[sdiy] Where to buy ceramic caps

rsdio at audiobanshee.com rsdio at audiobanshee.com
Sun Dec 31 03:52:55 CET 2017

On Dec 30, 2017, at 6:19 PM, David G Dixon <dixon at mail.ubc.ca> wrote:
> It's not design I have a problem with -- it's procurement.  I hate buying
> this stuff.  Having to buy this shit from dealers like Digikey and Mouser
> almost makes me want to find a different hobby.  Going on those websites
> with tens of thousands of options makes me want to puke, and it's why I
> spend so much time and money at my local shop, Lee's Electronics in
> Vancouver.  The only online retailer I really like is Small Bear, because
> there is a drag-down menu for component values.  On Digikey, the same
> capacitor in different values is spread across dozens of pages, each with a
> dizzying array of options, most of which I don't understand.

I’m quite confused, now. At the beginning of this thread, I got the impression that you were disappointed by the lack of supply options. Now it seems that you’re complaining that there are thousands of options. Are you saying that you’ll only be happy if online retailers carry exactly what you think you want and nothing else?

Personally, I find Digikey to be the worse web design ever. It baffles me that online electronics bloggers talk about how “great” Digikey is for finding the parts they need. I guess it’s perhaps all due to a different way of thinking. I’m open-minded enough to conceive that some people think differently than I do when it comes to parts selection. It’s certainly something that is complex enough that my associates have asked where this sort of thing is taught in the industry.

In contrast, Mouser allows me to specify exactly the details that I care about, either by single values or by ranges, and then drill down to a specific part by narrowing the options until all that’s left is to sort by price and pick the cheapest. That works for me every time, and Mouser seems to constantly be adding more parts that I know about, but which were previously not stocked or listed by them. Mouser have even improved the search engine to allow searching across varying types of capacitors or resistors that were previously only searchable separately. My only complaint is that their price sorting doesn’t take into consideration your desired quantity, so I’ll have to look ahead as much as a page or two to find the actual lowest cost at my quantity. There’s also the issue that custom names are global, not per-project, but that’s not an issue for larger companies where parts procurement is done by someone other than the circuit designer or layout engineer, so I’ll forgive them for not catering to the really small business.

In any case, every day there are more fabrication services that will handle parts procurement for you. So, if you really don’t like the effort that it takes for this, you can pay someone else to do it for you. Advanced Circuits is one of many options.

Brian Willoughby
Sound Consulting

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