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How d you keep track of your components?
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Author How d you keep track of your components?
qfactor
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 7:37 am    Post subject: How d you keep track of your components? Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'm pretty much a newbie in SDIY so I Only have a couple of those cabinet organizers that you store components in. I may buy another to organize my capacitors.

But I wonder if any of you have a system to keep track of how many resistors (of a particular value) that you have used, or have left and if it's time to re-stock, etc.
I find that I sometimes source and purchase components of an upcoming kit, forget that I've already bought them, and went ahead (especially when Tayda releases their monthly discount code!! eek! ) to buy a few more, only to find when these arrive, that I've already gotten them a few months back!! d'oh!

I'm thinking of using MS excel to keep track and use a kit's BOM to minus off the no. of components used from the excel sheet. This way, i could, at a glance, see which components I have left, whether I need a re-stock, etc.

How are the rest of you doing this? hmmm.....
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amdagan
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

One excel file with different worksheets for resistors, capacitors, ICs, discretes, pots, switches, etc. component type / value along the vertical axis and supplier along the horizontal. I fill in order codes and pricing whenever I order something.

In the same excel I also have a worksheet called 'backlog' where I keep track of which components I'm missing to complete each module in the backlog.
And another worksheet that lists interesting diy pcbs or kits that I may want to buy at some point, along with any unusual components needed for each.

Couldn't live without that excel, it must be the most frequently updated file on my computer.
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CLee
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

very, very poorly...

I had a panel cut for a very specific MIDI connector that I know I bought and have searched over and over again for. Round, mounting nut behind the panel, no idea where I bought it, no idea where it is... My hex MIDI converter is waiting.

I have those storage drawers, and I store resistors by decade (0-999R, 1k-99K, etc) and caps by type and decade. I also store them in the packaging they come in. Especially 1% resistors, the dark body color makes them impossible to read.

I usually just do a quick search before ordering for a project to cross off what I already have. If you overbuy your components in a while you'll find yourself having most of what you need and just filling in the odd value here and there.

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Reality Checkpoint
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Have a look at this thread:

http://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=125927&start=all&post days=0&postorder=asc

There are some very good ideas here. I reckon daverj's method is great. As regards keeping track of stock levels then you would need a mighty big spreadsheet and be highly disciplined about noting usage etc.

I tend to keep a visual level of what I have, and when I get towards building the next 4 modules in my backlog I look up all the BOMs and order accordingly, thus trying to keep ahead.
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Pfurmel
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I have an excel file with it. I have been meaning to write a front end for it to make life easier.
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grilojoe
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'm fairly new to SDIY too. I'd considered keeping a spreadsheet once, but then didn't because it felt like I'd spend all my time maintaining it rather than making stuff. So far, I just sit down with my small parts box and the BOM of the next few projects, then order what I need, adding in some extras here and there. Perhaps not the most effective way to do things, but it's worked out okay so far.
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mad_magician
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I use an excel spreadsheet. By being a bit creative with the formulas, you can have items highlight the cheapest amongst vendors (and figure out if, after shipping it is worth it) and also "heat map" components to help keep stuff in stock.

With that said, it is a beast to keep track of check in and check out. I am considering hacking together a bit of Python or php and MySQL to make a more robust and easy to maintain database.

MM
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elmegil
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I bought an inexpensive flexible database program called delectus that run son my mac. I don't track counts for resistors and caps (I entered some of them once upon a time) but I do have a fairly accurate account of all the assorted chips I have. Periodically (quarterly or biannually) I go through and inventory them to be sure I still have a reasonably accurate count. For the generic components like caps and resistors I generally just make a note every time I notice one set getting low, and if I have a particularly important project I run an inventory for what I need to bulk up on before starting.
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J3RK
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

By not doing it at all. hihi Every time I place an order I try to buy things like resistors at the 200 price break. (at $4 for 200 resistors, especially for commonly used ones it makes a lot of sense) Caps, I do this less, except for 100nF for bypass caps which I buy 200 at a time, and electrolytic 10uF and 100uF for power filtering. Anything like this, 2n3904/06, 1n4148 diodes, TL07x op amps, LM13700s, etc. etc. I buy as much as I can afford every time. (same with jacks, pots, etc.) At this point, I have quite a store of parts, organized into labeled mini-drawers. I fill in odd parts (like precision op amps, transistor pairs, etc.) when possible, but at a slower pace since they cost more.

I haven't had to place an order for one specific project in quite some time. It took around 4-5 years to get to that point, but at least I don't have to track parts. w00t When I get low on something, I peek through the drawers, and add on anything else that looks a little low.

If you do enough projects, you just get a feel for when things are low, as you know how often you're using certain things. Then you can use the force...

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4floorsofwhores
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

For me, if they're not on the desk then i look on the floor. If not i'll check the hoover bag
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ablearcher
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Keep track of what now?
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medbot
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I have a big excel file with rows for parts and columns for each module I'm going to build and it adds up my stock, subtracts what I need for each build, and lets me know if I'm low or out of stuff. It hasn't been updated in about six months though because whatever, that's just more work haha. Now I bundle BoMs for stuff, print it out, and do a parts audit before I place an order.
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ilya.n
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

+1 Excel spreadsheets.

I put some parts in a cabinet organizer, e.g. pots, trimmers, ICs etc. and I store resistors in a box. Resistor are stacked in plastic bags and ordered by resistance.

If I have a new project I create another tab in the excel spreadsheet and put there whatever I need for it....
damn enough of organizing stuff let's start soldering..
damn enough of soldering, it's time to finally make some music..
but there is this kit laying in the drawer that would work so well in the setup... very frustrating
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widdly
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I bought a complete set of 100 pieces of each E12 1% resistors. For I have drawer for eahc E12 value (10,12,15,18,22,27, etc.). In each drawer I have labeled bags for each size ie. (10r,100r, 1k,10k etc.). When I'm running low for a certain value I make a note and restock. I bought 1000 pieces for 1k and 100k. Now I can look at a BOM and see which resistors are not in the E12 and only order those.

I'm working on the same thing for capacitors in E6 series but I don't have a complete set. I usually get extras of any I order.

I have another set of drawers for IC's and another for hardware (plugs, pots, knobs etc.). I stocked up on commonly used stuff like 1n4148 diodes, TL072, TL074, CA3080 etc.

It is nice having stuff in stock to be able to breadboard or build stuff on perf without waiting for orders.
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wsy
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2014 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

At $WORK we handled it by buying the E12 resistor series in both thru-hole and SMT - 100's of the
thru-hole and full reels (5000?) of the SMT. Capacitors got only four values per decade
though, because we got higher voltage ones (like 100 volt?) and they're pricey. The
thru-holes go into little drawers, four drawers per decade, and the reels sit on a WireMetro
shelves.

Inductors, big electrolytics, filters, ferrites, stuff like that - we bought the assortment
kits that DigiKey sells. .

Everything else is "buy as needed, usually at least 10 unless they're pricey or rare" and
they go into little drawers as well, along with the purchase info (which these days is
almost always just the DigiKey label).

Note that is $WORK, and maintaining in-stock for common parts is actually worth it
in terms of time to build.

At home, it's very different. I have some assortments of thru hole in R, C, and L, and
I buy SMT passives and semiconductors as needed (but again, buy more than enough in case I frak up).
The semiconductors live in their packaging in one plastic bin, the passives live in
another plastic bin, and I pull the parts, in packaging, for $CURRENT_PROJECT into
yet a third smaller bin and work from there.

And I seem to have lost my "brass brillo pad" soldering iron tip cleaner. Bugger!

- Bill

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otherunicorn
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2014 4:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I keep my resistors in a number of compartmented parts boxes from the local hardware shop. Probably no help to you though, because if I have less than a hundred of anything I start worrying.

Ken

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tobb
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2014 5:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Same here as Ken,i have everything always in stock.

The advantage using compartmented boxes result in a extreme fast workflow,you can group most common resistor values in one box,when you start poppulating a pcb it just takes to grab a box or 5,same for the capacitors.
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fracinfrucer
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2014 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I also have started a spreadsheet with different tabs for resistors, caps, ics, etc. I have the part number, the stock number, and then specific upcoming projects in columns to the right to subtract from that number. I also try to order a few 200 packs or resistors with each mouser order, but those add up quickly, so I just order a few each time. Someday... hihi But besides a few common caps, ICs and trannies, I usually buy for specific orders, so the resistor tab gets by far the most use.

Then I have a couple parts bins that are labeled so I can find most things easily, and a couple boxes for parts that won't fit nicely in those parts bins.

As for sourcing for specific projects, I keep the small mouser boxes, since they're a good size, stack nicely and I keep accumulating them. lol I fold up a paper copy of the BOM in there and check things off of it as I add them to the box (and take them off the spreadsheet).
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old gregg
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2014 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

J3RK wrote:
By not doing it at all. hihi Every time I place an order I try to buy things like resistors at the 200 price break. (at $4 for 200 resistors, especially for commonly used ones it makes a lot of sense) Caps, I do this less, except for 100nF for bypass caps which I buy 200 at a time, and electrolytic 10uF and 100uF for power filtering. Anything like this, 2n3904/06, 1n4148 diodes, TL07x op amps, LM13700s, etc. etc. I buy as much as I can afford every time. (same with jacks, pots, etc.) At this point, I have quite a store of parts, organized into labeled mini-drawers. I fill in odd parts (like precision op amps, transistor pairs, etc.) when possible, but at a slower pace since they cost more.

I haven't had to place an order for one specific project in quite some time. It took around 4-5 years to get to that point, but at least I don't have to track parts. w00t When I get low on something, I peek through the drawers, and add on anything else that looks a little low.

If you do enough projects, you just get a feel for when things are low, as you know how often you're using certain things. Then you can use the force...


I do the same otherwise It'd be a pain. I buy components in normalized values and in quantity. I've storage bin and I'm pretty good with that since years. If I observe a lower quantity I order some packs.

Pots are different because of the price. I've "prototype pots" and buy new pots for a finished projects.
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Altitude909
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2014 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

tobb wrote:
Same here as Ken,i have everything always in stock.

The advantage using compartmented boxes result in a extreme fast workflow,you can group most common resistor values in one box,when you start poppulating a pcb it just takes to grab a box or 5,same for the capacitors.


+1

My wife keeps telling me that I wont be happy if I should spill one but, hell I like to live dangerously

These fit 1/4 watt resistors perfectly and can hold 200 per compartment. I just arraign them by value. A Brother P-Touch labeler is also handy
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