One years DX mail.

P1000591

Among the stuff i bought is :
SKU: 382445 Quad band GPRS module. Haven’t played with this yet. There is no documentation on the DX page. Seeed has some general info about the module and the Seeed module that may be helpfull. The Adafruit FONA shield uses this module as well.The last picture in the DX page can be used to figure out the pin-out. One thing I did notice is that the board is not going to fit on a breadboard nicely.

SKU: 131727 and SKU: 131728 Pre-cut, stripped and tinned wires : sort and long. Preparing wires for soldering can be a drag. Just buy them ready to solder.

SKU:4711. Solder Paste (sold out). The name “Solder Paste” is a source of great confusion. This type is basically solder (so lead-tin-silver-whatever) in paste form. “Solder Paste” can also be flux to improve soldering and is a resin. Both are sold in very very similar looking jars described very poorly on DX.

SKU:19866 Stainless Steel Precision Angled Tweezers. These are by far my favorite tweezers for precision work. They fit nicely when closed and because they are in a 90 degree are great fro placing SMD parts.

SKU: 326247 10-pin female-female wires. Lots of prototype-able parts have pins but are not breadboard friendly. The female wires let you hook them up.

SKU: 146300: .   3W amplifier. Haven’t tried this but the idea was to use this with the MP3  module.

SKU: 221187  VS1003B MP3 Decoder. Breakout board for the VLSI VS1003. I have no idea why they mention the STM32. Haven’t played with this yet.

SKU: 149344ODBII -> bluetooth bridge. Lets you see what’s going on in the car diagnostics system. Works with Torque on the Nexus 7.

SKU: 331938 . One of the many Google Cardboard implementations . Useless to me as the Nexus 7 won’t fit.

SKU: 219245  Thin and flexible network cable. Works like a charm and uses little space.

SKU: 56648457 Anti-Static Static Charge Release Wrist Band (1.6M Grounding Cable). If you are working on repairing electronic equipment it’s smart to take precautions against static electricity. I have a mat as well and all the electric / electronic tools are grounded.

SKU: 268720 NILLKIN Protective Flip Open Case w/ Stand for Google Nexus 7 II – Black. The Nexus falls sometimes, coffee gets spilled, accidents happen. Then it is nice to have a case. The fake leather on the inside gets dirty. And i have no idea what “There is no end in pursuing.” means that is written on the inside.

SKU: 288552 Key Shaped Phillips Screwdriver + Slotted Screwdriver Set. Two screwdrivers to attach to your keychain.

SKU: 142041 FTDI Breakout board. Most embedded / hobby  stuff either has a USB serial serial on board (teensy, arduino etc.) or has a logic level serial interface. This FTDI breakout board provides you with a USB serial interface. Specs are thin, as usual on DX, but the board seems to use the “standard” pinout that Adafruit, FTDI, Sparkfun and JeeLabs use.

RTS
RxD
TxDVcc
CTS
GND

The price difference is pretty huge compared to the (about 6 USD vs 15 USD). I wonder if the FTDI chips on this board are the real deal. Also, it’s unclear how the board can be modified from 5 V. to 3.3V.

SKU: 223501 A Female to micro USB male. I have a couple of these to connect USB devices to a Nexus 7 via USB OTG. Nexus Media Importer will mount this external storage just fine. Great for watching movies while traveling or viewing the images on the camera.

SKU: 298972 RJ45 connector . Bought to be able to improvise a female RJ45 on a UTP cable. Never used them.

SKU: 56648457 Power plug converter. Many power supplies (safe ones from a proper brand) can work from 110 to 230 V AC. It’s just that they have the wrong plug. I prefer not to but you can use one of these plug converters to plug a US cable or adapter in a European socket. Check the maximum and minimum input voltages of the device you will connect.

 

Paperbacks of recent english books.

I read a lot of english books and was excited to see Niel Stephensons new book :

Reamde at Amazon UK.

Niel Stephenson is know for books like Snow Crash, Cryptonomicon, Quicksilver: The Baroque Cycle (Baroque Cycle 1) and The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer  (or via Amazon.de : Snow Crash
, Cryptonomicon, Quicksilver: Volume One of the Baroque Cycle: 1 (P.S.) and The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer ).

It is really annoying they only have a hardcover edition though. Hardcover is a reason for me not to buy a book. I live in the Netherlands and I can just as well buy from Amazon Germany and there they do have the paperback english version of Reamde.

The paperback version from Germany is more expensive (14.95 EUR)  than the hardcover from the UK (9.49 GBP  = 11.0352 EUR now). However, for the Dutch, Luxemburg and Belgian customers shipping is free for books from Amazon Germany so the net result is still a pretty good deal.

The paperback from BOL is, as usual, way more expensive (20.99 EUR !) and has a 1.95 EUR shipping fee.