Where can I get electronic parts in NYC?
June 26, 2005 10:31 AM   Subscribe

ElectronicsHobbyistinNYCFilter: Where in New York City can someone get electronic components (resistors, capacitors, basic logic chips, common connectors, etc.)?

If you know Toronto at all, I am looking for a NYC equivalent of Supremetronic Inc..

Actually, any place that is accessible by mass transit from Manhattan would be OK, so I guess my search includes parts of New Jersey too...
posted by toftflin to Technology (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Just off the top of my head, I'd look around Canal St. But any notions of my own is a couple decades out of date. If you can't find it there, you're likely to find someone who can tell you better. Once upon a time, this weird company called "Radio Shack" sold that sort of stuff, but after they killed off the competition, they stopped.
posted by Goofyy at 10:46 AM on June 26, 2005

Well, out here in California, Radio Shack DOES sell electronic components (although the selection is not extensive), so I'd bet they still do in NY.
posted by muddgirl at 10:53 AM on June 26, 2005

It's slim pickings my friend.

269 electronics on Canal street has some stuff, breadboards and the like. It's near Burger King, 1 or 2 blocks east of Broadway. It's in the back of a luggage store, so you have to keep your eyes open, there's a little plastic sign hanging out front though.

Dale Pro Audio has some tools, solder, irons, wire and audio cable, some connectors.

Sam Ash on 48th has some audio related stuff, basically the same audio stuff Dale has, but once in a while their stock doesn't overlap.

Other than that.. keep your mouser/digikey etc. catalogs handy I guess.

269 kind of feels like a black market spy joint. He has all sorts of odd stuff sitting around, so sometimes it's worth calling to see. He's helpful, but curt.

Most Radio Shacks in NYC almost exclusively sell crappy electronics and cell phones, the component sections are so small (it varies from store to store, but sometimes there isn't one at all), it's generally not worth your time.
posted by Jack Karaoke at 11:12 AM on June 26, 2005

There's a Radio Shack on 72nd St at Broadway that has a pretty surprisingly good selection of resistors, caps, and little microcontrollers, as well as breadboards, little switches and LEDs, and all that stuff.
posted by ikkyu2 at 11:12 AM on June 26, 2005

Oh, any electronics stuff at Sam Ash is found in the "Recording/Keyboards/Technology" storefront, off in a side-room. They used to have an entire floor of a building on 7th called their "pro service center", but no more.

As far as stores that stock ICs, I have no clue. 269 might, but I never asked.
posted by Jack Karaoke at 11:16 AM on June 26, 2005

Thank the Great Spirit for the internet. Even in its glory days, Radio Shack was hit or miss on anything even slightly esoteric or cutting-edge. (Plus you had to enter their hideous stores, and go through that ridiculous address ritual every time). Once the net arrived, I think it was the competition that killed Radio Shack, not the other way around. I swear you can find almost *anything* online. Or you can buy old assembled hardware on eBay for parts specific to your project.
posted by realcountrymusic at 1:54 PM on June 26, 2005

Radio shack is hideously overpriced. Don't bother unless you're desperate for resistors.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 2:16 PM on June 26, 2005

It's a long shot, but there's a joint called Cables and Chips on Fulton (I believe it's on the block east of Broadway) downtown...they generally sell, well, cables and chips, but they do lots of custom work as well. So while I doubt they have those items lying out for generic sale, they may still be able to hook you up with at least some of the parts you need.

But yea, to echo TheOnlyCoolTim, why aren't you looking online? In this day and age the only reason I can think of not to buy just about anything online is when you have a concrete physical need, i.e. you need it RIGHT NOW or you can't have it delivered for some reason (prohibitive delivery cost or whatnot).
posted by cyrusdogstar at 8:30 PM on June 26, 2005

Gak! That will teach me to have a small browser window and to not double-check my references. Please replace TheOnlyCoolTim with realcountrymusic. No offense to Tim intended, of course.
posted by cyrusdogstar at 8:32 PM on June 26, 2005

Thanks for all the responses.

I know Radio Shack does sell some components, but TheOnlyCoolTIm is spot on about them...

Yes, Yes, I know, I can get it all online but who wants to make a big order to only find out they missed a simple crystal or a MAX232 or something. It's so much nicer to just run down the block.

I am really dumbfounded to find that NYC doesn't have one good electronics odds and ends store. I guess I am spoiled from living a few blocks from Supremetronic Inc AND Active Surplus in Toronto...
posted by toftflin at 9:26 PM on June 26, 2005

You might try asking the dorkbot-nyc mailing list.
posted by hattifattener at 9:37 PM on June 26, 2005

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