Hi guys, I"M thoroughly a newbie in the maker world.

Back in the day I would go to radio shack and look at their components and realized today they still sell off their site. While they were expensive and necessarily junky, is there a site similar you all visit as a go-to?

I am mentally designing a desk clock powered by a smartphone battery (probably a samsung j7) and charged mainly by a solar cell. That car stereo is a good start for the project. Radio Shack has solar cells.


  • I find the UI a little easier at Mouser than at digikey, though it’s often worth checking both. I found out about them when they were one of the most reliable early sources for the BeagleBone Black

  • The go-to for decades for many engineers, well-known for good customer service

  • Free next-day shipping available for lots of parts.

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When I want lots of a cheap component sometimes eBay or AliExpress

Some things I’ve only found on Aliexpress…

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Sweet. I also remebered that craigslist is a great place to get free things people are throwing away. a great way to hoard components, i think.

i got a set of house speakers ten years ago just to rip out the magnets for something else. They were free but a bit of a drive.

More concrete examples.

I found some battery management units on ebay, like the 5S li-ion units I’m going to try to use to replace the nicad batteries in dead 18V Dewalt XRP supplies with 5 18650 li-ion cells (won’t be able to use the same chargers though).

When I went looking for 12S 60A BMS units, I couldn’t find them in the US and had to order them through Aliexpress. I could find plenty of 13S 60A units in the US, but the 12S otherwise identical units were conspicuously absent.

It’s also surprising to me what shows up on amazon. Usually a bit pricier, but sometimes prime shipping makes it worthwhile.

I kind of what you’re talking about and that sounds cool. ANy good vendors for selling solar cells for small projects?

Sadly, I’m not an expert in solar cells, so hopefully someone else here can chime in. :slight_smile:

Honestly, for me Amazon is usually where I have to go for small electronic components now days, especially with quick prime shipping. Since Radio shack closed there aren’t any places in my town to buy small components any more.

You could probably find some things like motors or solar cells sometimes in place like lowes or homedepot in their sliding bin section for speciality fasteners. Harbour Freight carries 5W and up solar cells.

Radioshack is still online. That’s where i saw solar cells being sold. first time ever for me.

Adafruit, specializes in open source electronics, has solar panels:

Not the cheapest but good documentation.


These guys always have fun stuff with reasonable shipping.

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That reminds me, I’ve bought stuff before from All Electronics Corp

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It has been a while but I’ve also had good luck with them too.

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Oh, that brings back memories from when I was starting hacking on electronics 10+ years ago… All Electronics, Alltronics, Electronic Goldmine, dipmicro when they were first starting out… All still in business apparently.


Radioshack still has a website and it’s quite busy. I don’t buy stuff like capacitors or anything like that as it’s way overpriced, but they have solar cells for projects.