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"Sources for LEDs and Fiber Optic Cable?" Topic

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Mako11 Inactive Member19 Apr 2017 12:01 a.m. PST

With the demise of Radio Shack, I suspect that Fiber Optic Cable and LEDs are a bit harder to find now, except from specialty stores via the internet, unless you live in a large city.

I guess I could be wrong, but are there any retailers in the USA that are found in most smaller towns and cities, that might carry it?

I was thinking perhaps a model railroad shop too, but imagine their markups are rather stiff, compared to other retailers.

figman119 Apr 2017 3:41 a.m. PST

Try here link

TNE230019 Apr 2017 4:14 a.m. PST

the fiber optic store:

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP19 Apr 2017 5:42 a.m. PST

To answer your question, no, not really. You'll find a handful of items in your local Lowes/Home Depot style store but these will mostly be too large for small scale work.

You will end up online one way or another.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP19 Apr 2017 5:43 a.m. PST

P.S. You are showing your age. The Radio Shacks in Chicago haven't carried "electroni bits" for at least 10+ years now. They just turned in to "Best Buy Lite" a long time ago….

Mako11 Inactive Member19 Apr 2017 6:02 a.m. PST

Thanks for the links and tips.

Well, I am from the Pleistocene era, EC.

Our radio shacks have been gone for some time now, but last time I was there, they did have little LED light bulbs.

Not sure if they carried the fiber, or not.

Personal logo Thomas Whitten Supporting Member of TMP19 Apr 2017 6:46 a.m. PST



daler240D Supporting Member of TMP19 Apr 2017 9:58 a.m. PST

I would second digikey

Zagloba19 Apr 2017 4:40 p.m. PST

The only big retailers I can think of that might carry something like that would be Microcenter or maybe a Hobbytown. Where I live (small city) still has a Mom and Pop electronics place, so maybe look in your Yellow Pages.

ee499520 Apr 2017 6:47 p.m. PST

As mentioned before, digikey. Also, mouser electronics. Both are online stores and both have large enough catalogs that you need to know what you're looking for.

I don't know your level of experience, but constant on LEDs are very easy. All you need are a DC source, a resistor, LEDs and conductor to connect the foregoing.

Mako11 Inactive Member20 Apr 2017 10:11 p.m. PST

Thanks for the links and tips.

Virtually none.

Would like to make a flashing lighting system for a spaceport landing pad, and perhaps some other things to go with that.

Probably want 1mm, or so, diameter, red, LEDS, a small battery to power them, obviously, cable to light the LEDs, and some way to make them flash on and off. May add an on/off switch, but not 100% sure about that. Could just remove the battery, or wiring instead.

Might just go with a small button light for the lighting, but they're either constant on, or flash a bit too quickly for my tastes, so am considering other options too.

Flashing about every 2 – 4 seconds, seems about right to me (3 may be best).

ee499520 Apr 2017 11:57 p.m. PST

For flashing LEDs, you'll have to use (i) a capacitor and a transistor, (ii) a 555 timer or (iii) a microcontroller. For (iii), an Arduino Micro would be appropriate. The following webpage has circuit diagrams for (i) and (ii): link

Which of the three options is best will depend on how many LEDs you want to blink, the order of magnitude of the timing interval and your familiarity with programming versus circuit design.

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