Tag Archives: Components

Dirt Cheap Dirty Reels: cheap component reels from China

via Dangerous Prototypes


Component reels shouldn’t be overpriced or difficult to come by. Dirty Reels connects you to cheap Chinese component suppliers in the Huaqiangbei electronics market. Add a reel of resistors to your next DEV shop order for under $4!

A dirty reel of 5000 100ohm 5% 0603 resistors from a major Chinese manufacturer like Super Ohm is only $3.97. Mouser.com’s cheapest reel comes in at $20 per reel!

Try some searches:
100R Resistor
10K Resistor
100nF Capacitor
1uF Capacitor

Over the past year we created a database of parts and suppliers in Huaqiangbei, the world’s largest electronics market. Dirty Reels is a public search of those parts. Choose the number of reels to purchase and add it to your cart. Behind the scenes we’ll go grab your parts and put them in your order.

Dirty Reels is highly experimental. Currently only resistors and capacitors are included in search results. Once things are running smoothly more components will be listed. The search is also very stupid, your values and units must match the database format: e.g. 100nF, not 0.1uF.

There are (not so) hidden ulterior motives behind Dirty Reels. We’re not trying to become Digikey, and it isn’t profitable to sell reels at this price. Instead, we’re trying to bootstrap a relationship with component suppliers.

For services like Dirty PCBs, Dirt SLA, and Dirty Cables we need a suppliers full price list and pricing formulas, but nobody wants to share that info as most prices are negotiated each time. What we like to do is send a flood of orders to get them interested, then have a meeting and ask for the info we need. Most suppliers are more than cooperative after the initial wave of sales.

You get reels of components near actual Chinese prices, while helping us to seduce new suppliers. Win, win, win!

Search Github projects by component, find design references

via Dangerous Prototypes



Search Github hardware by component to find examples and references for your next project. Big schematic and PCB previews mean quick and easy browsing without opening a CAD program.

TomKeddie first mentioned this idea at Hacker Camp Shenzhen, and later in the forum and on WeChat. Tom generously shared his scraping/search method. Eagle 6+ files are XML, so we can find them on Github by searching for the “eagle SYSTEM” tag in files with “extension:sch”. That gives more than the maximum 100 pages of results, so we filter by file size and increment size 500 bytes at a time “size:1001…1500″. We use the normal user search interface, parse the HTML results, and grab all urls ending with .sch. While Github has an API, that API doesn’t give access to search code search without specifying a repository by name (probably so people don’t do what we did…).

There are a number of limitations. Only Eagle projects are indexed, a search for KiCad files inspired little interest in expanding. Before Eagle 6.0 files were not XML and will not be included. Github search only indexes code files up to ~390K, larger files will not be included. If Github improves access via the API we will expand the index.

Scraping all of the files over terrible Chinese internet took about a week. Searches were performed at minimum 32 seconds apart. Some files were incomplete (lacked closing tag). Some files have extra ‘>>’, usually a merge error tag. Some files were just corrupt. These all caused Eagle to hang until the window was manually closed. Working with Eagle from the command line has been most unpleasant.



Via the forum.