Thursday, February 4, 2010

Chips for Chapter 4

In anticipation of Chapter 4, I've begun my search for the various chips used in Chapter 4. You can spend hours at or scanning through all their chips. One frustrating thing at AE was that in some instances, typing in the shortcut name such as 74HCXX wouldn't pull up anything... other times it did. I had better luck with Mouser but in some instances the picture was wrong - it would show a non-DIP switch for the thumbnail but the description/part# was what I wanted... OR... the picture was right but the description didn't match.

Rather than take a risk of ordering this stuff and not getting EXACTLY what I wanted, I chose to shop locally and pay a little more per chip. I was able to visually inspect every chip for the ID# and make sure it was of the DIP type. I also got all the chips inserted into two long plastic tubes that protect the chips legs/prongs from bending... not sure how and AE ship the chips, so please let us know if you order any and how they are shipped.

I got all my chips at ACK Supply here in Atlanta... definitely higher in price per chip but after looking at the shipping costs at Mouser and AE, it'll just about even out...

If you want to order from ACK, call 1-800-282-7954 and ask for Scott - just the 20 minutes he spent talking to me about the differences in chips, explaining the other letters not covered in the book (such as low voltage chips or military grade), and showing me some other chips I'll likely want to buy a few of later... totally worth the drive and extra cost. He was even able to help me find a replacement for the protoboard required in Exercise 15 that RadioShack no longer carries. I was able to fill my entire chip order with one visit and learn some more stuff to boot... nice guy.


  1. I ordered my chips from Mouser, and I agree that it's a bit confusing. They tend to just use the one stock image, but the description is what you have to go by. I think they just have so much stuff that it would be a big pain to have actual images for each part. They ship them either in the tubes like you have or inserted into anti-static foam.

  2. Thanks, Nick! I was hoping they just didn't throw them in a baggie or small box and ship unprotected. Good to know.

  3. I've never ordered a large number of the same chip before, but Digikey usually packs the chips in two inch long tubes with a rubber band stretched between the two ends as well.

  4. I've ordered from Digi-Key before (parts for the book "Extreme NXT" I might add) and they ship their ICs in little tubes with (like K. F. said) rubber bands stretched around it or these little rubber stops on each end. I have found it easier to narrow your results down on Digi-Key than on Mouser, just my experience. As far as I have noticed DK usually seems pretty good about getting the right picture on their products but if something does not look right I suppose you could just check the datasheet; they usually have a link on the product page.