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Components and storage

To make anything you need the components and the tools to put them together. Here I'll suggest some ways to get started on organising your components and a cheap way to get everything you need to start up.

I have a lovely shed but it's 10m from the house and cold; if I want to keep warm when making something (in the house) I don't want to be walking back and forwards for the odd component. I originally had a nice little tool box with component bags in but this got overrun with odd components and sorting out what I'd got became a major challenge.

I also had a good selection of components but not the full range and often I'd have to order a large amount of one resistor or capacitor value to satisfy and urge to solder. I needed some organising!

Well the answer needed to be cheap and easy. I went for a relatively expensive Velleman  component kit option and cheap storage boxes. For 954 components it cost £36.18 (UK) which works out at roughly 3p a component but includes storage. To get organised at last it was worth the money!

First I purchased 4 x 26 compartment plastic boxes from the 'Home Bargains' shop. These were £2.99 each (I've seen them on sale for £9 in some hobby shops!).

Then I purchased the Velleman packs from Maplins:

224 x Ceramic Capacitors (Maplin N67BT)
120 x Electrolytic Capacitors (Maplin N68BT)
610 x E12 resistors(Maplin FA08J)

Next I cut out paper inserts and note all the values of Capacitors and Resistors purchased, these were placed in the compartments and then the components put in the correct 'bin'. Young children are eager helpers! If you ever want to learn about the resistor colour code or preferred values this is the job to do!!

That was the easy bit - I then had to go through all my unsorted components built up over several years and organise them! It took a while but the effort has been well worth it as hopefully you can see by the pictures below. Now I've gone and added a few more of these organising boxes for my transistors, ICs, ferrites, IF transformers etc. I've got a fully functional and portable component store.

Capacitor store (I need another box!) ...

Part of the Resistor store...

Note the magnifying glass which I've recently discovered I now need!

Some of the boxes together....