Partfinder Friday: Small Parts Storage and New Partfinder Categories!
Anyone who works with electronics will eventually find themselves with a glut of little components, PCBs and parts lying around. It’s tempting to just keep them in the original bags, let them form a pile in the corner of the bench, and pray that the angle of repose will hold as you add more and more to the top. Then, when you least expect it: AVALANCHE! — and you come to the realization that there’s gotta be a better way.
Fortunately, we stand on the shoulders of giants. One of those giants invented something called the drawer. Other giants invented plastics, and then injection molding, and so the solution to your problem is now easy and inexpensive.
These drawer cabinets from Akro-Mils are the real deal. Made from sturdy ABS plastic right here in the USA. There are similar, cheaper units, that you can get from Home Depot, Lowe’s, Target, etc., but they are not the same. The cheap ones are flimsy, they warp in summer heat, and tend to tip over because they have no mass. I started out with the units from Lowe’s, but after they fell over (probably from shame) for the like the 3rd time and scattered resistors all over the floor, I got fed up and bought the Akro-Mils units.
The cabinet on the left is 64 small drawers about 4″ deep, perfect for holding resistors, capacitors, ICs and the like. The one on the right has 32 of those same drawers on the top, but the bottom has 12 larger drawers which are great for holding PCBs, unassembled kits, beefy heatsinks, etc.
We’ve addeda new category to the partfinder called “Workbench”, and pages under that for storage and tools, so you can find all the stuff you need to set up your own home electronics workbench. Many of the tools are available from our shop as well, and each one of these has Ladyada’s seal of approval. We’re still in the process of adding stuff, but keep an eye on these pages for great ways to equip your home setup.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.