When it comes to parts selection, you can only choose as well as the tools you’re using to find them. Sites like Digi-Key, Mouser, Farnell, and Element 14 can often be overwhelming to search through due to the sheer number of options, even after making use of their respective parametric search tools. Even after you’ve found the correct part, many sites lack simple features such as the ability to remove an option from the currently used parametric search, making finding a different value resistor in the same package, tolerance, and manufacturer, for instance, an overly complicated task for what it is. Now however, you can ease the pain significantly with a fantastic script written by BenH that significantly improves the search abilities of the US’s largest component supplier, Digi-Key. Some of the neat features he’s added are:
As an example, searching for a 4 position, 0.1" spaced header on the original Digi-Key looks like this.
After using the advancedSearch Digi-Key enhancer, it now looks like this!
Plus, there’s tons of extra features not shown on this image. It will help you with difficult tasks such as selecting voltages on an IC. Going through a list of 150 different voltage ranges to find all the ones that are 5V or have a range (2-30VDC) with your required voltage can be a pain. With the enhancer however, it provides a “Helper” box, that when clicked lets you enter your voltage and it will automatically select all applicable voltages for you.
Now, on to the part you really care about. How do I install this?!
If you’re interested in learning more about the extension itself, preview images of what it can do, or more about its awesome author, you can find more info HERE.