How do you know which components you have?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by nerdegutta, Dec 28, 2014.

  1. nerdegutta

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
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    Hi,

    I guess you guys have a lot of stuff and components, stored in boxes, shelves and piles. Everything has its own place, and are most of the time in their place. I have some storage boxes, and some empty ice buckets with stuff.

    When I get an idea, and start researching parts for a new project, I make a list of what I need, and order the components I don't have. When I order I always order more than I need, just in case..

    So after a while I have a lot of different components, and I've lost control of what I have. I was thinking of making an inventory list, or an mySQL database.

    How to you keep track of what is in your drawers, boxes, shelves and piles?
     
  2. WBahn

    Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
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    I wish I could say that I am really organized, but I'm not. I have several sets of drawers (the cabinets with a few dozen small plastic drawers) that I keep parts in and I move them around so that similar parts are in the same general areas. Things like resistors I have sorted according to the first two color bands. For surface mount stuff I have a lot of small zip lock bags (about 1.5"x2") that have a region that you can write on with a pin. If I order something from DigiKey they send adhesive labels and I cut those down and stick them on the bag.

    I have a friend that set up a data base on a pre-IBM PC (don't recall the computer, it might have been an Apple-II) and he has all of his parts in it. All of them. In it is the count and the location. He makes no effort to physically organize anything, but instead finds a drawer or box (getting a new cabinet of drawers if necessary) and puts the item in that location and then adds that to the database. He has lots and lots of parts and so he completely relies on that database to find things, which means that it has to be religiously kept up to date. Hence, he doesn't remove a resistor without updating that thing. He may have a small non-inventoried stock of very commonly used things, but I don't know that.
     
  3. nerdegutta

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
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    I think most of us are in the same boat, relying completely on our memory of what we have.

    When new parts arrive, I put them aside, because there are never enough time to start the project when I get them. So after a few days, when I got time and start finding the parts, I find all the other parts I ordered for other projects.

    I was thinking of putting one of my Raspberry Pi's to use, with a small mySQL database.
     
  4. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
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    I sort transistors together, logic chips together (and. Mixed digital/analog), then OP amps and comparitors together.

    Each is sorted by the NUMBER on the chip (ignoring the 2N or TL, or LS, CD....). I write the number(s) on the back wall of each compartment with a sharpie. I wipe it off with alcohol if need to rearrange.

    For boxes with drawers, I place a piece of paper inside the drawer (even milky white drawers show the numbers clearly.

    All is easily found.

    I found some really nice divided boxes on eBay for smd parts. I will post soon.
     
  5. nerdegutta

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
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    Do you keep an organized inventory list?
     
  6. tom_s

    Member

    Jun 27, 2014
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    no organised file list.

    caps/resistors/regulators/diodes/generic pnp/npn transistors/555/741's in their own individual drawers. basically all the common stuff, doesn't hurt to stock up on those.

    anything other than those, buy on requirement, leftovers in a big box.
     
  7. nerdegutta

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
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    I got a few of those. :)
     
  8. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
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    Not really a list...
    For my op amp box, I have a piece of paper in the box with some notes on specific op amps indicating the specifics feature(s) for the non-standard chips. Something like...
    - ultra-low noise
    - micro-amp power but slow
    - jfet 3MHz

    I design a circuit with a generic op amp triangle and then refine to a specific op amp based on what is in my box. I order if I need something different. I stumbled on a pack of about 300 pieces of TL070 op amps a while ago so that chip ends up in many projects.
     
  9. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    (6) 60 drawer cabinets and the big stuff goes in cardboard boxes or coffee cans with a label on the outside.
    The truth is, I don't solder much any more. I have learned enough on AAC that I don't need to do "proof of concept" circuits most of the time, and if I do need some fine detail about how things work, I can research any circuit idea on AAC.
     
  10. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
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    Here is how I know what I have:

    [​IMG]

    Just kidding! I can only wish!:)
     
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  11. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
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    Thru hole resistors and capacitors go in standard drawers organized in decades.

    SMD resistors and capacitors created a problem. I just keep them in the same bags shipped from Digi-key:

    [​IMG]

    ICs are kept in the same antistatic shipping bags and organized by function:

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
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    Miscellaneous components:

    [​IMG]


    Hardware:

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. nerdegutta

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
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    Thanks for ideas. I've "hired" the GF to start sorting the resistors. I said that if you do good, you can help sorting my IC's.:rolleyes: While she's sorting, I'm making a list.

    The inventory journey has begun...

    When we get to the SMD's I have an idea of using a box of envelopes. Most of them are still in their shipping bags.
     
  14. ian field

    Distinguished Member

    Oct 27, 2012
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    Too much hassle updating it when I use a bunch of bits.

    You can start with the obvious like a stack of component drawers for resistors, mine are organised as base values (first 2 bands) with all multipliers in the same drawer. If you have plenty of room and deep pockets, give each multiplier its own drawer.

    Other components are compartmentalised largely by their intended use - capacitors are largely divided into electrolytic or non-electrolytic, below that they're all sorted by groups of voltage rating.

    Transistors etc are sorted largely by size/package type - I find it helpful so sort transistors as Asian/American/European type numbers.
     
  15. nerdegutta

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
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    OK, so I got 68 different types of resistors and 7 types of trimpots, organized in boxes like this:

    [​IMG]
    Next, the IC's - but I think I do that tomorrow.

    Thanks for all input.
     
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  16. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    I did once, just for transistors. It is still very helpful. I can't post it here because it is in Open Office format.
    I have (2) 60 drawer cabinets for resistors. They are arranged by first 2 digits increasing from left to right and 3rd digit increasing from bottom to top.
     
  17. bwilliams60

    Active Member

    Nov 18, 2012
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    Like most people, I keep all resistors, caps, diodes etc in plastic drawer rack and then IC's and transistors, connectors, terminals etc in flat plastic bins like fisherman use. Everything gets labelled but not inventoried. Never enough storage. All schematics etc kept on a drive and backed up.
     
  18. stanman11

    Member

    Nov 23, 2010
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    I have this amazing tool box. 4 drawers in the middle, each drawer is 2 stories or single depending how big the item you put in it. These draws house LEDS, resistors, caps, transistors and my programmer ect.
    3 side drawers which house my switches, connections, fuses and misc junk.
    The top opens up and that houses my multi function bread board circuit maker, solder iron, flux and some other misc things.
     
  19. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    Pfft! If you don't use up a whole room and have a wife to complain about it, you don't have a problem with organizing your parts. :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2014
  20. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
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    absf and Gdrumm like this.
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