About Circuit Specialists
Bringing electronic products to the STEM community at an excellent value is the mission our founders undertook over 40 years ago and one we strive for every day. By leveraging our technology and sourcing expertise we provide our customers access to tools and technologies that might otherwise be unavailable or prohibitively expensive.
In 1971, long before i-devices or the PC revolution or even the internet, Darrel and Leon Thorpe spent hours in their Scottsdale garage disassembling, building, and repairing electronics. Like most hobbyists at the time they relied on a handful of local specialty stores for their supplies and as often as they found what they needed, they just as often came up empty. Realizing that other hobbyists and do-it-yourselfers might be similarly frustrated, they formed Circuit Specialists and in September of '71 they published their first mail order catalog. The "Semiconductor SuperMart" catalog offered a complete line of electronic parts and supplies, from single resistors to complete integrated circuits.
By the next year, Darrel and Leon had outgrown their garage and moved Circuit Specialists to a retail space in Tempe - right next door to a Radio Shack. In addition to the "Semiconductor SuperMart" line of electronic parts and supplies, they sold consumer electronics popular at the time: hi-fi stereo equipment, CB's and even police scanners. Their comitment to supplying their customers a vast array or products at competetive prices eventually led them to become a regional distributor, operating out of a 12,000 square foot storefront and warehouse in downtown Mesa, Arizona.
The 70's eventually became the 80's, and in 1986 Wayne Thorpe, by then the president of Circuit Specialists, made his first trip abroad to explore the possibility of direct importation of electronics and supplies. By importing products directly from the manufacturer Wayne was able to keep Circuit Specialists' prices competetive and product selection large ensuring that his customers were both happy and loyal.
In 1987, like most in the electronics industry, Circuit Specialists joined the fledgling personal computing revolution and installed our first computer. By the 90's, much of the inventory from "Semiconductor SuperMart" was available for purchase online from our Arizona warehouse, now located back in Tempe. Eventually online sales supplanted the catalog and as e-commerce flourished in the early 2000's, the catalog that started life in a Scottsdale garage was retired.
We opened our first international office in China in 2001, enabling us to negotiate directly with exporters and to respond quickly to the changing market. With the relationships made there we've expanded our offerings to include soldering equipment, power supplies, testing and measurement equipment and much more while still managing to keep our prices low. This is the business philosophy that Wayne developed and it's how Circuit Specialists is still run today.
We have been selling quality electronic components, equipment, and accessories for over forty years and will continue striving to provide you with the finest products at the lowest prices from our website and our retail location in sunny Tempe, Arizona.
Our combination of inventory and expertise means we are in a unique position at Circuit Specialists to give back to the STEM community, both hobbyist and edcucational. In an effort to support the future of technology interest and education, we work with a variety of local clubs and schools on a multitude of projects:
- Here is some information on STEM education and learning.
- Here is a report from our trip to ASU's Arduino Lab.
Circuit Specialists's vast product selection includes:
- Test Equipment
- Soldering Equipment
- Power Supplies
- Digital Panel Meters
- Stepper Motors
- Electronic Parts and Supplies
- Printed Circuit Board Fabrication
- Breadboards and Design Aids
- DAQ and Industrial Controls
- Here is some helpful advice on ordering products directly from China.
- Here is some information on buying electronics from overseas sellers.
The CAGE Code for Circuit Specialists is 7FEL1 and our DUNS Number is 079796990.
Our south Tempe retail location is open to the public from 10:00AM until 4:00PM weekdays.