Password Haters Can Now Use

You can’t be bothered to sign up for a free account? Fine. You also don’t want to sign in each time you need to look up a component? Got it. You’ve made your point and the folks over at have made it so.

When the electronic component search engine was opened up for public use we covered it and gave you the rundown. Some of our readers left comments about things they were unhappy with regarding the system. Surprisingly, signing in was the most frequently voiced concern. It looks like your complaints were not taken lightly and you no longer have to register with the site to unlock all the parametric search data. There is still some added value to having an account like saving parts to a list for later use or you could get involved by joining the community on the forum.

Now we just need a parts search that knows what we want without having to actually choose parameters.

Full Disclosure: is produced by Supplyframe Inc. Hackaday is an Editorially Independent part of Supplyframe.

Parts: Ferrite beads


Ferrite beads (L1 in the photo) filter high frequency power supply noise by converting it into a tiny amount of heat. Power supply noise can cause various problems for many parts, especially in analog audio and display circuits.

Ferrite beads are simple, but choosing one can be confusing because they’re not commonly used by hobbyists. Most designs will still work if you omit the ferrite bead(s), but beads are so cheap there’s no reason to sacrifice the added reliability they provide. We describe how we pick ferrite beads for our projects after the break.

Continue reading “Parts: Ferrite beads”

Parts: Chip sockets for dual in-line package (DIP)

DIP through-hole chips are an old package with instantly recognizable dual in-line pin rows.  Beginners love these chips because they’re large and look easy to solder; we abhor them because we hate messing around with the drill. Whatever your motivation for using a through-hole chip, use a socket whenever possible. A circuit board with socketed chips is easy to test without endangering the parts, and ICs can be removed, tested, and replaced, without resorting to a soldering iron. This week, by request, we looked at several common through-hole chip sockets. Continue reading “Parts: Chip sockets for dual in-line package (DIP)”

Parts: Tactile switches for your next project

Electronics parts can be a pain to choose. It’s often hard to tell from manufacturers’ datasheets if a part will fit your design. We auditioned six different tactile switches to find a cheap button to use in upcoming projects. A tactile switch, also called a momentary button or push-to-make switch, is commonly used for input and microcontroller resets. This type of button creates a temporary electrical connection when pressed.

Footprints for most of these buttons are available in the Cadsoft Eagle library switch-tac, or in the Sparkfun parts library under TAC_SWITCH. Buttons in the image above are discussed from left to right. Continue reading “Parts: Tactile switches for your next project”