Let's Make Robots!

Organized Resistance

Yet another way of organizing your parts.

First, let's face it-there are any number of ways you could do this.

But after years of fighting a mess of resistors in a Plano box and looking up the color codes with an online calculator whenever I needed a specific value I didn't know off the top of my head I finally went through and did this last night:

Plano box'o'resistors

This works well if your collection is in that 500-1000 piece range (sold in odd configurations at RadioShack and several online houses) and you already have a setup that is dependent on plastic cases like this one-say a tool-box style carrier or a slide out shelf of them.  I did roughly the same thing with caps/semiconductors/small hardware/misc parts, but those tended to be easier to sort by size.  Resistors not so much.  (I do like the three-ring binder full of buisness card holders idea, but I had committed to this already when I saw that.)

What really sets this organization apart for me is the division method.  Ever since I was 12, when reading resistor codes it was always that third band that threw me off.  It turns out that for a plastic case like the one in the photo, it's the third band that makes it easy to organize them. About 7-8 divisions is perfect-and there are only 8 possibilities for band 3 on E12/E24s (the 5 bands still f me up-I say screw them.)  So dividing things into 1-9.1Ω, 10-91Ω, 100-910Ω, etc. works pretty well.  (I put the 10M ones in with the 1-9Ms because why dedicate one compartment to a single value?) The extra compartments work for CdS cells, panel-mount pots, wire-wounds, etc.  

Further, I found that you don't necessarily have to use a pemanent ("Sharpie") style marker to color code the wells.  "Crayola" brand water marker dyes seem to be holding up just fine.  Of course there isn't a "Gold" one of those, but that's easy enough to remember.

Also, just so I know I'm not getting my reads wrong, I put this chart on the hood:

It's nice to have when it's late and your eyes and brain are tired.

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I find myself color blind at those tiny colours,so I always hook up my trustworthy mutimeter......

I know what you mean under poor light some shades of colours on resistors are are hard to pick. It's only after I put the meter on them sometimes all of a sudden the true colour becomes visible. Like magic.

About 20 years ago I collected (bought) matches, burned them and saved the boxes. With glue I made a component rack which I still have and use. 208 matchboxes glued together!

A few more photos over here: https://plus.google.com/photos/106396749635788483307/albums/5877863010576615297?authkey=CMHQy_bu-OmuKA

Mogul going to start saving kitchen match boxes, with the wood stove and BBQ I will have a bunch in no time

I'll try this, but starting with a few hundred would be overkill.

How many resistors do you keep on hand?

In the matchbox rack I have 7 rows of E12 (1ohm to 8M2). then I have 0.1 to 0.82 in an other box. They are a little bigger, only a few would fit into each matchbox.

Then I have a collection of TTL and CMOS logic circuits, some small caps and transistors in there as well. (plus LEDs, and other often used parts)

Well done Max. I can see how this idea would help many beginners.

I set to do through-hole stuff: I Google for the resistor code, curse because I don't know what color that particular image is.  I switch over to this site Then, I go through a Christmas-light-like resistor agglomeration before I find the correct one.  I check the "correct one" with the multi-meter before I realize it wasn't.  I check Google again.  Curse some more.  Then, open Eagle to redesign the entire thing SMD-style so I can pull the little resistor out of a too small ziplock bag, which is clearly marked; put together by someone I'm sure is underpaid.

Thus, this spiritual post might rescue me from certain insanity; an organized lab represents an organized mind, right?

(I'm boned.)

Speaking of resistor color codes, you might like this.

Also, I've heard that plastic trading card holders (the sheets that go into binders) make good resistor holders. 

Anyways, thank's for the tip, Max!