Computing stuff tied to the physical world

Parts!

In Hardware on Sep 25, 2009 at 00:01

The flip side of experimenting with electronic stuff, is that you end up with a lot of little things!

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To avoid losing my sanity, I’m now trying to get organized. The above has about 50 bags with one or a few tiny parts in them, mostly stuff from DigiKey and Farnell. SMD, through-hole parts, sensors, little batteries, buzzers, you name it…

And that’s just a fraction of the mess I’m creating around here :)

Anyway, I’ve been spending my time to try and get to grips with this. Bags of similar sizes in one box. A sheet printed out with unique label numbers, and then the work starts: put label on bag, place in box, and add a line to a little database with Location, Label, Description, and Notes. Then it won’t matter where the stuff is, since it’ll be tagged with a note in the database. I use DEVONthink for this, its storage and search capabilities are just right for me.

The trick of course, is to use tags. I’m going to start using the different vendor options to add my own tags during the on-line ordering process. Doesn’t matter one bit what the tag is, as long as it’s unique. I’m using tags like F0001/F0002/… for Farnell items, D0001/D0002/… for DigiKey, etc. By printing a batch of them on a sheet, it’s trivial to keep all tags unique. I don’t have small labels, so I print on larger ones and then slice up the sheet to create lil’ ones:

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The texts are created in Tcl/Tk by placing a bunch of them on a canvas the size of an A4 sheet along with thin cutting lines, and then saving the result as postscript. So now I can run “numprint X2500″ to get a printable sheet of labels X2500 .. X2639 in exactly the right spot. Very configurable, very automated.

So trivial. So overdue…

  1. well done, I (and I guess a lot out there) have the same problem, lots of parts scattered everywhere, free samples, parts bought online, parts salvaged…..

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