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Is there a trick to saving money on breadboards, ICs, chip programmers (the devices, not the people), etc.? Answered

I used to have access to a lot through the EE program and just in general, through the university I was at for 8+ years....now we're on an extremely tight budget, and I'd just like to figure out ways of getting parts for projects without having to come up with much/any cash. Any suggestions will be much appreciated!


Unless you have a specific reason to work with older stuff or recycled stuff (and know what you're dealing with), you're probably better off going with newer chips. Many of the more recent offerings from most makers are in-circuit-programmable, and often there are evaluation/development boards that you can easily obtain to test out your ideas. Also, look for surplus electronics shops. Marlin P. Jones & Associates and All Electronics are my two favorites.

Discarded power supplies, PCs, Microwaves, printers and UPSs are great sources for good parts. A soldering iron, solder, solder-sucker and heat sink clip + practice will reward you with a nice supply of components in a few hours. (Remember to short all caps before starting any desoldering). -dwight_37

Todays words are 'Recycle and Reuse'. Any old electronic equipment that doesn't work, remove its parts and re-test the same parts. Any defective ones throw away but keep the good ones for any experimental projects you can think of. --redsierra

Use PICAXE. It's a cheap and extremely easy to use microcontroller. Plus you don't need chip programmer with this chip and it can simplify your circuit design. http://www.rev-ed.co.uk/picaxe/

Well, sampling electronics parts is naturally always an option. Another option may be to hunt down a EE student from your local university and see if they would be willing to use their student status to get you discounted parts. And of course some electronics can be scavenged for good parts. --Purduecer