Active components like transistors, BJTs, MOSFETs,  and integrated circuits (ICs) make it possible to control circuits. This video explains the must-have NPN and PNP BJTs. For MOSFETs there are a couple of N-Channels and P-Channels to consider. Basic ICs include some digital logic stuff from the 7400-family as well as the venerable 555-timer to have on-hand. We did not forget Op-Amps either. Spoiler: We do not recommend the ua741!

Whether you are just getting started in electronics or you have boxes of parts, it is good to know what are the most critical parts to have in your kit. James asked the element 14 community for what they considered to be essential passive components like resistors, capacitors, switches, wires, and even diodes. In this video, he consolidated their puts and explains what to think about when buying these parts for your kit.

When you start creating your own parts in EAGLE, you’re going to want to store them somewhere.  Here’s how to setup EAGLE to use custom directories and how to create your own Library, which gets stored in the custom directory.  There are a number of steps involved, but once setup custom libraries give you a place to store components you create as well as the ability to copy other parts into your library.

Soldering every circuit you build probably isn’t practical.  At some point you are probably going to want to use some type of temporary method to connect different components together.  One of the popular methods is using a breadboard.  This simple (and cool) looking device only needs a few instructions before you can begin

How many times have you been part way through ordering parts for a project when you realize the distributor you are using, doesn’t have any of the part you need in stock? Or maybe you want to design a kit and compare prices of parts. This is where findchips.com comes into play. This awesome free resource will scan inventory across a variety of distributors for a given part number.  Not only will you see inventory levels but it is also a fast way to compare prices.