Sunday 10 June 2012

Simple DIY SMD part storage

I was thinking last week how to improve storage of my SMD parts. In my first SMD projects I used different parts in each of project. So I had one box for every project with the parts.
Last week I found that I have 4 packs of 100nF capacitors across all my boxes. This time I realized that the time has come and I have to put some effort to organize my parts.

In the same time, dangerousprototypes published a post with some ideas how to store you parts. There were some interesting ideas but none of them was perfect for me.

I don't have SMD parts on reels (yet) and I wanted to fit as much parts as possible to the small area. And here's my solution:

I wanted to create something like this organizer:

I have lot of transparent A4 paper organizers like in the above picture but not with shelves for SMD strips. I had to make them somehow. I looked over the internet and I haven't the right kind of wire to generate the heat to create the shelves.

So I took the 0,25W through hole 1 Ohm resistor, pumped some serious current through it and started to experiment. The 1,7 A seemed to do the right job. IF you burn too much, you create holes and the plastic organizer gets weaker. So the best solution is to make small dots and leave some space between them. To make nicer organizers I printed template with lines on A4 paper to help me guide the dots. I can fit 11 different SMD parts in cutted strips in one A4 organizer.

The best marking of shelves is done with coloured post-it stripes. You can easily relocate them to different place if you need to. If you leave the top of the post-it little bit outside over the edge, you can put SMD strips inside much more easilly.

The whole image gallery is here.