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'[EE]: organizing your junk...'
2002\10\19@013756 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
Maybe I'm just getting too much and my problem is unsolvable, but...  How do
y'all organize your parts collection (from a hobbyist/researchy lab
perspective, not "production parts")?  Some things I've got enough of for
them to justify their own little boxes, some things are in tubes, there's
the nominally nicely organized jameco set of resistors, there's the bags of
harvested caps (currently divided into "high voltage" and "low voltage"),
there's assorted chips from assorted families that might get grouped either
way, there's big and heavy inductors and transformers, there are LEDs and
light bulbs and reels of SMT parts and ammo packs of caps and new
transistors and harvested transistors, and all too many heatsinks and fans
and boxes and board that have yet to be harvested and who knows what else.
And no matter what I'm looking for at any one time, I can never seem to find
it!  How do you organized YOUR junk?

(I THINK I'm particularly interested in ways you group and/or separate new
parts from harvested parts and such - that seems to be one of the big
complications ...)

BillW

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2002\10\19@043547 by Peter L. Peres

picon face
On Fri, 18 Oct 2002, William Chops Westfield wrote:

*>Maybe I'm just getting too much and my problem is unsolvable, but...  How do
*>y'all organize your parts collection (from a hobbyist/researchy lab
*>perspective, not "production parts")?  Some things I've got enough of for
*>them to justify their own little boxes, some things are in tubes, there's

Imho you must reserve two things for the junk:

1. One full sized storage cabinet
2. One week per year to throw out what you need to avoid the need of space
  from increasing. <no smiley here>

As to how you store the parts, original packaging is best, loose parts can
be put in antistatic bags or ordinary envelopes, and whatever you do, keep
a list. Probably in your computer.

hope this helps,

Peter

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2002\10\19@105247 by DFansler

picon face
My solution to the problem of being a collector - i.e. packrat - was to
write an Access database program that allows me to locate items by
description, location or part number.  I have 2200 different items in my
database, so you can see how it would help.  I have a number of drawer
cabinets, large and small, that are numbered.  I also have a number of boxes
that I also number as "Box 1, Box 2", etc.  My database is available online
at http://www.dv-fansler.com/David/stufffor.htm.  Click on Inventory
Database and you can download the mdb file.  You can delete all my entries
and fill them with your own.  The version on my website is for Access 97,
although I have run the mdb file through the Access 2000 conversion and it
works fine under Access 2000 also.

David V. Fansler
spam_OUTDFanslerTakeThisOuTspamMindSpring.com
http://www.DV-Fansler.com

{Original Message removed}

2002\10\19@120013 by SM Ling

picon face
Small parts that are few in numbers are the tricky ones.  I tried not to
over-organize, my main objective is to be able to locate the parts
relatively fast but not spot-on.

1.  Start off with a broad division (depending from parts to parts and what
I have),
2.  I use the clear-plastic bag snormally reuse the packing bag); with
heat-sealer, divide the bag into smaller sections, to put  other parts that
are related.  Each section is labeled.  The opening is at the top.  Some I
sealed off the top as well if they are not used often as humidity is always
100% here.
3.  Related bags are then put into a clear plastic box.  Drying agents are
included.
4.  Less frequently used related box are then put inside paper box. More
drying agents are included.  The paper-box are then stacked.

This I reduce the space and boxes.  As items are packed closely, the reduced
number of boxes and higher-centralization ease some of my searching "fear".
Locating the bag is normally a relative fast process.  After I locate the
bag, I unroll it to read the label and retrieve the part.  As my part grow,
I might need to handle more than 1 bag to locate the part (at most 2).  As
the other bag is just beside, it is not a problem.  If the sequencing get
too out of hand, I just reorganize the few bags.

Yet to do is an inventory list to be posted on the web, not for me, but for
my friends.  So to reduce the stocking pain.

Cheers, Ling SM

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2002\10\19@163342 by Andrew Mcdowell

picon face
The way that I seperate my new parts from harvested parts is by marking the
parts that were removed from equipment with a small red dot from a paint
marker, and I keep these in the same containers as the new parts. I also use
this system, but with different colors, to indicate parts that may have been
damaged or broken by extreme heat or static electricity.

Andrew McDowell

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2002\10\19@171130 by Wagner Lipnharski

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Andrew Mcdowell wrote:
> The way that I seperate my new parts from harvested parts is by
> marking the parts that were removed from equipment with a small red
> dot from a paint marker, and I keep these in the same containers as
> the new parts. I also use this system, but with different colors, to
> indicate parts that may have been damaged or broken by extreme heat
> or static electricity.
>
> Andrew McDowell


During many years I use to store several thousand parts, pulled, used, new,
tested, untested, etc.
After spending many hours per year just to sort and save, I realize that my
time values much more than the component cost, so, at least for small and
low cost parts (as resistors, etc) I don't care anymore, from protoboard to
trash. If I could not afford to buy a thousand resistors at Digikey by $13,
then probably I should move to another profession.

Of course, I still with zillions of things I don't even know what is in the
boxes, but now I don't spend precious time just to save a 1.3 cent
resistor.  If you put away 200 resistors per year, we are talking about 2.6
DOLLARS!  I guess you waste much more than that just in AC power to the
headset lamp during your "used resistor sort and store".  More than the
resistors, you can start to lose your sanity.

Prepare to have a bunch of 10k resistors... :)

W46NER.

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2002\10\19@175846 by Jinx

face picon face
> During many years I use to store several thousand parts, pulled, used,
> new, tested, untested, etc.After spending many hours per year just to
> sort and save, I realize that my time values much more than the
> component cost, so, at least for small and low cost parts (as resistors,
> etc) I don't care anymore, from protoboard to trash

Me too. I collected and stripped pre-loved equipment for a few years
and have more than enough reserves of caps and resistors. I'll still
take more exotic trash like fax machines for the motors, LCDs,
switches and so on. Hardware is the most economic to go after (eg
a couple of minutes to envulturate a $100 LCD), or hard-to-get pieces
like the IR receivers mentioned the other day, but 1/8W resistors ? Nah

Make friends with a repair shop, it only goes to the tip anyway

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2002\10\19@183907 by Doug Butler

picon face
Baby food jars and a labeling machine.

For bigger stuff I have prefab "Bin boxes", cardboard bins about 6" x 18" x
4" deep that line up on shelves.  Not just parts but partially done projects
can go in the bin boxes.

Doug Butler
Sherpa Engineering


> {Original Message removed}

2002\10\19@193121 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
part 1 1744 bytes content-type:text/plain; (decoded 7bit)

> How do y'all organize your parts collection

Like this (see attached).  There's also a closet full of larger stuff that
is less well organized.

> (I THINK I'm particularly interested in ways you group and/or separate new
> parts from harvested parts and such - that seems to be one of the big
> complications ...)

I don't make a distinction between new and used.  Most parts are new because
in the vast majority of cases an individual new part is far cheaper than the
labor to salvage one from an assembly.

I have drawers for ranges of resistance values (the left most column in the
picture), like 100 - 130 ohm, 130 - 180 ohm, 180 - 240 ohm, plus drawers for
specific common values that I have lots of.  This way everything that comes
in at least has a place, but I can chose to give it its own private drawer
if it makes sense.  The same general idea holds for capacitors (the next
column to the right).  A bunch of physically large capacitors are in a bag
in a closet - oh well.

Otherwise, each different parts gets its own drawer.  The third colum from
left is discrete semiconductors on the bottom (diodes, individual
transistors, etc) and other discrete parts (inductors, crystals, etc) on
top.  The next column is microcontrollers on top, 74xxx type logic in the
middle, and other digital chips bottom.  The second column from right is
analog ICs (opamps, voltage regulators, etc).  The right column is
connectors on top and other mechanical parts on the bottom.  As you can see,
I'm running out of room for more connectors.  Time to get some more
cabinets.

By the way, I like the Akro Mills 5 x 10 drawer "small parts" cabinets.  The
left column is two of these stacked.


part 2 28794 bytes content-type:image/jpeg; (decode)


part 3 328 bytes

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2002\10\19@201046 by Wagner Lipnharski

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face
Olin Lathrop wrote:
>> How do y'all organize your parts collection
>
> Like this (see attached).  There's also a closet full of larger stuff
> that is less well organized.


Man, what happened at your bench?  wife just visited with a trash can and a
strong vacuum cleaner?
:)

I can even see the table top shinning... that's amazing.

Where are those many tools spread around, pens, papers, books, wires,
chips, cables, sample boxes, probe wires, calculator, cell phone, glue,
CD's, diskettes, don't forget about the medicines, empty coke can, some
wife's jewllery to fix, some batteries to recharge, some bad batteries,
etc?  or do you have a huge drawer under the bench?

I can fix your bench in 15 minutes... :)

Good selection for the Weller WES50!

W46NER.

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2002\10\19@202330 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
> During many years I use to store several thousand parts, pulled, used,
> new, tested, untested, etc.After spending many hours per year just to
> sort and save, I realize that my time values much more than the
> component cost, so, at least for small and low cost parts (as resistors,
> etc) I don't care anymore, from protoboard to trash

In some sense, this is part of my problem.  Having reached a level
of... financial independence, I've been buying parts in more significant
lots than I used to.  No more 5-at-a-time resistors from radios shack, or
harvested from old stuff.  Now I get the 100-packs from Fry's, or reels of
SMTs from eBay.  Trouble is, those are BIGGER than the collections I used to
have, so the little 2x3 manilla envelopes I used to use just don't cut it
anymore.  The rather larger drawers in "component kits" don't do too well,
either, although perhaps I can cut strips of "working stock" off of the
reels and store the reels elsewhere...

Meanwhile, the stuff I harvest and DO save is also bigger.  Inductors and
transformers and power supplies and LCD displays and fans and large filter
caps and power transistors and such.  I suppose I ought to just give up on
the harvesting aspect, but I'll STILL have the organizational issues with
the collections of "bought" stuff...

BillW

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2002\10\20@052948 by Jinx

face picon face
> For comparison see my bench *after* a big cleanup. (Parts
> store is in a tower behind my back, various cabinets, the attic, and
> the garage.)

Now THAT's a work-bench ;-)

Gimme a space and I'll fill it !!

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2002\10\20@061358 by Katinka Mills

flavicon
face
Maybe I should take one of my work bench ATM (and yes it has 4 jobs on the
run  (10x Fm Stereo Tx units, Modifying 40 Tait Trunk Radio's, A design for
a customer that is in prototyping stage and an ongoing project of writing an
assembler to run on the Mac for the AVR's). All this takes just under 16' of
bench space ;o)

Kat. (who really needs a cleaning Man (/me looks at the list of eligible
bachelors on the Pic list ;o)


> {Original Message removed}

2002\10\20@074858 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Gimme a space and I'll fill it !!

Yeah, and I am not alone (note the plastic elephant), and its my wife's
PC workplace too (and that notebook below the paperwork is hers).

W

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2002\10\20@121943 by Ray Gallant

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From: "Doug Butler"

> Baby food jars and a labeling machine.
>
> For bigger stuff I have prefab "Bin boxes", cardboard bins about 6" x 18"
x
> 4" deep that line up on shelves.  Not just parts but partially done
projects
> can go in the bin boxes.
>
My design resistors are mostly all metal film (MRS) and in value order in
bin cabinets. I have antistatic open-end boxes filled with numerous plastic
jars. My family and I have been collecting (clear) plastic peanut butter
jars forever. These are in two sizes and all labeled on the cover and jar
body. For larger assemblies, I utilize antistatic bags and 2 litre ice cream
tubs all labeled. Sections include power resistors, connectors, LCD's, large
thyristors, large caps, small motors, solenoids, keypads, speakers, audio
alarms, mics, sensors and so on. All my IC's are in anti-static carrier in
manufacturer alphanumeric order thereafter in bins. My zeners are in voltage
order, stuck in antistatic type form. Fans, large motors, transformers are
kept on a lower shelf. Old PCBs are on slotted wooden boards in antistatic
boxes. The aim was to keep the dust on the components to a minimum. RH & TH
are not a problem here. Good luck!

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2002\10\20@165731 by Wagner Lipnharski

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Jinx wrote:
>> For comparison see my bench *after* a big cleanup. (Parts
>> store is in a tower behind my back, various cabinets, the attic, and
>> the garage.)
>
> Now THAT's a work-bench ;-)
>
> Gimme a space and I'll fill it !!

and he has a window!!! that's not fair.

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2002\10\20@174645 by Jinx

face picon face
> > Gimme a space and I'll fill it !!
>
> and he has a window!!! that's not fair.

I have one too. I can look out and see people having fun. Bastards ;-)

My space problem isn't so much with electronic components, at
least they tend to be small and are boxable. Stockpiles of wood
and metal for other work are a bit harder to manage, especially
in a humid climate like Auckland's

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2002\10\20@180938 by Wagner Lipnharski

flavicon
face
Jinx wrote:
>>> Gimme a space and I'll fill it !!
>>
>> and he has a window!!! that's not fair.
>
> I have one too. I can look out and see people having fun. Bastards ;-)
>
> My space problem isn't so much with electronic components, at
> least they tend to be small and are boxable. Stockpiles of wood
> and metal for other work are a bit harder to manage, especially
> in a humid climate like Auckland's


Ok, I did it.
You can check all the 3 pictures sent at;
http://www.angelfire.com/apes/desk/

If you want your picture to be posted, please follow instructions at the
page.
Don't be ashamed of the space you live and work almost 40% of your life, be
proud of it, even being a warm mess of wires. You are welcome even if you
have enough time to clean, degrease and store the wires carefully into silk
bags.

wagner.

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2002\10\20@185619 by rusque (Listas)

face
flavicon
face
Hello Doug (also Olin, Wouter, Wagner et all),

> My family and I have been collecting (clear) plastic peanut butter
> jars forever. These are in two sizes and all labeled on the cover and jar

   this remembers that I have a lot of CDs on it's original clear/black
plastic boxes that's always breaking. I've bough some CDs folders, but I
don't like it. What I really like is that thin CD plastic/texture envelopes
that's used for packing the CDs that comes with magazine, but I never found
a shop where I could buy it.

   Someone knows where can I find those envelopes?

   Thank you very much,

   Brusque

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2002\10\20@200128 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
>     this remembers that I have a lot of CDs on it's original clear/black
> plastic boxes that's always breaking. I've bough some CDs folders, but I
> don't like it. What I really like is that thin CD plastic/texture
envelopes
> that's used for packing the CDs that comes with magazine, but I never
found
> a shop where I could buy it.

I'm not totally sure what you are talking about.  I use a lot of the CD
holders meant for 3 ring notebooks.  You can fit a lot of CDs for the volume
and still have them indexed.  Century Plastics has the best selection of
things that hold CDs that I know of.


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(978) 742-9014, http://www.embedinc.com

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2002\10\20@204353 by Russell McMahon

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>     Someone knows where can I find those envelopes?

Consider Tyvec (or paper) sleeves off old 5.25" floppy disks.
What !!! ????????? - you threw out all your old 5.25" floppies ??????
Shame!

               RM

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2002\10\20@210248 by Bob Barr

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On Mon, 21 Oct 2002 14:38:02 +1300, Russell McMahon wrote:

>>     Someone knows where can I find those envelopes?
>
>Consider Tyvec (or paper) sleeves off old 5.25" floppy disks.
>What !!! ????????? - you threw out all your old 5.25" floppies ??????
>Shame!
>

Yeah, the sleeves from the 8" floppies are just too big for CDs. :=)


Regards, Bob

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2002\10\20@232846 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
> this remembers that I have a lot of CDs on it's original clear/black
> plastic boxes that's always breaking. I've bough some CDs folders,
> but I don't like it. What I really like is that thin CD
> plastic/texture envelopes that's used for packing the CDs that comes
> with magazine, but I never found a shop where I could buy it.

They do seem extraordinarilly rare, especially since they're so common
from the "industry" side, and have GOT to be very cheap indeed...

http://www.cyberguys.com/ seems to have a wide selection of such things, at
rather reasonable prices.  Paper, Tyvek, vinyl, Polyethylene, dual, quad,
binder pages, self-adhesive, and on and on.  Haven't actually ordered from
them, but it looks like a good place...

I tend to prefer the CD binders for long-term storage - individual CDs
are too prone to loss and/or damage no matter how they're stored.

BillW

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2002\10\21@005226 by PicDude

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Edson Brusque scribbled:
>
>     Someone knows where can I find those envelopes?
>


Yep -- Google.  Just searched for "tyvek cd sleeves"
and came up with lots of sources.  Here's one...
http://www.sleevetown.com/tyvek-cd-sleeves.shtml


I've been looking for something similar, but I think
the really slim plastic cases would work better for me.

Cheers,
-Neil.

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2002\10\21@022313 by XygaX

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Yeah but man with clean desk must spend all of his time cleaning it !!!!
Steve...

-----Original Message-----
From: pic microcontroller discussion list
[.....PICLISTKILLspamspam@spam@MITVMA.MIT.EDU] On Behalf Of Wagner Lipnharski
Sent: 20 October 2002 23:08
To: PICLISTspamKILLspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU
Subject: Re: [EE]: organizing your junk...

Jinx wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Ok, I did it.
You can check all the 3 pictures sent at;
http://www.angelfire.com/apes/desk/

If you want your picture to be posted, please follow instructions at the
page.
Don't be ashamed of the space you live and work almost 40% of your life,
be
proud of it, even being a warm mess of wires. You are welcome even if
you
have enough time to clean, degrease and store the wires carefully into
silk
bags.

wagner.

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2002\10\21@044333 by rgenbrise Ent. Co., Ltd.

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face
Hi!

I'm not sure where you located, but such a material is very very cheap and
popular in Far East, like I'm in Taiwan. Every 100pcs by the price of
NT$30.-~50.- (US$0.86 ~1.43) I don't remember exactly. Made by some kind of
soft plastic in different colors & non woven cloth. with 2 or 4 holes at
side which you may bind them into a folder when necessary.

Good Luck!

Paul Tsai / Taipei



{Original Message removed}

2002\10\21@070633 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
One item I like for storing small items is the plastic 35mm film containers.
Preferably the clear(ish) ones that Fuji supply. Ideal for things like nuts
and bolts, but OK for SMT passives. Do not know how well they go for static
electricity, but would be OK if the components are in a antistatic bag
inside the container.

I like the idea of mounting the lids on a length of wood with a screw
through the centre, and then clipping the "body" containing the components
onto it. Each stick contains a specific family of parts (a decade of SMT
resistors for example). Keeps similar items together, and in a large enough
chunk to be easily handled without lots of tiny items floating around.

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2002\10\21@140323 by Peter L. Peres

picon face
On Mon, 21 Oct 2002, Alan B. Pearce wrote:

*>One item I like for storing small items is the plastic 35mm film containers.
*>Preferably the clear(ish) ones that Fuji supply. Ideal for things like nuts
*>and bolts, but OK for SMT passives. Do not know how well they go for static
*>electricity, but would be OK if the components are in a antistatic bag
*>inside the container.

The static situation is bad. HDPE is about a good a dielectric as they
get. Spray the inside of the cans with fabric softener spray and let it
dry. This should fix static. I've used stacked HDPE film cans to make
electrometers and other static related devices ... it insulates much
better than glass f.ex. The fabric softener usually works because it
contains organic substances that form a conductive film on just about any
plastic with air moisture. You can check before and after by rubbing the
can with a polyethylene bag or real bristle brush and trying to attract
some dust with it.

Peter

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2002\10\21@141606 by rusque (Listas)

face
flavicon
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Hello William, PicDude, Morgenbrise et all,

From: "William Chops Westfield" <.....billwKILLspamspam.....CISCO.COM>
> http://www.cyberguys.com/ seems to have a wide selection of such things,
at
> rather reasonable prices.  Paper, Tyvek, vinyl, Polyethylene, dual, quad,
> binder pages, self-adhesive, and on and on.  Haven't actually ordered from
> them, but it looks like a good place...

   very interesting shop, the TWIST COLOR LIGHT FAN seems very cool. :)

   Anyway, Lipnharski sugested a clever way for me to shop this is USA.

   Thank you all,

   Brusque

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Research and Development               Blumenau  -  SC  -  Brazil
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'[PIC] Table organizing'
2006\02\07@074412 by Renzo
flavicon
face
I made a program that is essentially a clock and I use a Pic16F84a.
At fixed intervals of time the program call one of tree
possible  messages from a table made with the  "DT" directive.
Al goes well with the fist two messages but when  third message is
called the program is resetted and  count begins again from zero.
If I in the third message I use two character less all run well.
All messages have a maximum of  5 characters and total program memory
used is 253 words.

What could be wrong?

Thanks
Renzo


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2006\02\07@081420 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> I made a program that is essentially a clock and I use a Pic16F84a.

aaaaaaaargh

> At fixed intervals of time the program call one of tree
> possible  messages from a table made with the  "DT" directive.
> Al goes well with the fist two messages but when  third message is
> called the program is resetted and  count begins again from zero.
> If I in the third message I use two character less all run well.
> All messages have a maximum of  5 characters and total program memory
> used is 253 words.
>
> What could be wrong?

Are you aware of the role of PCLATH when you write (probably add) to
PCL?

An easy way out for now: forget this chip and go for an 18F. But you
might still want to know what is going on? If so read the datasheet
carefully, the section about PCLATH/PCL.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
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docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\02\07@212017 by Bill & Pookie

picon face
Maybe you are doing what I just did.  Having the assembler in HEX  and
thinking 11 is eleven.


   movlw    '11'  loads decimal 17

Bill

{Original Message removed}

2006\02\07@212857 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Tue, Feb 07, 2006 at 06:20:12PM -0800, Bill & Pookie wrote:
> Maybe you are doing what I just did.  Having the assembler in HEX  and
> thinking 11 is eleven.
>
>
>     movlw    '11'  loads decimal 17

That's why I always always set the radix to decimal and use 0xNN notation
for hex numbers.

BAJ

2006\02\08@195904 by andrew kelley

picon face
or you can go
movlw d'11' ;decimal 11

> Maybe you are doing what I just did.  Having the assembler in HEX  and
> > thinking 11 is eleven.
>
> That's why I always always set the radix to decimal and use 0xNN notation
> for hex numbers.


--
andrew

2006\02\08@202937 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Wed, Feb 08, 2006 at 07:59:03PM -0500, andrew kelley wrote:
> or you can go
> movlw d'11' ;decimal 11

Of course you can. The problem is that most humans think in decimal.
You're fighting nature when the default radix is anything other than
decimal.

Setting the default to hex was one really bad move.

BAJ
{Quote hidden}

> --


'[EE] Storing/organizing tubes of components'
2008\02\16@002345 by Forrest Christian
flavicon
face
I've been trying to come up with something easy to obtain (or make) to
use in order to create a usable storage space for various tubes of
components.   I've got lots of ideas, but none which really seems like
the "right" solution...  The best do-it-yourself solution I've come up
with is to tape a bunch of shipping tubes (or PVC Pipe) together.   On
the other hand, if I wanted to shell out $60, I could get one of these:
http://www.esdsystems.com/ViewProduct.aspx?pid=37794&h=273

The ideal solution would permit me to organize the components, still in
tubes, in such a way that I can find and use the components without much
hassle.  right now I dig through a pile of tubes, and that isn't working
very well.

I should mention that these are production parts, so I will typically
have several tubes of each component type in stock at any given time.  

I'm hopeful that someone has a novel solution that I haven't thought
of.  I'm reminded of the hanging folder solution for certain types of
components and figure there's something else I'm missing.

-forrest

2008\02\16@031059 by Cedric Chang

flavicon
face
I store pipe and rod by using the wire grid that is made
for reinforcing cement.  Approximately at 6 inch by 6 inch
grid.  I either hang multiple pieces of grid from the ceiling and
push the pipe through one grid cell and then the matching cell of
the grid hanging maybe 1 meter behind it.  ( mixing systems
of measurement , i learned it from Russell )  Thus the pipe is
hanging parallel to the floor.

I also rotate this scheme 90 degrees so that I have a top and
bottom grid.  Then I drop the pipe into the the top grid and thence
into the lower grid.  This way the pipe is parallel to the wall.

Cedric




On Feb 15, 2008, at 10:23 PM, Forrest Christian wrote:

I've been trying to come up with something easy to obtain (or make) to
use in order to create a usable storage space for various tubes of
components.   I've got lots of ideas, but none which really seems like
the "right" solution...  The best do-it-yourself solution I've come up
with is to tape a bunch of shipping tubes (or PVC Pipe) together.   On
the other hand, if I wanted to shell out $60, I could get one of these:
http://www.esdsystems.com/ViewProduct.aspx?pid=37794&h=273

The ideal solution would permit me to organize the components, still in
tubes, in such a way that I can find and use the components without much
hassle.  right now I dig through a pile of tubes, and that isn't working
very well.

I should mention that these are production parts, so I will typically
have several tubes of each component type in stock at any given time.

I'm hopeful that someone has a novel solution that I haven't thought
of.  I'm reminded of the hanging folder solution for certain types of
components and figure there's something else I'm missing.

-forrest

2008\02\16@091534 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
At 12:23 AM 2/16/2008, you wrote:
>I've been trying to come up with something easy to obtain (or make) to
>use in order to create a usable storage space for various tubes of
>components.   I've got lots of ideas, but none which really seems like
>the "right" solution...  The best do-it-yourself solution I've come up
>with is to tape a bunch of shipping tubes (or PVC Pipe) together.   On
>the other hand, if I wanted to shell out $60, I could get one of these:
>http://www.esdsystems.com/ViewProduct.aspx?pid=37794&h=273

Ordinarily, I'd lunge for the commercial solution, but $60 plus shipping
seems like a lot of money for a glorified cardboard box that you have to
assemble.

We've used "literature racks" (that's "literature" as in sales brochures,
not Emily Bronte), and added horizontal dividers.

Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
EraseMEspeffspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTinterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com



2008\02\16@100832 by Apptech

face
flavicon
face
>>I've been trying to come up with something easy to obtain
>>(or make) to
>>use in order to create a usable storage space for various
>>tubes of
>>components.

Wine racks of various sorts (often available by dumpster
diving :-) ) do an OK job.
Some of my IC tubes live in wine racks. Copying my dungeons
may not be a good idea :-).

Some wine racks are space frames with rods twixt front and
rear - these may be unscrewed to allow greater depth.

Thin board (particle board, other ...) of suitable
dimensions with a rail of suitable height (probably wooden)
attached on either side provides a unit which can be stacked
as required. These can be fastened together (glue, nails,
...), or you can free stack and live dangerously.

----------------
X                X
----------------
X                X
----------------
X                X
----------------
X                X

Ex postal service (etc) sorting cubby holes make excellent
storage for all sorts of things. Ones with no rear wall,
when stood away from wall, allow longer component tubes to
be pushed through to protrude at rear. Enough room to be
able to ooze yourself along behind makes recovering from the
occasional disaster easier.

Precut particle board (etc) planks of a fixed size (eg 3
feet or 6 feet x 10 inches or whatever) allow rapid
construction of rough shelves with no cutting - 2 planks as
uprights and N as shelves. Do use some cross bracing. If
using as shelves with engineering class loads keep inter
support lengths modest to avoid the dread bowing.

Plan drawers are superb for component storage generally -
whether tubed or other.

For general components the cheapest open plastic boxes that
suit the drawers, whiffed with nickel shielding spray
(expensive but little needed) or perhaps galvanising paint
spray, allows lots of pretend-ESD-safe boxes.


       Russell



'[EE] Looking for Component organizing software'
2008\08\10@145157 by Chris Loper
flavicon
face
Philip Pemberton wrote
> ... haven't managed to find a way around the PHP timeout issue
> (PHP times out and kills the script off after 30 seconds ...

Did you try setting max_execution_time in php.ini ?
Or calling set_time_limit(seconds) ?
What is your server - Apache, IIS, ... ?

2008\08\10@191244 by Philip Pemberton

face
flavicon
face
Chris Loper wrote:
> Philip Pemberton wrote
>> ... haven't managed to find a way around the PHP timeout issue
>> (PHP times out and kills the script off after 30 seconds ...
>
> Did you try setting max_execution_time in php.ini ?
> Or calling set_time_limit(seconds) ?
> What is your server - Apache, IIS, ... ?

I tried the first one, but the problem was that it couldn't reliably handle
stalled connections, i.e. where the connection succeeded, but the remote
server has stopped sending data.

I've just looked up set_time_limit() which appears to have the ability to
reset the time limit. I'll see about adding some form of status bar and a few
set_time_limit calls tomorrow.

Argh, and it looks like DigiKey have "updated" their website again, so my
data-scraper has stopped working. Fun...

*creates a pair of bug entries in Mantis*

Thanks,
--
Phil.
piclistspamspam_OUTphilpem.me.uk
http://www.philpem.me.uk/


'[EE] organizing your stash'
2010\12\23@073259 by Olin Lathrop
face picon face
Oli Glaser wrote:
> That is a problem with electronics though - so many tiny little parts
> to keep track of...

The answer is lots of small parts cabinets.  I like Akro Mils 10164, which
have 64 little drawers each.  I just checked and that model seems to have
been replaced by 10764, although it's not obvious what changed from the
description.

I'm looking at our wall of parts, and we have five 10164 in use with another
20 or so of other types.  We have another eight 10164 in boxes ready for
expansion.  These things are not expensive, even for hobbyists.  1 3/4 x 1/2
inch labels fit nicely on the individual drawers.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000

2010\12\23@091749 by Oli Glaser

flavicon
face
On 23/12/2010 12:33, Olin Lathrop wrote:
> Oli Glaser wrote:
>> That is a problem with electronics though - so many tiny little parts
>> to keep track of...
> The answer is lots of small parts cabinets.  I like Akro Mils 10164, which
> have 64 little drawers each.  I just checked and that model seems to have
> been replaced by 10764, although it's not obvious what changed from the
> description.
>
> I'm looking at our wall of parts, and we have five 10164 in use with another
> 20 or so of other types.  We have another eight 10164 in boxes ready for
> expansion.  These things are not expensive, even for hobbyists.  1 3/4 x 1/2
> inch labels fit nicely on the individual drawers.
>

They look pretty good - we already have a few similar cabinets from RS which are reasonable quality ( just not enough.. :-)  )
Main problem really is lack of space in current workroom, though we are looking at moving to a different site very nearby quite soon - already set up with huge workbench and can accommodate three people a lot more easily. So the space problem will be solved pretty soon, just need a load more cabinets - I checked for the ones you mention above and they are quite a bit cheaper(than our current ones) but unfortunately I can't find any in the UK, will have to have a shop around and see what I can find.

2010\12\23@093754 by Mike Harrison

flavicon
face
On Thu, 23 Dec 2010 14:17:15 +0000, you wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Jellybean stuff like SM resistors and caps are generally in long enough tapes that a binder solution
works well. Farnell sell spare binder pages for their resistor kits which are ideal. http://uk.farnell.com/multicomp/mcinsert-chipkit/file-insert-component-storage-pk5/dp/5412067?Ntt=5412067

However these are only good for 8mm wide tape, and only lengths long enough not to get lost down the
long cavities. Iin the past I've also used film negative and baseball card binders.

For through-hole parts  with relatively few values, e.g. capacitors, electrolytics, common
transistors, trimmers etc., Raaco and similar assorter boxes work well, but compartment boxes don't
work well with SMD tapes

That leaves all the ICs and other more random parts which are a collection of SM and DIP, in tapes,
tubes, sample boxes, bags and loose, in typical qtys from 1 to 20 per type.

Over the years, I've distilled  the storage criteria down as follows :
1) You want to store them by type/function per box (e.g. RS232 drivers, voltage regulators, 74HC
CMOS, opamps etc.), not by individual part numbers as there are too many different types.
2) The container must be reasonably long in at least one dimension to accommodate tapes and cut-down
tubes
3) The container must be reasonably shallow so you can stack lots of them in a reasonable space, and
can easily see parts at the bottom
4) Need to be able to quickly find parts within a container
5) Need to be able to just chuck parts into the right box when clearing up after a project but be
able to  find them easily later
6) Cheap - I need at least 40-50 of them to cover the range of parts I want to store.
7) Need to be continuously available, so you can expand as required. or cheap enough to buy plenty
of spare.

2 precludes almost every type of cheap very small plastic box - e.g. jewelery display/sample  boxes
etc.
4 and 5 preclude boxes full of poly bags - too fiddly & just ends up as a mess.
6 Precludes most of the stuff specifically targetted at the electronics industry

So just a basic undivided wide, shallow plastic box   with a lid of some sort, into which I can put
a  sheet of conductive foam to hold DIPs. Once you've lined the bottom with conductive foam, the box
itself doesn't need to be anything exotic like antistatic. Clear is nice, but not essential.
Not hard to find you'd think... actually surprisingly so!

I recently stumbled upon these, which are pretty much perfect :
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/5-x-PEEL-OFF-STICKER-BOXES-PLASTIC-STORAGE-CONTAINERS-/390229081229?pt=UK_Crafts_StickersScraps_Decoupage_SM

2010\12\23@093841 by Mark E. Skeels

flavicon
face
****
The answer is lots of small parts cabinets.
****

Over the years I have ended up with a lot of small qty parts from development and sampling. I really don't want to throw them away, but they don't fit into our normal inventory.

I am assuming, Olin, that you do not inventory any production qtys, but are always dealing with parts for prototypes, as I mostly am.

Does your system take care of these kinds of things, or is it aimed more at general inventory?

Can you store typical small qty. antistatic bags of parts, such as would arrive if you order say 10 pcs of a typical semi from DigiKey?

Do you have a drawer for each value/size smt passive, like caps and resistors, say 0604? In my experience, that is a lot of drawers....

About how many different items would be in this section of your inventory?

Do you have any particular system for accumulating/storing parts for individual projects, or do you just expand your existing area when you add new parts to a design?

Mark Skeels
Engineer
Competition Electronics, Inc.
TEL: 815-874-8001
FAX: 815-874-8181
http://www.competitionelectronics.com

2010\12\23@100657 by Oli Glaser

flavicon
face
On 23/12/2010 14:37, Mike Harrison wrote:
> On Thu, 23 Dec 2010 14:17:15 +0000, you wrote:
> Jellybean stuff like SM resistors and caps are generally in long enough tapes that a binder solution
> works well. Farnell sell spare binder pages for their resistor kits which are ideal.
> http://uk.farnell.com/multicomp/mcinsert-chipkit/file-insert-component-storage-pk5/dp/5412067?Ntt=5412067

Think I'll grab some of those - my SMD caps/resistors are the worst organised, mostly just stored in a box and I have to rummage through hundreds of packets to find the right value..

{Quote hidden}

Some very good points/info there, thanks - often the divisions/dimensions with boxes are not required, so having an undivided clear box would come in handy. In fact a large shallow drawer(s) lined with conductive foam would be great for ICs, something like you may use to store artwork (e.g. an architects desk or suchlike) Will do a bit of goggling...


2010\12\23@102236 by Philip Pemberton

face
flavicon
face
On 23/12/10 14:37, Mike Harrison wrote:
> However these are only good for 8mm wide tape, and only lengths long enough not to get lost down the
> long cavities. Iin the past I've also used film negative and baseball card binders.

At the moment, I cut these into either mini-spools of 50 or 100 parts, or strips of 5, 10 or 20, then bag them in small zip-seal bags (Maplin P/N JK77).

These small bags then go inside Raaco A45, A46 or A32 assorter boxes.

I also have several Tesco plastic shoe boxes and Poundstretcher (erm, inStore) 40-litre "under-bed" boxes. You can get two or three of the Tesco shoe-boxes inside a single Poundstretcher 40l box, which makes for nice subdivisions for parts which are too large to put in zip-seal bags, but too small to have in a box on their own.

The icing on the cake is my stock-management database, ISIS. This helps me keep track of the parts I have in stock at a given point in time, and what they are. Datasheet storage and price-paid information are on the "to-do" list.

Axial through-hole parts on paper tapes are stored in Maplin SF05 Component Storage Boxes. These boxes have movable dividers, and when split into a 3x6 array can store 18 different values/types of part. The compartments in this configuration are perfectly sized for T/H resistors and similar.

> Over the years, I've distilled  the storage criteria down as follows :
> 1) You want to store them by type/function per box (e.g. RS232 drivers, voltage regulators, 74HC
> CMOS, opamps etc.), not by individual part numbers as there are too many different types.

Agreed. I categorise stuff by function:
  SEMDIO     = Semiconductors, Diodes.
  SEMDIOZNR  = Semiconductors, Diodes, Zener.
  ICLIN      = Integrated circuits, linear
  ICAMP      = Integrated circuits, opamps and other amplifiers
  ICPLD      = Integrated circuits, Programmable Logic
  ICMCU      = ICs, Microcontrollers and Support ICs
  RTH        = Thru-hole resistors
  RSM        = Surface mount resistors

Each box is labelled on all four sides and the top -- I can look down the stack and figure out at a glance which categories of box I should look inside, based on the type of part I want. If I want a specific part, I search ISIS.

> 6) Cheap - I need at least 40-50 of them to cover the range of parts I want to store.

This is the problem I've had -- component boxes are NOT CHEAP. The Raaco ones are about £8 a piece, the SF05s are £5-£6.

The under-bed boxes and shoe-boxes are VERY cheap though. The Tesco plastic shoe-boxes were about £3 each and 3-for-2 last time I checked, and the local Instore was trying to shift the 40l boxes at £4.99 each or two for £8.

> 4 and 5 preclude boxes full of poly bags - too fiddly&  just ends up as a mess.

Depends on the type of part IME.

> I recently stumbled upon these, which are pretty much perfect :
> http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/5-x-PEEL-OFF-STICKER-BOXES-PLASTIC-STORAGE-CONTAINERS-/390229081229?pt=UK_Crafts_StickersScraps_Decoupage_SM

B..eh...ebbeh....

I bought half a dozen of those (or something VERY similar) from the Farnell trade counter as EOL items a bit ago. They're great for storing assembled and unassembled PCBs, or you can line the bottom with ESD foam and use them to store through-hole ICs.

I've yet to find a good way of storing small quantities of SMD ICs though. Farnell seem to like taking ICs out of manufacturer's tape and reel packaging and stuffing them into hard plastic trays. Which is great... until someone in the warehouse forgets to shake the tray before putting the top on. End result is that you end up with a batch of chips with bent pins.

Reason #1 why I've been buying PICs and Altera FPGAs from DigiKey... I can either spend two weeks trying to get broken parts replaced, or I can wait a couple of days for the parts, get them cheaper, and get them shipped in manufacturer's packaging or something so close to it that the difference is an entirely academic point...

-- Phil.
@spam@piclistKILLspamspamphilpem.me.uk
http://www.philpem.me.uk/

2010\12\23@104147 by Kerry Wentworth

flavicon
face
I have a wall of drawers, but I often go to customers' plants.  I have a couple of these:

http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Innovage-Hardware-Caddy/553416/product..html

They hold quite an assortment of parts, and fit nicely in the trunk of my Miata!

Kerry


Mike Harrison wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2010\12\23@105213 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
Mike Harrison wrote:
> 2) The container must be reasonably long in at
> least one dimension to accommodate tapes and cut-down
> tubes

There is a diference between storing lab stock and production stock.
Production stock gets accessed less often and can therefore be a little
harder to extract.

The solution is to store smaller quantities of every part you have in the
quickly accessible small parts cabinets used for lab stock.  Even if you
have a large reel of 3000 of something, put some amount that fits
comfortably in the small lab stock drawer.  That's all you want when messing
with a individual circuit board as a lab activity anyway.  We then put a
note (cut up business card works well) in such drawers that say "Extras in
cabinet", or wherever the bulk production stock of that item is stored.

That also helps when the lab stock gets low.  You know not to reorder the
item, just get another small batch from the production stock.  If the
production stock gets depleted, you remove the note that says extras are
available elsewhere.  Now you know you do need to reorder if you want more.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000

2010\12\23@120738 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
> I am assuming, Olin, that you do not inventory any production qtys,
> but are always dealing with parts for prototypes, as I mostly am.

We do have production quantities of some parts, but mostly our stock is for
lab use.

> Can you store typical small qty. antistatic bags of parts, such as
> would arrive if you order say 10 pcs of a typical semi from DigiKey?

I would generally remove them from the bag first, but yes, that's exactly
the point.  Each type of part in its own drawer with a label, in the cabinet
for that category, sorted by the first parameter on the label.

> Do you have a drawer for each value/size smt passive, like caps and
> resistors, say 0604? In my experience, that is a lot of drawers....

Sortof, yes it is.  It is and always will be a ongoing process.  When you
first get a new part and have two package variants, you might put them in
the same drawer.  If you later get more variants or they are hard to
distinguish, you might split the single drawer into multiple.  For example,
1/4 Watt thru hole and 0805 resistors are easily distinguished, so mostly
the two are in the same drawer for that value resistor.  Sometimes if the
quantities are large or there are also 0603 or other packages, then there
are multiple drawers.  For example, it can be surprisingly hard to tell 0805
from 0603 when you're not seeing the two next to each other.  Capacitors
probably get split up more, since there are more variants for a particular
capacitance.  I just checked, and we have 7 drawers of 10uF capacitors of
different voltage ratings, packages, and technologies.

> About how many different items would be in this section of your
> inventory?

I took a picture of the lab stock and put it at
http://www.embedinc.com/elec/parts.jpg.  You can count for yourself if you
really want to.  The left 2 columns (6 cabinets of 50 drawers each) are all
resistors, the next column (3 of the 10164 cabinets) are all capacitors.
The third column from the right (2x 10164) are all PICs.

There is always something lying around in front that hasn't been given a
place to go.  Even if you make more labels and put the parts away, more have
a way of appearing very quickly.  As I said, it's a never ending process.

You can also see some of the bulk stock in this picture.  There are some
large reals visible on a shelf underneat the table.  Those happen to contain
electrolytic capacitors.  There is a drawer for each type above, with a few
in the drawer and a note that says "Extras below".  There are also other
shelves and cabinets with additional stock not shown in the picture.  The
shelf above the reals holds more bulk stock in various packing, including
bags, boxes, and tubes.

> Do you have any particular system for accumulating/storing parts for
> individual projects, or do you just expand your existing area when you
> add new parts to a design?

The parts themselves become generic and eventually end up filed in this
system.  Most projects do have specific harware associated with them.  There
is a whole set of shelves with boxes on them each containing stuff specific
to a particular customer.  Each box is labeled with the customer designator..

Being religious about labeling is very important.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000

2010\12\23@122403 by Gary Crowell

picon face
So the next question is, does anyone try to keep a database of their parts
stock (e.g., 'Parts & Vendors'), or does the 'visual database' of the
container labels suffice?
-- ----------------------------------------------
Gary A. Crowell Sr., P.E., CID+
Linkedin <http://www.linkedin.com/in/garyacrowellsr>
Elance<www.linkedin.com/redirect?url=http%3A%2F%2Fgaryacrowellsr%2Eelance%2Ecom&urlhash=kJm9>
 KE7FIZ <http://www.arrl.org

2010\12\23@123553 by Mark E. Skeels

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Yea, I am looking at the pic; that's as I imagined it would be.

That's more than I have to store.......what I have is mostly parts associated with present projects, and then a bunch of stuff that got accumulated during past design cycles and I want to get it organized and inventoried so that I can use it in future projects, test fixtures, etc.

I don't have as much space as you do, and no shelving like you have your drawer cabinets set on top of.

I think I can get all my stuff into a two-door metal floor cabinet and on a table nearby.....so I am thinking a combo of rack bins and drawer storage boxes.

I'm going to the local Harbor Freight this afternoon to get some stuff.......probably will include one of these.......

http://www.harborfreight.com/hand-tools/bins-containers/parts-rack-with-removable-bins-95496.html

Which will fit into my metal floor cabinet, and then probably some drawer cabs like yours,

or maybe more like these......

http://www.harborfreight.com/hand-tools/bins-containers/24-container-storage-box-90243.html

....or this....

http://www.harborfreight.com/hand-tools/bins-containers/19-bin-portable-parts-storage-case-93928.html


Mark Skeels
Engineer
Competition Electronics, Inc.
TEL: 815-874-8001
FAX: 815-874-8181
http://www.competitionelectronics.com

On 12/23/2010 11:08 AM, Olin Lathrop wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> (978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000

2010\12\23@133559 by Olin Lathrop

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Gary Crowell wrote:
> So the next question is, does anyone try to keep a database of their
> parts
> stock (e.g., 'Parts & Vendors'), or does the 'visual database' of the
> container labels suffice?

I'd like to have a part number system, perhaps with inventory information,
but currently our system is just visual.  Tom S computerized his inventory,
and even has it on line if I remember right.  Perhaps he'll chime in with
more detail.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000

2010\12\23@160531 by Spehro Pefhany

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At 07:33 AM 23/12/2010, you wrote:
>Oli Glaser wrote:
> > That is a problem with electronics though - so many tiny little parts
> > to keep track of...
>
>The answer is lots of small parts cabinets.  I like Akro Mils 10164, which
>have 64 little drawers each.  I just checked and that model seems to have
>been replaced by 10764, although it's not obvious what changed from the
>description.
>
>I'm looking at our wall of parts, and we have five 10164 in use with another
>20 or so of other types.  We have another eight 10164 in boxes ready for
>expansion.  These things are not expensive, even for hobbyists.  1 3/4 x 1/2
>inch labels fit nicely on the individual drawers.

Reels of parts are really (no pun intended) nice to deal with.. a
small cardboard box on the shelf holds whole bunch (I recycle 3M
cartons from bubble mailers). With 5% 0603 resistors running $7.50 for a
reel even at Digikey, it's hardly worth buying cut tape on many passives
and jellybean semis-- the handling costs dwarf the value of the parts,
even if you end up not using 4900 of the 5K pieces. And you can
always cut your own strip to refill the parts cabinet. I mark the
parts cabinet drawers that have "reel" quantities available.. both
to know to refill rather than re-order when the drawer gets down,
but also because they are usually the preferred parts for new designs.

>Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
KILLspamspeffKILLspamspaminterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com

2010\12\23@162733 by peter green

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Gary Crowell wrote:
> So the next question is, does anyone try to keep a database of their parts
> stock (e.g., 'Parts & Vendors'), or does the 'visual database' of the
> container labels suffice?
>   Philpem and I (philpem started it, I wrote most of it ;) have been developing a php/mysql based component stock database. It's rather rough arround the edges and I don't consider it ready for public release yet (use of the kohana framework was probablly a bad idea. Working with a framework with virtually nonexistent documentation is painful and we will probablly port it to something else before release)

2010\12\23@170728 by Charles Craft

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On 12/23/2010 9:17 AM, Oli Glaser wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Maybe Northern Tool in the UK can order from the sister company in the US. :-)
They put them on sale once or twice a year.

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200335439_200335439

http://www.northerntooluk.com/about-northern-tool/About-us.html

Although the US and UK companies trade as independent businesses, Northern Tool + Equipment Co. (UK) Ltd was originally established by the owner of the world-famous American Northern Tool + Equipment Company, based in Minnesota in the northern USA (hence the word 'Northern', despite our UK arm being based in the south of the UK).  Northern Tool + Equipment USA is a $600m+ global business and has been trading since 1981

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