Buying electronic components online is an easy way to get the components you need. There are many stores that sell electronic components and many can ship worldwide in just a few days.
If you are a beginner, it might be useful for you to read about the basic electronic components found in circuits.
Where can you buy electronic components online?
There are many online stores for buying electronic components. I like to order most electronic components online from Digi-Key. They have a large selection of components and really fast shipping. I live in Norway and it usually only takes two days to get my order from them.
Sometimes you need a special component that you cannot find in the general purpose online stores. Like an integrated circuit that is hard to find. Or some special connector. Or a rare display.
When I am in such a situation, I have a few strategies. If it is a chip that I am looking for, I use findchips.com. To find other special electronic components online I first do a quick search on all the component stores that I know of. If I can’t find anything, I use Google to try and find a manufacturer of the part. Then I visit the website of the manufacturer to find their distributors.
What to consider before buying?
Before you buy your components online, you should consider a couple of things.
When choosing which components to buy, there is always a chance of getting confused with all the choices. Learn how to choose the right capacitor type, find the right type of resistor, and choose between LED types.
What packages do you need for your components? Is it surface mount devices or through-hole?
Getting the right package for your components makes your soldering much easier. If you get the wrong package you might not be able to use the component at all.
If you haven’t designed your circuit board yet, you can buy whatever package you like and just make sure you design your board with that package. You can also design a custom component in your design software to match the component you find.
Brainstorm all the things you need
I cannot count how many times I have sat down to solder an electronic circuit just to realize that I’m missing something trivial as jumper wires or solder paste. Therefore, brainstorm what else you need.
Do you have the soldering tools you need? Solder and solder wick? Do you have the necessary wires and cables? Do you need an enclosure? Do you need an external power supply? Batteries? Do you have the necessary debugging tools for troubleshooting your circuit after soldering?
Write down all the accessories you need so that you have a complete list of things to order.
Are you ready to order your components?
- Have you found an online store to buy your components?
- Have you made sure you found the correct package for your components?
- Have you listed ALL the things you need besides your components?
If so, push that “Buy” button and let the components come to you.