Farnell stock for MI projects

Hi all, I was in Farnell yesterday, and explained about the MI community. I said that certain components were not sourceable at Farnell as either they just didn’t stock them , or they charged an import handling fee which other companies waived. The guy actually wanted to come out and meet me about this, but we arranged for me to pop down to Farnell and discuss how what they should stock and how they could be more competitive over a coffee next week.
I would like to take and show a list of components that Farnell do not stock on a regular basis, but should, and the ones for which they charge the fee which is generally 15.95 GBP for parts from the US., so if you have any thoiughts on the matter?
Ideally (for me at least) Farnell will then stock all the parts for any MI project at competitive prices.

Hmm, there’s also some xox/9090/MIDIbox projects that could use Farnell snapping to attention…

Grayhill hex switches: USA (25lb22-h). Bleurk!
Pactec PT-10 - nowhere in sight!
Key caps/buttons for Shruthi, Ambika etc - only somewhat using alternatives. Key caps for xox/Sammich/MBseq - don’t think so (Either PE BK etc or the TA12 series)
Encoders and pots can also be slightly troublesome

keep em coming

" fee which is generally 15.95 GBP for parts from the US"

See, thats the problem. If they can’t be arsed to stock basic essentials like caps. Then at least don’t take the piss and charge the customers to import it. It’s not the customers fault. Why should we foot the bill? At the very least, reduce the charge. £5 tops…
I might understand if we were talking about unusual or specialist parts… But caps![](?? Is there anything electronic besides maybe a torch that doesn’t use caps)?

Hence I don’t use Farnell much. Strange as it may sound, it’s often still more convenient for me to order from Mouser or Digikey instead. They carry much higher levels of stock, and don’t dick you around with surcharges.
Ok, they are American companies, so it’s still importing, and often there are costs associated with that. Which makes it all the more bizarre that they still manage to be more convenient than ordering from a UK company.

Ok, so 16mm encoders like Bourns PEC16 or Alps EC16 - nope.
Dual 1M log pot - nope
9mm 50k log pot - nope
9mm 50k lin pot - nuuh!
Dual 50k lin pot - not so much
The 100k log pot used by the Ambika - no can do.

Small wonder that it’s sometimes easier to get your one-stop shopping done at DigiKey and/or Mouser.

Then again, depending on who designed a certain project, some things are only easy to get at Farnell. It would make the life of the designer very complicated if they had to check component sourcing for hobbyists all over the world.

Personally i classify every item thats not sourceable via reichelt.de as “exotic”, “rare” or “mysterious” :wink:

or unnecessary :wink:
but that doesn’t always work

On the other hand Cønråd looks at every part that has 2 or more legs/wires or needs electricity to operate as “obscure” and doesn’t stock them in the stores.

@fitvideo interesting. I’ll be very impressed if you persuade Farnell UK to stock those ‘obscure’ ceramic caps. Like others, I’ve often found it easier to order from a US company, even though I have an educational account with Farnell that gives me free shipping on UK-stock items.

The other thing, bizarrely, that seem to not be stocked by them in the UK are IC sockets.

Good to know that at least someone at the company is responsive to our needs though. Let’s see how far you can take this, Fitvideo. I for one would very happy if I could order entire MI BOMs from Farnell UK.

Keep up the good fight,


I’m sure I could have come up with a really detailed list from past projects. Other than things mentioned above I can’t think of much, but these come up a lot for modular DIY:

Vactrols (VTL5 range) - they have these as US stock
KRL tempco resistors (the large black 3500ppm type, not listed at all)

this is a fine example.
Hammond walnut with aluminium cases 1444-12CWW, Farnell have none in stock, charge 63.20 GBP + US stock import handling 15.95 GBP ,whereas Mouser UK have them in (albeit only three) but they are 37.56 GBP + vat.

@FitVideo Mouser also charge for US delivery, since (as far as I’m aware) everything you order from them comes from the US. The difference with Farnell is that if all your items are locally stocked, you save on delivery over Mouser or DigiKey.


Having said that, I’ve never done a price-comparison between the same BOM from Mouser and Farnell. Could be (as in the case above- pun not intended incidentally) Mouser’s component prices are generally cheaper, which might cancel out any saving you get from ordering locally-sourced components from Farnell.


Rapid are cheap.

It’s a hot item at farnell just received this mail for an enquete

Yup, did too. You have to buy stuff for professional use in order to make your opinion count. There’s h/w engineers here at work who does, but that won’t stop me from adding my 2c.

@Fitvideo I get most of my ceramic caps from Rapid. They don’t have as good a range as Farnell, but they’re all UK stock.