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Thread: What would you put in a Model Railroad electronics "supply chest"?

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    Default What would you put in a Model Railroad electronics "supply chest"?

    I hate the idea of ordering 2 dollars worth of resistors from Digikey, Jameco or the like and many of us don't have an electronics supplier locally (at least that we know of). So my thought it that I could pick a price (20 or 30 dollars) and just order a bunch of potentially useful bits and pieces.

    What would you include? The context is model railroad (of course) but could include anything related to DCC or even arduino use in conjunction with a model railroad.

    Keep in mind many of these components come in lots of 10 or so.

    Thanks!
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    Small diameter solder, like .015" or .022"

    Replacement tips for your soldering iron

    de-soldering braid

    small diameter wire for decoder installs

    tiny wire strippers. Namely, these: http://www.jameco.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10001&productId=159291&catalogId=10001

    Kapton tape

    shrink tubing

    terminal strips

    switches

    various size and color LED's

    drilled bare circuit board, "perfboard"

    A breadboard

    voltage regulators

    Cds Photocells

    RPR220 photointerruptors (thanks for the tip, TwinDad)

    various value capacitors, (Jameco has a grab bag)

    1N4001 diodes

    2N2222 and 2N3906 transistors

    If you want to go old school, some LM339 voltage comparators and 555 timers (Don't laugh, they still work great)

    If you want to join the new milennium, get ya an Arduino Uno, Mega, or ATmega328 Pro Mini and usb adaptor


    To be honest tho, I hate to admit it, but you can find assortments of more resistors than you'll ever need shipped free from china for only a couple bucks on ebay. That said, I LOVE Jameco, I love their catalog, customer service and their email newsletter. I have made quite a few orders from them.
    Last edited by ranulf; 1st Apr 2016 at 06:17 PM.
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    My immediate thought was LEDs, but Ranulf already covered that and then some.
    Bronman - "Trains and Legos... you can't have too many of them."

    My Layout Build Thread - The Spokane & Eastern Washington
    - Featuring motive power by Burlington Northern, Union Pacific, Canadian Pacific, Montana Rail Link and Amtrak in Spokane and Eastern Washington in the mid-1990's.
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    Hi everyone..i am new here. I am a hardware design engineer. I have the interest in designing the locomotives, as i worked an assistant under the design engineer of locomotives.
    As per my knowledge the things shared by Bronman are the things required most and i think these are available in cheap in the market. Also you can order them in bulk because these are most useable parts. And in bulk also these will be economic.

    multi-layer pcb
    Last edited by BootBoyer; 14th Apr 2016 at 12:12 PM.

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    I agree LEDs, I've a small toolbox of them, in all kinds of sizes, colors and special effects ones.

    The other bulk up item would be switches, buttons, toggles, SPDT, DPDT, momentary, standard.

    You also might consider some small relays and selonoids. Maybe a small motor or two?
    Use what you know about the world to model…
    Learn from modeling what you don't know about the real world.



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    Great thread topic... I've always thought the same thing but never have time to figure it out because I need whatever I'm ordering yesterday and I never look ahead.

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    I would add:
    spare rail joiners, both insulating and non-insulating
    assorted glues and adhesives
    wood, styrene, and brass stock
    spools of wire
    assorted bits for my dremel

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    I like Ranulf's list. Others have made some good suggestions too.

    I would add large quantities of 3M ScotchLock connectors, if you use them. Mainly because I just ran short when wiring up my main line.

    How about some momentary contact switches... just a handful.

    Along with the breadboard and Arduino, I'd get a bunch of jumper wires in male/male, female/female and male/female combinations.

    Screw terminals. Plenty of PCB-mount screw terminals.

    Heat-shrink tubing in various lengths and sizes
    Never mistake a guy who talks a lot for a guy who has something to say...

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    Yeah, all that. Plus some of this:


    Small SMD LEDs. Like 0402 and 0603. Cool White and Warm White. Maybe some bigger ones too, like 0805 and 3528.

    Small magnet wire, like 35 Gauge and 38 Gauge.

    Plenty of hookup wire in various colors.

    Various potentiometers.

    Power adapters, regulated, 12V DC and maybe 3V DC or 4.5V DC.

    A third hand or weighted clamp for holding stuff while soldering.

    Digital multi-meter

    Small zip ties.

    12" long 1/8" drill bit for going through the layers of layout.

    Magnifying lamp!

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    Great suggestions here. Fortunately for me, All Electronics is a LES (local electronics shop - just a half an hour drive for me)

    Metro Red Ln (Metro Red Line)
    Under the streets of Los Angeles

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    Quote Originally Posted by ranulf View Post
    To be honest tho, I hate to admit it, but you can find assortments of more resistors than you'll ever need shipped free from china for only a couple bucks on ebay. That said, I LOVE Jameco, I love their catalog, customer service and their email newsletter. I have made quite a few orders from them.
    I also have had great luck with Jameco. Their customer service is great and I have used them for both model railroading and commercially as a plant engineer. Have always had good service and fair pricing.

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    Moose would like electrician in electronic tool box. Jus' sayin'. Ya know. Soldering with hooves has proven, ummm, difficult, not to mention moose antlers get in way...
    ~ Moose (Co-founder of the Mt. Tahoma & Pacific Railroad, located some where in the Pacific Northwest)

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    I had a Radio Shack here in Clearlake, California. But now that it is gone, and has become 'Clearlake Electronics'.
    The owners of the store still have it stocked the same though. So I can get the same type of items.
    They told me, that even though they are not an official Radio Shack store, they can still get almost all they had before.
    Ken Price
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    It's around 1996-1999. UP, MP, SP. South Valley Railroad. Some where in the west of Texas. Near San Angelo.
    Started in 2007, Super Empire Builder with radio throttles.

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