if your LEDs have the built in resistor...but be SURE you know if it does or not!
    Wire!!· Can't connect things if you don't have wire....which leads me to soldering irons and solder!

    What you should do is figure out what it is you want to make....then create a shopping list!·
    It does get a little $$ to buy everything you think you MIGHT need....so I buy bits here and there!·
    Although, I am lucky enough to have thousands of components at my disposal at work....I'm not rubbing it in...honest! tongue.gif

    Oh ya, avoid those 'GRAB BAGS' of caps and inductors.· I'm such a sucker for a sale, that I have bags of these things sitting in a drawer and will honestly probably never use them.· BUT, do go to radioshack and see if they are getting rid of stock.· A LOT of RS's up here have gotten out of the electronic component market and let go of their product at silly low prices!

    Find your local electronics places and wander in and see what 'bin' sales they have....of course, use some thought when purchasing some of these if you are trying to save $$.·

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    Steve
    http://members.rogers.com/steve.brady
    http://www.geocities.com/paulsopenstage

    "Inside each and every one of us is our one, true authentic swing. Something we was born with. Something that's ours and ours alone. Something that can't be learned... something that's got to be remembered."

  • GadgetmanGadgetman Posts: 2,436
    edited 2005-01-04 - 09:35:31
    A good rule I've found over the years is that whenever I need a new component for a project, and it doesn't cost too much, I buy a few more.
    This is because I find that if something worked once, I'm likely to use it again (unless it's a very special chip)

    Resistors: Get those 5 values, and get enough of them.
    A pack of small ceramic caps for noise elimination won't hurt, either.
    (Size isn't critical)
    And if you happen upon leds that are on sale, grab some.
    (A led and a resistor connected to a chip pin can be quite a handy debugging tool smile.gif
  • Chris SavageChris Savage Parallax Engineering Posts: 14,406
    edited 2005-01-04 - 15:15:38
    If I was only dealing with logic/digital circuitry, I suppose I could get by with about 5 values of resistor.· However, due to analog projects, I find we need around 30 or so values.· What I did a long time ago was bought a 60 drawer parts cabinet and filled it with resistors from a pack I got from Jameco of around 50 different values.· The other 10 drawers hold Potentiometers, SIP Resistor packs, Thermistors, etc.

    I use about 10 different common capacitors, so I bought another cabinet for those and although it's not full, I have room for expansion...

    Another cabinet is all TTL/CMOS Logic (74xx/40xx), and another is all Linear/Analog (LMxxxx, etc).

    Another is Switches, Relays, other hardware...All-in-all we have 11 of these 60-drawer parts cabinets (9 are for the electronics bench alone).· I guess you could call me a pack-rat!

    Of course, my "PARALLAX" cabinet is full, and I will be needing a second one real soon!· The PARALLAX cabinet replaced my Z80/6xxxx series cabinet...

    I know there are others that have similar setups since I have visited many of the forums user's Websites...In fact, one person (I don't remember who) had a bedroom that reminded me of mine when I was a kid!· Parts everywhere!· I certainly understand the need to have a nice kit of parts for experiments...



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    Chris Savage

    Knight Designs
    324 West Main Street
    P.O. Box 97
    Montour Falls, NY 14865
    (607) 535-6777

    Business Page:·· http://www.knightdesigns.com
    Personal Page:··· http://www.lightlink.com/dream/chris
    Designs Page:··· http://www.lightlink.com/dream/designs
    ·
  • steve_bsteve_b Posts: 1,563
    edited 2005-01-04 - 16:05:04
    This is what I got as a present when I started my new position....

    I'm totally spoiled!

    The tech that I replaced told me that he never bought a couple things at a time...so far as the cheap stuff went anyways.
    He'd buy 100packs of resistors.· For each value he got the 1/4W; 1/2W and 1W.
    Same with caps....16V; 25V; 100V with a few odd ones in between!

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    ·

    Steve
    http://members.rogers.com/steve.brady
    http://www.geocities.com/paulsopenstage

    "Inside each and every one of us is our one, true authentic swing. Something we was born with. Something that's ours and ours alone. Something that can't be learned... something that's got to be remembered."

    640 x 480 - 64K
  • Jim McCorisonJim McCorison Posts: 359
    edited 2005-01-04 - 16:26:25
    Ok, Steve's Wall-O-Joy is certainly something I'd like to have... but, on a 38' boat... with a wife... ain't gonna happen. cry.gif

    Back when I first started messing around with digital stuff (S100 bus, Z80, designing a really big memory card of 2kb) I had a few of those cabinets full of stuff. Now I have to start over.

    Since my project will be interfacing to the analog world, probably through differential op amps of some type, more sizes of resistors will probably be better. Unfortunately, at least around here, the Radio Shacks are into selling cell phones, PCs, and googags. The parts selections are pretty minimal. But I've found a few pointers to local supply houses that should help. Plus the pointers to the various web sites. I'd forgotten about JDR, glad to see they're still around.

    The Atmel CPLD looks like a pretty neat solution to the bag of ttl logic chips problem. Of course that's one more thing to learn to program, which is both good and bad. Good, fun. Bad, time. But it certainly has the promise of making some aspects of this and future projects easier.

    Thank you to all of you for your time and help. What a great group!

    Cheers,
    Jim
  • MacGeek117MacGeek117 Posts: 747
    edited 2005-01-04 - 17:02:00
    Paul,

    Yes Radio Shack does have a 500 piece resistor set.
  • Chris SavageChris Savage Parallax Engineering Posts: 14,406
    edited 2005-01-04 - 17:40:31
    Actually, I have bought the Radio Shack resistor pack when in a pinch...

    Jim,

    ·· I guess expansion isn't an option on a Boat!· My wife has joked in the past about living on a houseboat when the kids are gone...Even traveling in an RV...Thanks to you, I am re-thinking that whole idea!· I don't think I could do without my wall of goodies...

    Steve,

    ·· Very impressive...THAT's what I'm talking about...As a Boy Scout they taught us to "Be Prepared", and my friend, you certainly are!· smilewinkgrin.gif· I think I have a picture of my setup in here...Let me look...Okay, scaled it down a bit for size...Mind you, it's not this clean right now...IN fact, you can't see the bench under the piles of crap right now...But that's what the holdays did to me!· cry.gif



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    Chris Savage

    Knight Designs
    324 West Main Street
    P.O. Box 97
    Montour Falls, NY 14865
    (607) 535-6777

    Business Page:·· http://www.knightdesigns.com
    Personal Page:··· http://www.lightlink.com/dream/chris
    Designs Page:··· http://www.lightlink.com/dream/designs
    800 x 600 - 148K
  • Lee HarkerLee Harker Posts: 104
    edited 2005-01-04 - 20:42:52
    Chris,
    You just couldn't resist showing off could you? But, if this was a real workbench wouldn't there be some empty pop cans or a pizza box?
    Lee
  • Paul BakerPaul Baker Posts: 6,351
    edited 2005-01-04 - 20:54:09
    A·parts cabinet is not a wise idea on a boat (imagine hitting rough seas and your cabinet drawers all sliding out), you should consider something like Flambeau's Kwickdraw series.

    Something like http://www.reelfishingtackle.com/flambeaukwikdraw2tray.html
    or even better http://www.reelfishingtackle.com/flambeaukwikdrawfrontw4tuff.html·.

    I use ArtBin's version of the 2 tray (2 small parts trays lock in the top (I dunno if Flambeau's has this feature, it would seem so since the photo shows 3 small·parts trays) and a 3rd slides in the bottom front). Sadly it doesn't seem that ArtBin makes them anymore, they are moving to primarily soft shell containers. I still live in an apartment with no space to construct a work bench, so the coffee table is used as impromptu workbench and the supply box makes moving my·components simple and keeps the living room clutter free.

    Paul

    PS I heard of goodads and googaws but never a googag smile.gif

    Post Edited (Paul Baker) : 1/4/2005 8:58:06 PM GMT
  • steve_bsteve_b Posts: 1,563
    edited 2005-01-04 - 21:00:24
    that second tackle box is nice.·

    I know we used tackle boxes in college to carry all our components.· I made the mistake of buying one that had two sides....so if you forgot to close the one side while flipping over to the other side then you weren't happy at all!

    And things do mix around enough with the flipping that things get tangled...a pain, but not too bad.

    It all really depends on how much you want to carry!· If you are only prototyping, then some pots will be nice.· Set to the pot value and when next in port, pick up the appropriate resistors.

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    ·

    Steve
    http://members.rogers.com/steve.brady
    http://www.geocities.com/paulsopenstage

    "Inside each and every one of us is our one, true authentic swing. Something we was born with. Something that's ours and ours alone. Something that can't be learned... something that's got to be remembered."

  • Jim McCorisonJim McCorison Posts: 359
    edited 2005-01-05 - 01:45:16
    I like the front load tackle box. I'll have to see if I can find somebody around here that sells Flambeau.

    I'm a great believer in tackle boxes and other compartmented plastic boxes. I must have a dozen of more of them on board. I have a large tackle bag that holds 6 large compartmented boxes which contain most of the electrical wiring supplies I need to work on boats. Then a bunch more boxes for fasteners, hose clamps, heat shrink, more fasteners, etc., etc. They all get stowed forward, some strapped down with cargo straps, and everything covered over with a cargo net. Haven't had anything go galley west regardless of how bad the seas get.

    And you Californians though you had it bad with earthquakes. Try rolling your house sideways 20 degrees, then back the other way 20 degrees, over and over, all day long. (I guess I'd better be careful what I say, I'm a Californian now as well, I guess.)

    Jim
  • Chris SavageChris Savage Parallax Engineering Posts: 14,406
    edited 2005-01-05 - 02:26:01
    Lee Harker said...
    Chris,
    You just couldn't resist showing off could you? But, if this was a real workbench wouldn't there be some empty pop cans or a pizza box?
    Lee
    Well, yes and no!· First of all...Even when I was a die-hard Pizza & Pepsi master, I always kept the electronics bench and computer benches clean of food and such.· And I NEVER put my drinks near my computers anymore!· One mishap taught me a valuable lesson...As for now, this picture is at my computer shop, and things have somewhat changed (My wife doesn't let me drink soda anymore, and pizza makes me fat!)...Besides, Steve's got me beat, BIG TIME!· Jim said it right, "Wall-O-Joy!"· freaked.gif

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    Chris Savage

    Knight Designs
    324 West Main Street
    P.O. Box 97
    Montour Falls, NY 14865
    (607) 535-6777

    Business Page:·· http://www.knightdesigns.com
    Personal Page:··· http://www.lightlink.com/dream/chris
    Designs Page:··· http://www.lightlink.com/dream/designs
    ·
  • Paul BakerPaul Baker Posts: 6,351
    edited 2005-01-05 - 03:50:58
    I worked at UF's coastal engineering sensors lab for a couple summers, an entire 12'x20' room every inch of wall space floor to ceiling was component drawers filled to the gills with analog, digital, and passives (precision and power). The broad range of designs brought into the lab required it. After showing me the room he plopped three huge supply catalogs on the table and said "order anything we dont have or you need". My jaw almost hit the floor, sad I don't have access to that anymore.

    Paul
  • Chris SavageChris Savage Parallax Engineering Posts: 14,406
    edited 2005-01-05 - 15:20:09
    I have done some sub-contracting for a few companies that were also "well-stocked" with what they used.· Including one Systems Integration Specialist that had more components related to Industrial Electrical Cabinets than I had ever seen before...

    Seeing the picture of my electronics bench reminds me of what I truly lack...And that is a single room to house all my parts, books and tools related to my electronics work.· Because we have 2 more benches for the computer business with the tools on those benches as well, and they are just behind me and to my right if I am sitting at the bench in the picture.· All the books and everything are mixed into one giant bookshelf too...I just don't have the room here that I used to have when I lived in the city.



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    Chris Savage

    Knight Designs
    324 West Main Street
    P.O. Box 97
    Montour Falls, NY 14865
    (607) 535-6777

    Business Page:·· http://www.knightdesigns.com
    Personal Page:··· http://www.lightlink.com/dream/chris
    Designs Page:··· http://www.lightlink.com/dream/designs
    ·
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