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February 2011

Jameco Electronics Newsletter

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Greg's Corner In our last newsletter, I almost begged you to participate in a game similar to the game Jameco employees played at last year's holiday party. Amazingly over 600 of you took pity on me and participated. All of this, of course, was scientifically designed to help us in our quest to find... Jameco's Smartest Customer.

I asked three questions that required opinions about the electronic component business. There were no correct answers, so points were awarded based not on your answer, but on your ability to correctly predict what percentage of your fellow Jameco customers would agree with you. If you correctly pegged how many other "wing nuts" were out there, you scored maximum points. We got some valuable insight along the way.

44% thought the cover featuring the Large Hadron Collider was their favorite. 38% agreed that the most complete section of the catalog was the Semiconductor section. 42% said their best electronics experience happened in their home. That grew another 11% if you include the people who reported it was in the garage (I'm presuming that is also the proportion of those who are married).

Sadly, 16% reported their best experience was at a previous job, compared to the 10% who reported their best experience was in their current job. But by far, my favorite was the proverbial desert island question. "If you were on a desert island with an unopened Jameco box, what 8 components would you want inside and why?" We got some great answers, read our favorites here

And the Smartest Customer is...

Although the competition was tight, there can only be one "Smartest Customer" – at least for this month. So we offer hearty congratulations to Lien from Santa Ana, CA. Lien works for an aftermarket performance auto parts website and, of course, is now the proud recipient of a $50 Jameco gift certificate!

Thank you to all who participated. It's easy for me to conclude that Jameco has lots of very smart customers.

Regards,

Greg Harris
Vice President, Marketing
[email protected]
catalog

The Latest Jameco Catalog

Our latest catalog featuring the rescue of the Chilean miners, is now available. Simply request your free copy or download an electronic copy by simply clicking here
Solar Panel

Build Your Own 30 Watt Solar Panel

Enough with the solar toys! Tired of goofing around with low-end kits. Here's a solar panel kit with enough commercial-grade panels to generate 30 watts of pure power. Don't be deterred by the fact that it's still February and the sun is only making guest appearances these days. We predict long hours of daylight in your near future. In the meantime, watch this step-by-step video from our friends at Parallax.

Watch the step-by-step video here.

My Story: Power Outages Fail to Disrupt

Do It Yourself Light Jameco reader Philip Kane was ready when the power went out. Or so he thought. He had flashlights, candles and plenty of emergency supplies, but there was only one problem. He couldn't find any of it because it was really dark!

So like every good Jameco customer, despite the fact that cheaper solutions were already available at a local hardware store, it was time to solder something. Read about how Philip built the world's best emergency lighting solution for his living room.

Read Philip's step-by-step project guidelines and build your own here.

Jameco welcomes the contributions of its customers. Frankly, we think what you write is more interesting than anything we could write. Share your electronic component story, project, or challenge and we'll share it with the world. Send your story to [email protected]

Stepper Motor Technology Advances

All Motion Did you ever do the robot dance? The abrupt and jerky moves characterized the best stepper motors of the day, but the dance move is now both obsolete and outdated as the next generation of steppers purport to deliver 59,000 microsteps. Check out this review of All Motion's new stepper controller which can deliver the smoothest moves since Fonzie was on television.

Wrap your brain around a new standard in stepper motor controllers.

Test Your IQ

IQ Challenge We all know that LED stands for Light Emitting Diode. Some may not know that the invention of the LED goes back to the discovery of electroluminescence in 1907 when British experimenter H. J. Round of the Marconi Labs created it using a crystal of silicon carbide, plus what other element?

A. A potato
B. Household mold
C. A cat's whisker
D. A candle wick
E. Toothpaste

Find out if you got it right.