A Look Back at Circuit Specialists

When Circuit Specialists was established in Darrel and Leon Thorpe’s garage in Scottsdale, Arizona, all the way back in 1971, no one expected us to be where we are now.

By September of 1971 Circuit Specialists had moved out of the garage and into a small office and began publishing a mail order catalog called “Semiconductor SuperMart.” This catalog featured resistors, capacitors, diodes, chokes, coils, and integrated circuits (which had just been invented) as well as other products for electronics hobbyists and do-it-yourselfers.

In the Fall of 1972 Circuit Specialists expanded into the brick-and-mortar world by opening a retail outlet in Tempe, Arizona. Circuit Specialists became a Lafayette Radio franchise and was located right next door to a Radio Shack. In addition to the electronic parts line from the “Semiconductor SuperMart,” Circuit Specialists offered quality stereo equipment, police scanners, and CB radios courtesy of Lafayette Radio. We soon became a regional distributor. One of our current employees who joined Circuit Specialists in 1991 was even a regular customer, buying his first police scanner from Leon Thorpe back in the early ’70s.

In 1987 Circuit Specialists bought its first computer for inventory and accounting. In just a few years we started offering products online via the new realm of the Internet. Soon after that Circuit Specialists moved into a twelve thousand square foot retail storefront and warehouse in Mesa, Arizona.

Circuit Specialists printed countless paper catalogs over the years, but with the exponential growth of the Internet we decided to stop printing paper catalogs in the early 2000s and have become primarily an online retailer, although our retail storefront is still open for the convenience of our local customers.

In order to increase our product line Wayne Thorpe, then president of Circuit Specialists, made his first trip overseas to initiate direct importation of electronic equipment and supplies in 1986. By 2001 Circuit Specialists had opened an international office overseas, which enabled us to rapidly expand into soldering equipment, power supplies, and test equipment. Circuit Specialists is able to keep the price of our products remarkably low by cutting out all the middlemen.

We usually make at least one or two trips overseas each year to source new products and to maintain the close contact that we have established over the years with our suppliers. We feel this is an important part of doing business, as it allows us to have a much closer relationship with our suppliers, which benefits our customers.

For over forty years Circuit Specialists has been selling quality electronic components, equipment, and accessories and we will continue striving to provide you with the finest products at the lowest prices.

In February of 2015 we moved from our location in Mesa, Arizona to a new location at 819 W Fairmont Dr Ste 2 in Tempe Arizona., offering our customers the benefit of dealing with an established US-based company and helping them avoid the pitfalls that commonly occur when dealing with overseas sellers themselves. In addition to our large selection of electronic components, we also continue to offer our educational electronic lab kitting service for schools.

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