One of the more popular videos on my channel is Voltlog #223 where I reviewed the Paron JX-D5 crimping tool, I still have this tool, still working great and I use it occasionally to do some crimps. I mean it’s not going to be the best tool you can buy, or produce the highest quality crimps but for hobby level and for what you pay, it’s definitely a good deal. The only downside of this kit is that with the included accessories you can’t exactly crimp very small JST connectors, or other types of connectors like JAM, Molex ClickMate.
So in order to cover those as well, I decided to give this tool a try which is the IWISS Mini, this is the 2820M model which means it’s specified for AWG20 up to AWG28 so in general for thinner wires and crimps but there is also the 2412M model which is specified for AWG24 down to AWG12. This particular tool was provided by banggood.com for free for the purpose of this review and should you decide to order one, there will be a link in the description below, for you to check it out. At the time of publishing this video the tool was actually under restocking but I’m hoping it will be back in stock pretty soon.
Construction wise, this is not a ratchet type crimp, but there is nothing wrong with not having a ratchet, in fact in some cases, especially for cheap crimp tools the ratchet mechanism can be a problem and this can also be a matter of preference as some users prefer not having a ratchet system. But when not having a ratchet you have to make sure you are applying the correct force & travel for a good crimp and it does take some practice to reach that level.
Looking closely at the crimp tool, I would say that this is likely manufactured part of a stamping process from a large sheet of metal which means the actual resulting die on the crimp tool is not going to be as perfect or tight tolerance as it would be from a CNC machining process but this obviously lowers production cost which makes the tool much more affordable and if the die and stamping tool is precise enough this could result in a perfectly usable tool too.
Welcome to a new video, today we’ll be taking a look at yet another cheap radiation detector and it’s going to be similar to the one reviewed in Voltlog 416, except it’s cheaper. It’s also not as big physically and it’s not a multifunction tester, this one just measures radiation but let’s start with our basics, this is the packaging it comes in, inside the box you will find this hard shell carry case which is a nice addition when compared to the previous model we reviewed and btw this one doesn’t really have any branding or a particular model mentioned, it’s just a generic radiation tester but because of that I would image that it’s likely you will find this sold under different names, brands or even shapes.
Inside the case the meter sits nicely in this cutout and you get a short USB-C charging cable, a hand strap and a short user manual. Like mentioned this is smaller physically which could be a nice advantage, but also comes with a smaller screen. We have a couple of rubber bands on the sides and a metal clip on the back, with the charging port located on the bottom. Plastic feels soft & decent, matte black, I quite like that.
On paper at least this seems to have better sensitivity when compared to the previous model I reviewed but realistically given the size and cost of the unit, I think it must be using a similar miniaturized geiger muller tube which is not the most sensitive tube for this type of application but it does have the size and cost advantage. We’ll be able to see more about this topic in the teardown but first let’s turn on the unit.
The screen on this unit feels a bit small at just 2 inches. I mean , in this reading mode, I can clearly see the readings which are using this nice and big 7-segment font, but the small text on the blue ribbons, that seems a bit small to easily read. On the plus side, brightness seems good, easily visible even under my bright video shooting lights. The problem is more apparent when you switch to the menu system which feels really crowded, they went with this thumbnail arrangement, the icons feel small, the text feels small. I would have probably preferred just a simple list menu for this with bigger text.
In terms of functionality you get the standard measure & display screen but you also have the options of setting up alarm thresholds and the meter can continue monitoring with the screen off for up to 20 days of battery life and it will trigger an alarm once the threshold is exceeded. It lets you configure the screen off timeout as well as the auto power off timeout which is nice and It can also do data logging although I have not seen any mention of the available memory. A couple of other settings for things like language or screen brightness are also available from the menu system.
Welcome to a new Voltlog, today I’m gonna be showing you what I believe is the Best upgrade that you can do to your Best 863 hot air station and if you remember Voltlog #256. That’s where I did a review of this hot air station, been using it ever since 2019, so that’s about 3 years of service so far, it’s been working great but with the obvious downsides of having this touch screen panel for settings and with the annoying buzzer that you cannot turn off from this standard interface. I mean it takes a lot of button presses even for a simple temperature adjustment and it’s beep beep all the way for every single step.
Well it turns out that someone thought enough is enough and designed a replacement control panel for this station, one that offers a more classic input method through potentiometers for the most important parameters temperature and air speed, offers control over the buzzer but still keeps the touch input if you need to alter any of the other settings and all of this can be ordered as a kit from Tindie which is pretty awesome if you ask me.
If you are interested in ordering your BST-863 hot air station or the upgrade kit which I highly recommend you get for the best experience with this station There will be some links in the description below the video so check them out.
You have two options when ordering this kit from tindie, you can either get it as a KIT which is what I have here or you can get it fully assembled for an extra $10. The Kit version comes with a PCB that has all of the SMT components fully populated but there are a few through hole parts that you will need to solder yourself. I think the author has done a really good job at packing and organizing the different components, Even the resistors come on this little card that shows you where they should be positioned on the PCB. The kit also includes all of the required mounting hardware as well as a sticker for the front panel potentiometers. The package was shipped from Portugal and it got here pretty fast. In fact I’ve had this on my desk for a good while, i’ve just been very busy and unable to install it so far.
So I looked around for a portable Geiger counter that might give some indication or warning if the radiation levels start to increase. There are a few models available online, some which are for professional use but ofcourse you would expect those to be very expensive, so I was looking for something on the affordable side of things.
This model popped up in my searches, is the JD-3001 multifunctional Geiger counter and this can monitor gamma beta as well as electric and magnetic fields all in the same unit. I’m gonna put the specs of the unit on screen while I mention that it was offered for free by banggood.com for the purpose of this review and right now there is a high demand for these, but it shows in stock on banggood.com, the price is discounted and on top of that if you look in the description of the video you will find a coupon code that will provide you with an additional discount for this product.
Not sure how relevant it is but the unit also includes a temperature + humidity sensor which is located in this small extremity. When compared to other units available on the market this one seemed more interesting because it had some nice features like built-in lithium battery, rechargeable via USB Type-C port. It can do data logging on its internal memory and then you can access and download the logs through the USB port and probably the nicest feature is this big crisp color LCD display.
Welcome to a new Voltlog, In this video I’m gonna show you what I think it’s the best affordable USB Meter you can get right now in terms of functionality and build quality. The functionality built into this usb meter goes beyond your imagination and it’s hard to even remember all of the different functions this meter will support and the PC app they offer has to be one of the best apps I’ve seen from a Chinese company. It doesn’t mean it’s perfect, might still have a few bugs but definitely the best choice you can make right now.
The meter is branded AVHzY, the model number is CT-3 and full disclosure here, they offered this unit for free for the purpose of this review but they don’t pay me and I have full control over this review. The meter comes in a hard shell case so it’s well protected during shipping and to my surprise I got this in just under 2 weeks while the usual transit times for my packages are in the 3-4 weeks. Inside you get this english quick start guide, there was also a screen protector film which I already installed, it went in there perfectly and I really appreciate having that included because it was the perfect size.
This is the typical USB meter sandwich construction with different layers, this one seems to be using a single PCB in the middle with a couple of metal sheets on the outer layers which makes it feel premium and more rugged than simple plastic. We have the typical USB Type-A connectors for input and output , USB Type C input and output and also a micro USB for PC connection. The LCD is 128*160 pixels at just 1.77” which is not a lot, you can definitely see those pixels but for a small USB Meter I can’t complain, it’s still readable.
Welcome to another Voltlog product review and in this video we are taking a look at the DytSpectrumOwl PCB thermal camera and let me tell you from the start that if you do a lot of PCB repairs or if you do any kind of product thermal characterization, your life would be so much better if you’ve had a tool like this and I’ll show you why in a few minutes.
The company that makes this product is DianYang Technology and I guess the name of the product is DyTSpectrumOwl model number CA-10, this is a 260×200 pixel resolution IR camera sensor with a 25 fps refresh rate and manual adjustable focus lens which allows it to focus from 20mm up to 2m, that 20mm close range focus and the 25hz refresh rate are very interesting features and I’ll talk more about that in a second.
I received the unit very well packed in a double cardboard box and all I have to do is to fix the vertical stand to the base and attach the camera. While doing this I couldn’t help to notice the very good construction quality, they’ve used anodized aluminium and metal parts everywhere, everything is nicely machined, rounded corners, really nice attention to detail, like for example , the work surface has an insulating rubber coating which would prevent shorting something on the PCB you are testing and on the bottom side they have nice rubber bumpers to prevent it from sliding around. Inside the box they include a small screwdriver that you use for attaching the vertical stand to the base, a couple of spare screws and a USB type-C to USB Type-A data cable.
Camera has a USB Type-C interface, looks like the shell is made from plastic and painted the same metal gray color and you get a single on/off button with a status LED on the top. On the sensor side you get this big focus adjustment wheel and we’ll play with that later on when we get to look at a PCB but since we are talking about PCBs let me introduce the sponsor of this video
Raised to its maximum setting, you get about 15cm of clearance between the work surface and the camera and that’s plenty if you ask me and you also get the option of moving the stand to the left of the work surface by using these mounting points. There are a few adjustments on the standm you can raise or lower the camera by sliding on the vertical rod but you can also do fine adjustment with this thumbwheel at the top. Then you can move back and forward from this adjustment and you can also adjust the angle of the camera so you can pretty much get this into every angle you want but I would probably use this looking straight down at a PCB.
Welcome to a new Voltlog, In this video we’re taking a look at the OWON HDS242S which is a dual channel 40MHz portable oscilloscope coupled with a 20000 count true RMS digital multimeter and an arbitrary waveform generator capable of 25Mhz sine and 5MHz square wave, all in this portable format with a 3.5inch color TFT display. As part of their line-up you can also get the HDS272S which bumps the oscilloscope up to 70Mhz. You can also get these without the function generator option and those would not have the ending S in their model number.
The most important part of this lab is obviously the workbench and this is something that I designed myself, I guess I can call this the Voltlog Workbench Design, it’s 2m wide with 80cm deep. The working surface comes out at about 95 cm from the floor. It sits on these adjustable feet but I haven’t even leveled it so far. Thanks to my friends at Welectron.com my working surface is protected with these nice premium ESD Mats. They are 100% and phthalates free, no bad smell, Heat and solder resistant, Chemical resistant, two layer ESD bottom side is conductive, top side is dissipative and they have this nice anti-reflective surface finish which is very comfortable to work on. I went with gray because it works best as a background for video shooting but you can opt for Blue as well. I’ll put a link to these in the description below, I highly recommend Welectron for their services & customer care and I highly recommend these ESD mats they are top quality.
Soldering tools is a big subject as there is no electronics bench or hobby without a soldering iron hence why I have several videos on the subject and why I will continue to do such videos when new tools are presented. Everyone knows and probably wishes for a JCB or Metcal station since they are very well known in the industry, they are reliable and most importantly very capable soldering stations but their price tag keeps them out of reach for the average hobbyist.
That’s why clones of the big names appear on the market and they can be bought for half the price of the original one, sometimes even less. That’s why the KSGER T12 soldering stations are so popular and why I use them. They support the original Hakko tips and so they provide identical performance to a Hakko station as long as you install a good quality T12 tip.
Which brings us to the subject of this video, this is the Best 933B, which is a clone of the JBC CD-B series compact soldering station. This has been on the market for a while but I recently got a chance to review this station when banggood offered to send me one for free. I would appreciate it if you would check out the links I place in the description, this will ensure I can get more gear to review in the future. Price wise, if you were to order one of these it would cost you about half the price of the original JBC station. Depending on where you order the original one is around 400EUR while the Best station is about 200EUR on banggood.
So this is the Micsig CP2100 series current probe, it’s my first piece of equipment from Micsig but I’ve been hearing good things about them so I kinda have high expectations for this product.
What I have here is the CP2100A variant which is rated for 800KHz bandwidth, there is also a B variant which is rated for up to 2MHz in the latest revision, that one is a bit more expensive and I would only recommend getting it if you really need that bandwidth, otherwise there shouldn’t be any other difference between the two models. I don’t know if I mentioned this already but obviously it can measure AC and DC, it has two ranges, 10A and 100A. There is a zero function on the module for automatic zero adjustment and you can also do manual offset adjustments with these arrow keys.
Micsig specs this as 3% ±50mA accuracy for the 10A range and 4% ±50mA for the 100A range but from what I’ve been reading on the forums, this is actually better than the spec, you can pretty much measure down to 50mA without having to worry about that ±50mA but we’ll put that to a test later. Included below you see a set of images from the teardown.