Our score from the Akihabara Electric Town tour

Akihabara had every imaginable electronic part, so we had to be careful about what we packed. These are the most interesting parts we brought home.

Front and center are 6 tiny VFD tubes, maybe decommissioned from a clock kit judging by the datasheet that came with them. Everybody had to have a bag of these for about $12 (800Yen), even Tayken went back the next day to buy a bag.

To the right are three tiny cell phone vibration motors. We think these were used in the flying machines at Maker Meeting. They’re tiny and easily packable. We couldn’t resist taking a few home at $7 (500Yen) for 3.

We picked up a bag of spacer bars. These are one of those things that’s so hard to buy from a catalog. These are for the very rare secret project we’re not talking about yet.

Finally, we found 0.3mm solder! Great for soldering individual pins on SSOP and other surface mount parts, and breaking our addition to drag soldering with 0.7mm solder. It was pretty pricy, $25 (1800Yen) for 100g of 60/40. This is another find that’s not available in the local electronics shop, and we would never bother to get it from a catalog.

A huge thanks to Tayken and Tokyo hackerspace for accommodating us and providing a tour. This isn’t it for our Tokyo hacking tour. Next week we still have the Akihabara video, and Ian’s presentation at Make Tokyo Meeting 07.

What would you buy in Akihabara?

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11 Comments

  1. i wouldnt know!
    but i know what i would like to end up with, a board that can read sensors(either reed, HES or microswitch) that i can program, or steal the program to fire a dual solenoid paintgun with IR paintdetecting eyes

  2. I would buy one of EVERYTHING…………………..

    I am addicted to purchasing IC’s that have a purpose and interfacing with them; i guess thats why im so drawn to the BP…

  3. I used to purchase those small vibrator motors for less then a dollar per piece from some online site, I think it was rapid, or something like that..

    Those VFD’s are nice but nixies are nicer :D

    I envy you on the 0.3mm solder, is it a single flux core or multi? I had 100g of multi core flux 0.3mm wire but I think I have maybe 15-20g left and am not using it unless it is completely necessary :(

    What I’d buy there .. donno, probably stuff I can’t get anywhere else – “modules” for this and that ..

  4. I am loving these little blog posts BTW they are great… I wish there was more pictures with better detail (i cant really see the parts; this is like porn to me… like looking at the BP v4 PCB… I always have to look at it in a dark and lone place ;)

  5. Awww… Why don’t you post URL’s for all these shops. We now have Google Translate which works pretty good sometimes.

    1. It was my first time trying to document a trip like this and I fell short in a few ways. Next time I will be sure to keep all that info and get it to the blog.

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