This is a little grab of some of the things Sjaak came home with from our Global Geek Tour of China this week.
This pile has 5 little breadboard, 5 LCD/OLED breakout boards for plastic ribbon FPC connectors, 2 shiny LiPo batteries with a capacity of 800mAh, and a spool of black thin wire. We like to use the 0.10mm lacked copper wire to repair our PCBs, we think it’s more robust and visible than other wires. We can’t remember the cost, but it seem like a bargain at the time.
More of Sjaak’s treasures below the break.
Sjaak bought some AMTECH flux made in the USA, but also a ‘Made in China’ AMTECH flux. The price for 10 tubes of the Made in China version was about the same as 10cc of the real deal: 20RMB ($3).
Note the green one has a hologram and an expiry date of 5/2012, and the ‘China’ brand doesn’t have an expiry date at all!
Here’s the same rosin Ian got, this time showing the rosin block itself. We saw this one used in the solder class Seeed organized at the Maker Faire in Shenzhen. Forum regular Arhi used this to make his own liquid flux. It cost about 2RMB ($0.20)
In Hong Kong we visited Apliu street, which is the Hong Kong version of Hua Qiang Bei in Shenzhen. We bought several Japanese made soldering tools, like this tin of solder paste. We’ll post more about Apliu Street later, and also bring you an update to the battle of fluxes and a giveaway.
After endless soldering of prototypes the tips of our soldering iron looks like a black charcoal pencil. We snapped up several of these soldering iron “Tip Refreshers” to see if they bring new life. Stay tuned for a video: will they resurrect a dead iron or leave us wanting?
A bit back we featured a video about drag soldering and found out about a special tip that can make it even easier. Of course we wanted to try it for ourselves, so we scooped some up at SEG Market. We would have tried the dirt cheap clones (5RMB/$1.50), but they were out of stock so we got the real deal for 20RMB ($3). If we could stay for a few more days who knows what we would have returned with…
Across the street from the SEG Market was a six-floor building with nothing but LEDs and accessories. We found some cheap 10 watt RGB LEDs for 170RMB ($25). Little did we know how cheap they were until we got home and some of the red LEDs fail to light. In the end 7 assemblies worked, and 3 lacked the RED LED.
Sjaak really likes tiny LCDs, and he found paradise in Shenzhen. The little one on the right was 25RMB ($3.50) and looks serially addressable. The other was 35RMB ($5) and appears to have a parallel interface. We got 5 of both. The part numbers are TS8007WFKJ and TS8015U.
What are LCDs without user input? It was hard to find a small touchscreen for the two previous LCDs, but this is a nice alternative. In Shenzhen most shops have a display with a sample of each item they carry. You have the opportunity to hold and play with the samples and then ask for the price. We actually liked this one, and its price, so we bought 10 of them. Unfortunately they didn’t have it in the booth, so they called someone to get them from a nearby location. The buttons arrived just 10 minutes later…beat that Mouser and Digikey! Price was about a few RMB a piece.
For some time we’ve had an itch to get rid of the standard, but rather large, ICSP connector we use for our PIC projects. We’d like to move to a smaller footprint which would save room for more interesting features. Usually we ship all out products with a USB connector and bootloader, so the need for a large ICSP connection is reduced. Feel free to share your thoughts about it in the forum.
We found an interesting ARM11 development board (translation) at one of the SEG Market booths. The lady selling it gave us a nice lesson in bargaining, so we returned the favor and bought the development platform. It comes with all the needed cables, and software on two DVDs. It seems to run a wide range of OS’s including Android and Qt. Cost, just 620RMB ($88.00)
Next up we have a short preview of our videos that will premier every day next week. Don’t forget to join us for our Global Geek Tour of China. We’ll have videos, pictures, and lots of great stuff to give away.