Introduction: Free Electronic Samples

About: ––––––––––––––––––––––– "Energy cannot be created nor destroyed…
Did you know that some manufactures and suppliers will give away some free samples of their produces to customers and engineers to test them on their projects?

They are some rules you should know before you start getting free samples from the companies:
  • You should never ask for more than you need, because you are not going to use the extra parts you are given, that means don't be greedy.
  • Taking free samples from the companies and selling them on places like ebay to make your self an profit is an absolute no-no (unless the company says you can do it). Those parts are meant to be used for your projects, NOT for resale.
  • Just to be fair to the companies where you got your samples from, buy some of their products.

There is another instructable that is similar to this, check it out! List Of **FREE STUFF** For your projects, it has a lot of useful information about some companies that give away free samples, and tells you how to get free samples.

There is also a helpful site you should check out to!, there is a lot more helpful information about the free sample sites.

Also big thanks to Wesley666 for finding many manufactures and suppliers that will give away free samples!

What Wesley666 has to say:
Will try to update each step into companies that ship to ONLY North America and ones that ship World Wide to help ppl order samples from anywhere ASAP.

If you find any of our links, they don't work or you cant order samples, I will fix them as soon as possible. And I do try to check my comments at least once a day.

Yes, and I will try to update sites as often as possible when I find new places to sample from!

Don't be greedy and try to lie as little as possible

*Also look for the sample buttons because they are hard to spot sometimes but if you can't then you should send an E-mail!*

Step 1: LED's

Light emitting diodes, the most amazing and energy efficient lighting technology yet available.

Marktech | LED's
Bivar | LED's and PCB Packaging
SunLED | LED's and Displays
Sensitron | LED's
Marl | LED's -- (This company give samples to engineers only. Sorry students.)
Philip's Lumileds | LED's, High Power LED's

Step 2: Semiconductors

If we had no silicon, we would have no computers to do the work for us...

Cirrus | Semiconductor, microcontroller, and audio related
Maxim | Semiconductor
Analog Devices | Semiconductor
National | Semiconductor
Microchip | Semiconductor
Philips | Semiconductor
Intersil | Semiconductor
Agilent | Semiconductor
Fairchild | Semiconductor
Infenion | Semiconductor
Microsemi | Semiconductor
On Semiconductor | Semiconductor
Zilog | Semiconductor
Linear Technology | Semiconductor
Holtek | Semiconductor Need to be contacted
System General | Semiconductor
Central Semiconductors | Semiconductor
Pericom | Semiconductor
Sensitron | Arrays, Semiconductors, LEDs
FreeScale | Semiconductor
NJR | Semiconductor
STMicroelectronics | Integrated Circuits and semiconductors
Texas Instruments | Integrated Circuits and semiconductors

Step 3: Microcontrollers and Integrated Circuits

Program the microcontrollers and they will do exactly what you said.

Atmel | Microcontroller
STMicroelectronics | Integrated Circuits and semiconductors
Silicon Storage Technology| Flash Storage IC's
Catalyst Semiconductor | Memory and Voltage Reference
Cirrus | Semiconductor, microcontroller, and audio related
PMC Flash | Memory
Ramtron | Memory
Texas Instruments Integrated Circuits and semiconductors

Step 4: Passive Components

Resistors are used to limit current going though the circuit.
Capacitors are used to hold an DC charge and let AC pass through them self.

AVX | Passive Components & Oscillators
Meritekusa | Passive Components
Murata Europe | Passive Components
NorthWest Components | Passive and Diodes
Epcos | Passive Components
WIMA Capacitors
Vishay Passives

Step 5: Transformers, Toroids and Inductors

Transformers are used to change the input voltage with a different output voltage.
Toroids and Inductors are either used to limit AC current or filter out high frequency noise.

Steward | Ferrites, Inductor
Coilcraft | Inductor
Bhel Electronics | Transformer
Wilco | Inductor
Micrometals | Toroids

Step 6: Switches

Use switches to have control over electronics.

Lamb Industries | Switches
Eswitch | Switches
APEM | Switches
Guanbo | Switches
NKK | Switches
Screenkeys | LCD Screen Switches
Elesta | Relays

Step 7: Connectors

Connectors are used to join the two wires together easily and can be easily disconnected without damaging the wire.

FCI Connect | Connectors
Keystone | Connectors
Molex | Connectors
Kycon | Connectors
Wurth Elektronix | PCB, EMI, EMC, Connectors
Tyco | Connectors and Cables
3M | Connectors
ITW/Fastex | Connectors and Clips
Mill-Max | IC connectors
ON Shore | Terminal Blocks and connectors
Sam-Tec Connectors

Step 8: Enclosures

Protect the electronic from the elements with cases and enclosures.

Pacentec | Enclosures
New Age Enclosures | Enclosures
OKW | Enclosures and Knobs
Hammond MFG | Enclosures
Serpac | Enclosures

Step 9: Suppliers

You can get everything you need in one go from the suppliers.

Astrorep | Supplier
FMG Elecronics | Supplier
Electec | Supplier
Avnet | Supplier
Promor | Supplier
TAM | Supplier
SMD INC. | Supplier
Chesrep | Supplier

Step 10: Others

Random eletrionics parts and computer equipment. | Breadboards
PUI Audio | various audio devices
AVX | Oscillators
Melcor | Peltier
Cirrus | Semiconductor, microcontroller, and audio related
California Micro Devices | Protection and Interface
Catalyst Semiconductor | Memory and Voltage Reference
Cypress semiconductor | Networking
Sipex | power Managemet, Interface, Optical Storage
Supertex | Power Devices
Clare | Communication and drivers
Hittie | Microwave
FTDIchips | USB
VCC Globalspec | LED holders
AllegroMicro | Sensors
CML Micro | Wireless communication
RiaConnect | Terminal Blocks and RJ connectors
Bivar | LED's and PCB Packaging
SunLED | LED and Displays
AboveBoard Electronics | Tools
MillMax | Interconnects and IC sockets
LittleFuse | Power Devices and Fuses
Foxonline | Crystals and Oscillators
Semtech | Power Devices
Heyco | Grips and holders
Teknational | Thermal Insulation and hardware
Bridge Port | Fittings
Azmicrotek | Logic Translator
Bergquist | Thermal related products
Cooperet | Magnetics and protection
EM Microelectronics | RFID
ERG | Display related
AAVID Thermal Alloy | Sample Kits
Fordata | LCD
TRA CON | Thermal Management
WJ Communications | Communication
Spectra Symbol | Flex Sensors
Cirrus Logic | Digital chips, D/A converters, Ethernet controllers, audio/video decoders
Manncorp | SMT Solder Paste
Keystone | Hardware and Accessories
Vishay Passive and Optoelectric
Silicon LaboratoriesCan sample MCU's but not IC's
Purdy Electronics LCD Displays
RichCo Ties, clips, fan covers and more
Parallax Basic Sample Kit (have to be contacted)

Step 11: Surplus/Bargain Retail Sites

Step 12: Best Electronic Suppliers

Here is a list of best and recommended electronic suppliers below. Please note most of those suppliers on this list do not offer samples.

Thanks to Brennn10 for letting me use his write up about the best suppliers from this forum.

Digi-Key- By Brennn10
Digi-Key is a large distrbutor of components from various manufacturers, offering a very large catalog with lots and lots of choices. However, the site uses small print that might be hard to read. The catalog includes line drawings but not part photos, but it does do an excellant job of labeling the parts. Overall, Digi-Key has a huge selection of products, but they might need a little looking to find them.

Mouser Electronics- By Brennn10
Another large distributor of components from various manufacturers is Mouser. I like how Mouser's site allows you to compile separate orders for different projects. You can come backa s many times as you like to complete your order and make your purchase. We also like how Mouser label parts because the labels are easy to read and provide alot of information about the specific part.

Farnell is a large distributor components from various manufacturers of UK. They offer a very wide range of electronic components, test equipment, wire, tools and electrical hardware. Farnell provides a picture to all of their products and has technical information about the product. Farnell sells their products cheaply and they do a free next day shipping to UK residents.

Reynolds Electronics- By Brennn10
Reynolds Electronics is a good supplier of remote control components, micro controllers, and robot kits and parts. One feature that stands out on Reynolds Web site is the clear and helpful project/circuit tutorials. You can also find links for educational books on topics such as robotics and microcontrollers.

Hobby Engineering- By Brennn10
Hobby Engineering is a sit slanted towards the hobbyist. This site carries some useful items that can be harder to find from other providers who are catered towards the corporate customer. it also has a good supply of micro-controllers, robot kits, parts, ad miscellaneous components and tools.

Jameco Electronics- By Brennn10
Jameco has a very nice site catalog. It's not very big that you sspect a forest was sacrificed in its making. I has great color photos with relatively easy to find components. This is one supplier wih a low price fuarantee which means that if you can show a part offered for less, the lesser price is honored. jameco also provides lower priced generic products as well as name brands.

BG Micro- By Brennn10
BG Micro is a cool site for rare and pretty neat gadgets as well as a nice selection of alot of the items one will need for a weekend project. There is also a very nice search engine at the top which lets you search for an item you can't find on the left. (Thank you Las Vegas)

Futurlec- By Brennn10
Futurelec offers a very nicely done site with color photos of the parts that makes for easy browsin. Futurelec also offers semicnductor news links and also links to recently added parts to help you keep on the top of the latest and greatest as well as PCB design and manufacturing services.

Sparkfun- By Brennn10
Sparkfun was originally a PCB Manufacturer, and turned in to a company well beyond their expectations! They have a large variety of PCBs, LEDs, and MANY more everyday electronics components. The site is well organized with so much to choose from!

Radioshack- By Brennn10
Everyone knows Radioshack!. This electronics convenience store is pretty much like any food convenience store: CONVENIENT BUT EXPENSIVE. If you are stuck at 4:30 on a Sunday afteroon needing a small part to keep working on your project, this store is right for you. Be aware that not all radioshack are equal.

Maplin- By Brennn10
The British suppplier Maplin has stores scattered around the U.K. and also offers an online store.
Unlike electronic gadgets and appliances that operate on different voltages in European contries, electornic components are pretty standard. Although Maplin will ship overseas, you might want to check out U.S. Suppliers first.

DealExtreme-By Weston607
DealExtreme is a china based website with US prices. They major in low prices and little stuff, but they also sell expensive stuff like Cell Phones, MP3 Players. They also have great project stuff like 10 2000mcd 5mm blue LED's for $1.31! The best thing about DealExtreme is they do FREE SHIPPING ON EVERYTHING!

We hope you find this instructable helpful, if you know any suppliers and/or manufactures that give away samples, let us know and we will add it onto this instructable!