Tag Archives: Electronics

Cool Tools: Design Easy SMD Component Kits

Introduction

Inspired by Kevin Kelly’s book Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities, I have set out to document tools that I find particularly interesting or useful, primarily in my work as an electronics hobbyist and professional electrical engineer. This is the first post in that series.

Design Easy SMD Component Books

Design Easy SMD Kit

These SMD component books are super handy for all sorts of electronics prototyping, construction, and repair projects. I bought a full set of these books for my lab bench at the office some time ago and and have found them invaluable. I liked them so much that I bought a second set for home!

R0402 kit detail

I prefer these component books over other types of SMD kits such as trays, bins, drawers, or bags because they don’t take up much space on the shelf and they keep components nicely organized in order by value.  Components are easy to access and hard to mix up.

There are many other vendors on eBay and aliexpress that sell component books just like these, but I like Design Easy because they have reasonable prices and carry resistor and capacitor assortments from size 1206 all the way down to 0201. You can save on shipping by ordering a complete set at once.

Here’s a snippet from their eBay store:

0402 practical book: ( resistor 63value 3300pcs )+( capacitor 17value 950pcs )
0603 practical book: ( resistor 63value 3025pcs )+( capacitor 17value 700pcs )
0805 practical book: ( resistor 63value 3025pcs )+( capacitor 17value 700pcs )
RF practical book:    ( 0402 capacitor 12value 600pcs ) + (0805 capacitor 10uF 50pcs ) + (0402 high F inductor 38value 1900pcs)
0201 resistors: 106 values, 50 pcs/value, 5300 pcs in all
0402 resistors: 170 values, 50 pcs/value, 8500 pcs in all
0603 resistors: 177 values, 50 pcs/value, 8850 pcs in all 5%
0603 resistors: 170 values, 50 pcs/value, 8500 pcs in all 1%
0805 resistors: 177 values, 50 pcs/value, 8850 pcs in all 5%
0805 resistors: 170 values, 50 pcs/value, 8500 pcs in all 1%
1206 resistors: 170 values, 50 pcs/value, 8500 pcs in all

0402 capacitors: 80 values, 50 pcs/value, 4000 pcs in all
0603 capacitors: 90 values, 50 pcs/value, 4500 pcs in all
0805 capacitors: 92 values, 50 pcs/value, 4600 pcs in all
1206 capacitors: 38 values, 50 pcs/value, 1900 pcs in all

Their “practical book” series contains an assortment of SMD resistors and capacitors in one book, while the separate resistor and capacitor kits are more complete and IMHO generally more useful, particularly if you use capacitors a lot and need a wider assortment of values.

Bonus: If you want to create your own component assortment or add extra pages to an existing one, Adafruit carries Blank SMT Storage Books and extra Storage Pages.

Surplus Summit 2012 Part One: Los Angeles

Testing 47GHz radios

(Photo: Tony KC6QHP testing out his 47GHz amateur radio. Remember this post? All that work paid off, the radio works!)

Last month I cashed in some airline miles and finally got to visit some old friends and spend some time in beautiful Southern California. Some long-time readers of the blog may remember the last time I did something like this in 2009.

While I was there I visited my good friend Tony in Los Angeles, and we went on a tour of surplus electronics and swap meets that we called Surplus Summit 2012.

Continue reading Surplus Summit 2012 Part One: Los Angeles

A glimpse at Electronics Workbenches around the world…

Since creating the Electronics Workbench Flickr group last November, I have received lots and lots of really amazing submissions from electronics hobbyists and professionals around the world.

My two biggest takeaways so far? I do not own nearly enough test equipment, and my shop is not nearly as well-organized or space-efficient as it could be (I need to use all available wall space and build up).

Here are a few of my favorite images from the group:

Click any of these images for a larger version!

Joe Grand (of Prototype This! and Grand Idea Studio) and his awesome electronics workshop:

Joe Grand Interview, 2012-01-17

Joe Grand Interview, 2012-01-17

(Nice scope, Joe!)

blalor turned his BMW into a temporary workshop, and his passenger seat is the electronics workbench (note the laptop perched on the dash):

My current “workbench”

eschlaep (Eric Schlaepfer of tubetime.us) submitted this moody shot of a CRT project in progress:

5" Cathode Ray Tube - Lissajous Figure

Senke2 has a nice home lab with a lofty feel:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/57440811@N08/6473039935/in/pool-1767402@N25/

Looks like *someone* has a Tektronix fetish. Beautiful setup by Alan (W2AEW):

W2AEW Workbench

More scope envy, of both the oscillo- and micro- kinds (Thanks Mgburr!):

Workbench_A

embeddederic sent in this picture of his workbench. Note the Tek 491 spectrum analyzer up top, 10MHz – 12GHz with 1950s(?) technology:

HPIM3047

And lastly, check out this awesome workbench panorama by anachrocomputer (best viewed large):

Lab Panorama

See if you can spot the Tektronix 575 curve tracer!

There are lots more great photos in the group photo pool.

Do you have an electronics workbench that you’re proud of? Snap a photo and share it with the group!

New Flickr Group for your Electronics Workbench

workbench

Ahh, the electronics workbench – shrine to the electron, the diode, the transistor, the soldering pencil and flux pen.

You can learn a lot about someone by looking at their workspace. Note the way that they store components (in pullout drawers or plastic organizers?), hang test leads (on hooks or wire racks, or on a nail?), and keep spools of wire at the ready for repairs and new projects.

A look at someone’s electronics workbench gives you a small glimpse into what is usually a fairly personal space – a space where visions become reality and electronics projects are brought to life.

While there are quite a few electronics workbenches on flickr, I determined after a quick search that there had been no attempt to bring all of these glimpses into a hobbyist or engineer’s soul together into one place.

And thus was born the Electronics Workbench flickr group:

Electronics Workbench

Getting organized in the lab.

Me in my electronics room.  I'm holding the beginnings of a cryogenic receiver project.

Have a photo of your bench? Add it to the group!

No? Then go downstairs into your basement, out into your garage, or up into the attic and take one!

And don’t spend too much time cleaning it up first – noone will believe you that your workbench is that clean when we’re not looking.

Also, a shoutout: This group was inspired in part by the Workbench of the Week (WOTW) page over at The Amp Hour. I don’t think WOTW has been a feature on the show for several months. Maybe we can get Chris and Dave to bring it back??

Happy soldering!

– Jeff

www.flickr.com

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