Let's Make Robots!

Buy at RadioShack, Really???

Harro, guys. HarroRobot here to talk about RadioShack. Try to avoid this place for buying parts. Why? Compare these prices of items that pretty much do the same thing:

Ping:                 HC-SR04:

more than $10    Around $2 on eBay

See what I mean? No offense, but those prices are ripoffs! So, try to buy parts on Amazon, eBay, whatever has the good and reasonable price.

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So, like I said, I sometimes like to run to the Shack over lunch break.  And last time I was there, the guys gave me a $5 off anything coupon.  So I used it today on some capacitors and a PCB.  And he gave me another one!  That's an argument in favor of RadioShack, as far as I'm concerned.

That's what an equally high priced shop in Germany does as well. They'll give you a 5€ cupon and you just save the 5 buck shipping fee for ordering online so you'll still get ripped of.

kind of like a monopoly... i mean, its the only place in town to buy electronic parts for my robots, and im not patient enough to wait 4-5 days just to get a small dc motor or servo, id rather pay the extra 4 bucks at the most for my parts atleast. But i see your point.

The battle actually comes down to money then. If you have enough money that you can spare a 20 bucks extra, it is better that you buy from places like radio shack which give you parts when you need it but if you don't have that extra money it's worthwhile to give shops like ebay a look. I come from an area where a dollar is worth 50 rupees and it's really tough to get hold of money if you don't have your own income. If you don't have a budget, it's fine but if you have to beat a budget, you have to look for things that are cheap and still to some extent reliable. Don't consider me a supporter of ebay and other shops though. I don't like the parts they sell too but for me it's beating the budget as I'm not even going to get ¢2 (1 rupee) from my parents to support my hobby.

git! RadioShack is the only place in my town that sells hobby electronic type stuff. If I need something TODAY, I'm willing to pay 10 bucks extra. Not to mention the guy that runs my local shack is a robot builder himself and helps me out a lot. From my experience every shack seems to employ at least one pro hacker. 

I like to hit the shack over lunch breaks to pick up things I run out of and never seem to remember to buy in bulk (104s it seems like, every other day...) and the guys there sometimes save the coupons that the computer spits out at random for me. Even if it is national, you do help your local economy a little bit by shopping there. That said, the selection is pretty sparse and the prices are a bit higher than eBay, but so what? You can finish your project that night instead of waiting a month and running to the mailbox every day like a trained poodle. Of course, there's fun in that anticipation too. I don't think anyone needs to be an extremophile either way on the Tandy front and I'm grateful that it's there. Without that 200 in 1 electronics project kit I had as a kid, I wouldn't know a flip-flop from an astable multivibrator. (Do they still sell those? Last I saw they were basically giant breadboards.)

I'm sorry, but your lack-luster approch to the facts, to make a point that is fairly obvious to all, was a swing and a miss.

First off, "More than $10" --It is $29.99. Why use such an arbitray number, "more than $10"? Beyond that, the HC-SR04 is around $4, not $2. Skipping that, your point is that Radio Shack is very expensive. In this poorly elaborated example, you are comparing a Porche to a Honda and calling the Porche a rip-off. The HC-SR04 is a Chinese knock-off, and works quite well for the money --that said, it does not come close to the stability of the Ping. 

Beyond the above, it is an average of 5 weeks to get anything from Shenzen. How much is your time worth? 

Don't get me wrong, I am no fan of Radio Shack. I cringe when I really need something and am forced to purchase there. But this is good ol' supply and demand, my boy! If you want it right the hell now, you's gunna pay fo' it. If you got 5 weeks to kill and don't mind using 3/4-quality stuff, then you will save yourself some money.

I think the real question is: Is it your belief that the rest of the LMR members had not come to this conclusion already?

is a much better product than the HC-SR04 by far in my opinion and $10 is not a bad price considering Parallax sell the ping for $30. true they do the same thing but you get what you pay for

HCSR04 has a thinner PCB and the  tracks may peel of if your modifying it. cheep and it works

PING))) nice thick PCB , LED indicator , consistent and reliable readings. expensive but quality  

http://www.parallax.com/Store/Sensors/ObjectDetection/tabid/176/CategoryID/51/List/0/SortField/0/Level/a/ProductID/92/Default.aspx

E-bay is my first stop shop when on the hunt for parts, i avoid retail markup and GST ( goods and service Tax) FTW