Advantages Get the components you need at a reasonable price
Disadvantages None that I have noticed
Maplin is an electronic retailer which sells the more obscure items and a lot of gadgets and gizmo's. They have 100's of stores around the country and the one's I have frequented have all been clean friendly and eager to help.I have always been interested in electronics and have built quite a few projects from scratch. In doing so I have had to find suppliers of various electrical components such as capacitors, resistors, equipment for making printed circuit boards and of course circuit testers. I was going from here to there all the time making numerous journeys in search of some hard to obtain pieces. That was until Maplin came to our town. Now it is simply a matter of listing my requirements and going for a browse around the store. Unfortunately they stock lots of other electronic stuff so I usually end up spending more than I intended.
The stores are well laid out with usually a discount section right at the entry point, here you can get some really good bargains with as much as 70% off normal retail prices, it may mean taking a bashed box or a return, but there is a guarantee with each purchase. The stores are laid out in some kind of logical order or so it would appear.The Aisles to the left are frequently the place to find the kind of stuff that circuit builders and enthusiasts require. It is also the place to find stuff such as tools for very intricate jobs and soldering irons and associated supplies. Circuit testers and multi-meters are in a plenty and all at very good prices considering that nowhere remotely near has anything like this. There are also kits here for children to experiment and discover the strange world of electronics, these range in price form as little as £5 to as much as £120, but there is a lot of learning fun and experimenting to be had.
Further along form here we reach the small gadgets and rechargeable batteries. Weather stations, currency converters driver alerts (a small earpiece with alarm that goes off when the drivers heads drops forward as if to sleep.) temperature gauges and thermometers. A quick glance here and then along to the big boys toys.Strictly speaking they aren't big boys toys they are just lots of varying remote control and radio controlled cars, bikes, planes, boats and just about anything else you can think of, but they are lots of fun. A twin set of racing cars both running at different frequencies and looking pretty cool £19.99 not a bad deal at all. There are electronic shooting games one of which I got my son for Christmas. A 2 foot log about 6 inches high with 2 plastic cans and 2 plastic bottles. The gun sends an invisible light beam which is picked up by 4 light sensors which in turn trigger four pop up buttons on which the cans and bottle sit, hence when the button pops up the can/bottle pops off giving the impression you hit the bottle. The alignment been the beam and sensor is slightly off so you have to aim for the can/bottle great fun. There are many others great gift ideas here for the big boy and the little boy.
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