Sunday, May 6, 2012

The inherent dangers in prototyping

So I've been working on a few projects, one of which is requiring snmp functionality for a power/ups monitoring solution. One of the headaches I have is finding components- I've got digikey, mouser, newark, jameco and sparkfun... out of all of those, the only one that sensible names things is sparkfun, except that consistency in naming isn't something they're known for. But their site is incredibly easy to navigate, pictures and posts that relate to the items tends to be very useful. Not quite the same with digikey and mouser. I had ordered a ton of parts from digikey just a few days ago, and actually got two sets of headers that were completely wrong. I had misread the specifications, and assumed when I saw 2.54mm across to mean the same thing as 2.54mm spacing... boy was I wrong. One item will partially work, the other (a 2x10 2mm spacing female header) is about completely useless. And I've got 10 of them. And I made the mistake of telling the rather nice customer service lady that my order was fine, and I would be getting the parts used immediately.

Now I find that I've had to re-order three sets of parts, from two different houses (digikey and sparkfun this time) in order to have any hope of meeting my time frame. While I realize this isn't any fault of the distributors, it still doesn't make it easy to know that I've got to really squeeze my debug time in order to make sure I've got time to get it finished before my impending trip to alaska.

In case anyone's interested-
newark/element14 -
and jameco-