Last Monday I went on a surplus run in the South Bay.
This was a common pastime for myself and a few especially geeky friends around 1994-2002. After that, eBay and mail order electronics pretty much took over, forcing the most interesting surplus electronics stores in Silicon Valley (ie. RA Enterprises) to close their doors. With the news that HSC Electronics is moving to an undisclosed location and Triangle Machine is going out of business, I was starting to worry that the days of finding cheap, local electronics surplus were over.
However, thanks to this guide I discovered a few new surplus goldmines:
- Excess Solutions in Milpitas (their site is here) – lots of mechanical parts, connectors, as well as ICs and components.
- Advanced Component Electronics (ACE) in San Jose – a jawdropping inventory of logic ICs, resistors, capacitors, and miscellaneous through hole and surface mount parts.
So maybe electronics surplus is still alive in Silicon Valley. Both stores are a bit of a drive from the city, but both are still open to foot traffic and appear to have almost every component you could possibly need for an electronics project. What I did find lacking at both locations was cheap surplus equipment. One of the most rewarding things for me in the past has been taking apart mysterious equipment to collect interesting bits and pieces for my junk box. Triangle Machine still has some, but may only be around through the end of August. Regardless, I will definitely be making the trip back to the South Bay for some electronics scrounging soon, whether HSC sticks around or not.