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Inventory the shack

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N9JIG

Sheriff
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I got an email the other day asking about some stickers seen on radios in my shack pictures. These are my personal inventory tags.

Like many of us here I have a lot of radios, accessories and computers in the house and vehicle. One thing I have done over the last year or two is a complete inventory of the shack.

I decided to do this after two triggers. The first was arranging cabling for my vehicle, which at the time had 4 Uniden scanners and 3 two-ways. I was routing speaker and control head cables and came up with using a common number for each radio. The scanners were numbered 1-4 and the two-ways were 5-7. Each speaker and control head cable was then numbered with sticker tags to match the radio it was connected to.

The second trigger was being assigned at work to inventory department property. I bought security tags and one of my guys developed an Access database to maintain the inventory of (so far) almost 1500 items, including radios, movable furniture, computers, AED's, MVRS units, etc.

At home I used a simple FileMaker database and list the make, model, serial number, value and other details of various electronic equipment. On computer equipment I also list the MAC ID's so my network trackers can be kept current. You would be surprised to see how many devices are connected to your WiFi...

I also add an "Owner Applied Number" (OAN) to each item. Basically I use a P-Touch label maker to make a simple label with my call and the OAN. I place the label when I record the serial number and other data in FileMaker. I thought about etching but that would reduce the resale value of the radio and not add much to the recovery chances.

The database is now up to over 140 items, between scanner and other radio stuff, computers, cameras, TV's & BRD and more. I note the normal location of the device, the warranty or AppleCare expiration, and other pertinent details.

When I sell, give or dispose of an item It is so noted in the database but not deleted. I already used that to provide a serial number to a radio I sold when the new owner had it stolen from them.

This data can be invaluable if you suffer a fire, burglary or other catastrophe and need to file a claim or report. Just be sure to keep your database someplace where it could be retrieved in case of fire. I keep mine on my Dropbox so I can access it anywhere.

The inventory itself can be a simple text file or you can use any of several free or cheap database products. I use FileMaker Pro since I already have it and know it well.

My rules on what goes into the database are pretty simple. If it is worth my time to put it in and label it then it goes in. The cheapest thing I have in there is an external DVD drive I paid $30 for and the most expensive are my Mac's. In between are the cameras, scanners and other radios, decoders, cell phones and tablets etc. etc. etc.

The stickers help too. When I go to a club meeting sometimes our radios tend to mingle and this helps make sure my radio goes home with me instead of Will or Roy or Bob...
 

03msc

RF is RF
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Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
3,173
Location
Arkansas
I got an email the other day asking about some stickers seen on radios in my shack pictures. These are my personal inventory tags.

Like many of us here I have a lot of radios, accessories and computers in the house and vehicle. One thing I have done over the last year or two is a complete inventory of the shack.

I decided to do this after two triggers. The first was arranging cabling for my vehicle, which at the time had 4 Uniden scanners and 3 two-ways. I was routing speaker and control head cables and came up with using a common number for each radio. The scanners were numbered 1-4 and the two-ways were 5-7. Each speaker and control head cable was then numbered with sticker tags to match the radio it was connected to.

The second trigger was being assigned at work to inventory department property. I bought security tags and one of my guys developed an Access database to maintain the inventory of (so far) almost 1500 items, including radios, movable furniture, computers, AED's, MVRS units, etc.

At home I used a simple FileMaker database and list the make, model, serial number, value and other details of various electronic equipment. On computer equipment I also list the MAC ID's so my network trackers can be kept current. You would be surprised to see how many devices are connected to your WiFi...

I also add an "Owner Applied Number" (OAN) to each item. Basically I use a P-Touch label maker to make a simple label with my call and the OAN. I place the label when I record the serial number and other data in FileMaker. I thought about etching but that would reduce the resale value of the radio and not add much to the recovery chances.

The database is now up to over 140 items, between scanner and other radio stuff, computers, cameras, TV's & BRD and more. I note the normal location of the device, the warranty or AppleCare expiration, and other pertinent details.

When I sell, give or dispose of an item It is so noted in the database but not deleted. I already used that to provide a serial number to a radio I sold when the new owner had it stolen from them.

This data can be invaluable if you suffer a fire, burglary or other catastrophe and need to file a claim or report. Just be sure to keep your database someplace where it could be retrieved in case of fire. I keep mine on my Dropbox so I can access it anywhere.

The inventory itself can be a simple text file or you can use any of several free or cheap database products. I use FileMaker Pro since I already have it and know it well.

My rules on what goes into the database are pretty simple. If it is worth my time to put it in and label it then it goes in. The cheapest thing I have in there is an external DVD drive I paid $30 for and the most expensive are my Mac's. In between are the cameras, scanners and other radios, decoders, cell phones and tablets etc. etc. etc.

The stickers help too. When I go to a club meeting sometimes our radios tend to mingle and this helps make sure my radio goes home with me instead of Will or Roy or Bob...
Excellent idea! I also had someone tell me they kept theirs in a spreadsheet on Google Drive so that they could pull it up from their phone, tablet, or any computer to view it or even update information on it. Regardless of the method, you are right - keep it in the cloud or saved somewhere other than just one computer hard drive.
 

W9WSS

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Messages
694
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Westmont, DuPage County, IL USA
Item Identification

<snip> <message truncated for brevity>

The stickers help too. When I go to a club meeting sometimes our radios tend to mingle and this helps make sure my radio goes home with me instead of Will or Roy or Bob...
Ha! Just because I had the "Official CARMA Wireless Microphone," doesn't mean I wanted to keep it. Luckily, it was in my car, and I was able to attend the recent CARMA meeting, getting "Mr. Microphone" back to Rich.
 
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