EMRFD Message Archive 9612

Message Date From Subject
9612 2013-12-29 15:15:24 richj_focus How to store parts?

I have a "junk" that is overflowing and needs organizing.
So there are passives, active, active ESD sensitive and many more.
What so other people do to keep their parts organized and assessable without needing a warehouse size place?

9614 2013-12-29 18:14:59 Clutter Re: How to store parts?
This is a subject 'near and dear' to me. I've been collecting for
fifty years, now. My inventory covers the post war tube era and
newer tech. Amazingly, nearly my entire collection fits in one
corner of unfinished basement on an otherwise finished floor
of our house. It pretty much fills that corner, too, although
there are a refrigerator, washer, dryer, and 3x6ft workbench
wedged in there. I can pull out 813's and other large glass
envelope tubes, or else tiny Schottky rectifiers and all manner
of transistors, IC's, caps and resistors in great quantity,
Transformers, inductors, and on and on.

So how to do it? There are four basic ingredients:
1. Steel shelves or cabinets, lots of them
2. Boxes, bunches and bunches, all types and sizes
3. Metal or plastic drawers, they stack well and hold
tons of your most useful and frequently used items-
good on a ham workbench, I have 8 or 10 of them...
4. Time, bunches of it, going through and endlessly
sorting... and LABELING! I've 'lost' more darned stuff,
find it again 10 years later after I 'hide' it from myself...

A true ham pack rat saves not only components but all sorts
of boxes over the years. And the key here is to save them
in quantity. Lots of identical size boxes can be kept inside
a single larger box. Over the years I've saved plastic
snap boxes, magnetic tape boxes, check boxes from the
bank, and on and on. Again, the key to greater usefulness
is to acquire many of the same size. They stack well.
Label what's in them! Label the outer box!

I have even saved up coffee cans in great quantity.
The one pounders. Turns out they fit in a 4x gallon size
paint carton *very* well in 3x3 configuration. Round
containers are Disparaged, however. A lot of waste
space around them. But nonetheless good for a lot of
mixed larger hardware. These also stack well.

I'll let others address the static sensitive issue, but my
observation has been that static sensitive components
are only a small subset of my overall semiconductor
collection. I take what I feel are reasonable precautions.
May involve anti static bags, conductive foam to stick
the leads in, occasionally aluminum foil, etc. Mostly it's
just common sense, remembering to discharge your
hands to the bench prior to handling the little guys.

Have fun! Collecting is quite rewarding. I can build a
lot of useful stuff entirely from stock parts on hand.

73, David K3KY

9616 2013-12-29 20:46:39 Ed - K9EW Re: How to store parts?
I bought some clear plastic shoe boxes at The Container Store, and keep various parts in those.  You can see what's inside, and they stack. 

Check at the store and see when they go on sale.

ed - k9ew

9617 2013-12-29 21:40:04 Ed Manuel Re: How to store parts?

If you as old as I am, you have the end of the world supply of pill bottles.  Remove label, cut one of those old business card’s that you have lying around (from all your previous jobs) in o a label, and roll it so it conforms to the inside of the bottle.  Perfect for all those small parts you bought way too many of.  They you put the pill bottles in larger plastic bins that stack.


Then you forget which bin you put that one with the BD139’s info . . .


Ed, N5EM


9619 2013-12-30 05:56:32 John Levreault Re: How to store parts?
I have a multi-lifetime inventory of small parts of surface-mount persuasion. I use coin envelopes and corrugated-cardboard sleeves. You can buy them at Staples. They work well for 1/4W axial resistors and radial caps, too. Bigger things (electrolytic caps, tubes of transistors, vacuum tubes) go in bigger boxes. Some folks like Amazon boxes, but I like Digikey.

Of course, my wife asks, "You call this organized?"

John NB1I

9620 2013-12-30 07:23:12 n2msqrp Re: How to store parts?
I used to put parts in drawers but since most if not all semiconductors are ESD sensitive I keep the parts in the original ESD packaging and place parts in small boxes the size of shoebox.

I used to keep track of parts in a notebook but I've miograted to a spreadsheet so that I could keep track of the parts. I list the part number, short description and box location. Here is an example:

2SC1971 RF Output Box 1 Analog/RF Transistors and Diodes
AD8307 Log Detector Box 2 Analog IC's
74LS00 Octal Buffer Box 3 Digital IC's

As you acquire more parts you can add boxes with more explicit descriptions. For example:

2SC1971 RF Output Box 1 Analog/RF Transistors
AD8307 Log Detector Box 2 Analog IC's
74LS00 Octal Buffer Box 3 Digital TTL IC's
1N4148 Diode Box 4 Analog/RF Diodes
74HC244 Octal Buffer Box 5 Digital CMOS IC's

Mike N2MS

9625 2013-12-30 13:11:13 Ephemeral Re: How to store parts?
I use Really Useful Boxes. Small parts go in zip lock bags of various sizes, hierarchically organised, little bags
in bigger bags, bigger bags in boxes. Only the innermost bags are ESD safe. The arrangement loosely matches
my collection of datasheets on my computer. For SMD resistors I have one of those A4 binders holding a
resistor kit. When populating a PCB it is convenient to sort the bill of materials and populate similar parts at
once so I don't need to rummage too much. If I have the datasheet on my computer I should have the part in
my boxes and if I don't have the datasheet I don't have the part. If I have a part and I have ever used one
then I should have the component in my Diptrace libraries.

Sent: Sunday, December 29, 2013 11:15 PM
Subject: [emrfd] How to store parts?



I have a "junk" that is overflowing and needs organizing.
So there are passives, active, active ESD sensitive and many more.
What so other people do to keep their parts organized and assessable without needing a warehouse size place?


9822 2014-03-10 10:24:51 Ed Manuel W7ZOI Spectrum Analyzer Question - 70Mhz LPF

I've build a version of the SMT LPF for the W7ZOI S.A. I've also swept
it with a USB controlled DDS sweeper / 8307 power meter combination.
The sweep is in the Files section, the photo in the photos section.

The filter looks very good to me to 400 mhz. But centered around 466
mHz there is a bump I'd like to explain (and remove in another version).

For some scale, the main stripline from SMA to SMA is 78 mm long. Any
ideas regarding where this resonance might come from? The filter has
not yet been boxed, but ultimately would be enclosed in a brass box.


Ed, N5EM
Houston, TX

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9841 2014-03-19 09:14:18 lu4dpt@ymail.com Re: W7ZOI Spectrum Analyzer Question - 70Mhz LPF
Hi Ed, can you tell me about your "USB controlled DDS sweeper"? Im interested. 

Maxi, LU4DPT.