Hey Everyone, thanks for the many suggestions (and a few laughs.. a highly important component of personal electronics).
I'll try to answer a few things, ask a few things (sounds like a good day at the bench...)
Thought you were going to put some voltage regulators in there?
Yes.. I will, real soon.. but it probably will be a $5 assortment because there are lots of possibilities, including my personal favorite LM317 which I once bought a barrel of (literally.. but I'd digress if I started that story).
IMO it is a big mistake not to include a logic-level power mosfet.
I'll try to.. I'm trying to get a low-cost bunch that I know I can get at a good price from Mr. Tang at CEPREI, down the street in Shenzhen. But all the logic level part# I've tried with him so far returns "The baby does not correspond to" (well, that's the literal translation of the Chinese equivalent of "part not found"..) The STP40NF10L is about $1.75 at Mouser and I'll ask my partner Peng to look for it at some of the other 900+ suppliers in the SEG market.
I want to carry some of the newer, most-useable parts but it doesn't make sense for me to try to do what Digikey and Mouser do so well, and ship from China. "When" I write a good? How-To page on Power FETS I will link to some Mouser part#s.
OH: Drivers.. after looking at the (cheap) possibilities for driving these low-cost but 10V gate swing FETS I decided to include 10 drivers useable up to 18v for either NFET or PFETs. It's the good-ole 555 which makes a nice +-200ma driver, swinging near ground and supply. Plus you can just use it as a quick PWM driver to try things out. Works well on 12V for both N and P, and works well for N even when drain voltage is high. I gotta write THAT page and do some diagrams.
There are a good selection of octal NPN packages for low-side switching, but are there any complimentary OCTAL PNP high-side switch parts?
I'd love to find a nice octal (8 in a package) driver that was source-sink. There are some cool FET gate drivers that would probably work for that, but I can't buy them for 25 cents! But I'll add a couple of ULN2003 Transistor Darlington Array to the IC assortment for now.
The talk here reminds me of the saying, "We don't make much money, but we have a lot of fun!".. As long as US Social Security keeps running, and I stay with my local Mediterranean Diet, I can keep running