One really useful way of doing this is take a large antistatic bag and cut it up into say A4 pieces , you fold in two flaps say 2" or 3" , then pass it through a bag sealing machine ($30 from ebay), and seal all the way across, every 3/4" or so. This will yield two rows of pockets , with about 20-30 pockets in total. When you fold the sheet on itself , the parts or strips won't fall out of the pockets , the pocket will also hold loose parts. With a bit of care you can also use the existing folds in antistat bags to advantage. You can use the same approach to make field kits of parts, and you can roll them up if needed too.
The advantages are that
there is sufficient space to write the part number and other details on the pocket (unlike pill boxes) , Note: always write the SMD code on there , so you can rehome those orphan SOT-23 devices.
Organized: You can keep all the similar parts together, so you are not searching for the one ziplog bag with the MAX232 chips, at the crucial instant when you have pasted up a proto board.
The volume is much less (than individual ziplog bags) , and you can store them in two-ring binders with datasheets if you want.
You can make the pockets any size you want.
Cheap! Just recycle the bags that parts come in.
Strong! the mylar antistat bags dont tear with the edges of the carrier tape
You need just one desiccant satchel for ~ 100 or so different parts, as they all fit neatly in a large ziptop bag.
I have a XL spreadsheet with all the parts in . Then you can just print off labels from one column. The "&" command is useful here and the alt-enter too. I have a second worksheet too that uses a lookup function to turn a "short name" into a fully qualified part number and vendor p/n so "10u10" becomes "963-LMK212F106ZG-T" . I also have hash codes and "quikbin" codes to naturally sort parts adjacent to similar parts. For bulk parts I use ziplog bags, and keep them in white cardboard boxes. It's important to have all the boxes the same size! I use 4"x9"x12" boxes, they are sold flat in 50qty's, this size will take A4 sheets of paper , very helpful!.
@Crusty nice thinking - I like the spreadsheet idea with instant access to data sheets. I got a set of old bar code readers and thought vaguely about using them to scan a label on the component storage and bringing up the datasheet instantly. Acheivable I think, but not a huge return on the effort involved.....
@David: All this talk of storage has got me started on getting my components sorted out, quite a lot arnt at the moment.
I now have a spreadsheet itemising what I have and where it is and if possible a hyperlink to a datasheet.
Biggest headache so far is how to store these pesky 1 and 2 off packets of smd IC's, unlike their through hole old age cousins it not easy to poke them into conductive foam.
Well I have come up with an old siolution to a modern problem a 3*5 card index box and staple the non conductive bags to each card. The card top has delails like Part No and a unique card sequence number, with that I can locate it on the spread sheet and the little critters are stored efficently.
I guess we should be doing a blog "101 non-standard uses for matchboxes". I have one last memory (i am sure you are hoping) on the topic. If you blow hard on one end of the matchbox, you will launch the inner tray with quite some speed. It could hurt at the range of ~18'' or so (the distance to the boy's head in the desk in front of you). The effect was enhanced if you left the matches in the tray as shrapnel.
Going further off topic (it looks like it is now a topic on its own) your comments reminded me of another childhood use for the matchbox. We used to make a "pistol" using the matchbox, a rubber band (or perhaps two)and a clothes peg. We would break apart the peg and use one half. The interior box was removed and the peg attached with the rubber band so that it could be pressed at one end and the other would open a gap in a simple lever type application. The interor box was then fed into the exterior shell. A matchstick would be then clipped between the peg and the matchbox and the rubber bad stretched from the far end back over the box and over the matchstick. Aiming the contraption and pressing the bottom of the peg released the matchstick at the top and it was catapaulted forward.
@Aubrey...getting off-topic here (as I do...) when we were at school we used to play a game called Klunk. You put a matchbox on the edge of a table, protruding slightly, and flicked it with your thumb.
If it landed up on an end you got 4 points
If it landed up on a side you got 2 points
If it landed flat with the label side up you got one point
If it landed flat with the blank side up you were "Klunk" and out
The person with the most points before the next class won.
Did you play this, it was a real craze with us at one stage.
I couldn't find any reference to it apart from this:
@Antedeluvian, Max further down in Aubrey's montage link is this one
Note the "Vervaardig in Suid Afrika" (Made in South Africa) at the bottom. Ours were very similar, without the Afrikaans, and had "Made in Rhodesia" on them.
Also note the translation of "Safety Match" in English to "VeiligheidsVuuroutjie". Vuuroutjie literally transalates to "fire-boy.
Afrkiaans has a lovely habit of tying words together. In Johannesburg railway station the wall at one end has "Main Line Ticket Counter" in English and the Afrikaans "HoofLynKaartjiesKantoor" underneath it. And on our trips to SA when I was a kid we'd go past a road sign that said "Loskop Dam" and underneath "Loskopdam". And someone I mentioned this to came up with "BuitlandseBinneloseBuiteband" which is a "Foreign Tubeless Tyre" (I have put the caps in the Afrikaans one to show the word delineations.....
The Other Tesla David Blaza5 comments I find myself going to Kickstarter and Indiegogo on a regular basis these days because they have become real innovation marketplaces. As far as I'm concerned, this is where a lot of cool ...