Cheap Sources of Components

How we find cheap sources of electronics components

One major factor which affects many electronics hobbyists is the cost of purchasing components and associated fixing hardware. Very cheap sources for used parts which are normally still OK to use for your own projects are electronic fairs and Ham Radio fairs. You can often pickup very cheap “used” circuit boards and bags of bulk components for a few pounds and these can save you many hundreds over the cost of buying these parts new.


A recent trip to the Wimborne Hamfest radio rally found a stall selling used power supply and other control circuits for only 10 pence each. Each board contained larger components including transformers, capacitors, relays, connectors and many other useful parts.


We purchased 20 of these assorted boards and the list below shows the main components which we removed and the average cost of buying these new from RS.

Item Quantity Removed New Cost Each Total
78 series regulators 44 0.55 24.2
Mains Transformers 8 6 48
Large Relays 20 6 120
Reed Relays 17 2.32 39.44
Ics 74 NA NA
Opto Isolators 15 0.75 11.25
Cap's 80 0.4 32
Heatsinks 15 15 225
Feric Cores 10 NA NA
Multi turn pots 79 0.8 63.2
Bridge Rectifiers 8 0.25 2
Leds 5mm round 100 0.24 24
Assorted bolts and fixing hardware 200+ NA NA

For a total outlay of just £2.00 and a couple of evenings removing the components has resulted in a saving of around £600 on buying the parts new!

The main components removed from the boards.




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