When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do. – Walt Disney
Take electronics. It used to be the field of and for technicians and engineers who passed educational and licensing requirements. But with the internet opening channels for communication and information on just about any topic, the domain has expanded to students and hobbyists.
Tutorials have cropped up on YouTube, teaching and showing novices the basics from how to solder to simple programming. Together with internet forums, these have sped up the transfer of knowledge. As of this writing, an online search for “electronic tutorials” alone yields a staggering
In other words, virtually anyone with a spark for electronics can try it, especially because the Web also provides data on tools and components for project ideas. It’s no wonder a student fascinated with automation can get his hands on the hardware and software he needs for his high school robotics project just as a geek can easily do so for a DIY smart home system.
And where does that leave the professionals? Oh, they are also very much into it. The internet has not only been keeping them up-to-date on technology, but has likewise become a sounding board for new concepts. A virtual breadboard, if you will, for next innovations.
So, how to equip this techie community with the right tools and components? The answer is an opportunity for the electronics industry: make them within reach. It’s a market with a high potential for growth, especially with technology dominating everyday life and the current trend in education for science, technology, engineering and mathematics or STEM already preparing the young generation.
Here, Global Sources can help provide solutions for bricks-and-mortar stores and online shops looking to narrow down the search for components, which can be sold individually, in sets or kits. A B2B platform, it provides a channel to a community of verified suppliers in Asia trusted by more than a million volume buyers worldwide.
For from-scratch projects, interconnects, LEDs and optoelectronics, batteries and power supplies, electromechanicals, discretes and passives, and PCBs can be sourced in bulk or in high mix and low volume. So are the tools to mount these on boards and connect with each other. There are multimeters, soldering tools, accessories and kits, wire strippers and glue guns, screwdriver sets, tweezers for tiny components, and, for more sophisticated tinkerers, 3D printers.
The same applies to special services, which range from board design, layout and printing to actual subassemblies or modules. The last includes plug-and-play solutions or what Robert Keim calls “connect the pins” engineering – an option for newbies with no engineering background and for professionals foregoing circuit designing to speed up the prototyping process.
For this, GlobalSources.com lists more than 5,000 companies with PCB assembly capability, including those willing to ship an order of one unit. It also has a group of manufacturers that can provide plastic and metal parts for a complete package.
Here are ready-to-ship electronic components from Global Sources verified suppliers.
|Double-sided FR-4 PCB||Model PCB-S23#9556 double-sided PCB has an FR-4 base, 4mil minimum line width and spacing, 0.25mm minimum hole size and 1oz copper. The surface finish is lead-free HASL.||Shenzhen X-Mulong Circuit Co. Ltd|
|Wireless transmitter module||This wireless transmitter module, ZD-TX03 model, suits anti-theft alarms, remote controls, and motor-driven curtain tracks, garage doors and gate barriers. It has a fixed or learning code. Effective range is 50 to 100m.||Hangzhou Zhengdian Technology Co. Ltd|
|Jumper wire for breadboards||The model JW08 jumper wire uses insulated tinned copper conductors and PVC jacket. Diameter is 2.1mm. The length and color can be customized.||Shenzhen Wintory Technology Co. Ltd|
|Digital multimeter has overload protection||The model DT830B digital multimeter can display a readout of up to 1,999 on its 49x16mm LCD. It comes with overload protection and has a low battery status indicator. Weight is about 108g.||Hangzhou Frankever Electronic Co. Ltd|
|Dual-wattage soldering iron||This dual-wattage soldering iron has an ergonomic handle for comfortable grip and comes with a metal stand. It suits lead-free soldering.||Kopen Electrical Co. Ltd|
|PCB assembly for smart home modules||Model Jinseo-PCBA-91-#1616 PCB assembly is based on a rigid or rigid-flex board and can have as small as 01005 components. Through-hole, SMT or mixed THT and SMT is used. Board dimensions are 0.2×0.2mm to 15x20mm.||Dalian Jinseo Electronic Technoiogy Co. Ltd|