Arduino Template PCB: storage for SMD/SMT parts

This year my goal is to clear my large list of ideas and 1/2 done projects off my bench or into the trash.

To that end, I decided to make an “Arduino template PCB” to help accelerate my Arduino-based projects. I typically use a solderless breadboard, then convert that to a vector board with discrete wiring. Then I usually flail with the packaging of switches, displays, and sensor modules. My projects often stall at the solderless breadboard phase.

Most of my electronics-based projects have an Arduino, display, and various sensor modules, most of which come from Amazon.

The idea is that the “Arduino Template PCB” has the common interconnects prepopulated for an Arduino and my most used sensor modules. Which are commonly I2C. Common PIA interconnects like I2C, power ground, switches, displays, and LEDs are prewired.

It also has locations for buttons, LEDs, and random connectors that can be wired into the design as needed.

Power supply, fuse, and power jumpering are included. The board can be jumpered to be run from USB power or external 9-12V which has an onboard 5V regulator [uggh I should add 3.3V also].

This concept also gives me a universal mechanical package that includes a display and keys. The mechanical mounting becomes universal. The sensor modules which typically have no mounting method are soldered into the board and therefore do not need individual hacking.

This board is used for the proto and if it meets the final needs of the project I am done. If not I can just modify the schematic and PCB and have a final version made.

This also gave me a chance to check out “Easy EDA” as I have not done any PCB design in a LONG time and have done very little SMD at all.

This is the first version of the board but V2 is already done.
I was impressed with how easy it is to design and order using EasyEDA.
The boards were inexpensive and of good quality.

My immediate question is how do you store your SMD parts?

I am going to give this notebook a try but wondered how others do it.:

Now, what will I do with this obsolete wall of non-SMD/SMT parts ???

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Looks good. I have a couple of plastic boxes I use to store smd still in the factory protection. They are also well labeled.

It’s looks like a good idea and make it easier to find things.

Might have trouble with any kind of ‘dip’ package that has legs… I think they’d poke through withou some kind of foam to stick the legs in. I guess it dependent on how thick the slots are in the organizer will allow.

Long lead like, TO220 might fit.

Most of these, I leave in the static packing to ensure I don’t grab it and zap it in this very dry area of the US.

Let us know how this works out… Lots of us have this issue…

Your development procedure is much like mine… kind of stalls out when I have to package the completer ‘product’ :rofl:


PCB_PCB Nano Design Template 2.0_2023-01-24


They are great for quick troubleshooting any project. You can solder them in and find out if that is really what the problem is then you can replace it with an SMD if you wish.

I have a bunch of resistors that I have gotten in mystery boxes that I will cut the leads off and use as jumpers.

Also they’re great on breadboards of course. Hard to breadboard a SMD part!

I have several three-ring binders with pages full of passives, indexed by value. I have my sheets of through-hole resistors and inductors done this way, and as I get more SMD passives I plan to do the same for them. (Most of my current SMD parts right now are various semiconductors stored in ESD bags in compartment trays, which I wouldn’t convert to binders.)

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I like the Aidetek boxes - I have this one at home:


I have not tried EasyEDA but used to use Eagle until AutoDesk screwed that up and took a look at KiCAD and much like what happened with FreeCAD, once AutoDesk made a mess of the inexpensive or free versions the boost in users kicked up development and vast improvements were made. So too was what happened with KiCAD and it works really well now and lots of parts vendors now automatically generate parts for import.

Another thing which has happened in the last 10 years is not only are PCB manufacturing viable for the hobbyist because vendors now plate hobbyist parts with other hobbyist and production parts, there are now inexpensive assembly houses. I’ve not tried the assembly services stuff yet but it’s fantastic what we can do with online and/or free EDA tools and what board turnaround and costs are.

Hopefully you don’t find yourself making more projects because you can and delay the completion of items on your current list. :wink: