VOGONS


First post, by pan069

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At any given time I only have some of my hardware assembled into a working system which means that most of the time my mobo's and cards are stored away.

I have a policy to wrap/bag every single item in it's own anti-static bag with 2 or more silica packs added (how many depend on the size of the component).

I live in Australia (Sydney to be precise) and our summers can get quite humid (like right now). I was thinking of getting some plastic containers from the office supply store but then thought that maybe having hardware in a sealed environment might not be a good idea since if there is moisture it might actually trap in.

Do you guys have advice on storing your hardware?

Reply 1 of 10, by Merovign

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I don't use silica packs but I should. Bags where possible but I have some anti-static racks and I hope to get more, to store boards vertically (under cover to reduce dust buildup).

Motherboards horizontal with padding, some are stored with heatsinks and not stacked. Eventually plan to build shelf units for those inside a larger shelf, kind of drawers for each board.

Ideally I'd have proper storage for everything but way too much stuff is just stacked right now. Makes me cringe a little to think about it. Time/energy/money.

It's kind of medium humidity here but temperature controlled.

You could use plastic tubs but ventilate them, even cut vents in both ends and run a fan part of the time (but that could also build up static electricity).

Depending on your budget there are commercial options, an internet search for "PCB storage" will show a lot, generally they are sold in commercial volume but occasionally you find one or two here or there.

Reply 2 of 10, by dkarguth

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I am ashamed to admit it, but my storage method is to stack them in a small plastic bin. That's it. I use anti-static bags for some of the more valuable cards, but ISA cards generally aren't that sensitive to ESD anyway. Besides, my lab has static-dissipative carpet! As for motherboards, I put them in anti-static motherboard bags. They're a little more fragile.

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Reply 3 of 10, by JidaiGeki

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Good thing it's autumn here in Sydney 😉

I have most of my boards in plastic tubs, while some are in systems, others just in anti-static bags. Haven't had issues with condensation inside the tubs stored in the garage, which is where it gets hottest and most humid over summer. Older electronics are fairly resilient though, some salvaged parts I've found to be working have been stored pretty poorly indeed.

PS Bunnings tends to have the cheapest and widest range of tubs, though the cheapest ones are quite fragile

Reply 4 of 10, by treeman

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I have mine in a well sealed cardboard box in anti static bags or wrapped in bubble wrap, also a bit ashamed but so far ok, Melbourne here

Reply 5 of 10, by Anonymous Coward

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I don't just use anti-static bags to prevent ESD, but also to keep the components from scratching each other. That's why I would recommend each component gets its own bag.

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Reply 6 of 10, by wiretap

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I keep everything in my house, climate controlled -- 72F degrees / 35% humidity year around. Every item is stored in an antistatic bag or ESD-safe bubble wrap, then laid flat in cardboard boxes that have a layer of ESD-safe foam. I don't stack components or store them vertical since that can cause warping over time which can break traces and BGA mounting. Storing in a non-climate controlled environment is not good for longevity over years/decades because the wide temperature and humidity swings can definitely break solder joints.

For example I've seen my garage go from -15F to 45F in the winter, and 45F to 90F in the summer in a short few hours time span.. day after day. I need to resolder my garage door opener circuit board nearly every winter because the PCB mounted relays on it crack the solder joints. (note: I'm in Michigan near Lake Erie where we get some extreme weather) Here's a good example of the type temperature swings I see.. https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michig … ars/1079114001/

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Reply 7 of 10, by meljor

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Motherboards and graphics cards on shelfs for display if they are in original box, otherwise motherboards in plastic storage containers and cards in a way that they don't take up too much space and can be grabbed pretty easily when I want to bench something:

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They are sitting on wooden blocks that I gave a sawcut every 2,5cm, around 1cm deep. works great and everytime I grab something it still works (only been this way around 2 years now).

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Reply 8 of 10, by Violett'Blossom

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Every piece is cleaned of dust and corrosion (if has any), then stashed into ESD bag and wrapped lightly into bubble wrap and then stashed into cardboard box

This makes sure to prevent scratches, and ESD. Also looks neat and organized 😀

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Reply 9 of 10, by doaks80

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Bunnings sell(sold?) these big plastic boxes for something like $7. I got like about 10 of them. Can store about 10 motherboards in a row or dozens of cards. Anti static bags. Live in a dry ass climate so dont bother with silica.

Also, craft shops sell really nice little plastic boxes with internal compartments just the right size for cpus. Bit of anti static foam and its perfect.

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Reply 10 of 10, by tayyare

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This is 70% of all my loose parts, spares, and shit. I have another half of this same closet, full of the remaining 30%.

Cards are all in antistatic bags, then stored in cardboard boxes remained from my older puchases of new parts, or IKEA storage boxes of the same kind. HDDs (cannot be seen in the picture, the closet is 60cm deep) goes into cheap, purpose built and readily available plastic HDD protection boxes. RAMs and CPUs are less protected, just stting in proper boxes neatly stacked together.

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