Personal Flashlight Database

Empath

Flashaholic
Joined
Nov 11, 2001
Messages
8,508
Location
Oregon
I assume that there are many among us, like myself, that have accumulated various flashlights and lights enough that mental notes are no longer sufficient to keep track of them and the details involved. I see the need, or at least something useful, in developing a computerized inventory data file on them.

Has anyone here developed such already? If so, what database manager have you chosen as the most desirable for such use? What information on each light do you record?
Do you use a relational or flat db manager, or a free form note program?
 
D

**DONOTDELETE**

Guest
I have a large book filled filled with several thousand postage stamp-sized pieces of peel and stick material printed with conductive ink to form tiny diode-like transmittters, like the ones they attach to clothing in department stores to prevent theft. Each tag is numbered, and it's placement is recorded in a log. When I need to find a particular item, I set my handheld reciever on the frequency, or emitted code, and it beeps me toward the desired object...
in my dreams.
tongue.gif
smile.gif
 

recercare

Enlightened
Joined
Aug 29, 2001
Messages
330
Location
Norway
A participated in Microsoft 2000 Certification Training a year ago. (MOUS Expert and MCP). After that I made my flashlight database in Microsoft Access. It worked fine for my needs. Well, I don't need a database for my modest collection...so I just deleted my database, which I regret a bit now.

I think I included:
-Manufacturer
-Name and Model
-Batteries (type, size and number of cells).
-Category (flashlight, headlamp, lantern, keychain etc)
-Lamp (Incandescent, LED, HID etc)
-Tech.specs (Lumen, Wattage, Voltage, CP, Beam Angle, Run time)
-Finish (Hard anodized, plastic, etc)
-Color, Weight and Lenght
-Degree of water resistance(<--sp?)
-Pictures

Hope this helps
 

Empath

Flashaholic
Joined
Nov 11, 2001
Messages
8,508
Location
Oregon
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by recercare:
Hope this helps<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Actually it does help; thanks.
 

Kirk

Enlightened
Joined
May 2, 2002
Messages
440
Location
Central California
Hello Empath!
I use an Excel spreadsheet for my vintage/antique lights. I list manufacturer, model, color of case, first year made, price paid, batteries/bulb used, and comments about condition. With Excel you can list anything that tickles your fancy and you can sort by mfg, price, condition, any way you can think of. I have not made a list of my "modern" lights yet, and I don't know if I will. Hope this helps.
Regards,
Kirk
 
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**DONOTDELETE**

Guest
just so you don't think I was being totally flip about that "tracker stamp book" - this guy may actually be coming up with something like it; "...Steve Wozniak emerged from semiretirement on Wednesday with plans to create new wireless devices to help "everyday people track everyday things."..."
(this was some months ago--)
click on the 'press info' at
http://www.woz.com
 

lightlover

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 28, 2001
Messages
1,901
Location
London, UK (Parallel Universe)
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Ted the Led:
just so you don't think I was being totally flip ...<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Perish the very thought Ted ......

lightlover
 

Empath

Flashaholic
Joined
Nov 11, 2001
Messages
8,508
Location
Oregon
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Ted the Led:
just so you don't think I was being totally flip about that "tracker stamp book" - <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

It's not that I think you're "flip", it's just that you've moved into an area of which I'm totally ignorant. I'm unable to talk of it; all I can do is learn.
 

txwest

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 30, 2001
Messages
1,773
Location
Houston, TX
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Ted the Led:
I have a large book filled filled with several thousand postage stamp-sized pieces of peel and stick material printed with conductive ink to form tiny diode-like transmittters, like the ones they attach to clothing in department stores to prevent theft. Each tag is numbered, and it's placement is recorded in a log. When I need to find a particular item, I set my handheld reciever on the frequency, or emitted code, and it beeps me toward the desired object...
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Hey TTL, I didn't think anyone else here had one of these data base systems. Is yours the old 105 model or the new 201 with loop-mode support? I really like the new one. Don't know what I ever did without it. TX
 

Quickbeam

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 19, 2001
Messages
4,329
Location
FlashlightReviews.com
I've heard about the idea that this technology (which isn't far from accurate) being applied in grocery/department stores - price tags with surface printed diodes/transmitters/antennas. The idea is that a RF pulse is sent through the store from transmitters in the ceiling and that activates the circuit in the tag for an instant which sends a code. The receivers in the ceiling pick up that transmission and instantly inventory the entire store - AKA daily inventories and much better inventory control.

Likewise, push your basket through a pair of transmitter/receiver gates at the checkout and you are instantly checked-out - no more waiting in line.
 

txwest

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 30, 2001
Messages
1,773
Location
Houston, TX
The only problem with the "instant checkout" is you don't get a chance to catch all the items which are mispriced.
rolleyes.gif
TX
 
D

**DONOTDELETE**

Guest
but imagine being able to find your glasses, keys, cat, and wallet in under three minutes..!
 

BugLightGeek

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 26, 2002
Messages
1,554
Location
St Louis
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Kirk:
...I use an Excel spreadsheet for my vintage/antique lights. I list manufacturer, model, color of case, first year made, price paid, batteries/bulb used, and comments about condition. With Excel you can list anything that tickles your fancy and you can sort by mfg, price, condition, any way you can think of. I have not made a list of my "modern" lights yet, and I don't know if I will. Hope this helps.
Regards,
Kirk
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I was wondering if you could post your spreadsheet for myself and others to look at.

Also, I've been working on a database to catalog flashlights and have run into a few snags that I'd like to get fixed before I make it available to all CPF members. Any Access gurus out there interested in giving me a hand with it?
 
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**DONOTDELETE**

Guest
Ah yes Ted, but what happens when I can't find the tracker thingy?
 

BugLightGeek

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 26, 2002
Messages
1,554
Location
St Louis
hmmm...now I'm wondering if anyone other than me will benefit or even care about a flashlight database...
 

rlhess

Enlightened
Joined
Apr 27, 2002
Messages
864
Location
Aurora, Ontario, Canada
The most useful part of the database IMHO is that you can log when you last changed batteries in all those lights stashed around...in fact, add all your battery-operated appliances and then you can write a simple Excel formula (change every year, two, five...) and then sort on the result.

I may do this someday.

Cheers,

Richard
 

flashfan

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 2, 2001
Messages
1,303
Location
USA
Not too long ago, I started my own light "log," which consisted of a note here, some info on a post-it note there, etc., etc. The whole idea was to eventually organize it all on the computer. Never got around to it. Hmm, now where did I put all those little bits of paper?
 
D

**DONOTDELETE**

Guest
If you do a search on the Internet for "inventory software", there are enough programs out there that would probably suit your needs. It's primarily a matter of how much you want to spend -- programs can range from under $100 to over $20,000+ for point-of-sale software/hardware for businesses.

It's also probably a good idea to find a program that integrates with Microsoft Office so you can freely import and export your database into spreadsheets if only for the purpose of backing up your information. Some of these original programs can be quite quirky --it can be very easy to lose, lock-up, or destroy your database while learning to use a simple program -- that is, sometimes they are "too simple" to do much with...and very frustrating.

If you want to go whole hog on a medium level, you can get a barscanning suite for around $100-250. The fun here is that your bonus is yet another light-emitting piece of equipment to monkey around with -- the barscan reader itself. You'll have the ability to get very organized with barcoded labels and generating different versions of many reports of your inventory status. It's not just for businesses -- it's great for people with hobbies that entail lots of little pieces, serious household inventory, etc.

A reasonably priced program is Wasp Bar Code available directly online or through Staples.com (watch out for Staples sending dusty versions). It's a fairly intuitive process to learn the program. The self-contained Help Manual could be better -- there's a lot of information in there, but I found many things that were important to me were skimmed over. They have a "regular" version and professional version.

Another alternative is a decent labeling program -- some have inventory databases and of course, you can generate custom labels. Check out SureThing Office Labeler on the Internet -- I think it's less than $40.

Easiest/cheapest way is just to make a simple spread sheet with MS Excel or learn to use Access. Most of you already have this on your computer, it's just a matter of setting aside the time to learn how to use it.

And then there's the good ol' notebook and pen.
 

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