[vcf-midatlantic] How to best store vintage ICs

Ethan Dicks ethan.dicks at gmail.com
Wed Dec 18 03:36:17 EST 2019


On Tue, Dec 17, 2019 at 12:19 PM Herb Johnson via vcf-midatlantic
<vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org> wrote:
> Or we inherit collections of chips
> stored this way. Due to my age it's clear to me, these are serious
> problems over a few decades.

I've had some black foam crumble to dust and some turn sticky.
Someone gave me a large box of vintage ICs and though there were a few
TI parts with blackened silver plating, 99%+ were physically intact.
The one part with the legs totally rusted off was sadly an Intel
i4004.

I have a couple of modular metal shelves in the basement that I set up
a few levels with something around 8" spacing.  In these levels I have
a stack two-high of cardboard mailing tubes like a hexagonal-pack
pigeon hole shelf.  In the cardboard tubes go anti-static tubes, so I
can organize a lot of ICs by type or function in a few dozen parking
places.

For the ones that aren't in tubes, lately, I've been taking the
ubiquitous clear storage drawer "tackleboxes" and rather than lining
the bottoms with black foam as we used to, I line the drawers with a
square of aluminum foil and tape the edges down and load in loose
chips.  It's not meant to be a Faraday cage but does put a metal layer
between the chips and the plastic.  I figure that's a lot better than
either paper or non-non-static plastic.  It takes a few minutes to cut
the foil and tape it into a dozen drawers, but not all that long
really.  I've been leaving the front surface bare to be able to peer
in the front but one could cover all five faces with foil fairly
easily.  It's certainly cheaper than the black foam.

-ethan


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