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Components and Circuits For discussions about component types, alternatives and availability, circuit configurations and modifications etc. Discussions here should be of a general nature and not about specific sets.

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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 1:59 pm   #1
PsychMan
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Default Storing / Sorting Resistors?

I'm finally biting the bullet and populating two component draw units, one for Capacitors one for resistors. I have a third large unit for various other bits that I have much less quantities of.

Currently I have them all mixed up and it drives me nuts trying to find what I want, I waste more time assembling parts for a project than actually building it

So, I have 40 drawers for resistors. Any advice on methods of sorting? I plan to have them in labelled bags inside the drawers, just can't seem to decide a way that makes sense. I considered ranges, I.E < 100 ohms, < 1k, < 100k etc .

Just curious what others here do
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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 2:04 pm   #2
ex seismic
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Default Re: Storing / Sorting Resistors?

I sort mine by the multiplier colour, e.g. all reds, all greens etc. It doesn't usually take that long to find the one you want unless it doesn't exist, then you spend ages hunting for it.
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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 2:28 pm   #3
Craig Sawyers
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Default Re: Storing / Sorting Resistors?

I have each drawer for resistors cover a range of E12/24/48 etc. So 390-430 ohms for example.

Then I have to use a magnifying glass and meter just to confirm which one to use if I have multiple values in that range.

Capacitors, values pF to 1uF non-elecrolytic are in sorter trays.

For electrolytic there is such a massive range of physical sizes from tiny to huge; I'd welcome any idea how to logically organise those!

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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 3:40 pm   #4
kalee20
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Default Re: Storing / Sorting Resistors?

I use one drawer per base value, so 56Ω, 560Ω, 5.6kΩ, 56kΩ, 560kΩ, 5.6MΩ share the same drawer. Six different values per drawer is manageable.

Capacitors though I group in value bands, thus 1 - 1.5nF, 1.8 - 2.2nF, 2.7 - 3.3nF, 3.9 - 4.7nF, 5.6 - 6.8nF, 8.2 - 10nF. Three values per drawer. Needs more drawers to go from 10pF to 10μF of course. But it works well.
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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 3:59 pm   #5
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Default Re: Storing / Sorting Resistors?

I have 3 sets of organisation for my resistors:
An ex-WD drab olive drawer unit for vintage resistors (probably all dud!)
A multi-drawer unit with each drawer only about 1.25" square - starting 1 on the left, 10 below it etc
2 shoe boxes with envelopes in each "low" values in one box, "high" values in the other. 10k as the division.
I use the shoe boxes far and away more than the others. Any values can be slipped in in the correct place. Wattages can be mixed within reason. Immediately obvious when a value runs out. And 2 shoe boxes is quite a small volume. Envelopes are just SAEs from companies.
Other resistors like vitreous enamel ones are small in number and just have a box of the right size.

Not so organised with caps...
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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 6:31 pm   #6
Welsh Anorak
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Default Re: Storing / Sorting Resistors?

I use one row for multiplier - x1, x10 and so on. Then each column is for value - 1.0, 1.2, 1.8 in the first, 2.2, 2.7, 3.3 in the second - oh, you get the idea! Depending on the size of each resistor, each drawer could be subdivided if you like. I use the remaining rows for specials like fusibles, wirewounds and so on.
Capacitors - much the same idea. Much easier to see when you're running out of stock.
Amazing how few resistors I use in day to day repairs now. I actually used one today but it must be well over a week since I used one before that. Years ago I'd be using several a day and far fewer capacitors.
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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 6:49 pm   #7
Dave Moll
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Default Re: Storing / Sorting Resistors?

A little while back I decided to make use of a stack of old Chinese Takeaway plastic tubs to sort my resistors into one (preferred) value per tub. I say preferred value, as (unless I have a large number of them) I put non-preferred value ones in with the nearest preferred.

Yes, it does take a large number of tubs, and I didn't initially have quite enough, despite having amassed quite a collection over the years, but an appeal to colleagues for their used tubs, combined with eating a few more takeaways myself, and I got there.

The beauty is that I have an old cupboard into which the fit nicely.
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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 7:35 pm   #8
ColinTheAmpMan1
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Default Re: Storing / Sorting Resistors?

I don't know if it's still the case, but Screwfix had some nice 5-wide by 10-tall drawer units at a very good price. I bought one for my resistor stock.
Colin.

Yes, they do still have them:

https://www.screwfix.com/p/50-drawer...age-unit/5616p

24.99 inc. VAT.

Last edited by ColinTheAmpMan1; 3rd Apr 2019 at 7:40 pm. Reason: URL of drawer unit.
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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 7:46 pm   #9
Craig Sawyers
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Default Re: Storing / Sorting Resistors?

I have two of those in my shed for screws, washers and nuts. They are a bargain for a metal framed unit. Mine stand on the floor, not screwed to a wall, and they are heavy enough not to tip over when pulling drawers out.

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Old 4th Apr 2019, 5:45 pm   #10
Herald1360
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Default Re: Storing / Sorting Resistors?

I've gone for three stacked 5 wide by 4 high drawer units for 10-100K decades of E12. Other values (oddballs, E24 and above specifics etc) get another 5 wide by 4 high rack with ranges of values for each decade.

Wirewound and power resistors just get one larger drawer per decade plus another random drawer of "MISC WATTY Rs".

Capacitors largely lurk in E3 labelled (1, 2.2, 4.7) drawers with any intermediate values in the lower value drawer. Big electrolytics are somewhat randomly scattered!
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Old 8th Apr 2019, 9:42 pm   #11
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Default Re: Storing / Sorting Resistors?

I can't be doing with keeping resistor series in those little plastic drawers with the dividers, because the capacity is inflexible, and dropping them is a disaster. I prefer to keep separate values each in its own bag which can be leant up in sequence in a box. Those zip-seal poly bags are good while they are young and you can really stuff them full if needed. The Stores Dept. in one factory would issue kits for production in "Crystal Bags", which I think were formerly used for payments to 'weekly' workers. You can write on them and they are semi-opaque so you could see how many, if not what, was inside.
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Old 8th Apr 2019, 9:43 pm   #12
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Default Re: Storing / Sorting Resistors?

Speaking of storing small quantities of small things in small boxes, I wish I could find a supply of lightweight, unprinted plain card boxes. To buy in small quantities they would have to pack flat and simply push together. What's frustrating is that almost everything you buy now comes in such a box.

The smaller sizes you need for Rs, Cs and semicons in individual types can be found in those clever little card boxes for sweets which have an ingenious but effective closure mechanism (cardboard engineering). You can probably realise a more plentiful supply for E12 or E24 series parts by recruiting older friends to save boxes for statins and heart-pills, which tend to be similar sizes and can be packed on end.

The Stores Dept. where I worked kept small components in folded and stapled plain card boxes, similar to those used for MOD spare parts issue. We sometimes also used clear plastic jewel cases. Searching and eBaying for small plain boxes you'd think they didn't exist, but every 'thing' you buy comes in one!

The next size up commonly found is the light-bulb box, which is a convenient size for things like pots and switches, but unfortunately they open at the top, not along the long side. Can't bulb manufacturers be persuaded to make a slight change in their packaging
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Old 8th Apr 2019, 10:08 pm   #13
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Default Re: Storing / Sorting Resistors?

This method works for me, 8 rows of draws for values .1 .22 .33 .47 .68 and multiples of 10 in the other rows. It more or less works for capacitors as well for me.

Mike
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Old 8th Apr 2019, 10:44 pm   #14
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Default Re: Storing / Sorting Resistors?

i have 2 values per drawer, with a divider. So, we get 10/12R, 15/18R, 22/27R etc like that.

As values are becoming more esoteric, I bundle those into old chinese takeaway tubs. For example last week I had to order some 90.9 ohm 1/4w resistors and 10 was the minimum.
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Old 9th Apr 2019, 12:34 am   #15
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Default Re: Storing / Sorting Resistors?

Drawers take up too much space. I am using wham boxes (from homebase) + 3.5x4.5" ziplock bags from bluestar(uk) on ebay:

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Got 12 boxes with all my parts in. Depicted is the discrete semiconductors box.
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Old 9th Apr 2019, 6:00 am   #16
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Default Re: Storing / Sorting Resistors?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Julesomega View Post
The next size up commonly found is the light-bulb box, which is a convenient size for things like pots and switches, but unfortunately they open at the top, not along the long side. Can't bulb manufacturers be persuaded to make a slight change in their packaging
I used to buy large quantities of stop/tailight bulbs for a product I manufactured a while ago (Narva brand) and they used to come in boxes similar to light bulb box size and they did open along the long side.

Assuming they might still be available, auto parts stores may be happy for you to take away the empty boxes.
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