How to organize electronic components

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by lefam, Dec 26, 2010.

  1. lefam

    Thread Starter Member

    Nov 30, 2010
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    Hello guys.

    I have just started learning electronics. Now I have many components (breadboards, jumper wires, micro-controllers, resistors, capacitors, transistors, lcd, LEDs, ICs, etc).
    I keep most of my components (eg. resistors, capacitors, and transistors) in plastic bags. I store all my components in a drawer.

    I would like to know from you what is the best way to organize electronic components. Are they any tools to store them (that I can get from Digi-key, for example)?
     
  2. jpanhalt

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  3. marshallf3

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2010
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    I just buy the bin boxes from Amazon, for example the combo they show on this age is a great starter setup:
    http://www.amazon.com/Akro-Mils-101...f=sr_1_13?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1293386510&sr=1-13

    You get free shipping as well. Next all you need to do is get a pack of labels from Staples or any office supply store that will fit on the drawers, download the equivalent template from Avery, plan and print out your labels. I've got two of the 64 drawer units for my resistors and capacitors, wasn't too hard to come up with a system that separates them all into logical categories (0-0.99 ohm, 1 - 9.99 ohm, 10K - 19.9K, 0.001 - 0.009 uF etc) so finding things is a breeze. If I recall there ended up being plenty of room in the boxes to include trimpots and trimmer caps on the far right. The larger drawer boxes are also a necessity for larger components such as full size pots, knobs, battery connectors, transistors etc. and the mixed ones provide even more versatility. It may be a fairly high investment at $95 + buying the extra 64 drawer one at $34 but they'll all mount on a wall near your bench and no more headaches of digging around for a half hour just to find a 12K resistor.
     
  4. spinnaker

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  5. retched

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    Dec 5, 2009
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    Just be sure to use static-proof boxes for IC's that are static sensitive and for uCs.

    Lining the bottoms of the trays with ESD Foam is quite handy.

    Save every piece of static foam that you get. Many ICs are shipped with the foam.
     
  6. spinnaker

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 29, 2009
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    What I do is use the coupon organizer I mentioned but I keep the stat free bags and foam. I also keep the little plastic bags the mouser ships resistors and such in.

    Everything goes in an appropriate bag and labeled. Then the bag goes in one of the coupon slots. This allows me to resort everything if need be w/o having to relabel all of the slots.

    I I just write over the exiting label on the bags. The printing on the mouser labels tends to fade quickly anyway. The downside is the labels are a bit large and block viewing into the bag when it is folded to fit into the slots. Makes inventory a bit difficult.
     
  7. maxpower097

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    Feb 20, 2009
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    Last edited: Jan 16, 2011
  8. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    Tanner's sells them for 29¢ each, I use kit boxes along with static foam myself. I've since finished my Zener's kit with the resistor storage method pointed to in post #2.
     
  9. retched

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    Dec 5, 2009
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    I have also copied the MSM.

    Marsden Storage Method.

    Quite quick and easy. I like it for diodes/resistors.

    It has sped up my prototyping by quite a bit. It is amazing how organization can improve productivity. It also improves motivation.
     
  10. nerdegutta

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    Dec 15, 2009
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    I saw once one guy that had all his resistors, capacitors etc in envelopes, in a drawer. All was labeled and pretty neat. I have not been able to find that picture again.

    I have i bunch of these:
    [​IMG]

    In a neat rack. The configuration of the compartment boxes are individual.
     
  11. thatoneguy

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    Feb 19, 2009
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    I end up with a lot of stuff in rubbermaid containers of various sizes with the snap-lock lids. Some are the small size with a few snap-close fishing lure boxes, others are stuffed with the top open compartment containers like Nerdguetta posted.

    When I end up making a big order for a project, I actually leave it in the shipping box, since I can easily associate leftovers with what is in the box by project. Sloppy, I know, but faster than digging through many containers/drawers/etc.
     
  12. marshallf3

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2010
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    I've got so many different components I keep around I almost have to have the wall mounted bin boxes to deal with them. For instance if I'm ordering a 271-whatever resistor from Mouser it's like 10 cents each or only 2 cents each if you buy 200 so that's how I usually buy them. If I accidentally end up with too many different values to fit in a particular drawer I just put the more common ones in and include a note that the 45.3K (or whatever) are someplace else.

    Gets even worse for me as I'm a sucker for buying surprise boxes and the 3 different sized ones from http://www.goldmine-elec.com/ have never let me down. Most of the stuff I'll never use but I've always got my money's worth out of them considering the price. You've got to pick around their website to find everything, it isn't as well organized as it first appears to be. I'll just pick out what appears to be worth categorizing then put the rest back into the box and up on a shelf marked as assorted misc. If you do order their surprise boxes get one each of the three sizes as that seems to be the best way to end up with a great selection of fun to go through since what goes into them seems to vary by the box size. I ended up with what must have been a $1,000 (at the time) monster size edgewise mirrored scale meter in one of the super size ones and when eBay has some more free listing days I'll probably see if I can sell it. Must have got 50 or so large sized Bourns sealed PC mount pots with panel mount bushings in one of the small ones one time, 15K was an odd value but perfectly adaptable to experimentation if you don't need something you're going to eventually specify for volume production.

    There are a few other companies that still sell surprise boxes but you've got to search for them.
     
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