Office organization

There was a discussion on the askelectronics subreddit about part storage, which reminded me that I’ve been meaning to post about the latest office arrangement. For the video tour, see this post. Since the main question is about components, I’ll start there. Since the organization has grown over a decade or so, there is some duplication and some things that could be grouped better, which is an ongoing process.

This is the main electronics workbench in my office:

WorkbenchFrom top row, left to bottom row right:

  • Grey bins – the oldest bins. Contains US machine screws, wood screws, nails, etc.
  • Teal bins – until recently this was metric hardware and rivets, but most of that has moved to primary storage (covered below) – now mostly empty
  • Partitioned containers. These are $10 from the container store. There are 5 in use here and 3 more emptys in primary storage. This is the newest component to my system.
    • SMD components (mostly salvage) in paper envelopes labeled with part numbers and descriptions
    • Crimped connectors (Mini fit Jr, MTA, C-Grid, etc)
    • Headers for the MakerMod project (mostly 0.1 SMD and Through-hole)
    • SMD components for MakerMod (Buttons, Resistor packs, Dual LEDs)
    • Precision Resistors (mostly 0805 and 1206 1% that I picked up in a free bin) in paper envelopes, also some caps
  • Metal-framed bins – Mostly PCBs (blank) that I have designed, perf board, proto board, promos, breadboards, and a few development kits
  • Red framed bins – Common component – LED, Headers, Rubber feet, Springs, Terminal blocks, heat shrink, LCDs, LED displays, sockets, bigger sensors
  • Tool Storage – My extensible, laser cut electronics tool-holder design
  • Black Bins – Buttons, switches, Voltage regulators, Diodes, SMD (R,C,Q,D – all in individually labeled envelopes), Through-hole resistors (more envelopes, all sorted by size and wattage), Pots, ICs (mostly on static foam, sorted across 6 or so drawers by type – PIC, AVR, MSP430, Logic, Analog, Memory, etc.), etc.

Next is primary storage:

Main StorageThis is split into three types of container:

  • The black drawers on the bottom right are an ALEX with the wheels removed. From top to bottom:
    • Test equipment, DSO nano, Bus Pirate, Saleae knockoff, USB cables, IC programmers, Temperature probes
    • Wire
    • Hand tools
    • Tools in boxes (bit sets, calipers)
    • Drill index and other tools in boxes
    • Power tools (jigsaw, drill, chargers)
  • The boxes on the main shelves are Container Store Shoe Boxes (and sweater boxes, which nest with the shoe boxes), which I buy by the case. Typical contents:
    • other electronics connectors (Samtec samples, Hirose, all sorts of odd-balls)
    • Mechanical parts, Motors, heavy wire, project enclosures, Tape, Wheels, Static bags
    • Wall Warts, Computer cables by type (power, USB, Ethernet, Audio/Video), input devices
    • Projects, dev kits, 3D printer parts, desk toys, unsorted ICs and components
  • On the left are the other new additions to my system, Harbor Freight latching cases and storage boxes. Half of these are empty. There are also spare partitioned containers here.
    • Open Beam components
    • Smaller motors and servos
    • Metric hex head hardware
    • Rivets and screws
    • Peg board hooks
    • Batteries

I also have a closet with more shelves, mostly holding bankers boxes

  • Lights
  • Camera Equipment
  • Old laptops
  • Larger raw material
  • LEGO and Knex
  • Packing material for electronics (small boxes, paper, etc.)

That’s the bulk of my project space. If you have any questions, comment here or ask them in the subreddit thread listed at the top of the post.

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