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Resistors and organization

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by Six_Shooter, Dec 5, 2013.

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  1. Six_Shooter


    Nov 16, 2012
    How do you organize your resistors, and related, diodes?

    Currently in my school kit I have a small box that is divided into 6 sections and each decade series of E12 resistor values in each compartment, separated into 3 bags in each. ( It works, because it's compact, but can be annoying to use.

    I'm looking for a solution for my home lab, so far I have organized the resistors I have into their respective values in some small bags. I bought a small storage container that has dividers ( thinking that the resistors in packages would fit nicely, but not as nice as I would like. I have plenty of E24 values as well, that I would like to incorporate into the same organized container/solution if I can.

    I'm contemplating re-purposing one of my small drawer organizers for this purpose, but I would like something that could be portable at the same time, without fear of losing anything or spilling.

    So what's your solution?
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2013
  2. GreenGiant


    Feb 9, 2012
    What I have seen in a lot of places is you have a grid system, the rows are for the numeric value (1; 1.1; 1.2; 1.5; 2; 2.2; 2.4; 2.5 etc) then the columns are for the range value, ones, tens, hundreds, thousands, ten thousands etc.

    This system only works well with the common values, the other odd sizes you would put in another section just based on increasing value. This system also takes up a lot of space, so be wary of that.

    The other option is to try to keep a log of what you have then get a 9 section container for the resistors, one for each numeric value at the beginning (1's, 2's 3's, 4's, etc) this you can carry with you and keep orgaized its just time consuming searching through them when you need a specific one.
  3. KrisBlueNZ

    KrisBlueNZ Sadly passed away in 2015

    Nov 28, 2011
    Personally I'm a big fan of resealable plastic bags. They don't waste space, they're easy to transport, and they don't spill their entire contents if you drop them. You can mark them clearly with an indelible marker or laundry marker.

    I put less commonly used values in individual bags by value, then put those bags in larger bags, one per decade. I keep commonly used values, like all powers of ten, separate, for convenience.

    For diodes, I use the same idea. The cool thing about resealable bags is that you can adjust your organisation scheme according to what stock you actually have. So for example if you just have a few zeners of various voltages, you can put them in a single bag. You could put all your high-voltage diodes in a single bag too. If you have a lot of a specific diode, that probably justifies having its own bag. As for resistors, I keep the common diodes (1N914/4148, 1N4007 etc) quickly accessible.

    With some types of components - miscellaneous transistors, for example - I find it's convenient to group them by package. It really depends on how you categorise the component in your own mind. Put yourself in the situation where you want to get at a specific component, and see how you would think. Then put yourself in the situation where you want a particular type of component but you're not sure what you have. For example, say you want a silicon small-signal transistor, PNP, rated for at least 200 mA and 30V. This might suggest that you organise transistors by polarity and by package, since most transistors that fit those requirements will probably be TO-92. But it largely depends on how many different types, and how many of each type, you have in your stock.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2013
  4. Six_Shooter


    Nov 16, 2012
    Ok, but after you put all the resistors (and diodes) in plastic bags, what do you put the bags in? That's the point I'm at. I have everything separated into bags, now I need to find a way to organize the bags.

    I haven't come across any solutions that stand out as what I'm looking for yet. I don't know what I'm looking for, just something better than lining my walls with hundreds of drawers...
  5. KrisBlueNZ

    KrisBlueNZ Sadly passed away in 2015

    Nov 28, 2011
    I just keep the bags in a modular large plastic drawer system. Each drawer is about 30 cm wide, 20 cm high, and 40 cm deep. They can hold a LOT of bags! You could also use cardboard boxes of suitable sizes, one for each category of component.

    Remember I said that I group the small bags into larger bags. For example, my small resistor collection fits in about twelve bags. Each level of bagging increases the time it takes to access the components, so less commonly used components can be buried deeper in the hierarchy.
  6. Steve Johnson

    Steve Johnson

    Feb 10, 2012
    Bags or envelopes are a good way to go. A lot easier to add a bag or envelope with a new value. If you are using small drawers for different values adding a new value/drawer in the middle is a pain.
  7. Six_Shooter


    Nov 16, 2012
    Yep, already have the bags side of this covered.

    looking for a good way to organize the bags, and not into the idea of using more bags to have bags within bags. I have considered it, and would rather find another solution.

    I've used 20 pack cigarette packages in the past (took up a lot of space for only a few resistors), envelopes, that are nearly as good as bags, but takes up more room than I thought was needed. I have the small bags which I like, just need a way to keep them organized.

    Maybe I'll have to make a small container. I have an idea, still not in love with it.

    There has to some idea out there that I have not seen yet, some novel idea that is the coolest way to do it, barring robotic sort and selection. LOL
  8. BobK


    Jan 5, 2010
    I use a cabinet myself, with draws for each E6 value (and the higher E12 etc ones go in the same drawer).

    Another thing I have seen that appeals to me is a binder with plastic sheets with pockets in them. You can get these as office supply store. That might be a good way to organize your bags.

  9. Six_Shooter


    Nov 16, 2012
    I've seen the binders, I've tried something similar in the past with other things (not electronics) and they became bulky and hard to use, so I will be steering quite clear of that idea.

    So far drawers seem to be winning out. [​IMG]
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