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.