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Proto-PIC – Electronic Components Supplier, UK SparkFun Distributor

office-locationWelcome to Proto-PIC, UK SparkFun Distributor. We’re the only SparkFun Distributor in Scotland and one of only eight in the UK. Our quality promise is at the heart of what we do.

Proto-PIC offers a more technically focussed, integrated partnership with educational institutions and customers. We meet everyday requirements for electronic components, provide free technical support on all orders and deliver design consultancy services. We are a purveyor and manufacturer of electronic parts.

Company Profile

Our name Proto-PIC is short for prototyping with peripheral interface controllers (PICs). We took proto from prototyping and the abbreviations PIC and joined them together to form Proto-PIC. Proto-PIC.co.uk was born. Proto-PIC.co.uk is owned and operated by RelChron Limited which was founded in 2006. We started the company to develop a product for the Oil Industry. It was a HydroStatic Pressure Testing System, which is still in wide use today. During the development of this system, we accrued a whole pile of electronic goodies. We decided to sell on eBay to recoup some of the money we had spent. The items sold so fast we realised there was a need in the UK to buy electronics at good prices. We maxed out our credit cards and bought up lots of parts we thought there would be a need for in the UK.

Key Services – UK SparkFun Distributor

Proto-PIC provides the following services:

  • Purveyor and Manufacturer of electronic components
  • Design Services and Consultancy
  • Programming Services
  • Assembly Services
  • Arduino Sketches
  • Product Sourcing
  • STEM Education
  • Proto-PIC Academy
  • Maker Club
  • A community hub for makers and educators with community forums and blog

Suppliers
We buy electronics for the UK Maker Community in bulk from reputable suppliers only, generally from the USA. Buying in bulk allows us to be able to take care of all the Import tasks and paying Duty. Products can be available to customers in the UK on a super quick turnaround.

Spark Fun logo

Our favourite supplier has to be Sparkfun Electronics in the US. They have been with us right from the beginning. Some of their components were in the original revision of our Pressure Testing System. They were the first guys we bought our first big (huge) order from to stock the place up. We sell every item that Sparkfun sell. Except if it is illegal to sell in the UK. Some radio products are banned as they interfere with our wavelengths over here. Even if we are sold out of the item, we can get parts from them within 48 hours. If we place the order on Monday afternoon – it will generally be here Wednesday morning – that’s pretty awesome!

Packaging

Proto-PIC storage boxes One of the things we learned fairly quickly when we started out is that packing efficiency is key. If you are selling fairly high value, fairly fragile parts – you want to pack them fast but protect them well. I was always concerned about ordering parts from websites. Paying top money for shipping only for them to arrive having been dropped into a 7p Jiffy bag. We wanted to do something different. So we did our research and we have sent all our smaller orders in plastic boxes, since about 2010. This costs us a bit more. We are happier knowing that your items are extremely well protected during transit. Also, they generally look nicer when you receive them. The boxes are meant to be reused by the customer. They can be used for storage or can even be drilled and cut to make a nice enclosure. We received such a great response from our boxes we now sell them as a stock item on the website.