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Chinese/Electronic and computer goods
Main article: Chinese stuff general
- 1 Amateur radio
- 2 Battery chargers (for either or both of NiMH and Lithium rechargeables)
- 3 Batteries
- 4 Bicycle computers
- 5 Bike lights
- 6 Drawing Tablets / Digitizers
- 7 Drones / Quadcopters
- 8 Electrical DIY
- 9 Google "Cardboard" VR Glasses
- 10 Microphones
- 11 Mousepads
- 12 Gaymen Mice
- 13 Keyboards
- 14 Gaymen Headsets
- 15 Audiophile
- 16 Networking
- 17 Sports cameras
- 18 Tablets
- 19 Universal programmers
- 20 USB chargers
- Baofeng handheld radio. Warning, a lot of analog signals are going digital so you may not find as much on the airwaves as before. Use open source program Chirp to program in frequencies. Good for prepping due to its lengthy battery life and ease of use. You WILL need to replace the antenna with a new one like the Nagoya NA-771 as the included antenna is useless.
- RTL-SDR dongle: SDR stands for software defined radio and is a dongle with antenna which connects to software on your PC. Highly customisable with endless add-ons, you can do fun things like chart airplanes passing overhead or listening to some digital signals if you're savvy. Also works with Raspberry Pi and other Linux based devices. Can get as autistic as you want (roof mounted antenna and other madness).
Battery chargers (for either or both of NiMH and Lithium rechargeables)
- Miller ML-102 v8
- [Xtar MC1] and [XP4] (I will add more notes here later, but there are many more Xtar chargers out there I recommend. Generally speaking I think they offer better values than the Nitecore brand)
- [Nitecore i2] and [i4] ([d2] and [d4] if you like to additionally have a display or LiFePO4 charging)
- [Klarus C2] (also can be used as power bank)
- [Opus BT-C3100] (preferably v2.2+)
- [Skyrc MC3000]
- Hobbyking's Turnigy (Eneloop alternatives, high-end, check which warehouse you buy from!)
- GP ReCyko (Ikea Ladda alternatives, low-end)
- Buy LG/Sanyo/Panasonic. Not necessarily Chinese in origin, but Chinese resellers are often the cheapest way to get smaller quantities shipped. Avoid Ultra(house)Fire or any other 18650 battery with hilariously exaggerated capacity ratings, the highest capacity currently available is the LG INR18650MJ1 or Samsung INR18650-35E, both with 3500 MAh capacity, anything higher is a fake and potentially dangerous cell.
- [BoGeer YT-816], [YT-833]
- SolarStorm X3+Kaidomain battery pack. (the X3 is a cheap and bright light, but the stock batteries are stuff. Kaidomain sells Panasonic battery packs that have a high capacity and last much longer)
Or if you want to DIY a little: a four cell waterproof battery pack (like this one: http://www.ebay.com/itm/172228583406) with 4x 3400 MAh cells will give you long runtimes AND easily replaceable cells. And you can also use it as a power bank! Beware though, the case isn't really designed for bike use, after a while the springs wear down and cause the light to shut off every time you drive over a bump. Can be fixed by placing some aluminium foil under the negative contacts.
Drawing Tablets / Digitizers
Drones / Quadcopters
- Floureon H101
- [Eachine H8] with Open Source Firmware
- Yihua 936 soldering station (double check ground)
- Yihua 937D soldering station
- A-BF GS60 and GS90 soldering irons (GS120 uses hard to find larger tips that are expensive & harder to find, better avoid that one)
- TS-100 soldering iron (has been getting more expensive lately)
- All-sun multimeters
- KCX-045 USB voltage meter
- Uni-T (anything, official spec sheets are correct)
- Fluke multimeters meant to be exclusively for the Chinese market (Fluke 15b and 17b)
Google "Cardboard" VR Glasses
- [BoboVR II] and [III]
- [VR Box II]
There are Chinese clones of popular mics (BM-800, BM-700, BM-8000), which are usually (but not always) significantly cheaper than the originals and hence what you should be after if you're looking for acceptable value for money out of Chinese microphones. Although those microphones are going to work barebone when plugged into a computer, being equipped with a phantom power and external sound card combo (or an audio interface) is a must. Without those you're never going going to get decent quality recording out of a condenser microphone with a 3.5mm jack.
USB condenser microphones: Condenser microphones sold as USB microphones are significantly easier to set up as they don't require use of other external tools. They are essentially plug an play, and the middle ground between sound good quality and ease of use. From more expensive to cheaper, the following are USB condenser microphones can be found in Chinese stores: MK-F100T, SF-922B, SF-940, SF-555b
Desktop microphones are generally cheaper and easier to setup, but don't expect much in terms of sound quality. It's what you should go for if all you want is to IM and game. Unfortunately, Chinese desktop microphones are no-name, no-brand products so there aren't any real references. If you search for desktop microphone you will see several results, including clones of microphones that are considered half decent, but there aren't going to be any real reviews due to the microphones not even having a model number.
- Some non-/csg/ fags say that DAGEE DG-001 is a good option for a price.
Cheap mousepads can be bought from various Chinese websites but the marketplace nature of Aliexpress will give you a wider range of options and most of the time better prices too. Browse through Aliexpress's dedicated mousepad category to only view listings labeled as mousepads. From there, you could apply further filters, sort and even search within the results for more specific terms.
Tips for quality
- An easy way to determine the quality of a mousepad is to look at its materials. User review pictures are useful for this purpose, try to find closeups on the fabric and rubber.
- Some Chinese mousepads have a seam at their ends, this might not look as slick but it's useful. It keeps the fabric from unsticking itself from the pad's ends, something that happens often even with brand mousepads.
- Knockoffs should be avoided, most cost more than what the average mousepad goes for and are usually of the same (or worse) quality.
Several Aliexpress stores will do custom mousepad prints. Look for one of the following keywords (or similar) while searching withing the mousepad section: DIY mousepad, custom mousepad, custom print, your image.
If you need a good mousepad right now and don't care about a custom design
- Go for the Xiaomi XL Mousepad, it comes in black or blue and is extremely high quality as well as having some meme Chinese writing on it 
- [James Donkey 112] (wireless version also available, look for James Donkey 102)
- 99c mouse (often pops up in the thread and great value for the money - Generally found on Ebay rather than AliExpress)
- [Razer Deathadder]
Chinese sellers have some of the widest variety of mechanical keyboard goods available. You can pick up keyboards with Cherry clone (e.g. Gateron) switches for a fraction of the cost of a real Cherry switch switch keyboard, often of equal or even better quality.
|AULA F2012||80% (TKL)||(Gateron?) Blue||Black, silver, golden||44 USD (AliExpress)||AE|
|Motospeed Inflictor||100%||47-48 USD (AliExpress)||AE|
|Ajazz Geek AK33||70%||Zorro Blue, Black||Black, white||40-50 USD (Amazon, AliExpress)||AE||Beware, non-standard space bar and arrow keys so some keycap sets won't work. Magicforce is made by the same company and is 100% compatible with custom keysets|
|LingYi Black Widow||80% (TKL)||AE|
|Qisan Magicforce||65%||Gateron or Outemu Blue, Brown, Red, Black||Black, silver, golden||40 USD (Amazon)||AE, Amazon||Cheaper on Amazon. Just be aware that there different variants of the Magicforce with different switch manufacturers.|
|Lolita Spyder||80% (TKL)||AE||Cheaper on Amazon. Might get you put on a list.|
|Royal Kludge RK61||60%||Supports Bluetooth. Cheaper on Taobao.|
|Anne Pro||60%||Gateron Blue, Brown, Red||Comes with different color cases.||80 USD (Banggood)||Banggood||Supports Bluetooth. Can change lighting with app.|
|tada68||65%||Gateron Black, Brown, Blue, Red||Black chasis (other colours sold separately)||58 USD (Taobao)||Taobao||Cheapest on Taobao. Keycap quality is said to be comparable to expensive Gateron/EnjoyPBT keycaps. Extremely good value for money. Right shift key is non-standard, however.|
The most recommended Chinese brand keyboards in the mechanical keyboard communities are the tada68, Qisan Magicforce, and Anne Pro. The tada68 is renowned for its excellent build quality and value for money, available for just under 60 US dollars from Taobao. The Magicforce, a 65% keyboard with proper support for 80% (TKL) keycap sets, is also fairly popular. The Anne Pro is another keyboard from China that has gathered a lot of attention, with bluetooth support, RGB backlighting and Gateron switches for just 80 USD or less.
The Chinese have done a rather impressive jobs of cloning the German-made Cherry switches, and many in the mechanical keyboard community would argue that certain Chinese Cherry clone switches are even better than the original. You can pick up Chinese made switches from AliExpress and Taobao for some extremely compelling prices.
- Gateron - These are widely regarded as the best Cherry clones out there, even said to augment the characteristics of Cherry switches that make them feel and sound appealing. The most distinctive attribute of these switches is that they're commonly perceived to be smoother than Cherry switches, the latter being regarded as more scratchy feeling. They can be found in most cheap-but-not-so-cheap Chinese mechanical keyboards, such as the Qisan Magicforce and Anne Pro.
You can also buy genuine Cherry switches from Taobao for relatively cheaper prices, if you wish to do so. You'll have to account for shipping and possibly Taobao agent commission fees, but it's still likely that it will be cheaper than buying locally. Bear in mind that the Chinese names for switch colours may differ a little - you can use the table below for reference.
|Chinese (Traditional)||Chinese (Simplified)||English||Literal translation|
|青軸||青轴||Blue switch||"Green" axis|
|茶軸||茶轴||Brown switch||Tea axis|
|紅軸||红轴||Red switch||Red axis|
|綠軸||绿轴||Green switch||Green axis|
|白軸||白轴||Clear switch||White axis|
|奶軸||奶轴||White switch||Milk axis|
|灰軸||灰轴||Grey switch||Grey axis|
The characters you see on Taobao will almost certainly be simplified characters. I'm not sure if Taobao changes them to traditional if you use the Hong Kong or Taiwan version but you probably just want your damn switch.
China has some of the widest variety of keycaps available, regardless of whether you're using an ANSI or ISO layout (although ANSI does have a greater range). They vary in manufacturing process, material and craftsmanship but good quality Chinese PBT keycaps for cheap are not hard to come by. There also numerous stores mechanical keyboard stores on AliExpress and Taobao, so you won't have trouble finding them. Chinese keycap brands include NPKC (good quality) on the affordable end of the price spectrum and EnjoyPBT (best quality) on the pricing side.
AliExpress and Taobao sellers also sell Taiwanese keycap brands, such as Ducky, Tai Hao and Vortex. Whether it's cheaper to buy these from China or locally varies on a case by case basis.
Building a keyboard
Because of the large variety of keyboard parts you can buy from AliExpress or Taobao, it is entirely possible to build a mechanical keyboard using solely parts bought from China. It may not sound very assuring at first, but you would not be sacrificing build quality at all as long as you don't pick the cheapest Chinese stuff you can find.
To build a custom mechanical keyboard, you would generally need the following:
- Case - there are plenty of acrylic and aluminium options on AliExpress. Even wooden ones can be found.
- PCB - the Satan GH60 is a popular choice for 60% keyboards. You can also buy a DIY Magicforce kit but if you're going to build with Gaterons, the preassembled ones are cheaper anyway.
- Plate - for mounting the switches
- Keycaps - go for PBT if you can, as it lasts longer before the oil on your fingers polish it to a degree where it starts to shine
- Switches - Gaterons are always a good bet, and you can pick up a pack of 65 for £18 on AliExpress
- LEDs (optional, 3mm)
- A soldering iron and some solder might help, I think
The rest is self-explanatory. Just solder the switches onto the PCB and put it together. Some Taiwanese guy made a video of the process on YouTube if you really need help. Learning proper soldering technique is recommended so you don't end up with bad joints. Be careful not to touch the resistors and diodes near the pin holes for the switches.
Programming your custom keyboard
One of the many appeals of building your own keyboard is that these PCBs are usually programmable, meaning you can flash them with your own firmware and layout. That's right - you can bind a key to whatever you want as well as define your own function layers and macros. EasyAVR and keyboard-layout-editor.com are good tools for building a layout, with the former being a bit easier to work with.
EasyAVR instructions for the Satan GH60:
1. Download and extract EasyAVR. Then download and install Atmel Flip (http://www.atmel.com/images/JRE%20-%20Flip%20Installer%20-%18.104.22.168.exe). 2. Open EasyAVR and create a new layout for the Satan GH60. Use all default settings. 3. Create your layout, function layers and macros. 4. Save your layout so you don't lose it. You might want to edit it later on. 6. Plug in your GH60. Press the button on the back of your GH60 PCB to put it into bootloader mode. Then go into device manager, find your GH60's bootloader and then choose to Update Driver from the properties dialogue. If Windows has already installed a driver for it, just uninstall it. You'll want to browse to the Atmel Flip installation directory and then select the usb directory, which is where the correct driver should be. It should install successfully and Windows should start to recognise the bootloader. 7. Open the File menu in EasyAVR and choose to build and reprogram. Your GH60 should still be in bootloader mode at this point. Choose to program using Atmel Flip from the dropdown menu and then run it. With luck, everything should go smoothly and the keyboard should reset and load your new firmware. 8. Post your success to /csg/!
Even buying a non-Chinese one is a totally stuffty idea. Just go get good headphones (e.g. Superlux) and good mic and you'll get way better value than the glowing garbage the gayman manufacturers sell to dumb kiddos.
- Comply tips clones - can be bought in different sizes and packs for just a few dollars. If you're that cheap, you can buy a single pair for under a dollar. Some report comfort issues and abysmal build quality, while others claim it can last them months. But they can be incredibly comfy, providing you get ones that fit properly. YMMV.
- Silicone flange tips - your mileage may greatly vary with these.
DACs and Amplifiers
- FiiO - although the prices are likely going to be same as buying from a local reseller, such as Amazon, these are Chinese in origin and you can occasionally find them for a slightly cheaper price. Whether it's worth it to save a few dollars is up to you.
- FiiO E10K - a compact desktop DAC and amp combo that you can easily take around with you. It even has line out for your speakers. And bass boost if that's your thing.
- FiiO Q1 MkII - Upgrade of the older Q1. Now has balanced output.
- iDEA - small USB DAC, measures well for its price point. Has issues when used with Android or Linux systems. Sabaj DA2 is the OEM version.
See Chinese stuff general/Everyday carry#Headphones/IEMs for a comprehensive list.
Portable Players (DAPs)
- RuiZu X02 - Flash AGPTeK's firmware on it, the version is A02 1.07 
- XDuoo X2 - AliExpress also sells a matching Xduoo headphone amp which works well with the X2 
- XDuoo X3 - Uses high end components. Rockbox capable.
- Benjie S5 - Small, metal case with a screen and 8GB built-in + micro SD slot. Now has a Bluetooth version.
- FiiO X1 II - Similar to first generation, adds touch wheel and Bluetooth.
- Benjie T6/AGPTek Rocker - Bluetooth and a CS DAC.
Audiophile meme DAPs
(Most DAPs of this league don't have internal storage)
- FiiO X3 II/X3K - CS4398 DAC, native DSD, OPA1642 amp. USB DAC, line-out/coax port, inline headset controls.
- FiiO X5 II - PCM1792 DAC, native DSD. USB DAC, line-out/coax port, inline headset controls, dual mSD slots.
- FiiO X5 III - 2xAK4490 DACs, native DSD. Android 5.1, 32GB internal storage. USB DAC, line-out/coax port, balanced output, inline headset controls, dual mSD slots, WiFi + Bluetooth 4.0 (aptX).
- Shanling M1 - AK4452 DAC, MAX97220 amp. USB DAC, USB transport mode, Bluetooth 4.0 (aptX, receiver mode), USB-C connector.
- xDuoo X10 - AK4490 DAC, native DSD, MUSES 8920 amp. Optical line-out port, inline headset controls, dual mSD slots.
- [Xiaomi Mini Router]
- [Xiaomi MI WiFi router 3] (128MB Flash ROM, AC1200)
- [Xiaomi MI WiFi router 3C] (Downgraded hardware compared to MI WiFi 3. No 5GHz wireless)
- Xiaomi MI WiFi router 2 (NAS functions, Gigabit Ethernet, dual band wireless with AC867. Broadcom SoC)
- Xiaomi Mi WiFi Router Pro (AC2500, MU-MIMO, GigE. MTK SoC)
- Xiaomi Mi WiFi Router HD (AC2500, MU-MIMO, GigE. Atheros SoC, 256MB flash)
- over 200$
- Xiaomi Yicam II 4k
- under 200$
- [Gitup Git 2]
- under 100$
- [Mobius Actioncam]
- Xiaomi Yicam
- [EKEN H9]
- [EKEN H9R (4k)]
- [Firefly 6s]
- ELE Explorer 4K
- Cube tablets
- [Cube i9] is considered the best Chinese tablet and an almost identical clone of the Microsoft Surface 4 tablets for 1/3 of the price. It also has Core M3 so can play games as well as a sizeable 128gb SSD.
- [Cube iWork10 Ultimate] is the best price/performance with a 10.1" 16:10 1920x1200 screen and a dock for most USB 2.0 tablet keyboards. Used primarily for real work hence the name.
- Chuwi tablets
- [Chuwi Hi12] is the most recommended Chuwi tablet as it has a 1440p display and is a clone of the Microsoft Surface 3. Also comes with Windows 10/Android dual OS.
- [Teclast X98 Plus II Dual OS]
- Uses the same retina display as iPads, has a wide support for custom roms and has great build quality. If you're in the market for a budget iPad replacement this is it, if you have money to spare go for the Mi Pad 2.
- [Xiaomi Mi Pad 2]
- Great build quality
- High PPI screen, no gap between device and screen like most
- 9-10 hour battery
- Doesn't get very hot
- Speakers are clear and bassy, no distortion at high volumes
- 2GB RAM means it lags at having YouTube, Windows store, a couple of tabs and Evernote all open together. You'll see it slow down quite a bit with switching tabs etc.
- No micro SD slot
- Only one USB type C port with no video out support
- Reported screen flickering at higher brightness and certain colours, as well as faint vertical lines at the bottom center of the screen
- Minor build quality issues; one anon reports creaking noises when cold at the bottom left of screen like it's not fully fitted
- MiniPRO TL866xx series programmers (works on Linux and Windows)
- Orico. Orico generally makes quality stuff.
- Xiaomi's power rail (the version that has USB ports)
- Aukey USB chargers
- Ugreen USB chargers
- Anker (not Chinesestuff, a high-quality charger brand however that won't burn your house down unlike most Chinesestuff chargers)