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Parts Where to get, and how to make the best bits. PCB's, caps, transformers, etc.

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Old 24th September 2007, 10:46 PM   #11
Minion is offline Minion  Canada
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Cowican Bay , vancouver island
The way i do inventory is I look inside my Big boxes of junk and if I can"t find what I"m looking for then I know I am short on inventory....Then I go out and buy what i need only to find the parts i was looking for were hideing in some other box that has just come back on vacation from the Twilight zone....

Man I wish I was organazized....lol

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Old 25th September 2007, 03:22 AM   #12
BWRX is offline BWRX  United States
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Pennsylvania
As a couple others have mentioned, I like to keep my packing print outs that usually come with the parts shipment. That doesn't mean I know where the parts are located, just that they're around here somewhere The downside of the packing slips is that the total cost is still on there and you get depressed seeing how much you spent on parts that are just sitting around
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Old 25th September 2007, 05:43 AM   #13
gootee is offline gootee  United States
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Indiana
I have been gradually adding "parts-drawer" units (the cabinets with 30 or so small plastic parts drawers that are now cheap at WalMart, for example), as my parts inventory has grown. I've got well over 1000 drawers, now; probably even 1500 or more. I remember, from a few years back, buying seven or eight 30-drawer cabinets and having one of my then-teenaged daughters sort all of my 1% resistors into them, and label the drawers. I also have quite a few similar units with larger-sized drawers.

I've got plenty of space for them. So that's not a problem, in my case. And it makes it _extremely_ fast and easy to find parts, when prototyping; well worth it, for that alone, in my opinion. I also sell some "kit" versions of a product, and probably would never be able to (or even WANT to) do it without everything sorted and easily accessible. For static-sensitive stuff, I put the conductive bag into the drawer, which is a bit of a pain compared to being able to just instantly pluck out a part. But at least I can find them pretty quickly. Of course, I still have big piles of stuff that's not yet in drawers (and may never be).

The next-best way might be to leave eveything in the mouser or digikey bags and then sort the bags into something like shoeboxes, or small "card-file"-type drawers. That should be fine, for prototyping, and would take MUCH less space, and be much cheaper. Larger items might still be a pain.

I use my old invoices, too, sometimes, if I still can't find something or can't remember if I even have it. Mouser.com now has an on-line "order history" page, with detailed listings of every order, just like the invoices. I SURE wish they would make a "search" feature, for that! But I guess I could just download them all into something. Even text files would be searchable, at least.

- Tom Gootee

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Old 26th September 2007, 07:00 AM   #14
head_spaz is offline head_spaz  United States
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Arkansas
I use pill bottles for small parts. The digikey labels fit them perfectly, so parts are easy to identify. If I source parts elsewhere, then I use floppy disk labels and run them thru the printer.
Pill bottles are cheap, easy to obtain, and they come in many sizes. They are easy to organize, and they're portable.

I also use Glad and Ziplock "tupperware" type food containers for larger objects like transformers and other bulky stuff. They come in all colors and sizes, and 99 cent stores sell them super cheap.

Then I have two dresser drawer cabinets left over from bedroom upgrade version 2.0.
They are tall dresser cabinets, each providing six fairly deep drawers. They hold a lot of parts and provide easy access while providing a domestic camoflage when not in active use.
Each drawer contains one specific category. Resistors in drawer 1, caps in 2, Discrete semis in 3, etc...
I just wish I could afford to fill them to the brim with parts.

I used to use tackle boxes and organizer trays because of all the divided compartments, but the plastic does not age well at all. I think they mixed the plastic with wax or something, because they crumble like a cookies after a year or two. Another drawback with divider type organizers is when you drop them and parts go everywhere. And no matter how good they are, they LEAK parts across the dividers when you're not looking. I hate when that happens!

Pill bottles are terrific. Just what the doctor ordered! Literally.
Writing is good exercize for the texticles!
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Old 26th September 2007, 07:25 AM   #15
head_spaz is offline head_spaz  United States
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Arkansas
As far as keeping inventory records... I just scrub my invoices with the mouse, copy and paste
the text into an email that I never send. I save it in my DRAFTS FOLDER, and ammend to it with
each new order.
Whenever I'm wondering if I have a part, I open the email and "whoop, there it is!"
If it's a long list, a powerful search function is only a few mouse clicks away. As shown below.
This list gives me quantity, price, part number etc... without putting in much effort at all.

Looks sorta like this :

Click the image to open in full size.
Writing is good exercize for the texticles!
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