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I think it’s time for a new feature here on MAKE – our review (and yours) on electronics catalogs – as makers we all get dozens of catalogs from Jameco, Mouser, Digikey and more – so let’s all comment on these “bibles” that fill our shelves and toilet tanks. We get our parts from these, we thumb through them – but does anyone actually pay attention to what they’re trying to tell us? Who knows – here’s the first one is the one that arrived in my mailbox today – Jameco!

The Jameco 281 – February 2008 edition (wow, 280 of these before this!). The theme is safety, there’s a giant safe on the cover – safes = security folks. If you’re going to order from Jameco you can choose savings or security (it’s a choice of both). There are cheaper parts from no-name folks, that might be ok for a hobby project but when you’re doing something else you might want to consider some name brand options, more so if you’re company doesn’t put up with generic brands and need some type of certifications/standards. It’s like going to the pharmacy, the generics are probably ok – but who are you going to sue if things go wrong? Oh, the catalog weighs in at a nice 208 pages (zoomable photos here).

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Inside the cover there is a team of tiny people that are working safely on a circuit board. The one in the middle is about to do something with that capacitor while the other is telling him what to do, the other guy is just hanging out in his yellow hat, likely a contractor. Jameco is against asterisks, they don’t have them and the darts speak for themselves I think. The safe is back, they’re not going to let you forget about security just yet.

Overall I think this is what I expect and want from an electronics catalog, some stock photos that end up being charming more than anything else along with some bold campaigns against symbols that usually mean bad things (the asterisk, we hate them!). Good work Jameco.

Ok, makers your turn – if you got this catalog post your comments up. Next week will likely be Mouser or Digikey. If you want to do a review hit us up on email.

More:
Jameco (10x of what’s in the catalog online) – Link.