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Components storage, what do you use?


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A question to all electronics tinkerers out there...

What do you store your components in?

I find myself putting all the small bits in all sorts of differently shaped containers. I'm not really happy with that and was wondering what solutions others have come up with.

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A question to all electronics tinkerers out there...

What do you store your components in?

I find myself putting all the small bits in all sorts of differently shaped containers. I'm not really happy with that and was wondering what solutions others have come up with.

I have a wooden box with a lid, full of other boxes which various components are in, quite often in their own individual boxes. The box containing the OTA sits on top. Not ideal so I am too interested in other peoples arrangements.

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Difficult one........

Years ago I invested in a pair of RAACKO ( If that's what they are called ) storage racks with the clear dividable storage trays that had a space for a name tag at the front. You will see these in just about any electronics workshop but they are not cheap!!!

Later, as space became less available, I started to use the opaque plastic boxes with the tag 'Really Useful Box'. These are available in just about any hobby shop and are stackable and come in many sizes, but once you buy a few you realise that costs are starting to spiral again and also that the item you want is always in the bottom box :mad: :mad: .

The biggest problem that we all face is that for discrete components, eg. resistors, capacitors, etc. it's easy to put these into a small drawer - but what happens when you have a selection a stepper motors, alphanumeric and graphic LCDs and other assorted Richard IIIs.

For larger items, being the cheapskate that I am, I now use the plastic takeaway food containers that your local Chinese restaurant gives away free with every meal........... :grin: :grin: :grin: :grin:

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I have a wooden box with a lid, full of other boxes which various components are in, quite often in their own individual boxes. The box containing the OTA sits on top. Not ideal so I am too interested in other peoples arrangements.

Sorry didn't read properly. Those cabinets with clear plastic drawers I find are are quite useful for electronic components.

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I use wall mountable storage boxes from lidl (or aldi), I always try and pick up a couple more when they come about. I will store my leaded componants in those when i sort them out again. I also use them for hardware such as nuts, bolts and washers and the like and as i use them for the mini lathe kits they got sorted first. They do 2 types, one with large grey boxes and a couple of drawers down the middle and one type with only draws.

My SMT stuff is less organised, but when i worked in the industry we had all the SMT resistors and capacitors stored in a couple of ring binders which had a decade on each page, with about 100 resistors on each strip of resistors. These were not cheap originally, but could be kept topped up really cheaply. IIRC they are produced by rohm.

Simon

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In various boxes, some in drawers - virtually no organisation! :D That's why everything takes so long - I spend most of the time looking for parts. :eek: Now and again I have a clear-up - then it's ten times worse! I would like to be organised and have everything nice and tidy, stored by category in labelled boxes etc. but it just doesn't happen. I have some little plastic drawers out it the shed and every one is miscellaneous. I was better organised once but it seems the older I get the worse I get. This is not good and I waste a lot of time looking for things getting very frustrated. I wish I knew how to cure myself of being in a terrible muddle all the time.

There you are - I've admitted it.

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Gina, my last post made it sound like i was organised with my hobby paraphenalia. I can assure you that is not the case, and unless i have physically have made the effort of putting something in a labeled draw i can spend an age looking for things, esp as i have 2 workshop areas. It seems worse when i machining though. I can pick up an allen key or spanner to make an adjustment, do said adjustment, then carry on. When I then go to find the tool that i just had in my hands it will have disapeared!

Simon

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Gina, my last post made it sound like i was organised with my hobby paraphenalia. I can assure you that is not the case, and unless i have physically have made the effort of putting something in a labeled draw i can spend an age looking for things, esp as i have 2 workshop areas. It seems worse when i machining though. I can pick up an allen key or spanner to make an adjustment, do said adjustment, then carry on. When I then go to find the tool that i just had in my hands it will have disapeared!

Simon

I get that too - I put it down to "Gremlins".
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I get that too - I put it down to "Gremlins".

Now that's the reason!! :shocked: When I was a young engineer we thought it was Entropy that caused everything to rearrange itself. This, of course, should not be confused with the holes in the Space-Time Continuum that ballpoint pen tops and wire coat-hangers slip through ...... :grin: :grin:

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I use 'Reallyusefullboxes' they are very strong and come in all sizes. For small componants they have a small drawer unit about 3" deep and about 2'x2' with about 20 small drawers, very hand for screws or whatever really. I use a large one for transporting the scope and mount, they are also water tight useful to set up laptop on when in the field. B&Q usually sell them.

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Thanks for all the replies. Good to know I'm not the only one who isn't very organised with his components.. ;-)

There's just so many different small parts....

The reason behind my question is that now that I'm building my obsy and the warm room will double as my electronics workshop, I have the chance to plan for some neat storage solution for my components. What I had in mind was some rack on the wall with loads and loads of little removable drawers. But I couldn't find any reasonably priced solution...

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That's what I used to do Chris. They were interlocking modules in two sizes, one twice the width of the others. Each module consisted of a box with a drawer made of a brittle plastic - polystyrene I think. The handles were very prone to break. I think I still have them, out in the big shed in my rubbish bay. I ought to dig them out really and empty the 50 yr old components out and put them in my warm room. There's plenty of room at the back of the bench - or there would be if I cleared it of all the tools, miscellaneous screws and assorted lenses, Barlows, adapters, eyepieces, finder scopes, lights, switches and goodness knows what else :D Currently my electronics works goes on on the dining room table with a piece of packaging cardboard for protection. I do intend to get things better organised - honestly :D I've got to clear the whole obsy floor soon anyway as I've got interlocking soft floor tiles coming tomorrow.

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Some multi-drawer units on ebay :-

For very small components :- http://www.ebay.co.u...=item337f1d1da6

Bit bigger in two sizes :- http://www.ebay.co.u...=item257a89df86

Getting bigger :- http://www.ebay.co.u...=item1e759845e2

And more expensive :- http://www.ebay.co.u...=item5d3a5fdd60

Another :- http://www.ebay.co.u...=item2c5f8cc099

Thanks for taking the time to find those. I had seen most of them already. I kind of like the Draper ones but one will not be enough, more like 5 or 6 of the bigger ones. And then it gets really expensive again...

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Where do the people who make these things ever get the idea that a dozen storage boxes is enough from? Clearly none of the designers actually do anything that requires the storage of small parts.

I could probably fill a hundred without even thinking about it...

James

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yeah, the free tape measure almost convinced me to buy a couple. But then, what do I want with 2 tape measures... :D

You can put them in the drawers, since you won't be able to afford anything else to fill them :)

James

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