Okay, without bumping an old thread… I did see this article of relevance this morning.
… and for what it’s worth, much of the house @vk4mdl and I share looks like the bone yard. (Not something I am proud of.)
The ideas in that old thread are good ones, and I see a useful system in the Doom Shelves. Incoming stuff is photographed as it goes in. The stock-taking exercise that @riumplus undertakes photographing the boneyard is definitely a useful exercise for the bigger things.
I guess that can be a first step… let’s consider those ICs in their tubes as there’s an identical problem sitting at home: how to store those tubes in a more organised manner. I knocked up a Django app for managing the ones at home, abusing its admin interface.
Django proved to not quite be the best way to implement it, but the concept did work until I got lazy with new parts, partly because of the haphazard manner in which I’m actually storing these components. The app itself used a tree-structure for identifying storage bins, so if I was looking for a DIP-8 LM311, it might tell me that I have 4 sitting in “IC Box 1/Shelf 2/Row 4/Column 6”.
If the ICs were sitting in a tube too big to fit in the usual storage boxes though, it’d be in one of the junk boxes, which are big white plastic boxes … big enough to hold the tubes without them poking out (an improvement over the HSBNE IC tube storage) but no better organised. The tubes themselves are numbered, as it’s easier to see a number written on the tube than on the ICs themselves (and the tube might hold other ICs later on), but you find yourself spending hours digging around to find it.
So that might be my first space-improvement project, a way to better organise those IC tubes so we can better catalogue them and find them. Then they might get used.
I’m not sure what infrastructure HSBNE have for hosting a web-app. The wiki is what immediately came to mind, but I don’t want to make additions or removals any more complicated than log in and click a few buttons. Trello definitely works for the doom shelves, so that would serve for cataloguing incoming stuff. From there, I guess in the Trello ticket it can be noted where in the bone yard something got put for updating the wiki later (at which, it then is taken off Trello).
A “last rites” column for outgoing would serve for those who might’ve been holding back on some item: if they want to keep something in “last rites”, then it’s their problem to give that item a home.
We don’t have infinite space, so we do need a time limit on what stays there, based on size: small items aren’t a burden to carry and so can stay longer but very large items are a nuisance to keep around for long periods.
For “working items” (such as unused ICs or other parts), there’s also the opportunity for two classes of “last rites”: stuff that’s saleable may be worth listing on an auction site or taking to a swap meet, which will bring income to the space. Perhaps a “going, going, … gone” category, where if no one at HSBNE is interested, it gets listed for a month somewhere, then eventually gets binned if no takers outside.