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Organizing Resistors

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by overture3d, Oct 5, 2012.

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  1. overture3d


    Sep 28, 2012
    What is the best way to organize resistors? It takes me forever to search through them to find the one I am looking for.
  2. davenn

    davenn Moderator

    Sep 5, 2009
    I use component drawers that have dividers to produce 4 sections per drawer
    then I can place say 3 or 4 values per section, makes finding values really easy
    especially when it is all labelled

  3. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    Depending on your eyesight :)

    There are several ways.

    1) store each different value in it's own bag (small zip-lock bags are good for this)

    2) group by value (1R, 10R, 100R, 1k, 10k, 100k, 1M in one place, 1R2, 12R, 120R, 1k2, 12k, 120k, 1M2 in another and so on)

    3) group by multiplier (!R, 1R2, 1R5, 1R8, 2R2, 2R7, 3R3, 3R9, 4R7, 5R6, 6R8, 8R2 in one, 10R, 12R, 15R, 18R, 22R, 27R, 33R, 39R, 47R, 56R, 68R, 82R in another.. and so on)

    4) some other grouping.

    I'd do something like (3) except that perhaps I'd not put an entire decade in one bag. You can use the E3 or E6 values as a guide as to how to split up these ranges equally.

    These days I have to put on special glasses just to read the bands on smallish resistors, so often I just take a fuzzy guess and measure to check.

    Surface mount actually makes things easier because I can place the values in large print on the reel, or whatever. :)
  4. BobK


    Jan 5, 2010
    I use a cabinet with each E6 value going down the columns, and the multiplliers going across the rows. i.e. each columns will have 1, 1.5, 2.2, 3.3. 4.7, 6.8, and the rows are 1, 10, 100, 1K, 10K, 100K, 1M. I put the next higher E12 value in the same drawer with the E6 values. So for the E12 series, there are only 2 values per drawer.

  5. Merlin3189


    Aug 4, 2011
    I use transparent paper envelopes, which were sold for holding strips of 35mm film. These stand in order in boxes with dividers at 1, 10, 100, 1K, etc. The values are written on the visible end of the envelope and it's like flicking through a card index to find the value you want.
    But I only use wire-ended resistors. I can't imagine how people get on with SMD stuff!
  6. davenn

    davenn Moderator

    Sep 5, 2009
    I rarely buy SMD components unless its something specific I need for a project or repair and that would only include specialist semiconductors and RF parts like mixers or VCO's

    99% of my SMD parts come from what I recover from commercial boards including the above items. Storage for them .... In general I dont remove from the board till I need it
    Makes it so much easier to find them .... just pull the boards from the caseing, store the board, toss the casing.
    Glancing over a few boards to find an appropriate tantalum capacitor or resistor is easy
    ceramic caps, of course need to be measured
    Specialist RF SMD semiconductors and other items, I make note on a spreadsheet as to how many I have and what boards I can find them on.

  7. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    I got a heap of surface mount components during the GFC when lots of US companies liquidated their stocks of components for cents in the dollar.

    As I said, reels are easy. You just write the value in large friendly letters on the reel.

    I also have what started out as 5000 surface mount resistors, 50 values x 100 of each. They are individually bagged and fit in a box the size of a pack of cards. Again, they are labelled in large friendly letters :)

    The leaded resistors I have are in a single box all mixed up. It is a carry over from when I could see the bands. These days I have to put on a special pair of glasses and poke through them. It;s a bit of a pain in the arse, not so much because they're mixed together, but because you don't know if you've run out of a value.

    If I did it again, I'd go the method I described above. (The same applies if my eyes get any worse).
  8. UnionTech


    Mar 5, 2012
    I havent tied it yet but someone suggested using the plastic envelopes used to hold collectable cards. Can store them in a binder and fit 9 different resistors per sheet. Also doesnt take much space.
  9. duke37


    Jan 9, 2011
    I use fag packets in a drawer, I got these from my neighbour. Unfortunately cancer got him so my supply has dried up.

    Attached Files:

  10. Mongrel Shark

    Mongrel Shark

    Jun 6, 2012
    I have a ball of unsorted resistors in a big bag. About the size of a basket ball. And few Ice cream containers (2L) with stuff I stripped. Caps, transistors, IC's. Everything. Its a huge pain, but I'm worried it will take up more space when its sorted out.

    I like Bob's filing system. Been looking at tackle boxes (Fishing) Or maybe something a jewelry maker would use, with lots of dividers in a grid, that I can stack 3-4 deep in a drawer.

    The draw currently has aprox 1000+ assorted leds, Some are in labeled bags still, as they arrived from ebay, others have spilled out as the bags are not resalable... It a disaster! Every time I go in there I spill more.... All clear 5mm cases... I have a tester. But there's a 1000 of them... tester only does 1 at a time..

    I like the binder idea. I know someone had one for basketball cards. That could be good.

    My advice. Sort it out asap, before it gets silly. I'm really reluctant to buy/strip anything till I get a system. It's gone too far.
  11. CocaCola


    Apr 7, 2012
    I have a bunch of these, they are made by Stanley and can be found at hardware stores, there is a shallow (pictured) and a deep version... They can also be found rebranded in 'purple' at Walmart under I believe the Martha Stewart label... You can also get a slightly different version at Harbor Freight for significantly less... There are probably several other copies of this design out there...

    I like these because the little compartments can come out or be swapped around to a different container on the fly, nice when I'm working on a project and can put all the parts for that project in one or two containers... The part numbers are clipped right off of the suppliers original packing for the resistors, or the shipping label... These also stack very well and lock into each other when they stack so they don't tip over or slide around...

    The clear bead organizer 'jars' are perfect for SMD parts, just mark the top and BOTTOM of each container with a sharpie and you are golden...

    Attached Files:

  12. djradu


    Oct 5, 2012
    Or u can use plastic bags,really cheap and beeing transparent helps allot [​IMG] and their are small just well suited for electronics
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