You're reading ...

On a shopping spree for ‘toys’.

Recently I was browsing some on Aliexpress … my preferred supplier for very reasonable priced tools and electronics, with free shipping to my front door. Suddenly I found myself on a shopping spree.

Together with the tiny USB logic analyzer from the previous post I ordered a couple of other ‘toys’ that could come in handy. For the kind of hobby electronics that I tend to do, I do not require calibrated equipment with super specifications or super high quality. If I have a measurement device that gives me a reasonable idea of what’s happening, that’s good enough to me. And … those can be found at interesting prices, which is part of the fun. You could even get two or more (different ones) and still no big harm is done to your wallet.

ComptesterThis component tester was delivered at my door for €7,-. I bolted it onto an 80 x 100 mm piece of wood, mounted two plexiglass covers and added a 5V to 9V up-converter, it can now also be fed from a USB port or -adapter. (I don’t know how it is with you, but with me batteries have this tendency to be empty just when I need them!) It measures almost anything you clamp in the socket: R, C, L, diode, LED, transistor, fet … and probably more. Link to component tester.

imageI also got this tiny auto range digital multimeter, for about €12,-. I already had a multimeter, but it’s a bit bulky and it is not autorange. I just could not resist this lil toy. It comes in a nice pouch and it is highly portable, I carry it around at all times in my hobby bag. Link to multimeter.

Also permanently in my hobby bag is this screwdriver tool set. At €20,- it was the most expensive purchase, but it is absolutely the best set I ever bought. I use it with great joy. The grip has a very nice weight to it and handles perfectly with the roughed up surface and the rotating top. Link to screwdriver set.

Last but not least I got myself this tiny oscilloscope for €18,-. It is a DIY project … I’ll have to solder it, calibrate it and put it together. It’ll be the subject of the next post. Link to oscilloscope.


Pens … they behave much like batteries … every time I want to write something down, all of the 20 pens I have lying around are either empty, or stuck! The other day I threw them all out. I started a Google search for ‘the world’s smoothest writing pen’. There was almost full consensus, this pen has all the right reviews: the ‘uni-ball jetstream’. It was available at my local stationary store and guess what? Oh yes … this one is writing smooth! Really! 


About RudyB



3 thoughts on “On a shopping spree for ‘toys’.

  1. If you’re looking at the component tester with interest, here is the website of the person that created it:
    (You will need a Translation service, such as what Google Chrome does automagically for you)

    Apparently, it goes under a few names, which are all basically the same design. but, some have ‘economised’ on components.

    For the User manual in English (Languages avail are: CZ, EN, DE & RU)
    – 31/Oct/2017: (v1.13k)
    – 01/Dec/2012: (v1.04k)

    The documentation warns you that there are Clones from China, and that there can be issues with these.

    Fortunately, there are explanations for how to resolve most compatibility issues. I haven’t had sufficient time to work out which model has the least issues.

    Kindest regards from ‘Down Under’, Warren.


    Posted by Warren | November 13, 2017, 10:17
  2. Hi Rudy, and fellow ‘Rudy-Readers’!

    Thanks for another great set of ideas here.

    However, I would like to make everyone aware of the following information, before they purchase the “JYE Tech DS0150” Oscilloscope.
    1 – It has a 200 KHz Bandwidth, so you might not be able to see _all_ signals on an Arduino MCU (Which probably runs at Clock speeds from 8 MHz or above).
    2 – There are quite a number of Counterfeit devices on sale at AliExpress (Check out this link to AliExpress Sellers known to be dispatching Counterfeit devices:
    3 – If you purchase a Counterfeit device, AliExpress might leave you high and dry, with only a Partial Refund (Check out this link to the JYE Tech website that details some sad stories:
    4 – If you don’t buy a _real_ JYE Tech DS0150 Oscilloscope, then – if you run into issues with the kit – there is unlikely to be any support from JYE Tech.
    5 – If you try to update the software on a Counterfeit device, you might find that it becomes ‘bricked’ (Completely fa-fa-faulty)!!!

    For me, the telling thing was that not even a single poster on the JYE Tech website said that AliExpress did the right thing when processing a Counterfeit device claim. AliExpress just seems to deny that you received a Counterfeit device. At least in my experience, eBay always seems to come down on the side of the Buyer.

    Then, there is the Price. At both AliExpress and eBay, you can obtain similar prices (At least in my currency: AUD).

    The prices from the ‘Purchase’ link on the JYE Tech website start at $39.00 (Which I presume is: USD). There is also the option to buy a kit with all the SMD devices already soldered in, which might be a good alternative for people not confident soldering small SMD devices (Especially if they have _many_ pins).

    I’m in the habit of determining who I’m dealing with on the Internet. Don’t get me wrong, I purchase multiple items each week from Sellers in China, because their prices are unbeatable. But, you need to have some idea of who your dealing with. At AliExpress, Sellers almost _always_ add “LTD” to the end of their name. The abbreviation “LTD” means that the company if Limited by Shares, that are traded on a Stock Exchange.

    I ‘grilled’ one AliExpress Seller about _which_ Stock Exchange they were listed on. They played ‘dum’ for _quite_ a while, then finally admitted that they were a _tiny_ organisation, that wasn’t either a proper Company, or listed on a Stock Exchange. I have _no_ problem dealing with single-person Sellers (Who work _very_ hard to keep their Buyers happy). I _do_ have an issue with Sellers who tell _lies_, or who have _no_ idea about the products they are selling.

    Try asking an eBay or AliExpress Seller what the ‘Clock Speed’ is of the Arduino you are considering purchasing!!! I got it down to as simple as: “What is the number on the shiny silver thing I have put a circle around in the attached picture from your listing?” To my surprise, _many_ “Sellers” are just that. They have _no_ Inventory, so can’t even _look_ at a product for you, let alone tell you anything technical about it!?!?!

    Kindest regards from ‘Down Under’, Warren.


    Posted by Warren | November 12, 2017, 22:53
    • Yep, the prices are nice, but don’t expect much support, or warranty. On the other hand I can say that I have had positive experiences in several cases of the wrong item being delivered (mistakes can happen) or the specifications being different from what was in the description. In all cases there has been a full refund. First try to resolve things with the seller and if that does not work, open a so called ‘dispute’ and Ali jumps in and handles the case for you. Worked well with me so far.


      Posted by RudyB | November 12, 2017, 23:54

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Archive of all posts


%d bloggers like this: