I am bemused by your plug for the OK. It had some very hard times and only now seems to be making a bit of a comeback. Haven't been inside lately though.
At work we have carousels made up of many component trays similar to the last picture in you blog, but they are way outsiode the budget of any home lab. In addition to some of the techniques you use I also use bottles. I bought small plastic bottles (at the South African store Pick 'n Pay Hypermarket), but baby food used to come in similar containers (maybe still does) and I used them as well. One thing you can do with this approach is to screw the lid on the underside of a shelf giving you much more storage space.
@Antedeluvian... I bought my boxes at the OK probably 25 years ago and they were going strong then. The boxes have lasted well.
I have also used old marmalade and pickle jars as you describe....but not for electronics stuff. I have about 8 of them under a shelf for garden hose fittings etc. Screwing the lid to the shelf makes them very handy.
The component drawers in the last pic I got for $ 9.99 each at Dick Smith, an electronics retailer in Australia who alas no longer stocks them, I have 6 of them. The larger professional ones are expensive but these ones are not bad.
I visisted the Pick n Pay Hypermarket a couple of years ago while in Johannesburg. It's still impressive. When I used to live in Rhodesia / Zimbabwe in the hard times I used to find it truly awesome...
I prefer clear plastic boxes so I can see what's inside - and I don't like the traditional bin organizers because it's too easy for all the drawers to spill out.
I've found some of the dollar store stuff to be too cheap (plastic is wimpy), although now I want to find a pill organizer like you have.
My favorite is the Plano 5750 tackle box; I got lucky a few years ago and picked up a bunch when Lowe's was blowing them out at $2/each. Mine are full of goodies like connectors and terminal blocks.
For larger items, I like the stacking Sterilie 1723 box (~1/ea; great for DMMs, CAN adapters, and such) and plastic shoe boxes (e.g. Sterilite, for about $1/each - great for AC servo motors, stepper motors, and more).
@TonyTib - I always felt kind of silly putting a big label over the top of my plastic boxes (photo 2 on page 2) because as you say the beauty is that you can see what's inside. So I only do this when the contents are ICs or something which all look the same - otherwise I use 6mm printed labels which only take a small part of the lid so you can still see inside.
The pill boxes (photo 3 on page 2) are not very high quality and are not clear, so you need to label them as shown. And you have to stick them together to avoid getting infuriated by rows falling out, However they do click closed well and are a very compact way to store small components so I tolerate them. If you really can't find them in the States l could send you a few - all the discount shops seem to have them here. You could then buy me a beer at EELive 2015 :-)
Your recommended boses look good - like me you seem to go for the postive latches to keep them closed. $2 is a nice price for a good box.
I tried that and it worked with a pic from the internet. Many thanks! Then I tried to paste or link to a pic from my computer (that I had open in Paint or stored as a .jpg on my hard drive) with no joy and eventually my post got corrupted and almost unreadable so I deleted it.
I have pasted pics in the past but it has only worked for me once or twise, and I am not sure what does or does not make it work.
Does anyone know how to paste a pic or link to an image on your own Hard drive reliably?
Does anyone know how to paste a pic or link to an image on your own Hard drive reliably?
I don't believe you can link to a pictire on your hard drive. I copy the picture to my public folder on my dropbox account, right click the file to "get the public URL" and then paste this into the dialog .
In previous iterations of UBM forums, (MCC, SJ, CE) it was poosible to send the message to the editor and he would put it somewhere on the UBM server and give you the URL. A little indirect and it was not immediate. i am sure Max would oblige.
Hi David, To give an Idea of the size of the small boxes, a pound coin (euro) will just fit on the lid, the depth is about a pound coin deep. The lids flip up when opened and they are just great for smd resistors and capacitors.
I got my first set when I bought an E25 run of SMD capacitors and since then I buy them for any smd items.
Although more of a toolbox, I have had two Rolykits for many years. They accompany me whenever I need to go into the field for electronics installation or maintenance. The phot shows one rolled out and the other rolled up into a portable package.
They appear to be available in the US and I recently bought a look-alike for my son, but I don't recall the name.
@antedeluvian - I have seen those Rolykits before, they are certainly pretty neat. You could take a lot of stuff with you with one of those. But their website does not do them many favours - no prices or ordering, no list of distributors....
@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.....
@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:
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.
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.
@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.
@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.....
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!.
A Book For All Reasons Bernard Cole1 Comment Robert Oshana's recent book "Software Engineering for Embedded Systems (Newnes/Elsevier)," written and edited with Mark Kraeling, is a 'book for all reasons.' At almost 1,200 pages, it ...