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Organizing Electronics Parts

A place to talk about anything about electronics that does not fit in one of the below categories.
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Organizing Electronics Parts

Postby Savage///Circuits » Thu May 14, 2015 9:23 pm

(Originally posted on the Savage///Circuits Forums September 23rd, 2014, 02:45 PM by Chris Savage)

Organizing Electronics Parts

When I first got into electronics I had no sense of organization. All my parts were in a suitcase type of storage locker along with wires, breadboards and even tools. My first taste of organization was the 150-in-1 Electronics Project Kit. It had this nice little slot on the right side for storing all the parts and wires for the kit.

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This inspired me to want to organize the other electronic parts I had and my first organizer was an old fishing tackle box that was given to me. It even smelled like fish.

As time went on I accumulated more and more parts and quickly outgrew the tackle box, so I started purchasing 60-drawer parts cabinets to hold all the components. Here are the original ones I purchased many years ago. The ones in the first picture are currently being relabeled and resorted for hardware only (screws, washers, nuts and standoffs). The one in the second picture hasn't changed much over the years.

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The cabinets below are somewhat newer and are also being resorted to remove older parts I don't use as much and add new parts that don't currently have a home.

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An example of older parts I don't use as much anymore would be 7400 series TTL logic and 4000 series CMOS logic. I used to use those parts all the time back in the late 80s and early 90s, but now they've been moved from my main parts cabinets to more compact storage as shown below. Also note that clear labeling is important to me. The labels don't just tell me what part is in the drawer/slot, they often tell me what it is and how many pins it has so I can select a socket if need be or in the case of wire-wrapping, the appropriate wrap-ID and WW socket.

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Another option for inexpensive clean storage are these plastic storage trays / drawers. I picked up the ones shown below at Walmart pretty cheap. Most stack making it easy to increase storage without taking up extra space on your desk.

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For larger parts I have the following large cabinet. I believe this is an accounting cabinet and you might be able to find one used at a thrift store, second hand office furniture store or even a yard sale. Anything larger than what fits in here goes into a box or directly on the shelf. As you can see from the second picture below I have quite a few things stored in boxes for various reasons.

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So in conclusion I wanted to say that if you have a lot of electronics parts and you do as many projects as I do, you can't be too organized. It sucks to order parts for a project and then find the ones you were sure you had later in some bag/box that never got put away. I appreciate the ability to find things when I need them and be able to see at a glance how much of something I have in case I need it for a project. In the next post I will talk about organizing parts for a project. Take care.
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Re: Organizing Electronics Parts

Postby jknightandkarr » Mon Jul 06, 2015 11:30 am

Good thoughts Chris. I need to organize my stuff. Esp since my business venture.

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Re: Organizing Electronics Parts

Postby Savage///Circuits » Wed Jul 08, 2015 4:12 am

Yeah, some people call me over-organized, but at least I know what I have...well, I did until recently. My place is a disaster while I reconfigure for a guest from NY who will be staying with us for a while. So the Savage///Circuits Vault has been emptied. :cry:
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Re: Organizing Electronics Parts

Postby Granz » Wed Jul 08, 2015 6:24 am

I don't think that you can be over-organized, at least not in this area. I have also ordered parts that I had misplaced.

Still working on this, but it is slow going.
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Re: Organizing Electronics Parts

Postby jknightandkarr » Thu Jul 09, 2015 8:09 pm

Pretty much. I think over organized would include measuring stuff n further sorting smd devices n such by measurement differences. lol Hope you get your evil genious lab back soon.

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