Part Substitution a-go-go!

One of my peeves about the electronics business is the poor availability of parts. I’d found this brilliant AP1115 power regulator from Diodes Inc. which I’ve been using for months in my RS232 Rate Converter but now, you can’t get them anymore. I haven’t found a supplier who stocks this part since June and my own stock has run out.

Fortunately, I have found the MCP1703 from Microchip which is compatible and will do as a substitute. But now I can’t get the particular Atmel microprocessor I use, well not in small quantities anyway and I am not ready to order 1000 of them based on the sales I’m getting at the moment. So I’ve had to go up a model and get a more expensive microcontroller which is pin-compatible but I’ll have to change the firmware to make it work. This is the third time I’ve had to tweak the design of this product due to unavailable parts in the last 12 months. Such is the fun of the electronics biz!