How does your team organize its electrical supplies?

Hey everyone…we are in the process of reorganizing and sorting everything out in our shop and our electronics supplies are in shambles…along with our pnuematics…does anyone have any good tips on how to keep everything organized and sorted out?

We have some of those plano boxes that fold in half and have dividers on each side that we just got recently and we are using those to store connectors and some components as well as storing our pnuematics fittings…
we have the big shipping crates first gives us for storing other stuff…one is full of wire and lights and big electrical stuff…the other full of bigger solenoids, pumps, tanks, pistons and pnuematic tubing…then we have a bag that is set aside for tools which the electrical team gets first dibs on in the shop and in the pits during competition…

anybody else have any other good ways of doing it?

We have an electrical drawer in our back room (the room at school where we keep all of our FIRST stuff.) Usually, we just seperate everything into bags according to what they are (speed controllers in one bag, relays in another, etc.) We also organize our crimps in tackleboxes, depending on their size. We keep the tackleboxes in our trailer, along with a few bins of electrical stuff (extra wire, extra speed controllers, relays, cables, etc.) I’ll see if I can find some pictures lying around.

Bottom line:

  • Everything that’s kept at school is organized in plastic bags, in a drawer.
  • Everything that’s kept in the trailer is kind of shoved in various “electrical bins”
  • Even though we keep everything organized, we still manage to lose a lot of things :wink:

Hope this helps!

  • Katie

How do we organize our electrical stuff?

Very very poorly. But these tips might help.

First, you need a dedicated work space for only eletrical jobs. A work bench with a peg board is really useful. It gives you lots of space to work and keeps your tools out were you can see them. Get some see through jewlery/tackle boxes and put all your heat shrink, connectors, solder etc. in them. Spools of wire should be held together with zipties and hung on a peg when not in use. Speaking of zip ties, find a safe easy to access place for them. When in doubt, zip tie it shut. Keep a trash bin near by. Every day, go through whats on the bench, if your not using it get it off the bench. It’s a huge waste to have a work stoppage because theres to much clutter on your bench to find that part you need.

Get some sort of large padded box. Bubble wrap stuck to the inside of shoe box works fine. Put your radios, IF controllers, victors and spikes in there. Keep this box on the top shelf of a secure closet or otherwise safe spot. You’ll have several thousand dollers worth the electrical equipment in that box, take good care of it.

When you’re in the pits, invest in a large tackle box. Fill it with a large selection of your supplys. This will let you carry everything you need to make 90% of the electrical problems your ever likley to face. The majority of fixes in the pit are going to be redoing a crimp that’s pulled out. However, you may have to resolder some senors back into the right pins or something equally delecate and difficult. So be prepared, this means having all your eletrical diagrams with you and some one who can reprogram the bot in a hurry. Remember that the control board is also electrical, and just as prone to wires coming loose. Be ready to fix it after it gets dropped (it always always does).

Keep connectors color coded and genders right next to each other, never ever mixed. When your in a rush, male and female look the same and you won’t find out till after you’ve crimped the mistake. Use colored eletrical tape to mark all of your tools.

Establish a naming method for batterys. It should clearly show how old the battery is, what it’s purpose is (testing, competition) and who is in charge of it. For instance, 0102AA test, would show that it was first charged in January (01) 2002 (02) and Andy A. is in charge of keeping it charged and not lost. It’s primary purpose is for testing. Some teams go so far as to keep track of every charge cycle of a battery. In any event, get a sturdy bag big enough to hold 2 batterys.

The most important thing is to clearly establish who is in charge of organizing this stuff (our team has several people who’s main job is logistics). If some one isn’t on the electrical crew and has no reason to be working at that bench, kick them out. You have to be der electrical furher. It saves time, money, hassle and results in higher quality work.

Bottem line- What ever you chose to do, stick to it and make sure everyone is well aware of your system.


heh… how do we organize? lol we dont. the main builder kids know where everything is and everyone else is lost… but we know where the stuff we need is, so its all good…

same with us we don’t organize anything. as long as its in the area we left it last and we find it in that area; then all is well.

We basically just leave all the wire on its spools and stack them so we can just grab wire and pull/spin to get as much as we need. As for connectors, etc, we have one of those little mini-cabinets with lots of clear, pullout drawers similar to what a lot of people use for screws, nuts, etc. All the 10awg males go in one compartment, the females in the one next to it, etc.

Then there’s the pneumatics. It’s basically just a big (12" deep) drawer in one of our filing cabinets that stuff gets dropped/thrown/squeezed/compressed into.

*Originally posted by Mike522 *
**same with us we don’t organize anything. as long as its in the area we left it last and we find it in that area; then all is well. **

We try to do that … but somehow everything ends up on the other side of the room (or welded to the back bench in the machine shop!! :rolleyes: ) – no joke! I set a disk down for two minutes. I didn’t leave the table where I’d set the disk down, and it disappeared! I found it in a completely different room, and I still don’t know who moved it!

So yeah, we try to keep organized … Excpet our pneumatics. That drawer is a mess! :eek:

  • Katie

Lets see…Back in my electrical corner:

We have a drawer of electrical tools, multimeters, strippers, crimpers, screwdrivers, pliers, and snips.

We have these separated cases, ill upload a pic: where we store our various sizes of crimps.

Wire is put on spools and sorted (in theory) by AWG. They hang on a spindle, for easy pull and snipping.

Old scrapped wire is sitting in a big pile on the floor…yeeaaah dig for what you need :slight_smile:

Solder is on spools on a spindle sitting on one of my electrical tables.

Various other junk is tossed in boxes and shelved

That sums it up.

We have two systems for electrical storage, one for the building room and one for competition. The one we use for comp is OK for most cases. We found a series of boxes that have moveable partitions or small boxes. The larger box has latches to keep them closed. (anyone who has dumped over the electrical container knows how impoertant that is.) These boxes are sized so that they can fit inside a lockable plastic tub and shares that with the larger electrical supplies, like wire, motors, battery chargers, etc. For tools (pliers, meter, soldering iron) we have stools that have storage and a drawer built in.
I have seen some teams use a stacking tool kit that is available at Sam’s Club. It has three containers I think and the bottom has wheels and a handle so it becomes it’s own two wheel cart.
Good Luck