InTheMail | Voltlog #398

Welcome to a new Voltog, Happy New Year and what other better video to start the year with, than a genuine InTheMail to feed that need for new and interesting electronics. Just a quick heads-up, I’ve left the most interesting item in today’s mailbag to be presented last but trust me it’s worth watching till the end if you like to keep your electronics workbench clean.

Let’s start with this set of replacement foam pads for these Sennheiser headphones. I’ve had these for a long time, never used them that much but as with all headphone cushions, they started to disintegrate after a few years and I feel bad letting these go into the trash, knowing that they are perfectly good headphones. So I decided to buy a replacement foam pad set to repair them and maybe give them to someone that needs a pair of headphones so that we’ll get maybe at least another couple of years out of this good product. That’s how I generally feel about products that have served me well, they don’t deserve to end up in a landfill, how do you feel about that? Let me know in the comments below and if you find yourself needing some replacement foam pads for your headphones, check out the links I’ve placed in the description of this video to find some for your particular model.

Next up I have some tactile switches, these are just generic ones that I got from aliexpress, they are right angle through hole mounting style and I’m using these on my esp32 thermostat valve controller board and this is a suggestion that I got from a viewer in the comments, because it makes the switch easily accessible through the openings in the din rail enclosure. These are likely a clone of the SKHH series from ALPS because I used the footprints for those, found in the standard Kicad library and they match. Even though I got them for cheap, they seem to be of decent build quality but getting them from aliexpress is always a gamble because on the next batch they might not be the same so I’ll be using these for my prototypes but I’m looking for alternatives from a known supplier to eliminate any quality issues.

InTheMail | Voltlog #373

Welcome to a new InTheMail, the series that will touch both your passion for electronics and your bank account at the same time. And I have some news regarding the import of our packages from aliexpress into the EU. As you may have noticed Aliexpress started collecting VAT according to the new IOSS system and you would expect that an EU member country would have the system in place to process these packages because you know they asked for this system, they created it so you would expect the would have the system ready. 

But it’s a complete shit show over here, there is a double taxation happening, the Postal company here slaps a 1.6 EUR fee for processing packages and also collects VAT according to the value declared by the sender on the package, even though you already paid VAT and you can prove you paid it with the invoice that Aliexpress provides.

When asked why we have to pay the VAT twice, the Postal service said, they have the system in place to process packages coming through the IOSS system automatically and avoid double taxation but the customs authority doesn’t have it’s system ready, hence the issue of double taxation. And you can guess what the customs authority said when I asked them why we are being taxed twice, they said, it’s all good, we shouldn’t be taxed because tax has been collected already and yet the postal service is not releasing the packages until the fees are paid.

It seems that right now, the only way to avoid double taxation is if you do the import papers yourself or if you use a 3rd party company that offers those services but their fees start at about 50EUR per import and the forms aren’t exactly easy to do so yeah, cheapest option right now is to just pay the postal service fees and get the packages. I’ll share some more info once I have it but right now, at least here in Romania, it’s as bad as it can be and the authorities don’t seem to have a solution. But enough ranting, let’s get on with the items I received.

InTheMail | Voltlog #369

Welcome to a new InTheMail, the series that will touch both your passion for electronics and your bank account at the same time and I must say that I’m worried about the future of mailbag videos given the new EU regulations on imports from China which are going into effect starting 1st of July here in Romania, I’ll have to do a separate rant video on the subject but there might not be any mailbag videos going forward.

I’m gonna start with this mailbag with a brand that you are already familiar with here on the channel, it’s difficult for me to pronounce this, I don’t know how it should be pronounced but these guys make affordable adhesives and related products. I haven’t had this one before, it’s the first time I’m getting the Kafuter K-5203 which is a thermal adhesive and to be more specific, their description is reinforced thermally conductive silicone elastomer with great adhesion, insulation and dissipation. And to give you some numbers they claim it can withstand variations of temperature between -60°c and +280°c and it has a shear strength of 30kg/cm3. The thermal conductivity is 1.2 watts per meter kelvin. I don’t need to tell you how to use this, it’s good for attaching stuff to a heatsink, in general stuff that also needs some form of bonding to the heatsink.