Inventory of parts

Out of the package and before inventory
There are kit builders who do and do not do a kit inventory, now having said that I am a firm believer in taking the time to check EVERYTHING! If your K2 has already arrived I am sure you may be overwhelmed by the amount of parts in the kit.....I sure was. The folks at Elecraft have sorted the parts into bags such as RF board, control board, front panel, the misc bag of parts and so on. Make sure not to mix the parts from the RF board and say the front panel. Elecraft has taken great effort to make the kit building of the K2 a pleasant experience, their sorting of parts is one of those efforts. If your not a fan of parts inventory let me see if I can convince you otherwise. If you are one who believes in an inventory don't leave the page just yet maybe there are some ideas you can pickup to aid in your sorting adventure.

Let go through some of the reasons why I inventory ALL the parts
Suspect resistor packs
1. The main reason and the most popular one is to double check to make sure the parts are correct. Making sure the parts are correct is not to say that the great folks at Elecraft don't know what they are doing...BUT....we all make mistakes. Hold onto your chair and get that stiff drink ready....Elecraft has made mistakes!!! . I was inventorying some resistor packs and one had a number which did not match Elecrafts list. They do sub in for hard to get parts so I sent off an email and was told that in fact the two resistor packs were wrong. Installing them would had cause me problems....problems that could had taken longer to figure out than to had done an inventory of parts .

2. An inventory allows you to get familiar with the part. Why the need for this formal introduction you the kit there are some parts that are very close in size and shape. For example I came across a stand off that I thought was an extra, in fact the only difference was the internal threads of this stand off were different. Not knowing this could be an email to Elecraft for a new stand off.

Inventory complete
3. I count all the parts and yes even the bags of screws, nuts and bags or capacitors....not because I have lots of time on my hands. I have counted out for example the nuts and found 2 extra. At the end of the build I know for sure its left over parts and not forgotten parts. Also lets say I counted 8 black toroid cores bag them and label the bag (more on the label and bag thing soon).  When I go to use the toroid cores and only find 7!! I know I am not short but there is a core somewhere....maybe on the carpet or it fell out of the bag and is on the desk. The counting can save you waiting for a part you think is missing but in fact is on the carpet right beside  you. If do find some missing parts you are able to get an email off to Elecraft and have the part on it's way before you get to that part of the build. Your build (if parts are missing) will move at a smoother pace with the parts on order and ready to be installed when you get to that part of the build.

4.When you are done with building for the day you are able to put the bagged parts in the larger storage bag with a label on it either Control board, Front panel or what ever the particular section you were working on. All parts are together and safe from being lost as sometimes it can be a few days before you sit down again to do more building.

So what is my bagging system??
RFB parts going into a  large bag
First I trip off to the local business supply store in town and purchase 2 sizes of bags, small (about 6x3) and medium (about 9x5 inches. Also some self self adhesive  labels and I find the best are the one that come in a roll of 200. I am able to reuse the bags as well just stick new labels over the old ones.  I will have larger Ziplock bag that hold all the parts for the control board or Front panel, Misc parts, RFA, RFB, one for the wire and so on. This way when I am working on the control board all the parts for that project are in the same bag. In the Elecraft assembly manual at the back there is very good inventory including pictures of all the 867 parts for the kit!! I will check off each item if there is a question as to whether it's a wrong item or not a note will go in the manual and it will get highlighted as an email to Elecraft will be sent out. (for those who do not want to mark up the manual you can download a PDF copy and print it and mark that)
bagged 102 caps and all caps below
Now here is were I go a step further, lets look at the RFB bag and in this bag you have LOTS of capacitors. There are 28 of the 102 capacitors in a package, I open the envelope that Elecraft sent them in and look to make sure all say 102. Then they go into a small bag and on the outside of the bag is a list  each of those capacitors and there designation, for example C1, C26, C27 and so on. I do this for all parts in the K2 kit even if it's just one piece it has it's own bag and label. The RFB capacitor medium bag will have 21 small bags that are labeled. When I come to the RFB assembly and am asked to instal capacitors I grab the capacitor bag and start installing, also as each capacitor is installed I check off on the label on that bag that  C91 has been installed. In conclusion I find this method will keep your kit building going smoothly. Your work bench will always be neat and parts organized. When your done for the day all parts are stored away safe.

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