Buying curiosity parts.

Thread Starter

hp1729

Joined Nov 23, 2015
2,304
Electronics is a hobby to me. Yes, I often buy parts just to learn new chips. I have bought LEDs by the pound. ICs? Yep, them too. Distributors like Electronic Goldmine often have a “box of ICs”. G19135 is a box of random ICs that occasionally goes on sale. What do you get? Here is a list of the last four times I have bought them. Quantity varies. Mostly the mix is digital. Sometimes a fair bit of analog. So far everything has been acceptable quality. Everything has been properly marked. Most parts are common gates and latches but often you find a rare chip. 74S124, dual voltage controlled oscillator. 74198, 8 bit bidirectional shift register. Averaged cost about $0.06 a piece.
 

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GopherT

Joined Nov 23, 2012
8,012
Electronics is a hobby to me. Yes, I often buy parts just to learn new chips. I have bought LEDs by the pound. ICs? Yep, them too. Distributors like Electronic Goldmine often have a “box of ICs”. G19135 is a box of random ICs that occasionally goes on sale. What do you get? Here is a list of the last four times I have bought them. Quantity varies. Mostly the mix is digital. Sometimes a fair bit of analog. So far everything has been acceptable quality. Everything has been properly marked. Most parts are common gates and latches but often you find a rare chip. 74S124, dual voltage controlled oscillator. 74198, 8 bit bidirectional shift register. Averaged cost about $0.06 a piece.
Interesting. Thanks for putting that all together and sharing. My question is, how do you organize and store them? Do they all end up in a box? Do they end up in a box with little plastic bags of each (with labels, or, do you have divided boxes or drawers? My hobby has evolved and my wife describes it in terms of how I stored the parts (and the space I have for the workbench).
 

MrSoftware

Joined Oct 29, 2013
1,811
It takes a little time, bit I keep my inventory on a Google sheets doc. If I need a part, i look there first and it tells me what I have and where it's located, and sometimes a link to the data sheet. You have to be disciplined and edit the sheet as you use parts.
 

atferrari

Joined Jan 6, 2004
4,005
Electronics is a hobby to me. Yes, I often buy parts just to learn new chips. I have bought LEDs by the pound. ICs? Yep, them too. Distributors like Electronic Goldmine often have a “box of ICs”. G19135 is a box of random ICs that occasionally goes on sale. What do you get? Here is a list of the last four times I have bought them. Quantity varies. Mostly the mix is digital. Sometimes a fair bit of analog. So far everything has been acceptable quality. Everything has been properly marked. Most parts are common gates and latches but often you find a rare chip. 74S124, dual voltage controlled oscillator. 74198, 8 bit bidirectional shift register. Averaged cost about $0.06 a piece.
In this country that kind of grab bags did exist in a limited version. Not a success because of what you got. Most of it dated and obscure chips.

Still wondering if in the long term it is worth. Isn't it better to go straight to what you are interested on? Even at a much greater cost (because our situation) I bought ICs that way.

It takes a little time, bit I keep my inventory on a Google sheets doc. If I need a part, i look there first and it tells me what I have and where it's located, and sometimes a link to the data sheet. You have to be disciplined and edit the sheet as you use parts.
I tend to think of myself as an organized (somewhat) hobbyist but having started several attempts to classify components ( and so many articles of the hundreds of magazines I subscribed to in the past) I realized that I did not want to be a slave of inventories and my lists are minimal.

But, moving maybe in about 2 months I started to seriously consider a simple and organized way to have all parts in an unique rack with drawers, boxes or ??? I realized that size of parts vary so much that one does not fit to all. Hijacking over.
 

spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,835
Why Europe doesn't have such stores :(.

There was a local one here. It did not have much in the way of individual components but it had a lot of surplus from all types of electronic equipment. A great place to go if guilding an unusual project.
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
10,938
Why Europe doesn't have such stores :(.
Sounds like a business opportunity for someone.

There's a company here that buys liquidated components and equipment by the pound. They recycled some things and sold the rest online and through eBay. I bought a lot of components and equipment from them when they used to allow local pick up.
 

dannyf

Joined Sep 13, 2015
2,197
I have a bunch (=several thousands) low-noise GaAS Japanese dual-gate mosfets. Those are the most "exotic" parts I have, :)
 

Thread Starter

hp1729

Joined Nov 23, 2015
2,304
Interesting. Thanks for putting that all together and sharing. My question is, how do you organize and store them? Do they all end up in a box? Do they end up in a box with little plastic bags of each (with labels, or, do you have divided boxes or drawers? My hobby has evolved and my wife describes it in terms of how I stored the parts (and the space I have for the workbench).
144 drawers plus uncounted many bags and plastic "shoe boxes". Inventory kept on Excel. Schematics kept in ORCAD.
 

Thread Starter

hp1729

Joined Nov 23, 2015
2,304
In this country that kind of grab bags did exist in a limited version. Not a success because of what you got. Most of it dated and obscure chips.

Still wondering if in the long term it is worth. Isn't it better to go straight to what you are interested on? Even at a much greater cost (because our situation) I bought ICs that way.



I tend to think of myself as an organized (somewhat) hobbyist but having started several attempts to classify components ( and so many articles of the hundreds of magazines I subscribed to in the past) I realized that I did not want to be a slave of inventories and my lists are minimal.

But, moving maybe in about 2 months I started to seriously consider a simple and organized way to have all parts in an unique rack with drawers, boxes or ??? I realized that size of parts vary so much that one does not fit to all. Hijacking over.
Yes, I buy prime parts also. But since "learning" is sometimes destructive I prefer to not find the limits of components on $5.00 op amps.
I am an ex-instructor in technical schools and my "inventory" is just about enough to start a school.
 

Thread Starter

hp1729

Joined Nov 23, 2015
2,304
Sounds like a business opportunity for someone.

There's a company here that buys liquidated components and equipment by the pound. They recycled some things and sold the rest online and through eBay. I bought a lot of components and equipment from them when they used to allow local pick up.
My favorite (no longer in business) was Poly Pack. Yes, a lot of the stuff was excess inventory, house numbered, or maybe even rejects.
 

Roderick Young

Joined Feb 22, 2015
408
Got my first SCR from Polypacks back in the days of flower power. A great service to people on a very limited budget.
If memory serves, it was spelled "Polypaks." Such fond memories. Half of the fun was lying on the bed with their catalog, looking at all the different choices and dreaming of what I could make. There were many such companies.
 

Thread Starter

hp1729

Joined Nov 23, 2015
2,304
If memory serves, it was spelled "Polypaks." Such fond memories. Half of the fun was lying on the bed with their catalog, looking at all the different choices and dreaming of what I could make. There were many such companies.
Thank you both for correcting my old memory. It was a very good time for education. Data books were so hard to come by in those days. Now you can find most companies or data sheets in the Internet.
 
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