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PCB Manufacturers

PCB Express is my preferred PCB vendor. I have done over two dozen boards (five large panels) without problems. The service has been excellent, panelizing is not an issue and the price for a large panel (12 x 14 inch) is reasonable. On one order there was a Fedex problem with my PCB shipment and it couldn't be tracked. PCB Express immediately made a second batch of boards and sent them overnight delivery at no charge. I consider this excellent service since the mistake was most likely made by Fedex. The boards from the original order were delivered a few days after the second batch arrived.


FindChips (your new best friend)

From FindChips --- aims to perform the fastest, most complete distributor search available today on the internet. After you enter a part number (or substring), will simultaneously query over 20 distributors, and return the responses to you in real time, in the order completed. searches distributor inventory for all types of electronics, including passives, connectors, optoelectronics, and more -- not just chips.


Digikey has excellent service, competitive prices and a better search engine than any of the other distributors. Although the search engine is good don't throw away your catalog yet. When searching for connectors, switches, LEDs a good catalog is much faster than the search engine. Some times you are better off using the printed catalog rather than trying to guess the search terms or go through an infinite series of click .. wait .. zoom-in .. zoom-out cylces. Also, the Digikey search software does not understand units of measure. 0.1 inches is treated differently from 2.54mm, dual is different from 2, etc. Company names are also inconsistent in their database. After you find the Digikey part you want type the manufacturer's part number into FindChips to make sure the price is competitive.


Mouser has excellent service, competitive prices and a useless search engine. I use Mouser almost as much as Digikey. The best way to find a part at Mouser is their catalog or FindChips (your new best friend).

McMaster Carr

McMaster Carr is your one-stop shop for almost anything mechanical. Exceptional service. For standard ground shipping rates you usually get your parts in one or two days!


ON Semiconductor

ON Semiconductor is the nuts-and-bolts part of the old Motorola. A wide variety of semiconductors available at all the major distributors including Digi • Mouse. Their component selection tool is the best in the business. Their sample policy is also the best in the business. For $11 S/H they will send you a dozen different part numbers with quantities ranging from 25 pieces for low-cost parts to a couple for the more expensive parts. ON Semi is my first choice for semiconductors.

Texas Instruments

Texas Instruments makes a wide variety of logic, analog (including Burr-Brown) and DSP components. They make the MSP430 ultra-low power microcontrollers that are widely used in sensor networks. Chipcon (radios) is now part of TI. TI is distributed by all the major distributors including Digi • Mouse.

Linear Technology

Linear Technology --- state-of-the-art analog parts with prices to match. Samples are easy to get if you do not need too many (2 pieces of 2 part numbers).


Analog Devices

Analog Devices --- state-of-the-art semiconductors. Samples are easy to get and technical information is the best in the business.



Maxim --- excellent single-function as well as multi-function parts. Quality of components and technical literature is in the same league as Analog Devices and Linear Technology. Well designed website. You will be OK as long as you follow these maxims ---

   Maxim Maxims

  1. Do not add any Maxim part to your design that is not in stock at Digi • Mouse
  2. Do not add any Maxim part to your design that is labeled NEW.
  3. Ignore any Maxim part that is labeled FUTURE.

Electro-mechanical Components


Keystone manufacturers interconnect components and electronic hardware. Whenever I need a battery connector I go to Keystone first. Samples are easy to get and components are stocked by All • New • Digi • Mouse.