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Help with parts buying

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New Member

I am new to electronics and would like to start building small projects. The problem I am facing, is that I don't know exactly what to buy to start my parts bin. My budget at this time for parts would have to be limited to $50.

I found a website called NightFire Electronic Kits : NightFire Electronics. It seems like that would be my best option, as you can buy kits with multiple parts for what seems to be a fairly cheap price. I also am most defiantly looking for a breadboard, as I do not have a pen soldering iron available to me at the moment.

Any advice, or a starter shopping list, would be very appreciated. I look forward to learning from all of you, and maybe even making a few friends. Thanks in advance for any help you can offer me.

Kind regards,



Well-Known Member
Hi Jdawg, and welcome since none of the regulars seem to have welcomed you. :)

There have been a couple of threads recently on "what parts to buy" for beginners so you could do a forum search for that.

I would start with a breadboard as you suggested. Then some of the usual suspects like 555 timer IC's resistors caps leds a couple of 7805 voltage regulators, 9volt battery and connector or a 9v wall-wart etc.

There's enough there to make some general "led blinky" projects etc to get you started, then the parts you buy are gonna be determined by what you want to build i guess. :)


yes, the parts you buy depends on the project you want. try to buy your parts over (buy extra), you can also pull out some components from old gadgets. One thing u have to keep in the back of your minde is that: electronics is all about sacrifice, so don't give up in ur research, don't cear about how mush money youve spent but how far youve gone.



New Member
Hi Jdawg, and welcome since none of the regulars seem to have welcomed you. :)
Although I still jump in too early, I try to wait until the OP narrows (his) location down a bit. I'm tired of university students from India and Bangladesh telling me how dumb i am for suggesting parts that they can't get within walking distance.


me said:
What's your location?

What sort of electronics are you going to be doing?

For a basic starter kit I'd recommend the following:

An E12 set of carbon film resistors, 10R to 1M. I recommend buying extra common values, i.e. E3 values between 100R and 100k.

An E3 set of capacitors, 10pF to 1000µF. I recommend buying extra 100nF capacitors, you'll come across these all the time.

The above can normally be bought as kits.

Small signal transistors, e.g. PN2222A (NPN), PN2907 (PNP).
Some MOSFETs, e.g. IRL540.

Diodes: 1N4001 (rectifier), 1N4148 (small signal), BAT85 (Schottky small signal), 1N5821 (Schottky barrier).

Some cheap wall plug mains adaptors, look in charity shops or trash pick from the dump.

Regulator ICs: start with LM7805 and LM317, not so important if the wall plugs you buy are regulated.

Common op-amps, e.g. TL072, TL074, LM358, LM324.
A small audio amp IC e.g. LM386.
Comparators, e.g. LM393, LM339, LM311.

Small 8Ω speakers, look for old radios/TVs at the local dump.

Some CMOS glue logic, i.e. CD4011, 74HC01, 74HC04, etc. not needed much these days but still useful for simple circuits.

Are you interested in micro-controllers?

Buy a cheap programmer ans some PICs.

See Nigel's tutorials.
Nigel's PIC Tutorial Page

Another good PIC site.
Gooligum Electronics

Essential tools:
A set of screwdirvers
Soldering iron
Desoldering pump

Also nice:
Oscilloscope - look on ebay
Signal generator - ebay again or build your own.
Benchtop power supply - build your own.

Tinned copper wire

Also nice:
Etching kit.
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New Member
First things I bought were resistor and capacitor selection packs, some 555s, LEDs, and a couple of transistors. I also got a very simple infra-red switch kit which demonstrated the basics of paired IR LEDs and photodiodes. I wouldn't recommend the IR kit I bought as it was cheap and useless, but the rest are all useful for general applications.


One idea is to get junk boards or old PSU's and desolder stuff. I've build up a decent supply of large caps, transistors, heatsinks and all kinds of good stuff.


New Member
Yeah, I've started doing this as well; so far I've removed an IR IC, IR transmitter, a load of signal diodes, and a scart socket from a discarded VCR board. If you have limited soldering experience this may take a while though, so best to purchase a range of useful components as well.

Ross Craney

New Member
When I got started ALL your parts came from salvage. When you came across an old 3 band domestic radio it was like finding a gold nugget. It's amazing when I think of the things I brought home on the back of my pushbike. Going out to actually buy a valve or transistor only happened after the same amount of consideration you would give to buying a new car. I was 11 when I got started.


New Member
Actually if you have limited soldering experience you SHOULD do this. :D
I agree, I was just pointing out that if you have little soldering experience and you're using this as your *only* source of parts, you'd better have a lot of patience :D I've been doing this to practice my soldering technique.
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