Electronic samplesA great way of getting free electronics components is asking manufacturers for free samples. Many of them have a free sample program,others you have to send an email. Sometimes you need to register on their site before being able to receive samples.And then there are those who don't send to free email addresses like Gmail.You have to be creative when filling out the form(often they ask for an annual usage)and there are companies which will contact you by phone(although that hasn't happen to me so far). There also companies which will send you free samples,but you have to pay for shipping. There is a certain etiquette,I think,when it comes to free samples: -don't resell them to other people. -don't make a large list and ask for a large number of components(many companies have restrictions anyway). -don't ask for samples every month(many companies keep track of that also) To be short:don't abuse the free sample program:you will ruin it for others.It is also a nice gesture if you use these components in one of your projects to thank the company and give them some free advertising. There are more places on the web where you can find lists for samples(I used these too for my list): dutchforce.com samples list ladyada.net:finding parts Instructables.com list Another Instructables.com list
I divided the components roughly in categories(but sometimes there will be an overlapping in things companies produce and occasionally some companies appear in different categories). LEDs and opto-electronics
Bivar-PCB Packaging and LED Assemblies Sun LED-LED and Displays Kingbright-LEDs. Ledtronics Marktech-Led and related. VCC lite-LEDs. Semi conductor Catalyst Semiconductor-Memory and Voltage Reference Texas Instruments-Semiconductor . Maxim-Semiconductor.
Analog Devices-Semiconductor National-Semiconductor .Is now part of Texas Instruments. NXP-Semiconductor Intersil-Semiconductor Agilent-Semiconductor Cypress Semiconductor-Networking Fairchild-Semiconductor . Apparently doesn't send samples to free email addresses. Infineon-Semiconductor Microsemi-Semiconductor Linear-Semiconductor Holtek-Semiconductor. ON Semiconductor-Semiconductor Zilog-Semiconductor Central Semiconductor-Semiconductor Pericom -Semiconductor Freescale-Semiconductor NJR-Semiconductor Rohm Europe -Semiconductor,opto electronics etc Rectron-Semiconductor Sensitron/Wilco-Arrays, Semiconductors, LEDs Triquint STMicroelectronics-Diodes,transistors,etc Semtech-Power Devices Azmicrotek-Logic Translator Connectors/terminal blocks Harwin-Connectors Bomar Interconnect-Connectors Blockmaster Edac-Connectors,jacks and plugs RIA Connect-Terminal Blocks and RJ connectors Molex-Connectors Kycon-Connectors Mill Max-Interconnects and IC sockets . Will direct you towards one of their distributors to buy your samples. Tyco/Amp-Connectors and Cables ITW/Fastex-Connectors and Clips Volex-Powercords and connectors Wurth Elektronics-PCB, EMI, EMC, Connectors ON Shore-Terminal Blocks and connectors FCI Connect-Connectors Schurter Marco Manufactoring Their sample page doesn't work.I'm not sure if they are even in business anymore. Lumberg Bulgin-Switches,batteryholders. Eby Sealcon Global Connector Technology Bolt Products Inc.-Terminal blocks and hardware. Free samples but you have to pay for shipping and handling. Switches Oslo switch Carling technologies-Switches,circuit protection Electroswitch-Switches,transformers NKK Switches-Switches. /E-switch/Lamb Industries-Switches . You have to get your samples from their distributors. Screenkeys-LCD Screen Switches Schurter Johnson Electric Marquardt Schalter Judco Bulgin Ferrite beads Ferrishield-Ferrite suppressors. Laird Technologies Passive components(resistors,capacitors) Kemet-Capacitors. Ohmite-Resistors,heatsinks Coilcraft-Inductor Cooper-Magnetics and protection Meritek USA-Passive Components Murata Europe-Passive Components WIMA-Capacitors Micrometals-Toroids NorthWest Components-Passive and Diodes Epcos-Passive Components AVX-Passive Components & Oscillators Electrocube-Power electronics,passive components. Nemco RCD Cornell Dubilier Noble USA Dean Technology-High voltage diodes,capacitors. Littelfuse-Power Devices and Fuses NIC Components Suppliers Astrorep-Supplier FMG Electronics-Supplier Electec-Supplier AVnet-Supplier Chesrep-Supplier Promor-Supplier SMD-Supplier Microchips/memory Atmel-Microcontroller . California Micro Devices-Protection and Interface PMC-Memory EM Microelectronics-RFID ERG-Display related Bridgeport-Fittings Keystone Electronics-Hardware and Accessories Schurter Bolt Products Inc.-Bolts,nuts,cable-ties,tube clamps. Free samples but you have to pay for shipping and handling. Alliance Express-Cable-ties,hose protection,heatshrink etc. Registration required. Tools Aboveboard Electronics-Tools Various AAVID Thermal Alloy-Heatsinks Desco-ESD and static control. You have to send them an email.But they were kind enough to send me an ESD wrist strap with cord. CML Micro-Wireless communication Hittite-Microwave Ramtron-Memory Spectra Symbol-Flex Sensors Cirrus Logic-Digital chips, D/A converters, Ethernet controllers, audio/video decoders Fordata-LCD Tek National-Thermal Insulation and hardware Bergquist-Thermal related products Tra Con-Thermal Management Canadian Shunt E-T-A-circuitbreakers. Sipex-Power Management, Interface, Optical Storage Allegro Micro-Sensors Fox-Crystals and Oscillators Ecliptek-Oscillators. THAT Corporation-Audio Technology Clare-Communication and drivers FTDI Chips-USB Sonitron-Speakers,buzzers. Bestartech-Acoustic components.