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The Death of Electronics as a Hobby?


“The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated”

I tried to reorder some chips recently, that I have had no issue getting over the years. I’m told they are no longer manufactured. I contacted Maxim about the part, and received the following response:


We have very few through hole devices, and are actually moving away from through hole designs. So unfortunately, we do not have a through hole device that matches your requirements.

Industry is following the commercial customer, the money. Manufacturers use robotics to build boards, they order millions of a chip. Hobbyists use their hands, they order thousands of a chip. Does it pay to make a through hole version when most of your sales are smd?

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This will continue the trend for companies like Sparkfun, Adafruit and ICBreakout to produce breakout boards so that those of us who like to experiment and build stuff aren’t reduced to burning our fingers and destroying our eyesight trying to manipulate parts designed to be deployed by machines, but at a much higher cost than the chips alone, and reduced availability.

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