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November 2010

Jameco Electronics Newsletter

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Greg's Corner It was only a year ago that I was standing on the sidelines of a soccer game and talking to another father, Curtis, about how his business was going. Curtis builds roads and, as he likes to point out, his shovels are always ready. He told me that after three generations running the family business, he would be surprised if he would be able to survive through the end of the year. A year later at yet another soccer game, Curtis said that “business is way up, but no one is making any money.”

It was a year ago that Jameco did something remarkable. We took electronics off the cover of our catalog and put the depression era White Angel Breadline photograph on the cover as a reflection of the hard times we were all living through. Our message was that we’re all in this together and that Jameco was making a commitment to its employees, vendors and customers. Our customers overwhelmed us with positive feedback, but it didn’t end with a cover, it’s been a promise we’ve been living ever since.

I remember working with one vendor who, like Curtis no doubt did, worked hard to win our business. As we were settling on a solution, a competitor came late to the party, with a lower price but had done none of the work. While we certainly weren’t willing to overpay, we didn’t take the lowest price and rewarded the vendor who helped us figure out what we needed. It was the right long-term move even though we missed a short-term opportunity to save more money.

Through it all, Jameco's business unexpectedly boomed this year. In fact, this year is shaping up to be one of our best years in the past decade. This caught us all a little by surprise. We are thankful to our customers, especially our new customers who represented about 40% of our customers this year.

After 36 years in business, Jameco is managing for the long-term. Our reputation, our commitments and our relationships are the most important part of our business. And it appears that customers appreciate this approach. The formula of rewarding employees, striving to deliver perfect service to our customers, and creating long-term partnerships with our vendors seems to be working.

And while we can't sell you a new road, if you need one, let me know, and I'll put you in touch with Curtis.

Greg Harris
Vice President, Marketing
[email protected]

Forrest M. Mims Has A New Challenge!

Puzzler extraordinaire, Forrest M. Mims III is brewing up his own homemade super capacitor. Super capacitors have orders of magnitude more storage capacity than the conventional electrolytic capacitors. While the capacity of electrolytic capacitors is rated in microfarads, super capacitors are rated in farads. But how would you use home ingredients like lemon juice and paper towels to make a super capacitor? Can you figure out what the mystery ingredient is?

Can you figure it out?

Ribbit the Frog Feeder

Frog Feeder Jameco reader Rik Sagar was inspired by the recent addition of Arduino and the need for a vacation to create a solution that would automatically feed his son's pet frog.

Learn how to feed your pet here...

Jameco welcomes contributions from its readers. 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]

What's Up With The Fish Stew?

Our friends at the Chipaxe team have a new project that allows microchip PIC users the ability to tap into the wonderful open source world of Arduino creations using their existing compiler and programming tools. Called Chipino, this new solution comes with a step-by-step introduction.

Start cooking with Chipino here...

Music From Outer Space

WEB SCHEMATIC Like most companies with e-newsletters, we tend to be a little self-centered focusing on topics that are directly connected to our business. Every once in a while, however, something comes along that's just so cool we have to share!

There is nothing to buy, and it's nothing on Jameco's website, but we don't think you should avoid checking out this great new web-app from Music From Outer Space.

Start creating your own schematics here...
Hoover Dam

The Hoover Dam Bypass Opens

At the beginning of the year, we featured the stunning beauty of the Hoover Dam Bypass project on the cover of our catalog. We're happy to report that it opened last month as the Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, becoming the western hemisphere's longest single-span concrete arch bridge at 1900 feet long.

Read about the dam project and update here.