Monday, September 19, 2005

DIY Hardware Resources

This is a great resource list for all those DIY projects that come up. Vendors listed here sell miscellaneous and surplus hardware, tools, lab supplies, motors, adhesives, Dremel bits, screws, gizmos, and whatnots. Stuff you might need for successful hardware building and hacking, stuff you’re inclined to packrat until just the right project comes along.

Surplus Stores:

  1. American Science And Surplus The canonical go-to store for surplus anything.
  2. The Electronics Goldmine Mostly electronic components. Mostly. A wide and ecclectic variety of electronic components, assemblies, and kits.
  3. Alltronics not to be confused with All Electronics, this outfit is another Goldmine clone.
  4. Dontronics Dontronics carries an assortment of somewhat unique kits. Lots of components to get your PIC talking to serial ports, memory, and monitors.
  5. Phidgets Phidgets sells a wide range of electronics kits aimed at robotics and academics. Think servo controllers, digital I/O boards, USB interfaces, and analog sensors. Sadly, many of the kits are a little on the expensive side.
  6. ELM Electronics Elm Electronics produces integrated circuits (and only ICs) on a small scale. If National Semiconductor were scaled down ten thousand times, they’d be ELM Electronics. Anyway, ELM produces such chips as ODB (car diagnostics) to RS232 interpreters, Sony infrared remote control interpreters, stepper motor controllers, and more.
  7. Surplus Center Surplus Center sells components that are large and in charge. 1.5hp electric motors, 4hp gas engines, 3,000 lb hydraulic cylinders, and 12v SLA batteries. If you’re looking for BattleBot parts, these will most likely be too large, unless you’re building a BattleBot that will decisively put those punk kids (and the car they rode in on) in their place once and for all. If, however, you’re looking to convert your lawnmower into a GoKart, these people can help you out… (thanks Nick/Felice!)
  8. B&G Micro A popular Goldmine clone. Their online catalog rankles, so you may do well do download the PDF, though I’m not sure that the PDF covers their full inventory. (thanks, Bill)
  9. Surplus Shed DIY photography is enjoying a renaissance of sorts as people are realizing that all you need to make a camera is a lens, film, and a light-proof box to connect the two. To that end Surplus Shed offers a selection of items to get you started; lenses, eyepieces, mirrors, and repurposable cameras. They also offer parts for the astronomically inclined, such as finder scopes, motors, and lenses.
  10. Electronic Surplus There’s very little surprise about what Electronic Surplus sells—exotic Capuchin and Rhesus monkeys. No, wait, it’s surplus electronics.
  11. Government Liquidation As the name implies, Government Liquidation auctions big lots of government surplus equipment. If you’re going to bid on something here, you’ll need a forklift to unload it, so be sure to bid on one of those, too.
  12. Timeline, Inc. Timeline primarily sells LCD displays. They also have a “Hacker’s Corner” with odd power supplys, embedded computers, POS terminals, and serial terminals.


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