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Some Qwiic Spring Cleaning

A sticky way to store your Qwiic boards so they're visible and ready for use.

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Like many of you, I have a problem: I have a lot of development boards floating around my desk, my workbench, in my pockets and even on my bedside table. It has been driving me nuts since well before I worked at SparkFun, and you can imagine how it has only gotten worse. With the advent of Qwiic, I now also have duplicates of things as well as a whole new collection of parts to work with and store. I know, first world problems!

With recent events being what they are, all of us have faced new challenges, but it also has brought to light a number of opportunities.

My Mess!

One of those opportunities has been getting my workshop cleaned up and working in a more efficient way, as it now plays multiple roles between an office for work; a workshop for many of my hobbies including woodworking and scale model building; and a general work horse of keeping an older house up and running. So, I set about figuring out a way to store my Qwiic board collection in a way that was accessible, multi-use and scalable using 3M Dual Lock.

Storage Solution

I created a video about my solution and its use in my shop space as well as how it has impacted how I prototype projects moving forward. I hope you enjoy my project walkthrough and many of the ideas this has brought about around my shop. I hope that it inspires you to think about how you store parts and pieces!


Comments 2 comments

  • I finally got a chance to watch the entire video. It is a very interesting idea, though I do have a couple of concerns. Please remember, I'm offering them in the spirit of "constructive criticism" rather than any sort of an attack.

    First, based on well over 50 years of "doing" electronics, I'd be a bit concerned about static electric damage (ESD). OK, more than "a bit"... I've destroyed a number of parts over the years with ESD. (Most recent was a RPi3, probably got "zapped" from static from a polyester bath robe I was wearing. I've since replaced the bath robe with a 100% cotton one.) It takes far less of a shock to zap electronic devices than what it takes for you to be able to feel it. I've not worked with 3M Dual Lock, but other "tape-like" products can produce a fair amount of static electricity. (Try this sometime: In a completely dark room, after your eyes have adjusted to the dark, pull some "cheap" masking tape off the roll -- usually lots of little static electric sparks where the tape leaves the roll. If you pull apart certain brands of "velcro-like" products, you may get a similar effect.) If the Dual Lock is "static dissipative", meaning that it has a fairly high, though finite, resistivity, you might want to consider bonding it to your anti-static mat on your bench (you ARE using one, right?), or to the general ground around your work area. An alternative to consider might be to lay some conductive thread down the center of the "velcro-like" product, before putting the staples in, so that they keep it put, and, of course, grounding it.

    My second concern (especially since I haven't used the Dual Lock product myself) is the mechanical stress that it can put on the boards when removing them from the mounting strip. My suggestion on this would be to experiment a bit and see what the minimum size of product is that will give you enough hold. You should be able to cut smaller and smaller pieces using that razor knife, though if you get too small, you might want some forcepts or needle-nose pliers to hold the stuff while cutting (to save fingers!).

    One last comment: I'd suggest trying to ALWAYS make sure that some portion of the parts are "over the edge" -- makes it easier to grab ahold of them!

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