Free Electronic Samples
Did you know that some manufactures and suppliers will give away some free samples of their produces to customers and engineers to test them on their projects?

They are some rules you should know before you start getting free samples from the companies:
  • You should never ask for more than you need, because you are not going to use the extra parts you are given, that means don't be greedy.
  • Taking free samples from the companies and selling them on places like ebay to make your self an profit is an absolute no-no (unless the company says you can do it). Those parts are meant to be used for your projects, NOT for resale.
  • Just to be fair to the companies where you got your samples from, buy some of their products.

  • There is another instructable that is similar to this, check it out! List Of **FREE STUFF** For your projects, it has a lot of useful information about some companies that give away free samples, and tells you how to get free samples.

    There is also a helpful site you should check out to!, there is a lot more helpful information about the free sample sites.

    Also big thanks to Wesley666 for finding many manufactures and suppliers that will give away free samples!

    What Wesley666 has to say:
    Will try to update each step into companies that ship to ONLY North America and ones that ship World Wide to help ppl order samples from anywhere ASAP.

    If you find any of our links, they don't work or you cant order samples, I will fix them as soon as possible. And I do try to check my comments at least once a day.

    Yes, and I will try to update sites as often as possible when I find new places to sample from!

    Don't be greedy and try to lie as little as possible

    *Also look for the sample buttons because they are hard to spot sometimes but if you can't then you should send an E-mail!*

    Step 1: LED's

    Light emitting diodes, the most amazing and energy efficient lighting technology yet available.

    Marktech | LED's
    Bivar | LED's and PCB Packaging
    SunLED | LED's and Displays
    SunLED USA | LED's
    Sensitron | LED's
    Marl | LED's -- (This company give samples to engineers only. Sorry students.)
    Philip's Lumileds | LED's, High Power LED's

    Step 2: Semiconductors

    Free Electronic Samples
    If we had no silicon, we would have no computers to do the work for us...Cirrus | Semiconductor, microcontroller, and audio relatedMaxim | SemiconductorAnalog Devices | SemiconductorNational | SemiconductorMicrochip | SemiconductorPhilips | SemiconductorIntersil | SemiconductorAgilent | SemiconductorFairchild | SemiconductorInfenion | SemiconductorMicrosemi | SemiconductorOn Semiconductor | SemiconductorZilog | SemiconductorLinear Technology | SemiconductorHoltek | Semiconductor Need to be contactedSystem General | SemiconductorCentral Semiconductors | SemiconductorPericom | SemiconductorSensitron | Arrays, Semiconductors, LEDsFreeScale | SemiconductorNJR | SemiconductorSTMicroelectronics | Integrated Circuits and semiconductorsTexas Instruments | Integrated Circuits and semiconductors

    Step 3: Microcontrollers and Integrated Circuits

    Free Electronic Samples
    Program the microcontrollers and they will do exactly what you said.Atmel | MicrocontrollerSTMicroelectronics | Integrated Circuits and semiconductorsSilicon Storage Technology| Flash Storage IC'sCatalyst Semiconductor | Memory and Voltage ReferenceCirrus | Semiconductor, microcontroller, and audio relatedPMC Flash | MemoryRamtron | MemoryTexas Instruments Integrated Circuits and semiconductors

    Step 4: Passive Components

    Free Electronic Samples
    Resistors are used to limit current going though the circuit.Capacitors are used to hold an DC charge and let AC pass through them self.AVX | Passive Components & OscillatorsMeritekusa | Passive ComponentsMurata Europe | Passive ComponentsNorthWest Components | Passive and DiodesEpcos | Passive ComponentsWIMA CapacitorsVishay Passives

    Step 5: Transformers, Toroids and Inductors

    Free Electronic Samples
    Transformers are used to change the input voltage with a different output voltage.Toroids and Inductors are either used to limit AC current or filter out high frequency noise.Steward | Ferrites, Inductor Coilcraft | InductorBhel Electronics | TransformerWilco | InductorMicrometals | Toroids

    Step 6: Switches

    Free Electronic Samples
    Use switches to have control over electronics.Lamb Industries | SwitchesEswitch | SwitchesAPEM | SwitchesGuanbo | SwitchesNKK | SwitchesScreenkeys | LCD Screen SwitchesElesta | Relays

    Step 7: Connectors

    Free Electronic Samples
    Connectors are used to join the two wires together easily and can be easily disconnected without damaging the wire.FCI Connect | ConnectorsKeystone | ConnectorsMolex | ConnectorsKycon | ConnectorsWurth Elektronix | PCB, EMI, EMC, ConnectorsTyco | Connectors and Cables3M | ConnectorsITW/Fastex | Connectors and ClipsMill-Max | IC connectorsON Shore | Terminal Blocks and connectorsSam-Tec Connectors

    Step 8: Enclosures

    Free Electronic Samples
    Protect the electronic from the elements with cases and enclosures.Pacentec | EnclosuresNew Age Enclosures | EnclosuresOKW | Enclosures and KnobsHammond MFG | EnclosuresSerpac | Enclosures

    Step 9: Suppliers

    Free Electronic Samples
    You can get everything you need in one go from the suppliers.Astrorep | SupplierFMG Elecronics | SupplierElectec | SupplierAvnet | SupplierPromor | SupplierTAM | SupplierSMD INC. | SupplierChesrep | Supplier

    Step 10: Others

    Free Electronic Samples
    Random eletrionics parts and computer equipment. | Breadboards
    PUI Audio | various audio devices
    AVX | Oscillators
    Melcor | Peltier
    Cirrus | Semiconductor, microcontroller, and audio related
    California Micro Devices | Protection and Interface
    Catalyst Semiconductor | Memory and Voltage Reference
    Cypress semiconductor | Networking
    Sipex | power Managemet, Interface, Optical Storage
    Supertex | Power Devices
    Clare | Communication and drivers
    Hittie | Microwave
    FTDIchips | USB
    VCC Globalspec | LED holders
    AllegroMicro | Sensors
    CML Micro | Wireless communication
    RiaConnect | Terminal Blocks and RJ connectors
    Bivar | LED's and PCB Packaging
    SunLED | LED and Displays
    AboveBoard Electronics | Tools
    MillMax | Interconnects and IC sockets
    LittleFuse | Power Devices and Fuses
    Foxonline | Crystals and Oscillators
    Semtech | Power Devices
    Heyco | Grips and holders
    Teknational | Thermal Insulation and hardware
    Bridge Port | Fittings
    Azmicrotek | Logic Translator
    Bergquist | Thermal related products
    Cooperet | Magnetics and protection
    EM Microelectronics | RFID
    ERG | Display related
    AAVID Thermal Alloy | Sample Kits
    Fordata | LCD
    TRA CON | Thermal Management
    WJ Communications | Communication
    Spectra Symbol | Flex Sensors
    Cirrus Logic | Digital chips, D/A converters, Ethernet controllers, audio/video decoders
    Manncorp | SMT Solder Paste
    Keystone | Hardware and Accessories
    Vishay Passive and Optoelectric
    Silicon LaboratoriesCan sample MCU's but not IC's
    Purdy Electronics LCD Displays
    RichCo Ties, clips, fan covers and more
    Parallax Basic Sample Kit (have to be contacted)

    Step 11: Surplus/Bargain Retail sites

    Free Electronic Samples
    Some of these may give samples. I have not checked but Comment and I will put them under the correct category.All ElectronicsElectronics GoldmineBG MicroAlltronicsElectronix ExpressMECIElectronics SurplusMPJACascade SurplusWeb-TronicsHosfeltSurplus Sales of NebraskaMinute Man ElectronicsAmerican Science and SurplusExcess SolutionsHerbachBrigar ElectronicsFair RadioTanner ElectronicsWest Florida ComponentsHaltedParts ExpressTubes and MoreSuper Bright LED'sRamsey ElectronicsMWK LasersForcefieldLaser SurplusAction Electronics

    Step 12: Best Electronic Suppliers

    Here is a list of best and recommended electronic suppliers below. Please note most of those suppliers on this list do not offer samples.Thanks to Brennn10 for letting me use his write up about the best suppliers from this forum.Digi-Key - By Brennn10Digi-Key is a large distrbutor of components from various manufacturers, offering a very large catalog with lots and lots of choices. However, the site uses small print that might be hard to read. The catalog includes line drawings but not part photos, but it does do an excellant job of labeling the parts. Overall, Digi-Key has a huge selection of products, but they might need a little looking to find them.Mouser Electronics - By Brennn10Another large distributor of components from various manufacturers is Mouser. I like how Mouser's site allows you to compile separate orders for different projects. You can come backa s many times as you like to complete your order and make your purchase. We also like how Mouser label parts because the labels are easy to read and provide alot of information about the specific part.FarnellFarnell is a large distributor components from various manufacturers of UK. They offer a very wide range of electronic components, test equipment, wire, tools and electrical hardware. Farnell provides a picture to all of their products and has technical information about the product. Farnell sells their products cheaply and they do a free next day shipping to UK residents.Reynolds Electronics - By Brennn10Reynolds Electronics is a good supplier of remote control components, micro controllers, and robot kits and parts. One feature that stands out on Reynolds Web site is the clear and helpful project/circuit tutorials. You can also find links for educational books on topics such as robotics and microcontrollers.Hobby Engineering - By Brennn10Hobby Engineering is a sit slanted towards the hobbyist. This site carries some useful items that can be harder to find from other providers who are catered towards the corporate customer. it also has a good supply of micro-controllers, robot kits, parts, ad miscellaneous components and tools.Jameco Electronics - By Brennn10Jameco has a very nice site catalog. It's not very big that you sspect a forest was sacrificed in its making. I has great color photos with relatively easy to find components. This is one supplier wih a low price fuarantee which means that if you can show a part offered for less, the lesser price is honored. jameco also provides lower priced generic products as well as name brands.BG Micro - By Brennn10BG Micro is a cool site for rare and pretty neat gadgets as well as a nice selection of alot of the items one will need for a weekend project. There is also a very nice search engine at the top which lets you search for an item you can't find on the left. (Thank you Las Vegas)Futurlec - By Brennn10Futurelec offers a very nicely done site with color photos of the parts that makes for easy browsin. Futurelec also offers semicnductor news links and also links to recently added parts to help you keep on the top of the latest and greatest as well as PCB design and manufacturing services.Sparkfun - By Brennn10Sparkfun was originally a PCB Manufacturer, and turned in to a company well beyond their expectations! They have a large variety of PCBs, LEDs, and MANY more everyday electronics components. The site is well organized with so much to choose from!Radioshack - By Brennn10Everyone knows Radioshack!. This electronics convenience store is pretty much like any food convenience store: CONVENIENT BUT EXPENSIVE. If you are stuck at 4:30 on a Sunday afteroon needing a small part to keep working on your project, this store is right for you. Be aware that not all radioshack are equal.Maplin - By Brennn10The British suppplier Maplin has stores scattered around the U.K. and also offers an online store.Unlike electronic gadgets and appliances that operate on different voltages in European contries, electornic components are pretty standard. Although Maplin will ship overseas, you might want to check out U.S. Suppliers first.DealExtreme -By Weston607DealExtreme is a china based website with US prices. They major in low prices and little stuff, but they also sell expensive stuff like Cell Phones, MP3 Players. They also have great project stuff like 10 2000mcd 5mm blue LED's for $1.31! The best thing about DealExtreme is they do FREE SHIPPING ON EVERYTHING!We hope you find this instructable helpful, if you know any suppliers and/or manufactures that give away samples, let us know and we will add it onto this instructable!

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