I don't know if this is a good inquiry for here, but I'll just start here.
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Trojan electronics (in Troy, of course) used to have a decent selection of parts, but I haven't been there in years. You could give them a call.
Thank you guys for the feedback. I think next time I post on here I'll make sure that it's a project idea or something to that nature. That, and also I have a long history of changing my mind on a dime without any consistency, but this is a great start down the right direction. I think once I get going and have money I should be making moves as soon as I hit the ground running. Stay tuned.
I agree with @Tim Trzepacz . When I lived in albany TVCOG was the place to be. I think it has grown a lot in the last couple of years. if you haven't been it is certainly worth checking out.
I'm not sure what I was thinking when I wrote this, but I'm about to start a job soon and hopefully go back to college for mechanical engineering technology. Basically I have a ton of ideas but the thing is it's more for animatronics, robots, and mechanical props for special effects. The special effects area is where i want to go with this but designing my own stuff takes money, but I have a plan. In all reality my fear is buying parts and then screwing up the build and wasting money. Everything else is hyperbole and too much time on my hands. I know I can't do everything but my dream is to get a workshop of my own. One day. But for what I'm looking for: hands on help with the very basics of making because I feel like I'm putting the kart before the horse.
It sounds like starting with classes and networking at your local hackerspace is probably the best course of action then. Again, Tech Valley Center of Gravity seems to be what you need.
As far as buying parts and screwing up goes; it's gonna happen, get over it. Also, buying from AliExpress or eBay is gonna cost you 1/10th as much as Mouser or Digikey, and probably 1/100th of buying parts retail in stores. Seriously, you'll pay more for shipping on most items, assuming that you don't want to wait 2 months for them. (2 weeks ePacket FTW!)
If you are really hard up for cash, you can do it the old-school way and disassemble broken electronics to scavenge the parts. Just keep in mind that, after the 80's things went to surface mount components and they are a lot harder to scavenge... but if you are looking to do animatronics, gears and motors can still be pulled out of certain toys.
It's good to start out with some simple projects with Arduino and shield boards to build confidence and familiarity with the components, and then slowly ween yourself from that stuff entirely.
I have a few servos, receivers, and transmitters that I used for animatronics. I did vacu-forming for the heads. I'm about an hour south of Albany, can ship or meet at local hackerspace (Highland, NY)
Perhaps the folks at Tech Valley Center of Gravity in Troy could give you some clues.
I think you're going to have to be more specific
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