Doormattg wrote:I'm realizing more and more that I don't have enough discrete components in my parts box, and those I do have are because I've built a project that required that specific device. I'm looking for suggestions on Diodes, Transistors and whatnot that I should be stocking as common parts. I'm far better at the MCU side of things than I am the discrete side of things, so I'm trying to learn as fast as possible.
I see you have some good suggestions from others. You haven't told us what you plan to do with these parts?
Are you an experimenter that tears down projects after a session? Or, are you building for keeps, and will never tear things down?
Do you build on clip-blocks or other non-solder breadboards? On proto boards (Vero, Vector, etc.)? Do you etch PCBs or use BatchPCB etc. for custom made boards? Are you using SMT/SMD parts now or in the future?
Thinking back to the genesis of my 'stash' of parts, I've done all of the above at various times. I bought some cabinets with small drawers and always bought a few more pieces than I needed for an experiment or project. I found out never buy what you don't need, even if there's a bargain at the local surplus store.
I did buy 200 pcs of every resistor value from 10R to 10M in 1/4W 5%. I think Digi-key has a kit for resistors and capacitors. Handy if you do a lot of analogue design, less so for digital and uC work. I've had to refill a few bins over the years - I must like some values more than others when there's an open choice.
I make a point to re-use the same part numbers and sometimes the same sub-circuits, even the same PCB sub-circuit layouts, on new projects. Alas, I've been doing this long enough for some favourite parts to become obsoleted (at least there are modern and often improved versions to be had).
This has propelled my 'stash' to higher volumes, sometimes found at local surplus stores and Hamfests, but more often bought as new materials on-line.
As I made the transistion to SMT/SMD I've had to duplicate my favourite parts in SMT and through hole styles ($$ ouch!). Going forwards I expect to buy less through hole parts for obvious reasons. My cabinet with drawers has been replaced by a collection of plastic 'shoe boxes' (Target, Walmart, etc.). Most of the parts I buy are double packaged (ESD safe) and the actual parts are so small I need the bag labels to identify them!
Another place to look for larger quantities is eBay or local stores with surplus inventory closeouts. I have purchased open reels of common value resistors, such as 10k 1/4W 5%, which are used all over my designs.