Circuits Lab/Resources

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Birmingham area electronics classes

Via the Alabama Historical Radio Society (AHRS)

First Saturday of the month Skype session with Robert Frye at the AHRS shop, 759 18th Street North.
Shop is open every Saturday at 9:00 and Tuesdays at 9 until 11:30. Monthly meetings are the fourth Monday of each month at 7PM.
AHRS members are knowledgeable in:
  • electronics
  • restoration of woodwork
  • making replacements for obsolete parts
  • coil winding
  • speaker repair
  • are all happy to share their knowledge.

The Birmingham Amateur Radio Club also meets at the AHRS shop.

Electronic Components

  • Ham Radio oriented list maintained by the Birmingham Amateur Radio Club
  • All About Circuits an extremely active electrical engineering online community that provides both interesting content and useful resources for Electrical Engineers.
  • Octopart search many sources for availability, pricing, datasheets by part number
  • Mouser Recommended by Rick Curl. Is excellent for straight up electronics. The search function there is absolutely fantastic. Always check spec sheets because occasionally the "product page" info is wrong.
  • Digikey is similar. (recommended by Rick Curl - "They carry several million different products. They always have most everything in stock, and ship within minutes of placing the order. You can order as late as 8pm and have the item delivered the next morning. Their website is second to none. I use it for selecting devices to use in my designs.")
  • Electronics Goldmine has a lot of mixed packs of things.
  • All-Electronics Similar to the Goldmine better organization. Lots of closeout electronic stuff
  • Jameco more pricey than Mouser or Digikey but can find some things considered obsolete by the others. Also has good kits and tutorials.
  • Online Components Electronic Components Distributor like Digi-key and Mouser.
  • Memotronics More like Electronics Goldmine.

Suppliers recommended by Rick Curl

  • Circuit Specialists Good selection of tools & test equipment. Great prices. Most equipment is a knock-off of American products.
  • http://www.mpja.com/ Marlin P. Jones & Associates]. Low prices on power supplies, prototyping stuff, Arduino & Raspberry pi clones.
  • Precision Products. Amazingly low prices on Chinese hand tools & magnifiers. They are in Rainbow city- not too far from the space.
  • Servocity. Lots of motors, gears, brackets- general robotic stuff.
  • Pololu. Lots of motors, gears, brackets- general robotic stuff.
  • http://www.jameco.com/ Jameco]. Like Digi-key, but smaller and aimed more at the hobbyist.
  • Sparkfun Kind of hard to define this one. Best to have a look.
  • Sciplus. If you don’t need it, they’ve got it. Descriptions are a hoot!
  • Halted. Surplus stuff.
  • SDP-SI. Precision mechanical components.
  • Oshpark does small batch manufacturing of circuitboards.
  • I Take Pictures of Electronic Parts. Anything in the suppliers list here.

Additional supplies

kits

  • Adafruit and Sparkfruit are great for people who are starting out or who are intermediate. They have great information, helpful suggestions and great support forums. They have a lot of eletronic stuff, as well as soft circuitry and some other hobbyist things (like arduino boards) that your average elctronics supply place would not have. But their selection as far as general electronics (resistors, leds, battery holders, batteries, switches, etc.) is somewhat limited to the types of things you would need for certain projects... and the small stuff is usually a little more "retail" priced through them.
  • Snap Circuits - snap together electronics components suitable for teaching introductory electronics

robotics

Open source robotics list.