InTheMail | Voltlog #424

Welcome to a new InTheMail, the most popular segment hosted here on the channel. Lots of interesting gadgets have been piling up in my special bin so let’s take a look at them.

I’m gonna start the video with this small silicone mat, I’m sure you are familiar with these. I just wanted a smaller one that I could fit on the work surface of my microscope. This is my trinocular microscope, if you are a subscriber of the channel you’ve probably seen it before, I reviewed it in Voltlog #282 and I did a few upgrades since then on its video camera system. I sometimes do soldering right here, on this work surface so it would be nice to have a small silicone mat to help with that and I found this model on Aliexpress, it’s a good size for this purpose, just a little too thin for my taste, I expect this to bulge immediately under the action of the hot air gun but other than that, I think it should do the job and it was very inexpensive to purchase. Same as always you will find links for all of the items shown in this video in the description below.

Next up I have a couple of interesting display modules that caught my attention while casually browsing through the recommended products list. This one is a 1.69inch TFT display with 240×280 pixels resolution so it’s a fairly densely packed panel, based on the st7789v2 controller IC. You can get this as a panel or as a breakout module like I have here. I opted for the breakout panel so that I could easily test this and hook it up to a dev board. It seems like it’s wired for a SPI interface on this breakout board and I guess the main features of this display panel are its thin bezels left, right and top, you ofcourse need a little thicker bezel for the side where the flat flex is located, because there you have the driver IC, the backlight plus the bonding of the flat flex.

As you can see in this quick demo I prepared, it looks very nice, much better than your typical aliexpress 2 inch tft panel so I think we’ll be seeing more projects using these popping up on the internet.

The next display comes from the same company making these breakout boards, and it’s a 2.13 inch 122×250 pixels resolution, TFT white and black display based on the st7302 controller IC. They say it’s targeted for low power applications. I don’t think there is any backlight on this one so it’s a reflective type display. Interface is once again SPI and you can get this as a bare lcd panel or as a breakout board like I have here. I thought the format of this display is pretty interesting and once again I think we’ll be seeing some more projects using these popping up on the internet.

Next up I got myself another one of these cheap, compact side cutters, I’ve been using these for a while for various jobs, I recently gave one to a friend so I needed a replacement. They’re not the best quality but they’re decent enough and I like the form factor a lot. Useful for cutting off through hole component terminals but also for the small size wires and other miscellaneous stuff. Do yourself a favor and order 2 of these.

Next I got one of these which is like a rust cleaning fiber pen, the way this works is you spin this cap which pushes some fiber bundle through the tip of the pen, those are pretty abrasive and so you can use it to rub off superficial rust of small items like jewlery, watches, but what I thought this could be useful for is ofcourse electronics, PCBs, where you need to clean some burn marks or something like that. I’m not sure how long those fibers are, or how long this is going to last but I thought it would be a nice addition to my set of cleaning tools. Links for this are in the description below the video so check them out.

InTheMail | Voltlog #421

Welcome to a new InTheMail, the most popular segment hosted here on the channel. It’s been quite a while since the last InTheMail so a lot of interesting stuff has been gathering in my special bin.

I’m gonna start the video with these EVA hard shell cases in a rather small format, as you may be aware these come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors, they’re inexpensive and personally I like to use them to store various bits of gear, test instruments in the lab but also to transport small PCBs, projects that I’m working on in my backpack without find out out at the destination that all of the through hole parts have been squished in the process. It just provides a nice solution for storing and carrying various items.

Next up I have a couple of GOPRO Accessories and I’m gonna start with these tether lines and they can really be multipurpose, that’s why I’m showing them in this mailbag, they’re made of steel, they come in different lengths and colors and they can even be used for minimal security by looping them around things and closing with some sort of lock, they feel pretty strong but you know it’s only going to work for honest people.

So I think I’ve mentioned this before, that I recently started kitesurfing and I wanted to get one of these kite line gopro mount because of the nice viewing angle that this provides on video, however, there is a big drawback with this, because it can potentially tangle the lines and as a beginner that’s something that I do not want to deal with, because it can put me in some dangerous situations so I’m likely not going to be using this until I have gained some experience on the water

And because I am using my gopro mostly on the water I got myself one of these gopro floating cases, it’s just made from foam, goes around your gopro, it’s bright orange and if you drop it in the water it will helpfully keep it floating while you search for it. This is an inexpensive accessory but one that could save your more expensive camera. As usual links for all of these items will be provided in the description below.

Next up, another item for my summer activities, I got these plastic tent stakes which I plan to use with this smaller UV and wind protection shelter that I got for beach days. The tent/shelter was delivered with those slim mounting pins which slide right out of the sand but these plastic ones which I recently got really work so much nicer. I’ve taken 3 out of the package and tested them this past weekend and you have to work a little bit to get them into the sand by this screwing action but they provide much better grip into the sand. I mean you can still pull them out if you wanted but it will require some force so I think they do the job just nice and on top of that they were really cheap.