EMC troubleshooting parts storage

-March 06, 2013

For those of you who regularly troubleshoot EMC issues, wouldn't it be convenient to have all your "fix-it" parts all in one place? That's what I thought as I was wandering around JoAnns (a fabric and hobby store) with my wife. I spotted this "photo keeper" storage box and thought it would be perfect to store all the little parts, gasketing, filters, etc., for quickly implementing fixes during the troubleshooting process.

The case is made by Iris Inc., in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, and is available from several retailers, including Amazon, Sears and others. I checked JoAnns web site and they now only sell a smaller version. It's designed to hold 4x6-inch photographic prints in individual slide-out boxes. There are 16 of these - perfect for storing all the needed parts for troubleshooting. I labeled each box, so needed parts may be identified quickly. Both the latch and handle seem sturdy.

Figure 1 - The EMC troubleshooting parts kit showing the individual boxes.

Figure 2 - The parts storage kit opened up and showing one of the 16 storage boxes.

Here's what I have in mine:


Gasketing - includes several samples of elastomeric gaskets and beryllium finger stock. I also included some alcohol swabs and sandpaper to remove and clean the surfaces of enclosures.

Filters - includes AC power entry filters, common-mode chokes, DC and AC feedthrough capacitors.

Large Ferrites - a sampling of the larger ferrite chokes.

Medium Ferrites - a sampling of medium-sized ferrite chokes.

Small Ferrites - a sampling of smaller ferrite chokes, including ferrite beads and surface-mount parts.

Batteries - AA, AAA and 9V batteries, with three and four-cell AA and AAA battery holders (in case I need to power up a circuit).

Wire / Coax - some short hookup wire and thin coax cable.

Cable Hardware - a sampling of wire ties, cable clamps and crimp-on spade and eye terminals.


Circuit Protection - fuses in various sizes and values, gas discharge over-voltage protectors, MOVs and transient voltage suppressors.

Resistors - includes various values up to 1000 Ohms, with a few power devices. Includes both leaded and surface-mount, which are stored in small labeled zip-closure bags.

Inductors - includes an assortment of various sizes, types and values. Both signal and power devices are included.

Capacitors - includes various sizes, types and sizes, including "X" and "Y"-caps for line filtering.

Tape / Solder - includes standard electrical tape and polyimide film tape, solder and solder wick.

Copper Tape / First Aid - includes the obligatory copper tape with a package of Band-Aids!

Tools - includes a small Leatherman multi-tool, emory sand paper, popsicle sticks, Hardman "Double Bubble" epoxy packs, IC puller, forceps, metal ruler, (L/C) tuning tool, solder-in scope tip sockets and small magnifier.

Adaptors - includes a variety of SMA, BNC and N coaxial adapters, 50-Ohm loads and BNC shorting caps.

I had a chance to use this kit in a real-life consulting application as I helped a client in Chicago recently. I transported the kit inside a large Pelican case and used a quantity of bubble-wrap to protect it from shifting around. It survived just fine and added a sense of professionalism in the client's eyes.

So, did I miss anything? What small troubleshooting parts do you find useful?

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