Parts Inventory Application

Hi all,

I have been working on a parts inventory site for a few years now. It currently permits a single user to keep his/her inventory of parts. It is my intention to expand the code base so that it will permit multiple users to keep private inventories and allow groups of users to have an inventory for specific projects.

The application is written using the Python Django Web Framework. I build websites using this suite of tool professionally.

What I am asking this group to help with are ideas of what may be useful functionality, in other words what would you like as features if you wanted to use such an application. I’m in the gathering requirements stage of the design, so we are still a ways off from a working system.

Some of my current ideas are:

  1. Multi-user
  2. Collaboration between users and project areas
  3. Search engine
  4. Track manufactures
  5. Track distributors
  6. Parts cost
  7. Parts categories
  8. Part pick location

The specific details of the list above are not worked out as of yet. This is something that I could use some suggestion about. For example, how would different user need to interact? What are reasonable categories?

The current site only runs locally on my home computer. It has no security as of now, so I cannot put it on my public site as of yet.

I will eventually add images of what I have now to give people some ideas.



Soldering Ventilation System

Some time ago I got one of the cheapo T-962 reflow ovens. It requires good ventilation. After running it in the garage, propped in a doorway and other kludge settings I implemented an effective ventilation system.  It actually came out a bit more “enthusiastic” than I intended.

I built a high performance, 8″ axial fan into the basement’s flue vent that had been used with a wood stove. The original goal was to tie this into a simple hood over the oven.

But I got a fantastic lead to an old but still active Craigslist item with a new low price (thanks, Steven Hausman of Splatspace!). I was able to buy a ductless fume hood with a huge carbon filter, squirrel cage fan and large adjustable enclosure for $100. Apart from the side with doors, two other sides are adjustable to create a “window” to suck air away from hand-soldering operations on a work bench.

The one small detail I hit when the hood  was sitting in the back of my beater pickup was that it would not fit through any door into the basement. I had to take it completely apart:


But it’s all together now and tied into the flue/fan system and working well.


The Amp Hour Redeems Itself Again

The Amp Hour has been terrible for the past couple of weeks. I’ve seriously wished for a refund of the few minutes of attention I paid them while listening and doing other things. ‘Nuff said.

However this week Chris and Dave have added one more data point to the curve suggesting that when they get somebody else into the conversation their podcast shines. This week’s episode is an interview of Eric Van Wyk, an engineer with amazing credentials. The specific Amp Hour web page for this episode contains many interesting details suggesting Van Wyk and company’s “Mooshimeter” will create immediate salivation if you’re part of the TriEmbed crowd.

SPARKcon coming real soon now!

SPARKcon is an interdisciplinary creativity, art & design festival produced by the non-profit creativity incubator, Visual Art Exchange, in Raleigh NC.  SPARKcon 2014 will be the 9th annual event and happens Sept. 11-14 in downtown Raleigh.
geekSPARK is a showcase for the creative use of new and interactive media and technology in the local community.  Whether in the form of a large video game studio, or a solitary multidisciplinary genius, The Triangle is filled with people blending art with technology, creative ideas with technical know-how. Our goal is to bring more of these people together, and to provide a venue to promote their emerging work. There will also be 3D printers and other fun stuff.

Latest Amp Hour: SDR meets RADAR

This week on The Amp Hour Chris Gammel’s guests are Michael Ossman, the guy behind a (cheaper, simpler than previous, highly capable) software defined radio system and Greg Charvat, the guy behind a coffee can-based synthetic aperture radar system that uses your PC’s “sound card”. One of the most easy on the ears, friendly and interesting sharing between techies I’ve listened to in a good while.  For those interested in learning about SDR Michael has started a tutorial series.

T-962 Reflow Oven Vent Setup and Editorial



This house used to have a wood stove in the basement and for years I’ve been using the vent to get coax to the roof-mounted TV antennas, but now it’s got a serious 240v fan jammed in it for a fully kludgephonic reflow oven vent.

Now I just need to find or make a fume hood that can properly handle the huge exhaust flow out the bottom of the oven when it’s in “cooling” mode. Whatever I end up with will be fully enclosed (maybe a plastic “flap” or door on the front) except for an inlet air arrangement that I haven’t thought through yet. Maybe holes in the table top below the oven and yet another vent hose that comes from “someplace” where I can get air so there’s little chance of fumes coming out that hose?

Please don’t leave a comment about masking tape inside the oven. It isn’t “tape fumes” I’m arranging to avoid.