#98 Commonly available MOSFETS in South Africa

When looking for affordable and commonly available MOSFETs in SA I came across a few candidates.
Now there are mostly big tradeoffs with N-channel logic level MOSFETs however, I find that most of the time I use them instead of relays for slow switching applications.
Most of my projects have not been using PWM so I have not had any issues using the logic MOSFETs . And I find that I use the N-channel MOSFETs almost all the time.

“real fet” characteristics
“fake fet” characteristics

Finding MOSFETs with decent specs for a decent price was quite tricky but I found a sweet spot with the IRL520N now there’s always the chance of getting fake chips and I might have fallen victim to this but the “fake chip” had specs that were quite close to the “real chip” in a comparison I did between two chips. The fake one also had a slightly larger and glossier form factor.

“real fet” left and the “fake fet” right

These are my top 3 N-channel MOSFETs which are common

  • IRL520N
  • IRLZ44N
  • IRFZ44N

I would like to add some honorable mentions as well. These N-channel MOSFETs are either not common stock with the online stores I use or are way to expensive for a hobbyist however sometimes they are mandatory requirements for specific projects.

  • IRF3710
  • IRF540N
  • IRF3205


#81 Building a 12v relay on a cheap PCB board

Completed relay

While working on one of my projects I needed a 12v relay unfortunately I did not have one on hand and was not about to pay for 1 relay plus shipping.

Luckily I had all the components at hand:

1 green and 1 red led
2x 470 ohm resistors
1x 1k resistor
1x 1N4007 diode
1x bc547 transistor
1x 12v relay
Some solid alarm wire
Very cheap rectangular PCB

For a 5 volt version just replace with a 5v relay and 2x 100 ohm resistors for the LEDs.

Unfortunately the PCB I had was very cheap and I could not fit the screw terminals I had so I had to squeeze them in.
I also used thin alarm wire as i did not need to switch high amps but luckily everything worked out in the end.

It was a bit messy but next time I will use a better quality PCB that doesn’t burn tracks when making solder bridge tracks.

The BC547 also allows switching with 3.3 volt logic but remember to supply the 12v



Eskom has a load shedding (Rolling blackouts) API we can utilize. I still need to test the accuracy of the results as well as the functionality of the API.

The good news is that unlike Eskom’s electricity supply this API is always on and actually works (with HTTPS as well)

It looks like Eskom’s software team can do a half decent job. I realize that it’s a bit unfair to give them so much grief. The real issue here is corrupt officials in high places stealing from the people as much as they can before their clocks expire.

There is no excuse… the reality is that we are stuck between a rock and a hard place. I can only hope that the future generations are able to see it for what it is and focus on building South Africa instead of destroying and stealing what others are so desperately trying to improve…

One thing is for sure.. at this rate we are truly moving in the direction of retardation (backwards motion) there’s no middle ground or some type of constant speed things are literally degrading. It’s honestly terrifying to witness this as a youngster.

At least we are not a war torn country like many in the middle east so perhaps I can give credence to the South African police and intelligence agency’s no matter how corrupt they have become they have not stooped to the level of warmongers just yet… (I suppose elite gangsters and mobsters would be a better suited description at this time)

Below is an example of the API I have rewritten in markdown format. A simple four step process to get some usable data.

  1. Get Status
  2. Get Municipalities
  3. Get Surburb Data
  4. Get ScheduleM

    Checkout my practical example application on GitHub
    You can also find more info on my GitHub documentation and my tutorial article of the practical example.