Electronic Components in NYC?
July 16, 2008 12:46 PM   Subscribe

ElectronicsHobbyistFilter: Where can I browse around for and buy small electronic components (microswitches, capacitors, etc.) in New York City? Radio Shack no longer appears to carry this kind of stuff (in New York anyway)

Sure I could go with digi-key or Mouser or whoever if all I need is this or that component, but with the prohibitive shipping costs (relative to the product costs) as well as the delay in waiting for shipping this is less useful. I'd really like to just find a time machine to the radio shacks of yore, full of esoteric little subassemblies and packs of mixed switches an knobs. Anyone know a place in Manhattan that stocks this kind of stuff?
posted by frieze to Shopping (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm no fan of Rat Shack, but they do have limited quantities of this kind of stuff. I'm referring to the one at 108th and Broadway at least. But I understand that you won't be satisfied their stock and therefore I'm not suggesting you go in there.
posted by JimN2TAW at 1:16 PM on July 16, 2008

Unfortunately I don't think those kinds of places exist any more in NYC - before the World Trade Center went up in the late 60s, there were a few blocks full of those kinds of places on Cortlandt st (and a few junk shops on Canal street with such stuff hung on until the late 80s). If someone knows of a place accessible by public transit (or transit + bike), I'd love to hear about it.
posted by Calloused_Foot at 1:37 PM on July 16, 2008

If anyone would know, Ada would. Try contacting her.
posted by autojack at 1:50 PM on July 16, 2008


That lists one store in Brooklyn:


but it looks like they have more radio-related stuff. But you can probably find some basic caps and resistors there.

I think Manhattan might be a little too high-rent to allow for the kind of space a good electronics store requires.
posted by lalas at 4:01 PM on July 16, 2008

Digikey! It is the McMaster of electronics.
posted by milqman at 4:21 PM on July 16, 2008

Check the Radio Shack on Broadway near 8th or 9th st. Also, the NYU computer store has a limited selection of Components. You can find some real basics (resistors, capacitors, leds) in some of the stores on canal street (near the A/C stop and slightly more east).
posted by miniape at 4:52 PM on July 16, 2008

NYC Resistor wiki
posted by Joannalaine at 6:40 PM on July 16, 2008

269 Electronics (269 Canal St, at the back of a little mini-mall of handbag and jewelry vendors) has an eccentric selection, but it's better than most Radio Shacks these days. Also, a few Radio Shacks have much larger parts departments than the rest. The ones I've found are 528 5th Av in Park Slope Brooklyn, and 280 Broadway in Lower Manhattan.
posted by moonmilk at 7:52 PM on July 16, 2008

Sparkfun is mail order and not even remotely in NYC.

---Full disclosure---
A couple of my friends own/run it.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 8:55 PM on July 16, 2008

This is a longshot, but basically every university with an engineering (and/or physics) department has a small electronics shop. Of the two universities' shops I've seen, one accepted cash (plus, they were cheap, since they weren't allowed to make a profit off of the items). Are there any decent sized universities near you?
posted by spiderskull at 1:18 AM on July 17, 2008

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