So here I am at Chapter 2 and it's time to go shopping. I'm fortunate that here in Atlanta I have not only a large number of Radio Shack stores but also one very handy electronics supply store called Ack Electronics. I've managed to obtain all the components needed for the Chapter 2 exercises, but I think it's time to issue a warning that the components in this chapter do add up quickly (in price).
Fortunately, a lot of the items purchased for this chapter will roll over into later experiments/chapters, so the expenses I've encountered should spread out, too... some of the things (the breadboard, for example), can be used indefinitely, even when the book is done.
UPDATE: The unijunction transistor is NOT carried by Radio Shack - at least, they didn't have that part # in their computer and one of the salespeople (fairly knowledgeable) couldn't find anything compatible. ACK does carry them at $1.00 each, so I've got them holding on to 4 of them until I can swing by to pick up.
So, let me go down the list and tell you what I found, where I found it, and the prices I paid.
I'll go throught the list in order, starting on page 39, and give you my thoughts:
Power Supply - Radio Shack (RS) - $19.99 - in stock, plenty of them
Breadboard with screw terminals - RS - $19.99 - in stock, 2 or 3
Wire Strippers - already owned a pair of Kronus from RS - can't remember what I paid for them, but it was around $16.00
Hookup Wire - RS - different part # than the book lists - 278-1221 (not 1222) - $6.99
Patch Cords - RS - (278-001 part #) - $6.99
Pushbutton - RS - (275-1571 part #) - $2.99 (x1) - not very similiar to book but close
Pushbutton - RS - (275-1571 part #) - $2.99 (x1) - package of 2 - closest to ones in book
Pushbutton - ACK - (30-14414 PHI part #) - $1.60 each (x2) - closer in look to the book
Switches - ACK - (35-130-BU GC part #) - $4.75 each (x2)
Relays - ACK (K10P11D15 part #) - $9.25 each (x2) (the book says to avoid substitutions but these were the closest I could find that looked like the ones used in the book - these are clear)
Relays - RS - (275-0249 part #) - $5.49 each (x2) (these look like the ones in the book, too - got them because I wasn't sure if the ACK ones will work)
Potentiometer - RS - (271-211 part #) - $2.99 (x1) plenty of them in store
Transistors (15 per bag) - RS - (276-1617 part #) - $2.59 (x1) plenty of them
Capacitors (specific) - RS - (272-1032 part #) - 1000 microfarad - $1.59 (x1)
Capacitors (mixture) - RS - (272-0126, 272-0130, 272-135, 272-0802 (pack of 20)) - $1.49, $1.49, $1.49, $4.49)
Resistors - RS - leftovers from Chapter 1
Loudspeaker - RS - (273-092) - $2.79 (x1)
If I used the calculator correctly, it adds up to $121.04 plus tax. Ouch. But again, so many things on here are going to be used throughout the book (switches, breadboard, power supply, patch cords, etc) and after I'm done... so I'm just considering this an investment in my education.
I'd love to hear from my readers regarding their experiences with ordering parts online... I'm sure I could save a little money here and there by going online, but do keep in mind shipping costs - if you end up buying parts from 3 or 4 different suppliers, be sure the cost of shipping doesn't go over what it might cost to spend a few pennies or dollars more at a local store.
And, of course, there's the possibility that the team over at MakerSHED might be putting together a parts bundle (or bundles) that correspond to the specific experiments in the book. Only time will tell.
So, time to organize all this stuff and get to reading up on Experiment 1. I hope to have some pictures and feedback for you by tomorrow evening.