Author Topic: Do you use some system to track home/lab stock of components ?  (Read 715 times)

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Offline Miyuki

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Just trying to little sort my chaotic stockpile of everything  ::)

Wonder how other solve this issue.
Do you use some computer system with counts, or just have nicely tagged boxes ?
Or have everything everywhere as I have ?
Or not hoarding huge stocks what wont be ever used ?

I ask because I have boxes full of bags with random components
Not just useful genuine passives but also with semiconductors discrete and ICs
And I have no idea of what count or sometimes even what I have
 

Online Brumby

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Re: Do you use some system to track home/lab stock of components ?
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2019, 08:28:00 am »
Sounds pretty typical to me.

My system is simple.  Resistors tend to collect in one place.  Capacitors in another. Semis in yet another - with possible sub-groupings (LEDs need their own spot  ;D ).  Switches, plugs and sockets, fuses ... and so on.

Effective cataloguing requires a discipline that borders on obsessive.  That was never going to work, so I didn't try.
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Do you use some system to track home/lab stock of components ?
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2019, 08:31:53 am »
I have most SMT parts placed in binder pages (uSleeve from Dave), and I have a binder full of caps, one for resistors, fuses, inductors, transformers and filters, and one for chips and transistors.
For my very few THT parts, modules and larger SMT parts, they are scattered on shelf (I have an open rack next to my bench) by category.
 

Offline Nystemy

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Re: Do you use some system to track home/lab stock of components ?
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2019, 09:01:07 am »
I myself keep most of my components organized into specified locations.
Ie, all ICs of the same type are together. In the same place as other ICs.
(Like all 7400 series logic shares the same shelf/box)
Passives have their place, through hole and SMD separated as well... Not to mention separating resistors, capacitors, and inductors, etc, etc...

It quickly starts boggling one's mind how many different types of components one has in the inventory.

So I have recently just loosely started keeping a rough track of what components I should have in stock in a spreed sheet.
So that I don't end up ordering the same component trice.... (Annoying enough to buy a chip, only to later figure out one already had hundreds of the same exact type collecting dust....)

Though, "updating" this inventory is mostly a rough guesswork, like looking at a tube of chips and making an estimate, while not actually counting them. (Though, could just have a scale on some board, DIP14 packages have roughly the same length, regardless of chip, so a distance of x cm is y chips.... But that is too much work making a table for DIP 14, 16, 18, 12, 8, etc...)

In the end, for hobby use, +/- 30% on one's inventory is usually not a big deal, and if it starts getting low of something one needs, then obviously one buys more.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Do you use some system to track home/lab stock of components ?
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2019, 09:30:19 am »
I use an Access database to have an overview of the components I have in stock. It is not super accurate but I need the database anyway for use with the CAD package I use. However I don't keep every single component. If I need special components for a project the leftovers end up in the 'excess components' box which I give away when full (enabling a hoarder  >:D ). There is no sense in keeping components you likely never use and end up costing more in storage space than the component is worth.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline Ribster

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Re: Do you use some system to track home/lab stock of components ?
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2019, 09:34:55 am »
I'm interested to whom you give it away to :D
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Offline nctnico

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Re: Do you use some system to track home/lab stock of components ?
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2019, 09:37:47 am »
I'm interested to whom you give it away to :D
The first person to show up on my doorstep... but the box fills slowly and I have given away 6 boxes with all kinds of stuff little over a year ago.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline Black Phoenix

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Re: Do you use some system to track home/lab stock of components ?
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2019, 10:05:08 am »
One of my friends that it's a programmer developed a small C program to me where I register every component with a bar code, using my Dymo labelling machine I made some barcodes to the components in question and each time I add or remove, I scan the bar code and alter the values in the program and it updates into the database and it also sets alarms when the stock is low.

So I always know the stock I have, and what exits and enters.

If I find the installation file and he authorizes me to share I can provide it. Then you get a labelling machine, being a Brother or a Dymo and just start that way. You even can use for catalogue of your own test equipment with dates of purchase, calibration dates and warranty status, and set alarms to indicate when it's going to end.
 
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Offline spudboy488

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Re: Do you use some system to track home/lab stock of components ?
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2019, 11:26:06 am »
Bag of resistors with each value in their own bag. Same with caps, transistors, relays, etc. Surface mount ICs in a bag. DIPs in a drawer. Inventory is a spreadsheet sorted with these headings:

Part_Type,   Qty, Description, Distributor, Distributor_Part_Number, Cost, Value, Mfr_Part_Number, Footprint_Name, Symbol_Name   
 

Offline kizmit99

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Re: Do you use some system to track home/lab stock of components ?
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2019, 03:42:54 pm »
About two years ago I bit-the-bullet and started tracking everything in PartsBox (www.partsbox.io).  I've been very happy with the resulting system...

I had a bunch of through-hole parts that were already in mutlidrawer cabinets similar to these: https://www.zoro.com/akro-mils-drwr-bin-cab-15-34-h-20-w-clear-drwr-10164/i/G2213477/  but of varying sizes and ages.  I left those parts where they were and just treated each cabinet as a Storage Location in PartsBox.
I also procured several sample sets of passive SMD parts (resistors, caps, leds) - the kind where you get 20-25 parts (cut tape) of each different value.  Those went into the small cheap sample-books - each book is then also a Location in PartsBox.
The rest of my parts go into small, labelled anti-static bags (one bag per part type - often they are simply left in the bags as they came from the distributor).  These bags are grouped into boxes, labeled with the part# (if not already on the distributor bag) and the box number they are assigned to - current boxes are:
A - Through Hole - Passives, ICs, Connectors, etc
B - SMD - ICs, Switches, etc
C - SMD - Passives
D - Raspberry Pi related
E - Prototyping support
F - USB related
G - Tempest Arcade Repair Parts

Each part-type is entered into PartsBox along with the box it's stored in.

I think it took me 2 or 3 days to set everything up originally, then I only need to do maintenance when I order new parts (update inventory, add new parts, etc), or when I consume parts.  and that generally only takes a few minutes up to an hour (if I've done a board build that required pulling a bunch of parts, then updating inventory and replacing the bags in the boxes).

When I do a build I just pull the bags from the boxes, pull the parts from the bags only as they're placed, then return all the bags to the boxes and update inventory when the build is complete.

I've found it to be a very workable system that lets me keep track of what I've got without a ton of overhead.  Just for an idea of scale, I currently have 735 distinct parts (total quantity of about 15K pieces) in my inventory.

Good luck finding a system that works for you.
 
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Offline wilfred

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Re: Do you use some system to track home/lab stock of components ?
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2019, 12:29:50 am »
I don't have a vast stockpile or a critical need to find them at a moments notice. I have tubes of DIP parts and I put DYMO/EPSON/BROTHER labels on the tubes (both ends) so that when rummaging in the boxes it is easier to see what the tube is without getting the magnifying glass and good light. I also made a spreadsheet with the list just to see if it is even worth looking in the boxes.

Bigger parts like switches are in plastic zip-lock bags in plastic tubs. I keep a sheet of paper with what is in the tub on the top of the lid so it is mostly a matter of finding the tub to look in. I thought about numbering the tubs to help me get to it without a linear search from first to last but I don't have enough tubs. I also use compartmented boxes with hinged lids. I stick labels to the lid above the compartments and also inside in each compartment.

It's  a good enough balance between organised and chaotic.

 

Offline TheHolyHorse

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Re: Do you use some system to track home/lab stock of components ?
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2019, 08:40:30 pm »
I tried the spreadsheet way but it was messy so I started writing my own simple inventory/project management program. Nothing fancy but it does what I need it to.
 

Offline Ribster

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Re: Do you use some system to track home/lab stock of components ?
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2019, 09:52:39 am »
I've made myself a custom stock management system in OctoberCMS.
Coupled this with my altium database library and job generation for my pick and place.
Has been a lot of work, but invaluable for a real business.

Partsbox looks perfect for a hobbyist IMO
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Offline EEEnthusiast

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Re: Do you use some system to track home/lab stock of components ?
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2019, 01:33:30 pm »
I started to use IC-Locker and seems to love it. It is quite simple and intuitive and it is free to use. It is a web based tool for electronic components inventory management.
 

Offline TimFox

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Re: Do you use some system to track home/lab stock of components ?
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2019, 09:55:33 pm »
Not being a programmer, I merely generate simple Excel spreadsheets organized by type, then value.
For example, resistors by RN60, RN65, 3W wirewound, etc, corresponding to the Akro Mills drawers.
Capacitors by ceramic, polypropylene, polyester, aluminum, etc.
I refer to these files during design to choose values in stock, when possible.
I have a simple list of tubes by type and important parameters (plate dissipation, mu, etc.) keyed to the plastic shoeboxes.
I haven’t done the semiconductors and ICs yet, but they are usually chosen before the detailed design.
Of course, this is all for hobby one-off designs.
 

Offline rsjsouza

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Re: Do you use some system to track home/lab stock of components ?
« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2019, 10:30:05 pm »
I have a mixed approach to several different types of parts, but at this time I only do an electronic tracking system for test gear.

Most of the "serious" ICs are left in the distributor's packaging and stored in large transparent moisture sealed boxes (commonly found in the local market) with some home-made large desiccant packages. The parts are marked in paper that is put against the wall (so it can be seen from outside).

Switches and potentiometers, trimmers, variable capacitors, etc. are in large transparent containers with the same home made desiccant bags.

Everything through hole that is small (1/4W, TO92, DO-6, sub uF low voltage caps) is on an exclusive box for them (transistors, diodes, resistors and capacitors). The parts are placed in coin envelopes with the specs outside. The boxes are identified externally with the major type.

Large through hole components and other parts (fuses, jacks, BNCs, etc) are still in space consuming drawers - I couldn't yet get around to store them in a more efficient manner). These are not identified externally given they are transparent. Will do a better job when time permits.

Mechanical parts (heatsinks, fans, relays), subassemblies (PCBs, plugpacks, small equipment) and accessories (cables, adapters, etc.) are placed in specific boxes identified from outside.

All that does means that I still occasionally lose a part or two that I only find after I paid a visit to the store (or ordered online). :palm:
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Oh, the "whys" of the datasheets... The information is there not to be an axiomatic truth, but instead each speck of data must be slowly inhaled while carefully performing a deep search inside oneself to find the true metaphysical sense...
 


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