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Reliable and reasonably priced Canadian online sources for electrical components?


YurkshireLad
(@yurkshirelad)
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A question for my fellow residents of the great white north, i.e. Canada.

Where do you buy your electrical components, like capacitors, transistors, diodes, switches and other odds and ends online?

I've found a couple of online Canadian stores that sell them at reasonable prices with reasonable shipping. One even sells a kit with LEDs, resistors, transistors (not Zener or Schottky), diodes and capacitors in a compartment storage box for C$25. I'm considering getting that as a beginner, though I already have a bunch of resistors from the Elegoo(Elego?) starter kit.

I would like to try to build a basic voltage regulator (9V -> 3.3V/5V) as my first circuit.

Thanks

 

P.S. - I didn't want to post links to online retailers so no-one thinks I'm trying to spam or advertise. 🙂 


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DroneBot Workshop
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Obviously, the two best are the same as they are around the world - DigiKey, and Mouser.  Both have free shipping for orders over 100 dollars (which is where we Canadians get a better deal than our US friends, as 100 Canadian dollars is only about 79 US dollars today).

RobotShop in Mirabel Quebec is another great one. Ultra-fast delivery and free shipping if you buy just 75 dollars of goodies.

And it goes without saying (but I'll say it anyway) that Amazon is a great resource. If you're a Prime member you get free shipping and next-day delivery.

Buy-a Pi in Ottawa is also a good source, obviously Raspberry Pi-related items but other things as well.  No free shipping, however.

Abra here in Montreal is also a great place, personally, I prefer shopping there in person (great knowledgeable people behind the counter) but due to COVID-19, I have ordered from them. Sometimes they take a while to ship, but I'll admit that my most recent order was shipped very quickly. No free shipping though.

Addison, also here in Montreal, is an institution, I remember making "pilgrimages" to Addison as a teenager.  They also ship worldwide, but sadly not for free.

And Universal Solder in Yorkton, SK, is a really cool company that I have ordered from many times.

😎

Bill

"Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window." — Steve Wozniak


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DroneBot Workshop
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Posted by: @yurkshirelad

P.S. - I didn't want to post links to online retailers so no-one thinks I'm trying to spam or advertise

Nobody will think that, feel free to post those links!

😎

Bill

"Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window." — Steve Wozniak


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YurkshireLad
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Thanks! I've already bought from Universal Solder, and they've been great. I'm tempted to get this kit for C$25 from BC Robotics:

https://bc-robotics.com/shop/basic-electronic-components-kit/

Or I can buy some transistors, diodes and capacitors from Universal Solder for about C$20. I've found a similar kit on Amazon for about C$30.

I haven't looked at Abra or Addison but I'll take a look. Oh and I live about 15-20 minutes away from Buy-A Pi, but they don't allow curb side pickup. Yet!

Thanks


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TheOutlander
(@theoutlander)
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So, @dronebot-workshop and I have probably bumped into each other at some point. I apologize, Bill, if I reached in front of you for the last "widget" in stock.  🤣 

I use:

  • Amazon.ca (thanks to my wife's Prime membership)
  • buyapi.ca (excellent service, corrected errors on their part quickly)
  • Addison (when I have hours to wander around)
  • Abra (my new go to place as their stock is excellent. I order online then go and pick it up to minimize time in store)
  • Mastervox (similar to Addison, on Montreal's South Shore which means I can run in/out in minutes. Good for misc supplies and surplus but does not carry sensors or name brand components)
  • RobotShop (since Santa arranged for a robot arm to come from there at Christmas)
  • The robotics teams I am involved with use DigiKey and Mouser. Thousands of K-12 students can't be wrong!
  • I tried a few small purchases from eBay stores this year (LEDs, resistors), just to try it out.

The above is based on a year of confinement and frankly over-agonizing about cost/value of online purchases. I'm now adding Universal Solder to my list to agonize over. Regardless, I rarely (if ever) order from outside Canada (I did get my Jetson from the US from a distributor who had a fire sale).

"Hardware eventually fails. Software eventually works." - Michael Hartung


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YurkshireLad
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I want to pick up a couple of P and N MOSFETs to learn about their use. They're relatively expensive compared to other components - I'll have to research all of the above resources.


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Nicholas
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I mostly order components from amazon.ca or aliexpress.com (and enjoy the anticipation), but when I'm in Scarboro I browse at Creatron and chat with the informed staff.  Janice there gave me some valuable advice on laser detection for a robot project.

https://www.creatroninc.com/

They ship, and I see they have a MOSFET on their "Featured Products" page today.

 


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YurkshireLad
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I want to mess around with an Attiny85. I thought i had one but I can't find it. I'll have to find a cheap source.


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DKTechGirl
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@yurkshirelad Boo! I am also in Ottawa and super sad that BiAPi (I guess they are now PiShop.ca) don't allow local pick-up. 🙁


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YurkshireLad
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Posted by: @dktechgirl

@yurkshirelad Boo! I am also in Ottawa and super sad that BiAPi (I guess they are now PiShop.ca) don't allow local pick-up. 🙁

Yeah, it sucks that they can charge so much for shipping when I live about 20 minutes away.


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Ron
 Ron
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@yurkshirelad I have found that shipping is either a major profit centre or incompetence for many companies. When PC's first came on the scene there were a few magazines catering to other personal computers like Byte, generic like Dr Dobbs, and then PC magazine. The cost of shipping ran the gamut of more expensive than the magazine to free. How was that possible? We (the Toronto PC club) invited one of the PC magazine editors to come speak at the club. When he asked for questions we 'informed' him of the problem which now was even worse as they were going to two magazines per month as the content was exploding.

They fixed the problem.

Similarly, some companies charge $5 to ship a 1 lb package, others charge $20 and others free.

Since DBWS represents a sizeable buying group, letting PiShop know you are a member, and you do not think their shipping costs are fair. (we all should check online with Canada Post for shipping estimates first). What I as an individual pay and what large shippers pay is very different. I bet there are some/few/many small businesses that have never asked a courier or Canada Post for a bulk rate. 

 

I just used the CPC shipping calculator to ship a 6" x 4" x 3" 1 lb box worth $250. A reasonable order that includes a Pi4 for example. The counter rate for insured delivery is $24.28.There are small business discounts, but I can't see them as I am not a small business customer. 

 

This is why my first choice for purchasing anything is Amazon where I am a Prime member. Of course I check for competing prices and have used AliExpress, Banggood, and even Amazon.com (USA) because sometimes it's cheaper with shipping AND USD than Amazon.ca with free shipping.

It is considered poor judgement to traverse a chasm in 2 leaps.


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Ron
 Ron
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@dronebot-workshop Obviously? I have never shopped at either, didn't know they were in Canada. I have heard the names several times but no clue that they were 'good' sources. Maybe a section in the FAQ called Resources????

It is considered poor judgement to traverse a chasm in 2 leaps.


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messyworkbench
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There is also

Arrow Canada

Sayal

I find it much easier to shop at Sayal in person. There are electronics and component stores in the same mall as the Sayal Mississauga location (Dixie just south of the 401). There are a few larger independent electronic suppliers in the Mississauga, Brampton and Vaughan. 

Most of the time I order for a project and go through Mouser where I get next day delivery if I order in the morning and DigiKey is quite good as well.

 

Paul


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