Organizing transistors


Late last year, [matseng] set up an interesting challenge for himself: design a new PCB every week, send it off to a fab house, and build a new project. It’s a grueling endeavor, but some of these projects are actually very useful and cool. One of the best so far is the TraId – a board that identifies a transistor type and pinout with a nice LED interface.

This build was partly inspired by Dangerous Prototypes’ Part Ninja, a board that determines the pinouts and values of transistors, resistors, caps, and diodes. The TraId is a much more cut down version usable only for transistors, displaying the orientation of the pins and type of transistor on a set of 8 LEDs.

Although the design is very sparse, we could imagine something like this being very useful in a hackerspace, lab, or anywhere else the gremlins of chaos come to reorganize parts drawers. If you’d like to build your own, all the required files are up on the gits.


  1. RicoElectrico says:

    This could be modified for testing SMD transistors. These suckers don’t even have a full part number marked on them! I’d rather use a strong magnifying glass than hope the on line catalogs happen to have a particular obscure transistor.

  2. Trui says:

    If you have more than 1 type of transistor, it’s not enough to know the pinout and whether it’s N- or P-type. You also need to know the other characteristics.

  3. Squirrel says:

    ‘Gremlins of Chaos’. Some indie band is totally about to use that for a name…

  4. BiOzZ says:

    extremely useful tool!

    i for one cannot wait to get my hands on a part ninja!

    • fghjk says:

      you might start designing your own part ninja. I don’t think dangerous prototypes will ever make a product of that. Matter of fact do hasn’t really produced any prototypes in a long time

  5. Greg says:

    The Part Ninja, if I am correct, is based on the Transistor Testor by Markus Frejek and has been enhanced significantly (not related to Dangerous Prototypes) by Karl-Heinz Kübbeler. Mega-long thread here:

    I’d still love to build one of those things, better if it was ported to the AVR so I can slap a ATtiny84 on it :)

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