Electrical Suppliers

General Components

Supplier Name/Website: Logo: Interface: Part Count: Supplied Locations: Delivery Speed/Cost:  Comments:
Alibaba (visit site) 1/5 5/5 International 2/5 Alibaba is a huge international trading site that offers goods a whole sale prices (if your prepared to buy in quantity). Prices are sometimes listed, but it is normally up to you to contact the seller and organise prices/quantities. Normally you can buy direct from manufacturers, offering very good deals!
AliExpress (visit site) 4/5 4/5 International 3/5 A spin-off of Alibaba, AliExpress is geared more towards single customers and smaller purchases than Alibaba.com. The difference is that AliExpress has listed prices for all items, and a built in shopping cart/checkout system which allows you to directly pay the seller from the website. They also offer a secure cash holding service until you confirm the goods have arrived. The goods can be slightly more expensive than on Alibaba, but are still normally very cheap (quality can be questionable though).
Deal Extreme (visit site)   2/5 4/5 International 5/5 An American online store that sells selected popular electronics components for cheap (as well as hardware). One of the best things about this site is that they offer free international shipping on everything, no matter how cheap the item is!
Element 14 (visit site)   5/5 2/5 International 5/5  International online component store that stocks most electrical components. In my opinion they have a nicer online layout than RS, and a easier to use search engine. Formally called Farnell. Element14 had free shipping (in New Zealand) for while in 2010-2011, but now only offer it on orders of NZ$45 or more.
HiQ (visit site) 1/5 2/5 New Zealand 3/5 Large supplier of Hammond enclosures for NZ.
Jaycar (visit site)  1/5  1/5  New Zealand/Australia  3/5  The one benefit of Jaycar is that they have physical stores in many cities, meaning they are good for getting those components that you desperately needed hours ago. But apart from that, they are expensive and have a limited range.
Mind Kits (visit site) 3/5 2/5 New Zealand 4/5 Good, cheap site with a fair amount of components. Supplier of SparkFun components to New Zealand customers, so you can skip the high shipping fee you would receive buying from the US.
Mouser (visit site) 4/5 3/5 International 3/5 International online component store that has a large range of electronics. In my experience they are norammly one of the cheapest and best stocked suppliers. Easy to use search engine, much like Element 14’s.

Avnet

Location: New Zealand
Website: http://www.avnet.com/

Supplier of PSoC devices.

Digi-Key

Logo
Interface: 3/5
Part Count 5/5
Supplied Locations International
Based In USA
Delivery Speed/Cost 4/5
Free Shipping? On orders above NZ$125
Website www.digikey.com

Comments:

Digi-Key is a huge international supplier. If anyone will have a component, it will be Digi-Key. Although their website isnt that aesthetically pleasing, they have a powerful search interface and display a fair amount of the component properties without having to dig into the datasheets (helpful!). Their pricing is usually a little expensive for one of components, but they are by far the cheapest if you buy in large quantities. I definetly recommend using Digi-Key if you are taking a circuit into production.

Automatic Part List/BOM/Order Creation. This speeds up the ordering process. Directly upload BOM’s  as text, csv, or Excel Spreadsheet (.xls) files to DigiKey, select the appropriate columns, and then instantly create orders.

NiceGear

Logo n/a
Interface: 4/5
Part Count 3/5
Supplied Locations National/International?
Based In NZ
Delivery Speed/Cost 5/5
Free Shipping? On orders above NZ$50 (last updated August 2014)
Website https://nicegear.co.nz/

Comments:

NiceGear sells a range of DIY electronics such as Arduino gear, cables and connectors, some components, and tools. The best thing about this electronics supplier is the friendly service and the fast shipping to NZ locations. Surprisingly, NiceGear also undercuts larger suppliers with pricing. For example, in 2013, they were selling the Arduino Due for about NZ$15 cheaper than Element14.

RS Components

Logo
Interface: 3/5
Part Count 4/5
Supplied Locations International
Based In USA
Delivery Speed/Cost 2/5
Free Shipping? On orders above NZ$125
Website www.rs-components.com

International online component store that stocks most electrical components. As of 09/12/2010 they were offering free shipping around New Zealand.

Samtec

In my opinion, Samtec has one of the best websites for finding/deciding on electricalconnectors. They also have an awesome rapid free sample service, in where you can order samples and they will pay for everything (including shipping), with the goods typically arriving in a few days (and I live in New Zealand!).

PCB Manufacturers

Name/Website: Logo: Specifications: Soldermask/ Silkscreen Plated Through-hole Vias Instant Online Quote Based In: Supplied Locations:  Comments:
Circuit Labs (website) Number Of Layers: 2
Min Track And Gap: 0.152mm
Min Hole Size: 0.30mm
Min Annular Ring: 0.10
Rigid-Flex: No
Yes No Auckland, New Zealand New Zealand Specialise in small-quantity PCB manufacture.
IMP (website) Number Of Layers: 2-8+
Min Track And Gap: ?
Min Hole Size: ?
Min Annular Ring: 0.10
Rigid-Flex: Yes (outsourced)
Yes Yes No Australia Australia, New Zealand Manufacturer of small-runs of PCB’s, usually for a prototyping or small manufacturer service. Very good customer support. Also produce/supply membranes, decals, stencils and LCD screens.
Kayem Graphics (website) Number Of Layers: 2
Min Track And Gap: ?
Min Hole Size: ?
Min Annular Ring: ?
Rigid-Flex: No
Yes No No New Zealand New Zealand
PCB Zone (website) Number Of Layers: 2
Min Track And Gap: 0.20mm
Min Hole Size: 0.30mm
Min Annular Ring: ?
Rigid-Flex: No
Yes (green) Yes Yes New Zealand New Zealand/International Manufacturer of PCB boards that is semi-tailored to hobbyist/DIY productions, offering cheap prices for limited runs.
Silver Circuits (website) Number Of Layers: 2
Min Track And Gap: 0.1778mm (7mil)
Min Hole Size: 0.3048mm (12mil)
Min Annular Ring: ?
Rigid-Flex: No
Yes

PCB Cart

Website: wwww.pcbcart.com
Number Of Layers: 4
Min Track And Gap: 0.1
Min Hole Size: 0.1
Min Annular Ring: 0.10
PCB Edge Clearance: 0.3mm/12mil (1-2 layers), 0.2mm/8mil (>2 layers)
Rigid-Flex: No
Plated Through-hole: Yes
Soldermask/Silkscreen: Yes
Instant Quote: Yes
Based In: China
Supplied Locations: International

Notes:  Cheap supplier for boards, but they do take a while to manufacture. Offers extensive features and a nice web ordering interface with on-the-spot quotes. Although I did have an unpleasant run-in with them once, see the post ”

Stack-ups:

Here is one of their default 4-layer, 2core, 1.6mm thick stack-ups.

Here is a similar 4-layer, 1.6mm thick PCB stack-up, except with only one core.

Suppliers With Free Samples!

Name/Website: Logo: Free Samples:
Coilcraft (http://www.coilcraft.com/) Free samples of their inductors with free international shipping!
Texas Instruments (http://www.ti.com/) Selection of their components. A maximum of 5 can be ordered at once. They also provide free internaitonal shipping! They do not allow you to register for free samples with a free email address such as Gmail or Hotmail, so you have to use a company or University email address.

Electronic Manufacturing Service (EMS) Companies

EMS companies specialise in component sourcing, component placing, soldering and general PCB assembly. They don’t normally do the PCB design themselves (although some business do both, and others sub-contract this part to another company). A good EMS will support small-pitch components such as 0201’s and BGA’s (see Component Packages), and have a large number of basic components on hand (such as resistors and capacitors).

EffyDeal

Location: Taiwan
Website: http://www.pcb-assembly.com.tw/
PCB Manufacturing: Yes
Cable Assembly: Yes
Price: 4/5

Larger manufacturer which can also take care of of the PCB etching. Quick to deal with, and offer exceptional service.

Precision Electronic Technologies

Location: Australia
Website: http://www.precisionet.com.au/
PCB Manufacturing: Yes

Used to be called Precision Circuits (pre 2012).

Quick Circuits

Location: New Zealand
Website: http://www.quickcircuit.co.nz/

Helpful and have a good range of experience when it comes to PCB manufacturing. Capabilities include encapsulating/potting.

SRX Global

Location: New Zealand, Australia
Website: http://www.srxglobal.com/

Gone through a series of name changes (used to be Aims, then Startronics, now SRX Global).

Texmate

Location: New Zealand

Have not done encapsulation before.

Specific Components

Traco Power

http://www.tracopower.com: Traco Power specialises in power conversion, specifically AC/DC converters, DC/DC converters, and DC/AC inverters. Element14 stocks a range of their products, including a range of complete DC/DC converters priced from NZ$8-16.

Molex

www.molex.com: Molex is one of the industry leaders for electrical connectors. They have a comprehensive set of connectors, from tiny pitched SMD mount connectors all the way up to IP67 rated ethernet connectors. They also have 3D models for most of their connectors (in PRO/E, IGES and STEP formats).

Hardware

Hobby King

www.hobbyking.com: Hobby site that sells anything to do with RC (radio controlled) toys. They sell brushless DC motors (BLDC’s), speed controllers, batteries (both Li-Po and NiMH), battery chargers, as well as complete kits. I used this site to buy the motor and associated hardware for the electric skateboard. It should be noted however the first ever Turnigy Li-Po battery I brought from there was defective, as well as a connector on a battery charger being connected around the wrong way, and a faulty ESC card programmer! I was not that impressed. They also take a hard-line on refunds, giving only a 30-day warranty for Li-Po batteries and no refund if they have been tampered with.

Deal Extreme

www.dealextreme.com: An American online store that sells selected popular hardware for cheap (along with components). One of the best things about this site is that they offer free international shipping on everything, no matter how cheap the item is!

Batteries

Shenzhen Shirui Battery Co.

Location: Shenzhen, China
Chemistries: Li-Po
Support: 4/5
Price: 5/5
Range: 4/5

Details:

Shenzhen Shirui Battery Co. stock many different sized single-celled Li-Po batteries ranging from 30mAh up to 1000mAh+. In my experience, they have fast response times and more than eager to help (and profecient in English). Datasheets are not included on their website (as with many Asian suppliers), but they will provide them at your request.

SparkFun

Location: USA
Chemistries: Li-Po
Support: 4/5
Price: 3/5
Range: 2/5

Details:

SparkFun sells a small range of Li-Po’s suitable for small DIY electronics projects.

OLED Screens

See the OLED Screens page.

Fibreglass

Gracol Enterprises

Christchurch manufacturer of fibreglass pultrusion (different from protrusion!) and hand-made products. Useful stuff when building strong and light chassis or frames!
Phone:             +64 3 384 9934
Address: 31 Wickham St., Bromley, 8062, Christchurch, New Zealand
Website: www.gracol.co.nz


View Larger Map

GJH Fibreglass

Palmerston North manufacturer of fibreglass products (especially moulded). Do not sell protruded fibreglass. Can purchase mat and resin.
Phone:             +64 6 357 0390
Address: 1 Settlers Line, Palmerston North, New Zealand
Website: None


View Larger Map

Prices (as of Jan 2011, GST inclusive)

Chop Stran Mat: NZ$11/metre (1.05m wide)
Polyester Resin: NZ$16.50/L