what is a good way to store electronic parts/shields and the arduino?
When it comes to parts, there are a ton of ways to store them, and everybody likes something different; if you do some searching around on this forum, you'll find a variety of threads talking about part organizing. I personally prefer "boxes of drawers" (ie, StackOn brand multi-drawer cabinets). Others like plastic bags. Still others like different solutions.
It really depends on how you think about organization, and what kind of space you have available (and whether you need portability). For instance, my approach has zero portability and takes up a TON of space; but that is ok for me, because I have a workshop and bench to accommodate my hobby. If you needed to be able to move things around more, you might try a different solution.
One compromise that gives you a lot of mobility, while allowing you to organize a bunch of parts in a similar fashion to multi-drawer cabinets, is fishing tackle boxes. Quality ones give you a ton of storage, with see-thru parts organizing bins, plus "stair-step" fold out options, oftentimes with a large area that's perfect to hold a few larger tools (like a solder iron, pliers, diagonal cutters, multimeter, etc).
One thing I have found - no matter what solution you choose - purchase more of the storage containers than you need, and standardize on what you purchase; try also to purchase a type that will be same from year-to-year (this is why I like StackOn drawers - their design hasn't changed much in many years - so if I need more, I can buy more and know it will look and work the same with my current stuff). Nothing is worse than having a ton of mis-matched storage containers, because nothing with stack together, or work/look the same, and it just turns out to be a mess. By going with a standard, or by purchasing a bunch of one type ahead of time (like, if you only needed one container, purchase 4 or more), you can alleviate or eliminate this in the future.
I did this when I re-organized my shop; I think I spent about $300.00 or more on just the various StackOn and other containers (I bought a bunch of snap-lid type containers in three different sizes to hold larger components, like gear motors, as well as parts such as computer motherboards and such). I then spent a bunch of money on some gorilla racks to put all of this on. It isn't 100 percent perfect, but it is tons better than what was there originally.
Make sure you also sort and label everything consistently. If you want such a system to work well, you need to get almost hyper-OCD in the organization realm. You can't just purchase the things (whatever it is), throw the parts in, and say "done"; that won't work in the long run.
As far as the Arduino and shields? Well, if you go the route of tackle boxes, you may find something that can fit those, too (keep them in a box or other means, separate from the discrete components). Or, put them in separate anti-static bags (anti-static bubble-wrap bags would be best) and store them in their own box or container. Another possibility would be to mount the Arduino (plus a few breadboards) to a piece of plywood with standoffs, to create an "Arduino Prototyping Station"; that would keep the Arduino and whatever circuit you're working on together and portable, while protecting the Arduino from being knocked off the table, or sat on a conductive surface (shorting it out or something).
Oh - finally - check out ULine (http://www.uline.com/) for possible storage solutions; they are a company that sells such solutions to commercial/business concerns, but you should be able to buy direct. The nice thing is that they sell "standard" solutions; that is, the solutions they sell will likely still be available many years down the line (which you likely won't see from other vendors - especially places that sell to consumers and change up their line constantly in order to "sell more" and "keep it fresh")...
i like the prototyping station. and where do i get these StackOn drawers
YoshiFan501: i like the prototyping station. and where do i get these StackOn drawers
I've purchased them via Amazon - you can see their complete line-up at their site; I personally prefer their 60-drawer model for discrete components:
Something to note: When you purchase the cabinets, each drawer has a couple of "channels" to allow you to add a divider; but the cabinets don't come with dividers (or if they do, they aren't enough for all of the drawers); you have to buy those separately. So make sure you pick those up as well, in addition to the cabinets, if you go this route. Also - the dividers are "loose fitted" - if you store a lot of small components, or components with thin leads (like resistors), they will slide under the dividers, which is a huge pain. Easy way to alleviate this is some clear cellophane tape.
A single 60-drawer cabinet, once each drawer is divided, can easily hold an R-24 series of resistors (I went and purchased such a series from a few distributors just so I would never need resistors again - got 100 each of each value).
You might also want some of their other cabinets with larger drawers that can hold larger items (like relays, small motors, etc). I standardized all of my drawers on the 60-drawer cabinets for electronic parts, and a couple of these 18 drawer cabinents for larger items:
In addition, I have a couple of these cabinets:
...for general hardware (nuts, bolts, screws, etc). All of these cabinets are the same size and shape, so they can sit next to each other, look good, etc; I have mine sitting on my workbench, but they have mounts to allow you to hang them from the wall if you want (use wall anchors - these things can get very, very heavy when filled with parts; that is also what makes them non-portable, but if you have a relatively permanent area to put them, they work well).
I use a ptouch labelmaker to label each drawer with their contents (although I have noticed that the labels don't like to stick well to the plastic, so you might want to try a different solution).
i personally like the suitcase style ones like http://www.amazon.com/Stanley-25-Removable-Compartment-Professional-Organizer/dp/B00005QWYF/ref=pd_bxgy_hi_img_b
Does the Uno require any anti-static care?
I found an old hard plastic (funky pink in colour) soap-box from travels in days gone by and the Uno fits in there perfectly, but it's a soap-box not certified for ESD protection 8)
I keep loose resistors, transistors and leds and stuff in small medicine containers, btw.
YoshiFan501: i personally like the suitcase style ones like http://www.amazon.com/Stanley-25-Removable-Compartment-Professional-Organizer/dp/B00005QWYF/ref=pd_bxgy_hi_img_b
If that works better for you (if you don't have the room for cabinets, or you need the portability, etc) - go for it. I would make sure to purchase many of them, though (maybe like 10 or more); because a year or so from now, when you need to buy more, you won't be able to get that same style (which is why I like the StackOn cabinets; they haven't changed in years - even so, I bought more than I needed).
The key to successful organization is mainly in consistency and labeling; unfortunately, in the consumer-market storage realm, they like to screw that first part up on a regular basis, to make you keep buying new stuff for the same use. Believe me, I used to have several random manufactured multi-drawer cabinets, and random boxes, etc - it was a complete nightmare.
I ended up standardizing on the StackOn cabinets, plus a three sizes of a particular make/model of snap-lid plastic storage containers, and then I bought many more than I needed at the time (I still have some unused, and it's been almost 2 years!). This way I know I won't run into the "randomness" factor in my storage in the near future. I also standardized on my shelving system, too (one particular type above my workbench, and a set of gorilla racks elsewhere in my shop).
Labeling is important so you know at a glance what is in each box, and each compartment; I am not sure how you can properly label the compartments in one of those suitcase-style units - you may need to just make up some kind of "legend" attached to the lid, or stick the labels on the dividers, or make some cardboard "tents" to fit over the components, but inside each compartment. Trust me, its easier to do this than to attempt to look at the components (especially if you have one box for resistors, another for transistors/mosfets, another for diodes/LEDs, etc).
ill buy one for now cause i barely have anything to store. just 3 shields some resistors jumper cables and leds and servos.
YoshiFan501: ill buy one for now cause i barely have anything to store. just 3 shields some resistors jumper cables and leds and servos.
That's what you think, now - but if this becomes a serious hobby in the future...
Well there is always this over the top approach used by Adam Savage (of the Discovery channel Mythbusters series) to organize his tools: http://www.tested.com/videos/45036-inside-adam-savages-man-cave-the-tool-boxes/.
MichaelMeissner: Well there is always this over the top approach used by Adam Savage (of the Discovery channel Mythbusters series) to organize his tools: http://www.tested.com/videos/45036-inside-adam-savages-man-cave-the-tool-boxes/.
You had to post that. Now I am sitting here drooling, and I probably can't afford it. I would so love to have that system; seems even better than my StackOn solution, to a certain extent. Here's the company:
Things that should be noted, though, from that video (and from the website for sortimo):
- It looks like Adam purchased (for certain items) more storage than he needed; note that some bins in the cases were empty.
- Adam labeled his bins.
- On sortimo's site, they still sell the same kind of cases that they have for the past 40 years.
So you can see and understand that what I suggested is -key- to keeping your components and such sorted well over time:
- Purchase more storage than you need.
- Label everything (as much as possible).
- Try to make sure that whatever solution you purchase will be around long-term.
Of course, sortimo is an industrial solution, and typically you have to go this route if you want to adhere to item 3. Unfortunately, this generally means you are going to pay a premium for your storage solution. Still - it may be worth it if you figure this to be a long term hobby.
/now I just need to find a vendor for sortimo (and I'll probably be shocked by the price)...
Well - I found their shopping site - http://www.sortimo-shop.de/
The basic T-BOXX (just the box, no divider bins):
...costs 27.97 EUR, which is equal to (currently) $34.21 USD. With bins, things jump to 43.44 EUR ($53.14 USD). The cabinet that Adam was using? I have no idea, but Sortimo has to offer it; it looked like it held 28 or 30 of the boxes - let's call it 30 (28 in the cabinet, plus the two extra on top).
That means that sorting solution runs about $1600.00 USD; the cabinet to store the boxes likely is at least another $250-500.00 USD on top. You could probably call it a $2000.00 USD storage system, in total.
I guess I won't be getting one any time soon, unfortunately...sigh.
Yes, while I'm drooling over Adam's tool cabinets, I figured it was way out of my budget range.
FWIW, I found in the US, I can get plastic cabinets for holding smaller amounts of stuff at JoAnn's (sewing store) than I see similar things at home improvement stores ($3 vs. $8). Of course I now have several different sized boxes, bought at different times. I tend to group stuff together, and out of my 4 boxes or so, I know immediately which is the box holds the machine screws vs. electronics. However, I'm getting to the point where I need more than one box of each.
JimboZA: Does the Uno require any anti-static care?
if its got silicon in it, its probally esd sensitive, any computer parts are in reality ...
At home I am pretty lax about ESD, and AVR's seem to be pretty robust in general (heck I sent a half inch spark to my arduino 3 years ago and its still working "fine"). Though I spent 2 months of my life zapping fets with a ESD gun at work and its a weird bitch. Boiled down its not the buildup that kills parts, its the discharge, and just like many things in electronics ... "it all depends"
In a situation like you described, you basically have a capacitor, if its discharged though the board, then you might have damage, if its discharged on the box, then it should be fine... which do you grab first, and are you at a lower potential?
Here’s my funky pink Uno-sized soap box
And these tube thingies that vitamin tablets come in are handy too… this one takes two small DC motors.