This is a list of my favorite parts and suppliers.
Every project has a PCB at its heart. It gives you place to stick all those parts! A well lied out PCB can save you a lot of time and make assembling your project easier and avoid problems and mistakes.
I’m a big fan of the 1590B sized box. This is the MXR box. Not everything will fit in one of these, but I try to fit things in this size box if possible. it’s my first choice. My favorite version of this box is the “Zvex box” sold by Small Bear. What I like best about it is that it comes with with larger 6-32 steel screws. These are much better than the screws that come with other boxes. They don’t strip and they tread much easier. The finish is also better on these boxes. It’s not as rough.
Switches: When it comes to switches everyone is using the same blue 3DPT. I suspect that no matter what these are labeled they all come from the place. That’s just my suspicion I have no evidence and have done no thorough research. That said it’s all about price. Which includes the price of shipping.
Here’s a list a places that I have ordered switches from you’ll have to make your own decision. I have also seen some pretty good deals on switches on the DIYStompboxes For Sale trade board. You’ll have to register as a member to see this.
Resistors: Hard to beat Mouser on these. The best deal is 200 for about $4. At 200 pieces the price drops a lot. I always buy 200 at a time now and I never run out.
Futurlec is about the same price, but you can buy 10 for $0.20. Which is the same price but you can buy fewer at a time. The downside is futurlec is very slow shipping and delivery. Though the last order I placed with them came faster than usual. Another note is that futurlec resistors seem to have slightly thinner leads. Probably doesn’t effect usage, but the Mouser Resistors have stiffer leads.
Caps: For non-electrolytic caps I’m a fan of the small plastic boxes. Futurlec has a pretty good deal on these, but you have to deal with their slow shipping. These are listed as Polyester Film. Their Mylar Film caps are the “chicklet” variety and to my eye always seem to be larger than the “greenies” of similar variety that you might get from Mouser. The price drop is at 25 and 100. Their prices are pretty good for these.
Lately I have been becoming a fan of the ceramic multilayer caps at Futurlec. These are small and cheap. Of course the shipping at Futurlec is slow.
Mouser has a great range of caps also.
Electrolytic caps: For all purpose Electrolytic caps I like Futurlec. Mouser also has a great selection and also several varieties of miniature electrolytic caps that are very cool for squeezing into small spaces.
Drill bits: When first started doing this I bought the smallest bit I could find at the hardware store. I think this was 1/16th. Which was far too large. I think I still have a couple PCBs that are unfinished with these large holes.
The confusing thing about these bits is that come in many sizes and use unfamiliar measurements. Often you you will see bits in wire sizes, this is a number like #67, or decimal inches, this will be a number like .035. Good sizes might be #67 or .032. Anything close to this would work. So if you can find a #68 or .031 it’s probably fine.
Just recently I bought a pack of resharpened bits from Drill Bit City. These guys have everything when it comes to drill bits. The prices seem very good and the shipping was fast and cheap. I got the 10 piece resharpened set of bits. Sizes #69-#60 for $7.65. Shipping was $2.95. It all came ASAP.
I have a Dremel drill press and it works well. But I find a regular drill press works better for these small bits. It has less play than the Dremel press. So I think it impresses less play on the bit as you are drilling. With the small bits the side to side play can break them pretty easily. Plan on breaking them occasionally. I’ve broken three so far.
- John Lyons recommends : http://drillcity.stores.yahoo.net/10pacresdril.html
I haven’t used this. But It looks like it might work well.