5 Useful Gadgets From DealeXtreme - For Less than $8 !
5 Inexpensive and Useful Gadgets
It can be hit or miss buying products from the Chinese supplier DealExtreme, and as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. However defective products can always be returned for a replacement or you can get a refund without any hassle if the cost of the product is below a certain value. You can also request a re-send if an item gets lost in the mail, and orders above $15 in value are sent by registered tracked mail. I have bought lots of useful gadgets from this company and overall I have been pleased. These 5 inexpensive gadgets come in useful around the home.
Delivery time from China is usually about 2 weeks but can sometime be about a month
Increasing the Range of USB
The USB socket on a PC or laptop is now the standard way of connecting peripheral devices, having all but replaced serial and parallel connectors in the last decade. However range is limited to about 16 feet at most. By using an extension adapter, you can push up the range to 150 feet.
RJ45 USB Adapter From Dealextreme
This device allows a USB device to be connected at a range of up to 150 feet from the host computer. It is supplied as two parts. One adapter with an "A" type connector is plugged into your computer, you plug your USB peripheral into the USB "A" socket of the other adapter. The two devices are then connected by a Cat5/Cat5E/Cat6 patch cord cable of up to 150 feet in length with RJ45 plugs on each end. These are the cables commonly used for Ethernet LAN.
I sourced one of these devices from DealExtreme. It worked like a treat for connecting a webcam and placing it at a remote location. Possibly RJ45 connectors could be put on the ends of 4 core alarm cable and used to transmit video.
Connecting webcams remotely
Connection of remote temperature probes
Refillable Gas Blowtorch
This gadget is a refillable gas blowtorch. It is only 3.75 inches tall and can be filled using a standard butane/LPG disposable can like the type used to refill cigarette lighters and gas soldering irons. The gas tank is see-through so you can see how much gas is left in the device.
This is a very handy device because the flame it produces is small (about 3/4 inch long and 3/8 inch diameter) unlike that produced by a standard full sized blowtorch. The flame temperature is reputed to be 1300 degrees C (2372F). A momentary push button ignites and maintains the flame as long as it is pressed, and a slider switch keeps the torch burning when you remove your thumb.
Any application which requires intense localized heating, e.g craft-work such as jewelry making. The heat is sufficient to melt copper wires.
You can also use the torch for "sweating" metal components together. This is a soldering technique where each component is initially heated, and solder melted onto the contact areas. The components are then both heated while held in contact so that the solder melts and forms the "filling in the sandwich". The small flame enables finer work than is possible with a standard blowtorch.
15X Loupe Magnifier
If you need to look at something really close, a loupe magnifier comes in very handy.
This magnifier from Dealextreme is ideal for closeup work on electronic PCBs, jewelry or any application where you need to see things really close. It has a magnification of 15x and loupes with higher and lower magnification are available from this supplier.
Super Strong Neodymium Magnets
These magnets are great fun and extremely strong. You can do all the standard cool tricks like sliding them around a table or your hand by moving a magnet placed underneath. They can also be super-glued to the underside of small things to hold them in place on walls. Or you can make retrieval grabbers for stuff lost down the back of cupboards or furniture.
Multi-bit Screwdriver - Useful for Cellphone Repair
The bits for this 9- piece screwdriver set are conveniently stored in the body. The bit holder is magnetic which holds the bits securely in place. Bit types are T3, T4, T5, T6, T8, Star 1, Triangle 2.3, M 2.6, Cross 3.0 . The small 6 point star torx bits come in handy for opening cell phones or working on similar electronic gadgets.