Author Topic: From no parts to decent stockpile, best approach?  (Read 72485 times)

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Offline matseng

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Re: From no parts to decent stockpile, best approach?
« Reply #50 on: September 28, 2015, 09:22:37 pm »
I don't understand experimenters who line the pockets of overpricing suppliers like RSComponents, Mouser, Digikey etc. Why spend $200 or $400 when you only need to spend $20 or $40? Guess where they get their components from! Of course if you're wealthy you probably don't give a damn.
Are you seriously suggesting that the three companies you mentioned gets their parts from the Huaqiangbei market in Shenzhen or similar places and not directly from the manufacturers?
 

Offline wagon

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Re: From no parts to decent stockpile, best approach?
« Reply #51 on: September 28, 2015, 10:33:57 pm »
I've got lots of parts in drawers, many in compartment boxes, some in open boxes.  Chinese food containers are useful too.

An assortment of nuts & bolts is a must if building stuff, and various headers, etc.  I've gotten lots of good stuff out of 'grab-bags', junk-boxes, etc. over the years.  I sit on the floor at home and sort them, them stuff them back into the car and take them back to my workshop.
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Online madires

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Re: From no parts to decent stockpile, best approach?
« Reply #52 on: September 28, 2015, 11:03:31 pm »
As a teenager I bought "surprise bags", i.e. overstocked parts from production lines and such stuff. Those bags were quite inexpensive and comprised a lot of common parts used back then and some special components. IIRC, mostly Philips. BTW, good training for learning color codes ;)
 

Offline wagon

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Re: From no parts to decent stockpile, best approach?
« Reply #53 on: September 28, 2015, 11:43:48 pm »
As a teenager I bought "surprise bags", i.e. overstocked parts from production lines and such stuff. Those bags were quite inexpensive and comprised a lot of common parts used back then and some special components. IIRC, mostly Philips. BTW, good training for learning color codes ;)
Sometimes goodies found in  those bags of stuff give you inspiration to build stuff, too.
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Offline ez24

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Offline obiwanjacobi

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Re: From no parts to decent stockpile, best approach?
« Reply #55 on: October 01, 2015, 02:34:22 am »
Stock-piling is so last century. Just order what you need for a project...
I order my stuff on ebay - cheap but long wait - or at Farnel - not so cheap but only a couple of days away (no shipping cost).

[2c]

Offline stevenhoneyman

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Re: From no parts to decent stockpile, best approach?
« Reply #56 on: October 01, 2015, 04:56:39 am »
Stock-piling is so last century. Just order what you need for a project...
I order my stuff on ebay - cheap but long wait - or at Farnel - not so cheap but only a couple of days away (no shipping cost).

[2c]

Avoiding stock-piling isn't possible really... I mean, unless you intend to try and buy individual resistors etc then you'll probably have 198 of them left over from a $1/£1 piece of cut tape from ebay.

I'm not saying that's a bad thing, it's what I do!
 

Offline alexanderbrevig

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Re: From no parts to decent stockpile, best approach?
« Reply #57 on: October 01, 2015, 09:46:06 am »
Stock-piling is so last century. Just order what you need for a project...

Then please make a list for what to order when the project is "learn electronics (and make stuff along the way)" ;)

Offline obiwanjacobi

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Re: From no parts to decent stockpile, best approach?
« Reply #58 on: October 01, 2015, 02:59:20 pm »
You don't learn electronics by having a bunch of parts in your home. You learn it by doing simple projects (at first) to see/understand how they work and build from there. You really start with a battery, switch and light-bulb (ok LED and resistor).

And I am not saying you should not have a small assortment of resistors and caps (and some small diodes) at hand - of course that makes sense. But that is like 20 or 30 different parts (say 5-10 each) and doesn't cost a lot of money. The rest you buy when needed. My parts cabinet is a "cookie-jar" (it is not really - it is a small box). And of the 3 E12 decades of resistors I bought I mainly use the 220, 1k, 4k7 and 10k.

Also when you're starting - its no use to buy SMD components. Buy a bread-board and through-hole stuff. When you start doing your own PCBs (or start repairing stuff) then is the time to think about SMD.

I know it is the "norm" to have a huge stockpile of stuff - but most of it you will never use (saw it in Dave's latest clock video - he had old 70's and 80's logic ICs that he never touched). That "money" is just sitting there doing nothing. Bad investment if you ask me.

In the end you decide. Do what you think will work for you. Change it if it doesn't. But start small and build up from there.

[2c]

Offline rx8pilot

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Re: From no parts to decent stockpile, best approach?
« Reply #59 on: October 03, 2015, 12:12:51 pm »
You don't learn electronics by having a bunch of parts in your home. You learn it by doing simple projects (at first) to see/understand how they work and build from there. You really start with a battery, switch and light-bulb (ok LED and resistor).

I agree. My efforts were focused on creating a project or project series and gathering the parts most likely to be needed for that AFTER I had gone through some design efforts.

It only takes a handful of small projects to get a feel for what you should have on hand. You will always want passives a few values up/down from the usuals.
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Offline wagon

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Re: From no parts to decent stockpile, best approach?
« Reply #60 on: October 04, 2015, 01:29:24 am »
You can also rat old machinery and stuff for good bits.  For example, I ratted a huge photocopier today.  I scored a 5V 20A power supply, a 24V 31A power supply (has M6 bolts for output terminals!),  various beautiful DC motors with shaft encoders and a great big pile of driver boards.  No doubt there's good bits in all that crap.  I might start a thread about it.
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Offline rx8pilot

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Re: From no parts to decent stockpile, best approach?
« Reply #61 on: October 04, 2015, 04:13:46 am »
  I scored a 5V 20A power supply, a 24V 31A power supply (has M6 bolts for output terminals!),  various beautiful DC motors with shaft encoders and a great big pile of driver boards.  No doubt there's good bits in all that crap.  I might start a thread about it.

24v @ 31A is no joke! You can make a little welder with it.
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Offline karoru

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Re: From no parts to decent stockpile, best approach?
« Reply #62 on: October 04, 2015, 11:21:35 am »
24v @ 31A is no joke! You can make a little welder with it.
He just should make sure that contacts are good before testing overload protection, unless that screw connection is going to be permanent;) It reminds me when my father wanted to check how does the voltage from new shiny IGBT arc welder works. He used my old Philips scope and el cheapo 60 MHz chinese Uni-T probe but didn't notice that this thing has that ground ring on it. After a bit of meddling with the uncovered probe tip around the big red hole with ground alligator clip in the black one, it made beautiful sparks. Funny thing is that this probe after getting 180A current through it still works a treat... Plastic and a fragment of ring melted but besides that no problem whatsoever.
 

Offline wagon

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Re: From no parts to decent stockpile, best approach?
« Reply #63 on: October 04, 2015, 11:47:01 am »
I was thinking more along the lines of trimming the output voltage to 28.8V and making into a big battery charger.  Should pump up a mobility scooter battery from dead in no time.
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Offline bumba000

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Re: From no parts to decent stockpile, best approach?
« Reply #64 on: October 15, 2015, 05:27:10 pm »
I've been tearing into everything. Old computer power supplies, 120 to 12v converters, LCD monitors, video cards, sounds cards and a cable TV remote control. Also spent $80 at radio shack last week for a bunch of resistors, diodes, pots, bread boards and some conductive glue stuff. Not sure what I'll do with the conductive glue but I thought it was pretty cool and it was on clearance so I bought both on the peg. I'm a sucker.
 

Offline wilfred

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Re: From no parts to decent stockpile, best approach?
« Reply #65 on: October 15, 2015, 07:18:52 pm »
I'm a sucker.
Yep. But you're not alone. Lot's of people here could amaze you with stories of what they bought decades ago "because it was cheap".
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: From no parts to decent stockpile, best approach?
« Reply #66 on: October 19, 2015, 02:09:33 pm »
I don't stock parts at all, with a few exceptions:

a. 0.1uF, 1uF, 2.2uF, 10uF, 33uF MLCC capacitors for obvious reason -- I will use them in almost all projects.
b. Reference grade parts such as rubidium clocks, OCXOs, I stock them as lab or equipment references.
c. Excessive parts from previous projects.
d. Big boys such as ultracapacitors, batteries, display modules and etc.
e. Boards and kits used from previous projects.

Besides, I stock no parts. The reason behind this is simple - I do SMT designs all the time, so anyway I need to wait OSHPark to deliver my PCB, and in the meantime, I have more than enough time to order things from DigiKey.
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Offline David Spicer

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Re: From no parts to decent stockpile, best approach?
« Reply #67 on: October 31, 2015, 02:22:01 pm »
You wrote a msg to me last month but I was OS and couldn't reply. Sorry. Drop me an email David.spicer@icloud.com re Xilinx dev kits. My post attracted no interest at all so if you want one it's yours. You do know what you are buying I hope. Flags have a steep learning curve though the end result is worth it! Ds
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Offline eugenenine

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Re: From no parts to decent stockpile, best approach?
« Reply #68 on: November 01, 2015, 09:03:20 am »
Places like DigiKey, etc sell assortments.
http://www.digikey.com/product-search/en/kits/resistor-kits/2490615

Years ago I bought small boxes from Radio Shack and the first couple assortments I ordered from DigiKey came in the same size as well.
I started with a resistor and capacitor kit, then when I'd run out of one size I'd replace it with a 100pack.  For example the kit might come with 10 .1uF caps so I'd order 100.

I'm in the process of re starting the hobby again now that my kids are old enough to be interested.  So I'm using some of my old stock and then adding to it.

In the picture you can see the little boxes (opened here holding resistors), there are several inside the toolbox I've had since I was a kid, then I added the (fishing) bag to the right with mechanical parts.

I also saved up and bought one nice big protoboard and seem to have lost it somewhere over the years.  I've now bought a few smaller ones so I can put a project I'm working on away until I get the rest of the parts it needs.

I'd start with a resistor and capacitor assortment, a few regulators, a couple smaller protoboards and wire kits.  Then decide what you want to make and buy stuff specific to that.  For example I'm re-learning PIC's after selling my programmer after college so I bought the Pickit3 and 44 pin demo board and a few other pics and they are in the microchip cardboard box.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2015, 09:22:39 am by eugenenine »
 

Offline SharpEars

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Re: From no parts to decent stockpile, best approach?
« Reply #69 on: December 12, 2015, 02:24:50 am »
Places like DigiKey, etc sell assortments.
http://www.digikey.com/product-search/en/kits/resistor-kits/2490615

Years ago I bought small boxes from Radio Shack and the first couple assortments I ordered from DigiKey came in the same size as well.
I started with a resistor and capacitor kit, then when I'd run out of one size I'd replace it with a 100pack.  For example the kit might come with 10 .1uF caps so I'd order 100.

I'm in the process of re starting the hobby again now that my kids are old enough to be interested.  So I'm using some of my old stock and then adding to it.

In the picture you can see the little boxes (opened here holding resistors), there are several inside the toolbox I've had since I was a kid, then I added the (fishing) bag to the right with mechanical parts.

I also saved up and bought one nice big protoboard and seem to have lost it somewhere over the years.  I've now bought a few smaller ones so I can put a project I'm working on away until I get the rest of the parts it needs.

I'd start with a resistor and capacitor assortment, a few regulators, a couple smaller protoboards and wire kits.  Then decide what you want to make and buy stuff specific to that.  For example I'm re-learning PIC's after selling my programmer after college so I bought the Pickit3 and 44 pin demo board and a few other pics and they are in the microchip cardboard box.

I'm in the same boat. I restarted when the kids got old enough to care. Unfortunately, I have become a packrat and a voltnut in the process. If you knew how many high quality digital power supplies and 6 1/2 digit meters I have, you would feel truly sorry for me.

I mean seriously, here are power supplies I own that even I would consider extreme:

http://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/hpagilent-6675a-the-120-v-18-a-2000w-monster-power-supply/msg565113/#msg565113
http://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/what-to-do-with-a-4-000-v-power-supply-(plus-mini-tear-down)/
http://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/looking-for-goodinexpensive-bench-power-supply/msg546127/#msg546127
http://www.keysight.com/en/pd-836789-pn-6626A/precision-system-power-supply-25w-or-50w-4-outputs?cc=US&lc=eng - Mini teardown coming this weekend...

Don't become a VoltNut, it's a slippery slope and very easy to fall into and it becomes more about the parts and tools you have than the projects you can build. It's very easy to get into a: I need every value available, every tolerance available, every kind available, very low ppm, very low tolerance, etc..., rot.

Coming up with interesting projects to do that is the hard part in making electronics your hobby...
« Last Edit: December 12, 2015, 03:06:11 am by SharpEars »
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: From no parts to decent stockpile, best approach?
« Reply #70 on: December 12, 2015, 02:32:09 am »
Will one become a voltnut even after having a 8.5 digit dmm? I mean, there is the ultimate, and you have reached it.
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Offline SharpEars

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Re: From no parts to decent stockpile, best approach?
« Reply #71 on: December 12, 2015, 03:07:07 am »
Will one become a voltnut even after having a 8.5 digit dmm? I mean, there is the ultimate, and you have reached it.

One 8.5 digit dmm may be on the fringe of what is "reasonable." One 7.5 digit, six 6.5 digits and several 5.5 digits (i.e., where I am hailing from) combined with (I've lost count of how) many high end power supplies is definitely VoltNut territory. I've given up on even trying to answer the question, "Why do you need another one?" These things have become like Pokemon cards - you've got to catch them all.

« Last Edit: December 12, 2015, 03:11:24 am by SharpEars »
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: From no parts to decent stockpile, best approach?
« Reply #72 on: December 12, 2015, 03:11:00 am »
I will just stop here with a k2002. The intention of buying a k2002 is because it reaches the top, and that means I don't have to buy any better. I don't want to fall in to the pit of voltnuts. 3458 is a different beast, but I don't have big enough bench space for it.
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Offline bapou

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Re: From no parts to decent stockpile, best approach?
« Reply #73 on: December 12, 2015, 04:29:42 am »
Use an inventory managment system:
Since we use partkeepr (open source and free, I'm not related, just a happy user)
https://partkeepr.org/
which keeps track of the parts, the projects, the vendors of the parts etc., live got much easier and
we now have a large accessible stockpile
 

Offline halloween360

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Re: From no parts to decent stockpile, best approach?
« Reply #74 on: December 12, 2015, 04:57:39 am »
When you say that partkeepr keeps track of projects, does this mean it would allow you to update inventory by project?

Example:

Lets say project xyz uses the following:
qty    part
1        a
2        b
3        c

If you were to build project xyz, would it deduct the parts used from your inventory?

 


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