[builds-list] Electronic parts catalog?

Alex Whittemore alexw at bu.edu
Mon Sep 9 17:24:46 EDT 2013

JNF - you're not wrong. Ideally I'd have as simple an inventory system as
possible, but the interface for searching it is the complicated part. By
category, keyword, etc. The problem is populating those fields, and ideally
it'd be done by an automated import from digikey/mouser/octopart or the
like. Octopart seems like the obvious pick.

Anyway, I use partslist, and the 'add this part' feature is awesome, but
it's not trying to solve my problem specifically enough, I don't think.
I'll re-evaluate that, though. I've never seen edcdb, that looks like a
great one. Definitely looking into that. If it doesn't have anything like
octopart import, certainly adding it in or making a plugin is easier than
making a new web app. Partkeepr looks promising too, I'm going to look into

Also, note to BUILDSers - I've replied to the new @cs.bu.edu address, I'll
stop replying to this list after this message.

Alex Whittemore
617-213-0890 (GV)

On Thu, Sep 5, 2013 at 5:18 PM, John-Nicholas Furst
<j-n at john-nicholas.net>wrote:

> That is nice but I think he mostly just wanted an inventory system that
> had some tie ins to major electronic suppliers ...
> Sent from my iPhone
> On Sep 5, 2013, at 7:03 PM, Benjamin Chen <ben10 at bu.edu> wrote:
> Sounds like a recommendation system. You looked for A, do you also want B?
> A quick and simple solution that comes to mind might be to have a network
> with parts for nodes. For every project, every part involved in the
> project, every part involved is strongly connected. To account for projects
> with large parts lists, divide each parts' contributing weight by number of
> all parts involved. So you could traverse a network of similar things. A
> query could find things by association. For sufficiently large amount of
> projects and parts, this could work better than a hierarchical system.
> On Wed, Sep 4, 2013 at 11:35 PM, Matt Huyck <mhuyck at bu.edu> wrote:
>> Hi Alex,
>> I've felt this need as well. Thanks to your prompt, I did some exploring
>> and came across this:
>>   http://partkeepr.org
>> Has anyone tried it? I'm not sure how well it could be molded to support
>> the kind of parametric search I think you're looking for, but maybe it's a
>> better start than a spreadsheet. Personally, I'd like to have a barcode
>> interface so when I'm running low on a few things I can just scan them and
>> start an order to replenish from where I last got those parts.
>> You may find other suitable hits by searching on "open source inventory
>> management software," which is how I came across PartKeepr.
>> -Matt
>> On Sep 4, 2013, at 1:21 AM, Alex Whittemore <alexwhittemore at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>> > I've come across the need for software like this, and I figure 23b and
>> BUILDS may have run into this desire at some point as well, maybe some of
>> you have suggestions on solutions that exist.
>> >
>> > I have a BUNCH of parts. Like, chips galore. To the degree that keeping
>> track of what I've got is hard.
>> >
>> > I'd love to have a sort of in-house parametric search. Like, "I want to
>> make a project that requires an ADC, what do I have for ADCs on hand to
>> prototype with?" Ideally it'd be something braindead with really basic info
>> about each part: "This thing's a microcontroller." "This thing's an ADC."
>> "This is a 4-series NOR gate." etc etc. Ideally, these basics could be
>> auto-populated by feeding the system a digi-key link and basically telling
>> it "I have some of these, remind me next time I go looking."
>> >
>> > Obviously a spreadsheet would be the first thing to look for, but
>> that's not all that helpful for lots of reasons. Like, great, I have a
>> MAX232, but what IS a max232? I don't want to have to write a detailed,
>> ctrl-f-able description for all the parts. See digikey import above.
>> >
>> > This seems like something that probably already exists. Like, maybe
>> it's functionality built into Octopart ("Star this - I have this part!"),
>> but it isn't.
>> >
>> > I'd like to avoid writing such a system myself, but if it comes to it I
>> may. Not knowing all of what I have on hand really gets in the way of my
>> idea-to-rough-prototype workflow. It'd be nice if I didn't have to want a
>> project bad enough to spin a board and put in a mouser order.
>> >
>> > --
>> > Alex Whittemore
>> > 617-213-0890
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