Spark Fun Electronics is awesome. If you’re an electronics hobbyist who hasn’t heard of them, you’re missing out. While us hobbyists have long been able to get a huge variety of “reasonably” priced staple components from Digi-key, and crazy-cheap surplus components from places like All Electronics Corp. and B.G. Micro, I couldn’t help feeling like the industry was leaving hobbyists in the dust. If we wanted bargains on 10-year-old technology we were in luck, but the latest and greatest parts were getting more and more out of reach to the average hobbyist. Either there would be a minimum order of 5000, or they would be in a ridiculously small SMT package, or the data sheets would be proprietary. Most often, all of the above.
Spark Fun to the rescue! They really are the first online electronics store I’ve seen that’s really by hobbyists and for hobbyists. They buy the latest and greatest development boards, sensors, and other toys, put the specs up on their web site, build breakout boards, and sell them for very reasonable prices. As if that wasn’t enough, Spark Fun has become kind of a clearinghouse for custom hobbyist-designed platforms. They stock everything from MAKE staples like the Arduino, to special-purpose platforms like the Uzebox AVR-based game console.
Oh, and did I mention they’re in Boulder? If only I’d known while I was still in school…
Anyway, given how awesome Spark Fun is, I was really proud to see that Spark Fun was mentioned in Fortune Small Business magazine: