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Technical Requirements

Anti-static Environment

It is very important to keep chips from being damaged from static electricity. The solution is not necessarily intuitive. It requires that the electrical charge at any pin or lead be the same as any other pin or lead.

One solution is to wrap the chips in a metal foils, aluminum is used most often. Aluminum foils is readily available and relatively inexpensive. The downside is that it does not always conform to the shape of the chip and stay in contact with its leads or pins. The aluminum foil will also break down over time as the chip is removed from time to time for your viewing pleasure. Personally, I only use aluminum foil for temporary situations, such as chip transport, but only if I don’t have the next solution.

Anti-static foam is generally the preferred solution. Many people think that anti-static foam protects the chip by shielding it from electricity. I once received a chip stored in Styrofoam because the shipper believe it would provide the same function as anti-static foam. However, anti-static foam works just like the aluminum foil. Anti-static foam conducts electricity and therefore distributes any charge equally to all the leads and pins. Anti-static foam has the further advantage that lead and pins inserted into the foam are held snugly. Anti-static foam may degrade over time, 40-50 years in a climate controlled environment. Buy good quality foam. Using old foam where you don’t know its history is maybe not the best choice. There are two type of foam: Black and Pink. Both work fine. The Black foam (the black comes from Carbon) may have better anti-static, but may not last as long over time. Pink seems to have better availability in different thicknesses, and is less expensive.

Acid Free Environment

Acid is a commonly encountered substance. In our everyday lives it doesn’t make any difference if the products we use contain minuet amounts of acid. However, when you begin a collection of objects, or art, that you want to like to enjoy for decades then it matters. The materials you use for your collection: bags, paper, boxes, paints, inks, etc, any material that will be a part of your chip’s storage solution should be acid free.

Climate Controlled Environment

This one comes down to temperature and humidity control. It is better to keep your chips your house/apartment with AC/Heat, than in the garage/storage unit.

Low Ultraviolet Light (UV) Environment

This one is simple too. Don’t store chips in direct sunlight.

Physical Protection Environment

Your chips should be stored in such a way that other chips can’t poke or scratch other chips with their leads or pins. Physical weight should not be placed on a chip, including the weight of other chips. If the chip is dropped, the environment should offer some protection.

Information About Your Chip (Tagging)

You should store information about the chip with the chip. The subject of what information you should storing belongs to the inventory and organization sections. Attaching the information to the chip can be a challenge. It needs to be as permanent as long as you need it to be and can’t damage the chips. Remember most tapes and glues contain acid, aren’t very permanent, and will likely detract from the look of the chip.