Hack Chat Transcript, Page 2

A event log for The Hoarder's Dilemma Hack Chat

Better to have it and not need it -- or is it?

tom-nardiTom Nardi 12/06/2023 at 21:190 Comments
Sam Freeman  3:30 PM
Simplify - I try to clean up the tools at the end of the day, even if I know I'll use it tomorrow
Saveitforparts  3:30 PM
I try (not always sucessfully) to put my tools and parts away before starting another project, but it doesn't always happen
Thomas Shaddack  3:30 PM
(misread as "move cats to street".)
CIAndy  3:30 PM
Hackaday Berlin was an eye-opener. That was when I decided I have too much stuff. Some guy had a talk about how to design your projects so that people can recreate them. A key part of that was "don't use old stuff". But I just can't put it all away. So my question would be: "How do I decide?"
@jed the car is the project
jed  3:31 PM
wife draws hard line at living room & bed rooms - for HER projects
jed  3:31 PM
good choice for cats, too
Saveitforparts  3:31 PM
Ha, I also have cat "helpers" who like to relocate cables and small parts for indoor projects
Saveitforparts  3:32 PM
I need to add some walls to the basement for more dedicated cat-free zones. So far it's mostly open, with just the pantry and my electronics closet off limits. But the electronics closet also keeps getting more and more stuff in it
Saveitforparts  3:32 PM
One thing I like for that space are foodservice bins. They close completely to (mostly) keep dust out of things, they can stack, and they're a fairly convenient size/weight if I don't over-fill them
CJ Keithley  3:33 PM
When our boy cat started eating plastic (including 3D filament) I instituted a “closed door” policy for my home office
Saveitforparts  3:33 PM
I'm trying to find more example photos of my organization areas without ignoring the chat too much
Matthew Trowbridge  3:33 PM
So after you've used a couple through-hole resistors of various values, what happens next? Do you guys put them straight back in the bins correctly, or do you put them in a "misc" pile/bin where eventually you'll have to sort through everything (or let them gather perpetually)
Thomas Shaddack  3:34 PM
batch sorting is easier than doing it always one by one.
CIAndy  3:34 PM
I try to put them back. 80% successful...
Thomas Shaddack  3:34 PM
though that is liable to the Eternal Tomorrow Syndrome.
jed  3:34 PM
I throw away used carbon resistors rather than sort - when I get low, I buy 100 more.
Keri Szafir  3:34 PM
hello there kitties
Paul McClay  3:35 PM
@CIAndy - about "don't use old stuff": yes design for reproducabiity vs new life for old thing are different. I'm in the process of learning that. I guess it helps to settle which kind a project will be before getting very far into it.
Saveitforparts  3:36 PM
Thius is currently my electronics and 3D printing work area. Which has to be re-organized again because I haven't touched the 3D printers since I put them there...
Saveitforparts  3:36 PM
Thomas Shaddack  3:36 PM
the old vs new can also be alleviated by using "APIs"/standards. that odd sized stepper? make adapter that makes it look like NEMA.
CJ Keithley  3:36 PM
@Dan Maloney - can I share a comic?
Dan Maloney  3:36 PM
@CJ Keithley - sure, as long as it's SFW
jed  3:36 PM
good hint on odd steppers - I'll remember
CJ Keithley  3:36 PM
It’s SFW
CJ Keithley  3:37 PM
CIAndy  3:37 PM
@Paul McClay Yes, and I will keep old stuff. But some has to go. The Problem is to find the right criteria..
Dan Maloney  3:37 PM
Saveitforparts  3:37 PM
Saveitforparts  3:37 PM
Garage bins (and messy work bench with, naturally, 4 different projects going on).
jed  3:38 PM
The copper in those comic adapters will send your great grandchildren to trade school!
Keri Szafir  3:38 PM some of my own storage solutions
Dan Maloney  3:38 PM
In defense of hoarding wall warts, I pulled one out the other day and managed to light up a leftover strip of LEDs for an undershelf light. Nice zero cost win
Thomas Shaddack  3:39 PM
hey, AC adapters are handy! cut off the application-specific connector, attach a 5.5/2.1 barrel jack for generics, XT60 for highcurrent, USB for 5v, write the volt/amp rating with white paint pen on the case so it is easy to read. the laptop power bricks are the best, 19-20 volts, compatible with 5S Li-ion if you need portables.
Keri Szafir  3:39 PM
I generally hoard old electronic devices, vacuum tubes, transformers and other parts
Saveitforparts  3:39 PM
After many years of just having a rats nest of AC adapters, I spent a week untangling them all and sorting. They're still in a big box but at least each one is coiled up and fastened, and I've made an effort not to keep more than 3 identical ones!
Thomas Shaddack  3:39 PM
buckboost modules are excellent for matching a design to just-any power supply too.
Keri Szafir  3:39 PM
and then I reuse them in my projects
Saveitforparts  3:40 PM
Likewise I sorted my computer cables into categories (USB, video, audio, network, etc), and I occasionally go through and purge any that have too many duplicates.
Thomas Shaddack  3:40 PM
there is something like too many duplicates?
CJ Keithley  3:41 PM
@Saveitforparts - I also recently went through all my AC adapters… untangled the cords, labeled them (V & mA) clearly, got rid of a lot.
Saveitforparts  3:41 PM
I feel like I only need so many USB 1.0 A to B adapters...
Thomas Shaddack  3:41 PM
many kinds of commons can be reused. rj45 ethernet is a general purpose everything. hdmi is excellent for highfreq differential. old vga ones are triads of shielded high-ish freq analog, and some additional wires...
Saveitforparts  3:42 PM
I might own one device that still has a USB B port... and of course I have a dozen cables that fit it!
Todd  3:42 PM
just recently I got rid of 3 shoeboxes worth of spare USB cables. They really need to stop sending them with every product.
Thomas Shaddack  3:42 PM
usb-b is nicely robust. better than the smaller-than-small ones that fall off the board when you look at them wrong way.
Paul McClay  3:43 PM
something I've thought of and kind-of-but-not-really tried: keep front/back photographs of PCBs in some db and add text notes about identified components.
Thomas Shaddack  3:43 PM
weird. i never have enough usb cables.
Thomas Shaddack  3:43 PM
better: run the boards through AI.
Dan Maloney  3:44 PM
@Paul McClay -- sounds like a job for machine learning
CJ Keithley  3:45 PM
I recently came across a product with a vertical mount through hole USB-C receptacle. I thought “hey, I could use those…don’t know when or what, but I *need* them.” Found them, bought 50 for ~$10. Will I ever use them? Hard to say…
Paul McClay  3:45 PM
AI/machine learning PCBs: yes. Not sure I'm the guy to tackle that but it does seem like some practical win could be reasonably achievable.
CJ Keithley  3:46 PM
Bought the receptacles, not the product that used it
Dan Maloney  3:46 PM
I believe Jasmine Lu, who did the EcoEDA thing I pasted in earlier, is working on that. I should invite her on for a Chat
Thomas Shaddack  3:47 PM
you will. handy for making ad-hoc cables. solder the wires, use hotmelt glue for housing.
Saveitforparts  3:47 PM
Not exactly on topic, but for kitchen organizing we recently got one of those big stainless shop workbenches with a million drawers and a nice wood top. It fits into the kitchen surprisingly well!
Paul McClay  3:48 PM
@Saveitforparts you've published a lot of super-specific local Alaska history. That's neat. And a different flavor vs most of HaD
Patrick Hickey  3:48 PM
cables have similar properties to biological proteins in that they can interact, stick together forming complex configurations. i have around 1 cubic meter of cables needing untangled, perhaps one night i’ll tackle it listening to music and enjoying a beer or two.
jed  3:48 PM
Only my Garmin GPS use USB-B. I keep cables in special envelope on USB cable shelf for updating.
Saveitforparts  3:48 PM
Dan Maloney  3:48 PM
That's exactly what I'm looking for to organizer tools and parts in my shack. Alas, Harbor Freight is sold out of the one I want
Mark J Hughes  3:49 PM
Gabe -- have you found an inexpensive LiFePO4 charger you like?
Saveitforparts  3:49 PM
@Paul McClay I assume you're referring to my Funter Bay history and Obscure Railroads projects on my website.
Thomas Shaddack  3:49 PM
toilet paper rolls are handy for organizing cables.
jed  3:49 PM
Harbor Freight had sale - that's probably why
Dan Maloney  3:49 PM
Paul McClay  3:49 PM
@Saveitforparts yeah, that stuff.
Saveitforparts  3:49 PM
I grew up in Funter Bay and collected a ton of history about the place, so I post that when I find new things.
Saveitforparts  3:50 PM
The railroad history is going to be a book eventually, I was actually working on that project this morning.
Dan Maloney  3:50 PM
Perfect size for a 3D printer on top, tools in the top two drawers, parts in the rest
CIAndy  3:50 PM
Here in Europe there's a company making affordable assortment boxes and bigger boxes for the boxes. They could be stacked and I put a stack on rollers. That was really useful if anyone is interested.
Paul McClay  3:50 PM
@Saveitforparts neat. and takes no space in the garage
Saveitforparts  3:50 PM
@Mark J Hughes do you mean one of those portable power banks, or a desktop charger for random cells?
Paul McClay  3:51 PM
@Saveitforparts saw your intro about growing up far from supply and keeping/reusing stuff
Saveitforparts  3:51 PM
@Paul McClay the Alaska research defintely has several shelves worth of my bookcase... and some boxes of extra material!
Mark J Hughes  3:51 PM
Random cells
Mark J Hughes  3:52 PM
I've been collecting LiFePO4's from Amazon Vine.
Saveitforparts  3:52 PM
@Mark J Hughes I actually haven't gotten into bare lithium batteries in any serious way. I know some folks who fish scooters out of the river and salvage the cells for DIY projects, but it's not a field I have much experience with.
Todd  3:52 PM
I have dozens of these, of two different heights, and some I have dividers, but all parts are in static bags and labeled inside
SimonAllen  3:52 PM
I collect lithium batteries from discarded vapes.
Thomas Shaddack  3:52 PM
thought. charger that has a nfc reader and a nfc tag on battery that configures it for the given battery.
Mark Fraser  3:53 PM
toybuilder  3:53 PM
Hi. Just dropped in real fast to see the chat, and I have to run back out -- but I've been using a wheeled baker's rack with trays and that have been a big help over using wire shelving designed to hold 600+ lbs. The backer's rack is so much lighter it glides on the floor very easily.
Saveitforparts  3:53 PM
@Todd those are great as well! I bought far too many fishing tackle organizers and have stuff in those all over the place
Mark J Hughes  3:53 PM
NP. Thanks
Saveitforparts  3:53 PM
Bigger tackle boxes are nice as well. Most of my SDR gear is in the biggest tacklebox I could find.
Paul McClay  3:54 PM
@Saveitforparts so publishing has potential to reduce volume of stuff. maybe. segue to another aspect of "keeping": for paper artifacts that are more than just the text on the page: when is a scan good enough to warrant dumping the original?
CIAndy  3:54 PM
Check out "Kistenberg". With their bigger boxes, the smaller ones work like drawers. That's really nice.
toybuilder  3:54 PM
Saveitforparts  3:55 PM
@Paul McClay it depends. I definitely have a thing for books and printed material, which is why one wall of my office is bookshelves. Another aspect of hoarding I guess!
jed  3:55 PM
baker's looks GREAT for lots of things - good thought!
Saveitforparts  3:56 PM
I also don't have time to necessarily scan everything in every book I own. I might only need one or two pages now, but maybe later I'll want to go back and look up something else. I could probably downsize if I started digitizing my reference and history books, but I'm not sure I'd finish that project once I started.
Dan Maloney  3:56 PM
Where do you get something like that?
Todd  3:57 PM
the tackle box racks I've bought are just OK - they tend to be very cheap and the welds break easily. But, I have a "travel" tackle box-holder which holds 4 regular sized tackle boxes - great for cons/travel.
toybuilder  3:57 PM
They are a little pricey for the volume, but being able to dynamically change tray (shelf) position is a big win. I'm planning on switchinging out a few more wire shelves with bakers racks.
Mark J Hughes  3:57 PM
@Dan Maloney They're all over the scrap yards down here for about $2.50/lb x 17 lbs.
Dan Maloney  3:57 PM
I really need to find a decent scrapyard...
Mark J Hughes  3:58 PM
Or roadtrip to SoCal.
toybuilder  3:58 PM
The baker's rack I purchased from Walmart online new. Webstaurant has them listed, too. I recently saw a craigslist post of a place that sold used ones for less, and am tempted to get a bunch (but they look a bit yucky and no idea how well they clean up)
Mark J Hughes  3:58 PM
But realistically, if you can get square tube, angle tube, and a pop-rivet gun, you can make one in a day.
Saveitforparts  3:58 PM
Mark J Hughes  3:58 PM
Welding would be better -- but a lot more work.
Saveitforparts  3:58 PM
Here's a better pic of the garage small-stuff-bin situation
Thomas Shaddack  3:59 PM
pop rivets ftw! also, pop rivets with threaded holes. can add arbitrary mountpoints to EVERYTHING.
Paul McClay  3:59 PM
"bakers rack" good to know, thanks. I've wondered if such a thing exists. The idea of a bunch of trays of small-project-in-progress that are basically multiple portable desktops. Take one out to work on, then put it back in the rack without having to clean up the in-progress state.
Saveitforparts  3:59 PM
My photos are also not well organized! And I'm a bit of a digital hoarder
Mark J Hughes  3:59 PM
@Thomas Shaddack Abso-freaking-lutely.
toybuilder  3:59 PM
You can very easily re-shuffle trays as needed.
Thomas Shaddack  4:00 PM
digital hoarding is easier. you can't run grep through a shelf of boxes, you can't put dozens of terabytes worth of stuff into pocket.
Mark J Hughes  4:02 PM
Also @Dan Maloney Check out business liquidation auctions. Restaurants go out of business every other day. SOme of those are bakeries.
Dan Maloney  4:03 PM
We're up to the top of the hour, and while I don't want to stop the conversation, I want to make sure we're being properly respectful of Gabe's time. If you've gotta head out, no problem, but if you want to stay, that's cool too.
jed  4:03 PM
Thanks Gabe and all! It's been interesting.
SimonAllen  4:03 PM
It's interesting reading the answers. I just don't think there is a solution.
CIAndy  4:03 PM
About digital hoarding: A while ago I read back an old Seagate backup tape. Only to find all my old PC-8201 Software. Then got aware that I sold my PC-8201 years ago. Now I got a working one again...
CJ Keithley  4:03 PM
@Dan Maloney - thanks for setting this up!
Paul McClay  4:04 PM
Digitizing books: might be able to find an academic department or such who would do that
CIAndy  4:04 PM
Thanks Gabe!
CJ Keithley  4:04 PM
Thanks Gabe!
Paul McClay  4:04 PM
Thanks Gabe - and all y'all for ideas.
Saveitforparts  4:04 PM
Thanks everyone! There have been some great ideas on storage and organizing!
Mark J Hughes  4:04 PM
Thanks Gabe!
Thomas Shaddack  4:04 PM
phillipdp  4:04 PM
Thanks Gabe, appreciate your time, videos and ideas!
CIAndy  4:04 PM
Agree, learned a lot today, thanks all...
Saveitforparts  4:05 PM
Maybe I can do a video on organization... if I clean up enough of the piles that my work space looks presentable!
Dan Maloney  4:06 PM
Thanks to Gabe for his time, and thanks all for a great discussion! Transcript coming up soon
Thomas Shaddack  4:07 PM
Step 1: preclean the space with a small tactical nuke...
Saveitforparts  4:09 PM
Thanks again @Dan Maloney and everyone else. I'm going to take off, maybe I'll organize my office now that I'm motivated by all these ideas :-)
Dan Maloney  4:10 PM
Thanks Gabe!