New Equipment, Continued Building

As I was building out some electronics over the past few days, I realized that my setup was lacking, so I ordered some new tools.

I started off getting a Hakko FA-400 fume extractor to remove the solder smoke. For some reason I’ve never had an extractor, and I decided this week I needed one. I researched the cost and time it would take to 3D print and build my own, and the effort just wasn’t worth it to me.

Next up is the Kaisi Silicone Repair Mat. These things are great as it prevents parts from rolling off the workbench onto the floor and from getting mixed together with its built-in trays. Also, since it’s silicone, the parts that you place on it don’t slide around a lot.

Lastly is a two-piece system. I saw a great review on the QuadHands Workbench Mount over at The Makers Workbench YouTube page. This system is really nice with it’s strong magnetic helping hands and heavy metal base. As is seen in the video, I also got a PanaVise Model 201 to mount in the center. These are great for holding large parts or circuit boards you’re trying to solder. Here’s a picture of the new setup with only one helping-hand attached:

New soldering station setup.

With all this in place, I decided to build a the Indie Badge kit from HackerBox 57. This is essentially a badge you’d get at a (nerd) convention.

The fully assembled Indie Badge from HackerBox 57.

This unit has an IR transmitter and receiver, composite audio and video out, a joystick with two buttons, a small speaker, all backed by a TTGO ESP32. As you can see at the top of the picture, I’ve also wired up an old 3.7V 1530mAh cellphone battery so this thing can be mobile.

The TTGO board is pretty amazing. Full color 1.14″ screen, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, plus a battery connector that allows you to charge through the onboard USB-C connector. I’ve never really used an ESP32 before, but I’m considering starting to now, with or without display.

Anyway, as I slip into day 7 of my time off, I’m feeling relaxed and rested. I intend on spending the remaining time relaxing more and getting some more electronics and coding projects done.

Added to movie library: Synecdoche, New York

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