[AZ-Observing] Re: Need a pointer please

  • From: Michael Collins <cal_donley@xxxxxxx>
  • To: az-observing@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2009 23:31:23 -0700

Electronic components

   Circuit Specialists
   220 S. Country Club Dr.

   Good source for through-hole resistors, capacitors, transistors, 
diodes, heat shrink tubing and some connectors.  They don't have much in 
the way of modern-day semiconductors, last I checked.

   Mouser Electronics

   Vast inventory of electrical and electronic components, equipment, 
etc.  Typically, better prices than Digi-Key, about comparable range of 
products.  Quick order response, good web site, and so far, I've never 
encountered any problems.

   Digi-Key Electronics

   Good inventory and web site, fast response, but usually not as good 
as Mouser for prices.  I generally order from Digi-Key only if they 
carry an item (typically a particular brand of semiconductor) that 
Mouser doesn't have.

Computer and electronic equipment


   Excellent source for drives, power supplies, motherboards, etc.  Also 
a reasonably good selection of photographic equipment at competitive 
prices.  Quick turns on orders, reasonable shipping rates and a good 

Circuit boards


   If you design circuit boards, I've found Olimex, in Bulgaria (yes, 
Bulgaria), to be very good.  Very fast turn on one or two layer boards, 
quality is fine, and they're good at working with hobbyists.  They 
probably use older manufacturing equipment so they can't do fine-line or 
boards with internal layers, but if you can put your circuit on one or 
two layers, this is a good option.  It sure beats wire wrap.

Industrial supplies, fasteners, tools, etc.

   Ace Hardware

   Most stores are good sources for stainless, brass and aluminum 
fasteners.  Better selection than Home Depot or Lowes, but you generally 
pay for the convenience.  Good for small quantities.

   4647 S 32nd St.

   Good inventory, local, but somewhat expensive.

   MSC Industrial Supply


   Wide variety of tooling, measuring equipment, fasteners, etc.  Both 
of these suppliers are about equal in inventory, shipping, etc.  Keep an 
eye on the sale items if you're looking for specific items, as they both 
are good at knocking the price down on various items from month to 
month.  For many items, both also generally offer your choice of name 
brand, domestically-sourced and import items.


   Industrial Metal Supply Co. (IMSCO, formerly Capitol Metals)
   5150 S. 48th Street

   Excellent local source for many sizes of aluminum, steel and brass 
stock.  They have a walk-in showroom/warehouse on the west side of 48th 
St., between Alameda and Broadway.  Lots of pre-cut stock in 12" 
lengths, but be sure to go to the main stock room to sift through the 
remnants, which typically sell for half the price of the material up front.

   Davis Salvage
   3337 E Washington St,

   I haven't been to this place in years, but unless it's changed 
dramatically, it's basically a junkyard for almost any kind of 
structural or industrial metal.  A good place to look for things like 
angle or channel iron, I-beams, square tube, etc.  Be careful, though -- 
there are many potential hazards to be encountered wandering about the 
lot or digging through racks of large/long/sharp/heavy pieces of stock.

   Both MSC and Enco also sell various materials, if you can't find what 
you're looking for at IMSCO or Davis.

   I've used all of these places to acquire parts and pieces that I use 
at the telescope.  Anyone else have a list to share?

                                -- Mike --
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