Reflections on Electronics Parts Searches and China

I’m currently looking for parts to build a HF Antenna Analyzer from a much passed around plan by Beric Dunn, and the search has been somewhat difficult. The search has led me to start thinking about how dependent we are on China for electronics parts.

On the one hand, it’s great we can go to sources like AliExpress, BangGood, GearBest, and dozens of other Chinese companies to get parts inexpensively as hobbyists.

But on the other hand, many people in the “maker” space are rolling their own electronics as prepping activities, such as building battery packs for solar power.

So what happens when your supply chain stretches all the way to a country that is actively stealing product designs from US companies, and has been caught installing spy software/spy hardware in products they produce for us?

Food for thought.

Are there reasonably priced alternatives for parts and small run PCB’s in the United States?

If not, could someone make a go of it in a cottage sized industry, perhaps with desktop sized PCB milling machines?

Something to research.