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  1. #1
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    Complete Newbie, just starting with a small switch box.

    I'm still learning the basics of electronic fundamentals, never mind actually embarking on anything in anyway ambitious yet, but so impressed with what other people (granted far more experienced and naturally talented) have created, I've decided I want to list give a go at building a board with switches, buttons, rotary knobs, leds, just to prove I can and for the learning experience. I'm a big FSUIPC & FSX fan, and it was through that project and creating (well, mostly modifying-still have a lot to learn their too), I've found that I've discovered the most enjoyable and functional way to learn a new skill that will hopefully contribute to my devotion to both playing FSX and hopefully adding hardware functionality to it with as well. I trust their will be many head banging against table-top moments as well.

    I was just wondering what some of you guys think of the cut-price far-eastern electronic wholesalers? I discovered a site( whose name I won't mention in case ppl think I'm just here to promote them) that sells electronics bits and pieces amongst a rather eclectic of other items. I purchased an Arduino R3 (looked real, but I know it was a clone) along with a starter kit, and I've been very impressed with the quality of the components and the success of my projects (incredibly basic) so far. As well as being far cheaper than anything equivalent you'd pick up in Europe (that I know off) they also offer free international shipping. They also have very responsive customer service as well. I was just wondering if it could be a ruse to hook me with one of their quality products and then start selling me their tat? Has anyone here had dealings with suppliers from that part of the world?

    I also bought book on Kindle recently called 'Almost Aviation' by Mark Hurst (some of you may know him from avsim, or maybe he's active on here!) devoted to building home cockpits, so I'm hoping that one day I'll be able to produce something close to his level of craftsmanship or his electronics and carpentry know-how. I apologise if there are guys active on here who are also at that level. Was wondering if anyone else had come across this book?

    I'm Paul btw, and I currently reside in Galway, Ireland where I have yet to find someone with even a casual interest, in electronics, Flight Sims or even Computer Tech in general, so communities like this are a Godsend!

    Anyway, thanks for reading, and I'd really love to get some feedback. Cheers!

  2. #2
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    Re: Complete Newbie, just starting with a small switch box.

    Apart from widely held explanations as to why the electronics is so cheap, my complaint is that I have not found one far-eastern eBay vender with all parts required to populate a simple perfboard project.

    I have exhausted the selection of my two in-country eBay merchants. I hope that they can continue to expand but it requires a lot of inventory to put a dent in the list of what is not available.

    Hugh
    ---CYXD ----- TWR --- GND ------ Closed
    ILS-- NDB -- 119.1 -- 121.9 ---- 11/2013

  3. #3
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    Re: Complete Newbie, just starting with a small switch box.

    Without knowing the actual vendor you purchased from, it's hard to give any specific feedback. What I have found with what bit of Chinese (it's OK, you can say it) stuff I've purchased, the quality is all over the place....maybe a few oddball items are OK, or maybe you can find and stick with a manufacturer that actually sells quality (they do exist over there). I tend to stay away from it for reasons of principles also. What is REALLY annoying is when you buy what you think is a quality product from the US, Germany, Canada, etc, only to find it's just one of the Chinese imports that someone is distributing from US/Germany/UK/wherever.

    That said, a $7 Arduino clone is hard to pass up when the real thing is $30+ and you need 15 of them..........

    Matt

  4. #4
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    Re: Complete Newbie, just starting with a small switch box.

    Quote Originally Posted by xplanematt View Post
    Without knowing the actual vendor you purchased from, it's hard to give any specific feedback. What I have found with what bit of Chinese (it's OK, you can say it) stuff I've purchased, the quality is all over the place....maybe a few oddball items are OK, or maybe you can find and stick with a manufacturer that actually sells quality (they do exist over there). I tend to stay away from it for reasons of principles also. What is REALLY annoying is when you buy what you think is a quality product from the US, Germany, Canada, etc, only to find it's just one of the Chinese imports that someone is distributing from US/Germany/UK/wherever.

    That said, a $7 Arduino clone is hard to pass up when the real thing is $30+ and you need 15 of them..........

    Matt
    I think I'll stick with Bodnar boards for my panels and just experiment with the 'Arduino' for now. I have to say though, other items that I have purchased from the same site (Dremel accessories, LED strips, electronic components, a mini RC Copter) have all been just as good as anything I have purchased from Amazon, Maplin or RapidOnline....just saying. Aren't most of our electronics manufactured in China anyway?

    Thanks for the reply Matt,

    Paul

  5. #5
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    Re: Complete Newbie, just starting with a small switch box.

    Quote Originally Posted by BushPilotWannabe View Post
    Apart from widely held explanations as to why the electronics is so cheap, my complaint is that I have not found one far-eastern eBay vender with all parts required to populate a simple perfboard project.

    I have exhausted the selection of my two in-country eBay merchants. I hope that they can continue to expand but it requires a lot of inventory to put a dent in the list of what is not available.

    Hugh
    Hi Hugh,

    The vendor I use is not an Ebay retailer, it has it's own website. I'm pretty sure they wouldn't have all the components you require though.

  6. #6
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    Re: Complete Newbie, just starting with a small switch box.

    Quote Originally Posted by xplanematt View Post
    Without knowing the actual vendor you purchased from, it's hard to give any specific feedback. What I have found with what bit of Chinese (it's OK, you can say it) stuff I've purchased, the quality is all over the place....maybe a few oddball items are OK, or maybe you can find and stick with a manufacturer that actually sells quality (they do exist over there). I tend to stay away from it for reasons of principles also. What is REALLY annoying is when you buy what you think is a quality product from the US, Germany, Canada, etc, only to find it's just one of the Chinese imports that someone is distributing from US/Germany/UK/wherever.

    That said, a $7 Arduino clone is hard to pass up when the real thing is $30+ and you need 15 of them..........

    Matt
    Hi Matt,

    I thought I had already posted a reply to you, but it hasn't appeared. Anway, the gist of it was that I'll be sticking with Bodnar boards for panels, etc., while I'll experiment with the 'Arduino' just to learn what I can.

    Thanks,
    Paul

  7. #7
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    Re: Complete Newbie, just starting with a small switch box.

    They may have terrific quality control but what happens to the rejects? $US 1.30 for a Pro Mini clone without headers! That is cheaper than the ATMEGA328P TQFP32 chips. Just got a batch of Nanos that I ordered with the headers not installed and they came with headers on the bottom side. No real biggee but I like to put extra long pins in the four corners and on the inputs which will need more than one pin. Easier to remove from a breadboard and install all other headers pointing up.

    Let's enjoy the bounty while it is available. Some day the high cost of oil will make even shipping oil too expensive.

    Hugh
    ---CYXD ----- TWR --- GND ------ Closed
    ILS-- NDB -- 119.1 -- 121.9 ---- 11/2013

  8. #8
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    Re: Complete Newbie, just starting with a small switch box.

    Quote Originally Posted by BushPilotWannabe View Post
    They may have terrific quality control but what happens to the rejects? $US 1.30 for a Pro Mini clone without headers! That is cheaper than the ATMEGA328P TQFP32 chips. Just got a batch of Nanos that I ordered with the headers not installed and they came with headers on the bottom side. No real biggee but I like to put extra long pins in the four corners and on the inputs which will need more than one pin. Easier to remove from a breadboard and install all other headers pointing up.



    Let's enjoy the bounty while it is available. Some day the high cost of oil will make even shipping oil too expensive.

    Hugh
    To be honest I paid about €18 for my Arduino Uno, it wasn't ridiculously cheap, but when you live in Ireland, sometimes the delivery charges are more than the product itself. It was the free worldwide delivery that really appealed to me. And honestly everything I've received from them has been great quality so far. They also have terrific customer service and usually answer queries within a couple of hours. They also throw in a UK style adaptor for free if you ask them, as most products seem have US style plugs.
    As regards enjoying the bounty, it's only since I discovered this website that I started getting great bargains again. Since the Euro collapsed, buying from Amazon is no longer a cheaper alternative, and also for some reason, they no longer ship a lot of items to Ireland. This website charges in US dollars which works out a **** of a lot better for me! Even on Ebay, I can rarely find a decent bargain that doesn't have crazy delivery charges. You guys in the States and Canada don't know how good you have it Hugh! Fantastic country Canada, spent a couple of years in Ottawa when I was a kid. We visited Calgary alright, I remember it was the year the Flames lost out against the Canadiens for the Stanley Cup! Don't know if you're old enough to remember it.

    Anyway, getting off-topic now.

    Cheers,
    Paul

  9. #9
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    Re: Complete Newbie, just starting with a small switch box.

    Quote Originally Posted by BushPilotWannabe View Post
    They may have terrific quality control but what happens to the rejects? $US 1.30 for a Pro Mini clone without headers! That is cheaper than the ATMEGA328P TQFP32 chips. Just got a batch of Nanos that I ordered with the headers not installed and they came with headers on the bottom side. No real biggee but I like to put extra long pins in the four corners and on the inputs which will need more than one pin. Easier to remove from a breadboard and install all other headers pointing up.



    Let's enjoy the bounty while it is available. Some day the high cost of oil will make even shipping oil too expensive.

    Hugh
    To be honest I paid about 18 for my Arduino Uno, it wasn't ridiculously cheap, but when you live in Ireland, sometimes the delivery charges are more than the product itself. It was the free worldwide delivery that really appealed to me. And honestly everything I've received from them has been great quality so far. They also have terrific customer service and usually answer queries within a couple of hours. They also throw in a UK style adaptor for free if you ask them, as most products seem have US style plugs.
    As regards enjoying the bounty, it's only since I discovered this website that I started getting great bargains again. Since the Euro collapsed, buying from Amazon is no longer a cheaper alternative, and also for some reason, they no longer ship a lot of items to Ireland. This website charges in US dollars which works out a **** of a lot better for me! Even on Ebay, I can rarely find a decent bargain that doesn't have crazy delivery charges. You guys in the States and Canada don't know how good you have it Hugh! Fantastic country Canada, spent a couple of years in Ottawa when I was a kid. We visited Calgary alright, I remember it was the year the Flames lost out against the Canadiens for the Stanley Cup! Don't know if you're old enough to remember it.

    Anyway, getting off-topic now.

    Cheers,
    Paul