[sdiy] [Electronics_101] Where to get capacitor and resistor kits?

rsdio at audiobanshee.com rsdio at audiobanshee.com
Mon Mar 20 12:22:16 CET 2017

On Mar 20, 2017, at 3:00 AM, cheater00 cheater00 <cheater00 at gmail.com <mailto:cheater00 at gmail.com>> wrote:
> Hi Brian,
> I thought if I buy a kit I shouldn't invest a lot since I'm just a hobbyist and I'll never in my dreams use up, say, 100 of most values. In a few years the parts will have found a way to become obsolete anyways. My main reason to get a kit of some sort was to have a few values around on hand to mess about when trying things out - if a project needs a special value, size, or kind, then i can order it as you say.

Do what you want, but my advice is to not be so afraid of Mouser. By the time you need SMD parts, you’ll have a PCB, not a breadboard, and so you can order exactly what you need affordably. As was suggested by someone else, buy the assorted through-hole parts, because those are the ones you’ll be experimenting with on breadboards without any bill of materials to help order the exact values. I’m saying that assorted SMD is useless, but agree with the other gentleman that assorted through-hole are worthwhile.

If you spend all your time trying to find the right SMD kit on eBay just because you’re afraid that Mouser will cost more, then you’ve missed an important learning experience. It’s much better use of your time to learn how to find parts on Mouser, locate good prices, and put together orders that are affordable. That’s a skill you can go back and use later when you know what you’re doing. Finding some random eBay seller with an SMD kit is not really going to teach you anything useful.

> I wasn't aware of the issue with moisture absorption by SMT parts. That is a very important consideration. What is the shelf life of such parts in a "pill box" enclosure, stored in a normal home environment? Does storing the parts in the tape they came in remove this issue completely? What about "pre-baking" parts before you use them? What if you stored your parts case/book in a vacuum zip lock after every use? What if you used some cheap gas to get rid of moisture before putting in a vac bag for a longer time - could that be practical? Say using dry nitrogen as used for hvac?

I have no idea what tricks will work if you’re dead set on going against conventions. I just pay the professionals to handle all surface mount assembly, and then do rework only when absolutely necessary. The assembly shops know which parts need special treatment and how to resurrect a part that needs baking. I think it’s cool that some people build their own ovens from cheap appliances and cut their own stencils, but I don’t have time to waste on that. Breadboards are one thing, but DIY SMD doesn’t make a lot of sense.


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