Something Is Coming in the Mail (Redux)

Continuing the discussion from Something is coming in the mail:

Inspired by @Mister44’s thread, I wanted to create a general thread for people to share what’s coming in the mail. Please post screenshots/links to things you’re excited to get in the mail, for whatever reason. Let’s face it, sometimes we all need to get in the gifting spirit and carefully select a present to ourselves, from us, with love.

My incoming swag:

I’m trying to put a home lab together, slowly, piece by piece. One experiment I’m planning called for silver acetate, which I can’t find at a good price, so I found a pretty good deal on silver nitrate, which I can use to get to silver acetate. Of course it’s still expensive, but I don’t know where I can obtain 99% silver to make it myself that wouldn’t lead to a more expensive process. I suspect @shaddack knows if I wasted my money. I also got some gloves this purchase. I got a bit of a burn from concentrating peroxide, and I think I’ve put that one off too long. My lab is coming together nicely, but I’m still missing two critical and expensive pieces: A mass balance and a hotplate with magnetic stirrer. I realize they’re not that expensive in absolute terms, but I personally don’t have a lot of money, and I do have a stove-top and a postage scale. (I’m basically waiting for the right surplus auction to come along.)

I’ve also finally invested in a keffiyeh. This is literally the first one I’ve obtained that wasn’t given to me only to lie in a closet forever. Even when I lived in the Middle East, I rarely wore Arab garb, but this winter has had me repeatedly consider the utility of a shemagh. My heritage is Palestinian, so I got the corresponding pattern. I don’t normally like scarves because I find they’re too narrow or too long, and I find these strike that balance a little better.


I bought my 100 grams of silver nitrate (earmarked for mirror making) for about the same per-gram price, maybe a little bit cheaper.

I think you could purify silver from an alloy by first dissolving silver-rich scrap in nitric acid, then precipitate silver chloride (this will get you rid of everything but lead and mercury(I), which aren’t typically present in silver alloys), and then reduce the chloride in an iron vessel back to elemental silver.
And then redissolve the powder if needed.

Or maybe dissolve the chloride in ammonia and then reduce the [Ag(NH3)2]+ ion with hydrazine or tin(II) chloride or some other suitable reducing agent. Beware of the ammonia complex, though, don’t let it stand for too long as it tends to precipitate stuff that goes boom.

I got something in the mail as well; a Bluefruit LE Friend board from Adafruit, and a $15 Xilinx CPLD board from Seeedstudio (I think). Time to get my feet wet in iBeacon-like tech and in CPLD/FPGA, over this year.

My load cells arrived, so now I have to find the time and energy (especially the energy) to build them into the 3d printer.

And I think I got the pingpong mode working on the endpoint of the ATmega32u4, so the USB soundcard compatible devices (e.g. an accelerometer, or a GPS-synced microphone…) should be possible.

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Neat idea. Though I am on a spending freeze as I get some bills caught up.

I am waiting on the under suit for the Stormtrooper kit - should be like April.

And I DID order me this as a gift to myself.


Nice stuff.

All I have to look forward to in the post is a PIP application form (Iain Duncan Smith figurine with big stick and poor-beating action not included). But that is a rant for another thread.


Couldn’t be resisted. Naturally the GF fell in love with Princess Pricklepants the instant she peered over my shoulder while on the pet thread and I felt compelled to surprise her with a shirt. I suspect this was @nemomen’s secret evil plan.


Bwa ha ha ha! I mean, thanks!

The better half has put up 15 designs now and sales are trickling in. We put up one with Her Highness crossing the Delaware yesterday and already sold one.


So… I realize I’m the only person posting, but what the hey!

I may have gone on an expensive spending spree…

It turns out that home chemistry is expensive as a hobby. I’m starting to think the crystal meth thing started as someone trying to make money for more lab supplies. I’ve officially outgrown my college dorm style hot plate. I had a nasty boilover event. When you heat liquids in glass, because it’s smooth surface, you get cavitation, and the whole beaker shakes. You can mitigate this by stirring, which I can’t sit there and do for an hour, or by breaking up glass pipettes and putting clean broken glass into the solution. Despite taking the latter precaution, there is now copper acetate everywhere. I needed something with magnetic stirring capability. I’ve also given up trying to accomplish things without a distillation column. Freeze distillation is… crap. So now, based on my purchase history, if they decide to ignore the many volumes of academic chemistry texts I tend to buy on a suspiciously semestery basis, I’ll have the DEA and the ATF kick in my door.

I have sprung for the cheapest damn thing I can afford. Amazon isn’t always an ideal source, but for hot plates, it’s as good as any other that I’ve seen. I also picked up a few other lab essentials and project supplies.

I have no discretionary spending for the next six months unless I can pick that up in extra cash. At least now I can save on making nitric acid instead of buying it.

Side Note: People, don’t spend extra on batteries. Buy the cheapest alkaline batteries you can find. I’ve found that ambient temperature and humidity are a bigger factor than which bunny bangs on which drum.


Calcium citrate, magnesium glycinate, potassium gluconate (bulk powder), and lithium aspartate. Not because I too have dreams of an at-home chemistry lab but because I like having muscles that don’t cramp up on me while handling 3’x8’ sheets of 14-gauge stainless and countless other steel materials. Also, sanity.

Oh, Amazon. I wish I could quit you.


Prime, man. Prime. It’s made things way too easy. I think that was the plan.


True, but think of how much it’ll boost contributions to this thread.


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