Author Topic: EEVblog #1147 - 1 Cent Regulator! That's MAD  (Read 3154 times)

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Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #1147 - 1 Cent Regulator! That's MAD
« Reply #25 on: November 17, 2018, 06:16:32 pm »
Nice one.

What i dont like is that you connect the thing with no input or output caps on them and then start doin all kind of "tests" and draw conclusions based on that.
Why not take 5 mins extra an connect the suggested caps to them and do all these tests.

Because it's a worse case test. If it works worst case it's going to be only better when compensated ass recommended.
 

Offline BrianHG

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Re: EEVblog #1147 - 1 Cent Regulator! That's MAD
« Reply #26 on: November 17, 2018, 07:08:25 pm »
__________
BrianHG.
 

Offline G0MJW

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Re: EEVblog #1147 - 1 Cent Regulator! That's MAD
« Reply #27 on: November 17, 2018, 07:32:03 pm »
Not sure that's true Dave, you tested them with wires and some caps but inductive loads and low ESR caps might upset them. Don't know until tested. I expect these are just as good as the more well known parts, possibly because they are based on the more well known parts.

What are you going to do with the remaining 2999 3.3V regulators?

Mike
Mike
 

Offline Warhawk

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Re: EEVblog #1147 - 1 Cent Regulator! That's MAD
« Reply #28 on: November 17, 2018, 08:36:58 pm »
Nice one.

What i dont like is that you connect the thing with no input or output caps on them and then start doin all kind of "tests" and draw conclusions based on that.
Why not take 5 mins extra an connect the suggested caps to them and do all these tests.

Because it's a worse case test. If it works worst case it's going to be only better when compensated ass recommended.

I agree with @DutschGert. Everything you measure outside the operating envelope of any IC has low if any value. Most importantly, you took no notice of the output capacitance of the BK precision electronic load. I would be surprised if there wasn't any cap on the output. The DS recommends 1uF for the input and the output cap. This is probably close to what you can find in the BK load.
The right (and cheap) way to test the step response is a low-inductance resistive load, signal generator, and a mercury-wetted relay. The regulation loop in electronic loads can do goofy things when testing the stability and transient response. I've already burned my hands a few times.

Just my 2 cents on the 1 cent LDO  :)

Online nctnico

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Re: EEVblog #1147 - 1 Cent Regulator! That's MAD
« Reply #29 on: November 19, 2018, 01:51:39 am »
I keep buying unknown brand chinese stuff from LCSC. Discretes, semis, the lot. Always works. Always in spec. I was suspicious at the start so breadboarded some of the parts. Zero problems.

Don't mind waiting a couple of weeks for snail mail if the price is 1/20th of local suppliers and branded parts.
Better do some thermal cycling testing to see if these parts survive long term. My experience with cheaper parts is not good when it comes to life expectancy. In some cases I've seen a 100% failure rate when installed in the field after less than 2 months.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline floobydust

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Re: EEVblog #1147 - 1 Cent Regulator! That's MAD
« Reply #30 on: November 19, 2018, 03:51:19 am »
The price of such a component does not compensate for the risk associated with using them. The manufacturer would probably need to pay me for using a component with no English datasheet, single distributor, doubtful performance and zero quality assurance. Dave, I like your videos where you discover bizarre Chinese stuff but I don't like the optimism I sense from the video(s). I like the critical-thinking and skeptical Dave simply better. The Dave some time ago would not waste his precious time on 1 cent LDOs, 3 cent micros, and 20USD AN8008. There are enough YouTubers from the 3rd world countries which can take care of it.

Keep in mind that you have become a respectful industry influencer and your videos don't only entertain senior engineers but also educate young graduates. We (you) should educate the young folks that an HW designer must do the best to deliver a functional hardware. This means quality first. Even a skilled hobbyist doesn't waste his time working with unknown brands (you remember widlarizer, right?).
Cost optimizations are for idiot managers, marketers and the procurement department. They behave like on heroin anyway - you save them a cent, they want you to save two.

However, working for TI and traveling to China every so often makes me probably biased. Or maybe I've just had a bad day today and now being hysterical :-\. I should probably watch another episode of Dilbert.

Take care and thanks for all the time you invested in popularizing electronics.

- Jiri

I too see no magic in these penny semiconductors.
They exist due to currency devaluation, stolen IP, dumping, industrial subsidies, severe environmental neglect etc. Yes it is MAD.
Proof is none of us could even buy the epoxy or pins for the cost of the part.
 
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Online bd139

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Re: EEVblog #1147 - 1 Cent Regulator! That's MAD
« Reply #31 on: November 19, 2018, 03:53:50 am »
Your expensive bits are the same though but it’s costing you the deeper supply chain, fancy air conditioned offices in the US etc.
 

Online blueskull

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Re: EEVblog #1147 - 1 Cent Regulator! That's MAD
« Reply #32 on: November 19, 2018, 03:55:32 am »
The price of such a component does not compensate for the risk associated with using them. The manufacturer would probably need to pay me for using a component with no English datasheet, single distributor, doubtful performance and zero quality assurance. Dave, I like your videos where you discover bizarre Chinese stuff but I don't like the optimism I sense from the video(s). I like the critical-thinking and skeptical Dave simply better. The Dave some time ago would not waste his precious time on 1 cent LDOs, 3 cent micros, and 20USD AN8008. There are enough YouTubers from the 3rd world countries which can take care of it.

Keep in mind that you have become a respectful industry influencer and your videos don't only entertain senior engineers but also educate young graduates. We (you) should educate the young folks that an HW designer must do the best to deliver a functional hardware. This means quality first. Even a skilled hobbyist doesn't waste his time working with unknown brands (you remember widlarizer, right?).
Cost optimizations are for idiot managers, marketers and the procurement department. They behave like on heroin anyway - you save them a cent, they want you to save two.

However, working for TI and traveling to China every so often makes me probably biased. Or maybe I've just had a bad day today and now being hysterical :-\. I should probably watch another episode of Dilbert.

Take care and thanks for all the time you invested in popularizing electronics.

- Jiri

I too see no magic in these penny semiconductors.
They exist due to currency devaluation, stolen IP, dumping, industrial subsidies, severe environmental neglect etc. Yes it is MAD.
Proof is none of us could even buy the epoxy or pins for the cost of the part.

Because you don't have access to cheap chemicals. Human labor, chemicals and metal are cheap in China. That's the real price without regulation.

If the west has no unions, plus the capitalists have no margin requirements, all racing down to the cheapest, you can do the same price.
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: EEVblog #1147 - 1 Cent Regulator! That's MAD
« Reply #33 on: November 19, 2018, 04:54:45 am »
If the west has no unions, plus the capitalists have no margin requirements, all racing down to the cheapest, you can do the same price.

That's what Trump is trying to do in the USA.
 

Online blueskull

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Re: EEVblog #1147 - 1 Cent Regulator! That's MAD
« Reply #34 on: November 19, 2018, 05:14:06 am »
If the west has no unions, plus the capitalists have no margin requirements, all racing down to the cheapest, you can do the same price.

That's what Trump is trying to do in the USA.

That's why Trump is great. Advance human race, not advance the stupid idealized "humanity". No political BS.
 

Offline floobydust

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Re: EEVblog #1147 - 1 Cent Regulator! That's MAD
« Reply #35 on: November 19, 2018, 05:18:48 am »
What we should be discussing why a similar part in North America is priced over 10-30X higher, tariff included  :popcorn:
An LDO has nothing for technology, it's a jellybean part. 3,000-lot (a reel):
Diodes Inc. AP7313-33 $0.1110 ea.
Microchip MCP1700T33 $0.2884 ea.

If we look at "fat" in the distribution supply chain, is the markup really that high?
The raw materials copper, steel, aluminum comes from Australia and is processed in china and then comes back at a lesser price. You have to wonder.

inb4 politics derails thread
 

Online bd139

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Re: EEVblog #1147 - 1 Cent Regulator! That's MAD
« Reply #36 on: November 19, 2018, 05:21:16 am »
Staff gotta buy their Model S. In China you get public transport or bike to work.

West is very used to luxuries that don’t scale. Watch this space over the next 20 years.
 

Offline Warhawk

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Re: EEVblog #1147 - 1 Cent Regulator! That's MAD
« Reply #37 on: November 19, 2018, 06:59:42 am »
Just do the search on octoparts. I see an LDO from onsemi from newark for 5 cents or Toshiba 6 cents for 1ku price.

https://octopart.com/search?q=3.3V%20LDO&start=0&sort=median_price_1000&sort-dir=asc


Offline splin

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Re: EEVblog #1147 - 1 Cent Regulator! That's MAD
« Reply #38 on: November 19, 2018, 11:51:39 am »
You can do your own qualification testing and much of that will be simple and cheap as demonstrated in the video. But some issues are rather more problematic. In particular ROHS - how much does it cost to get a lab to test a part for compliance?

If you buy a part that is used in products widely sold in the EU then it is almost certainly compliant, but it probably won't be easy to determine that that is the case with your specific part, especially with the preponderance of Chinese equivalents, clones, knock-offs etc. A Padauk micro is unlikely to be copied so you only have that company to worry about, but jellybean parts such as LDOs? You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike.

Even if you buy a part from the same manufacturer, who you know to supply complaint ROHS parts for those top-tier companies selling in Europe, how can you be certain they don't have a reduced cost product line using the same silicon but packaged in cheaper, non-compliant, plastics intended for other markets? We known the Chinese are very adept at shaving a few centi-cents off already rock bottom prices.

The part number may even be identical. Sure a reputable company will have proper QA, certification, traceability etc. but then their prices may well reflect that. There must be a great deal of smaller/mid size Chinese companies, especially those competing at the lowest price points, with somewhat less, shall we say 'rigor' in their internal processes/stock control/documentation - whether accidently through aggressive cost cutting or deliberate when scruples are trumped by sales figures/profit margins.

Your regulators were marked lead free (and ROHS bans many other substances such as phalates), but unless you have them tested yourself it comes down to a matter of trust. If you get sued you could go out of business and countersuing your Chinese supplier would likely be fruitless or impossible. Digikey/Mouser etc. may also make mistakes (and you may have little more redress if you suffer as a result), but you would expect them to have good enough processes in place such that you don't have to worry about it (ie. you trust them), and/or plead best practices etc. in your defence.

Bottom line, I expect very few will have a problem ith ROHS and probably most small to medium sized manufacturers get away with ROHS non-compliance (especially Ebay resellers of cheap Chinese products) anyway - after all, who has the resources or interest in enforcement? Customs may well pick up lead bearing components with suitable scanners, but Bromides etc? So perhaps a non-issue to most, or those who can afford to write-off a faulty batch, but a real problem for some.
 

Online ebclr

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Re: EEVblog #1147 - 1 Cent Regulator! That's MAD
« Reply #39 on: November 19, 2018, 03:22:53 pm »
"They exist due to currency devaluation, stolen IP, dumping, industrial subsidies, severe environmental neglect etc. Yes it is MAD"

But they exist and are inside all products peoples buy-in mass, Look at your home and find for made in China in near everything you have in your home and the ones that do not have you pay a 10X premium for that.

It's a reality and will be even worse since China is no more copying only they are now developing and branding and any political force to fight against ( like Trump Tariffs) will be a disaster, with instantaneous inflation and only a few ones with buying power to have those things.

Isn't the Chinese the fault, The Falt is from westerns paying to much in bonus, regulations, and marketing, Even creating IP's from nowhere just to have a monopoly. The fact is that the Chinese engineering economy is much more productive and fluid than the lawyers economy easily found is big powers.

David finally wakes up, about the viability of Chinese products, Next lesson will be the discovery that isn't only Nichicon the unique viable good quality capacitor on earth.




 
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Offline floobydust

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Re: EEVblog #1147 - 1 Cent Regulator! That's MAD
« Reply #40 on: November 20, 2018, 05:52:00 am »
The top 10 electronics distributors made $77.3 billion in revenue in 2017:
https://www.sourcetoday.com/distributor-news/top-50-electronics-distributors-restarting-growth-and-running-it
Imagine that- you buy a widget, markup the price, sell the widget and make piles of money.

The penny price comes from bypassing the distribution and sales chain, going direct to the manufacturer in china.

But in the end -price really doesn't matter to engineers. Our paycheque stays the same if the product costs more. Any bonus, commission etc. goes to sales and the executives.

Blaming the West for paying too much in bonuses, regulations, marketing- it is true.
But I also see your countrymen parading around in Mercedes and BMW, buying up real estate, so there is the same "fat" in that economy also, it just looks different.
 

Offline thm_w

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Re: EEVblog #1147 - 1 Cent Regulator! That's MAD
« Reply #41 on: November 20, 2018, 07:46:14 am »
What we should be discussing why a similar part in North America is priced over 10-30X higher, tariff included  :popcorn:
An LDO has nothing for technology, it's a jellybean part. 3,000-lot (a reel):
Diodes Inc. AP7313-33 $0.1110 ea.
Microchip MCP1700T33 $0.2884 ea.

If we look at "fat" in the distribution supply chain, is the markup really that high?
The raw materials copper, steel, aluminum comes from Australia and is processed in china and then comes back at a lesser price. You have to wonder.

inb4 politics derails thread

LCSC has the MCP1700T for $0.17 ea, so there is some digikey markup: https://lcsc.com/product-detail/Low-Dropout-Regulators-LDO_MICROCHIP_MCP1700T-3302E-TT_MCP1700T-3302E-TT_C39051.html
Microchip themselves sell it for 28c each as well, maybe there is an agreement there.

Also on aliexpress the MCP is about 7 or 8c, but you have to be a lot more careful inspecting the parts when received to verify they are not fake. Upside is, that price can be had at only 200pc qty.
Most likely factory overrun, not a proper production source, but good for hobbyists.
 

Online coppice

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Re: EEVblog #1147 - 1 Cent Regulator! That's MAD
« Reply #42 on: November 20, 2018, 07:55:14 am »
Staff gotta buy their Model S. In China you get public transport or bike to work.
I guess that's how China became the world's largest car market.  :)

A huge number of Chinese engineers have their own car, or drive a company one. Not as many as in Europe or America, perhaps, but its a few years since car ownership was rare.
 

Offline MadScientist

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Re: EEVblog #1147 - 1 Cent Regulator! That's MAD
« Reply #43 on: November 30, 2018, 10:52:31 am »
If the west has no unions, plus the capitalists have no margin requirements, all racing down to the cheapest, you can do the same price.

That's what Trump is trying to do in the USA.

Actually it’s not , he’s erecting tariffs barriers to essentially make higher priced domestic production “ competitive “ by essentially excluding cheaper competitive sources. That’s the exact opposite of what you espouse

Ultimately chinas production costs can only go one way , up , they all want to drive BMWs too you know
EE's: We use silicon to make things  smaller!
 

Online coppice

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Re: EEVblog #1147 - 1 Cent Regulator! That's MAD
« Reply #44 on: November 30, 2018, 08:58:06 pm »
If the west has no unions, plus the capitalists have no margin requirements, all racing down to the cheapest, you can do the same price.

That's what Trump is trying to do in the USA.

Actually it’s not , he’s erecting tariffs barriers to essentially make higher priced domestic production “ competitive “ by essentially excluding cheaper competitive sources. That’s the exact opposite of what you espouse

Ultimately chinas production costs can only go one way , up , they all want to drive BMWs too you know
It appears he is trying to improve local wages by making things so much more expensive in the shops that the improved wages will buy less than before. Tariffs don't improve productivity. Only improved productivity improves people's ability to buy stuff.
 

Online NANDBlog

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Re: EEVblog #1147 - 1 Cent Regulator! That's MAD
« Reply #45 on: December 01, 2018, 01:06:06 am »
But in the end -price really doesn't matter to engineers. Our paycheque stays the same if the product costs more. Any bonus, commission etc. goes to sales and the executives.
IDK about you, but as an engineer, I dont buy anything. That is the job of the supply chain, the same with negotiating prices. I usually dont have time to do these negotiations anyway, because time to market is supposed to be yesterday, and it supposed to be compliant with half a dozen regulations, that take half a year to get.
 

Online coppice

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Re: EEVblog #1147 - 1 Cent Regulator! That's MAD
« Reply #46 on: December 01, 2018, 01:53:14 am »
The penny price comes from bypassing the distribution and sales chain, going direct to the manufacturer in china.
Most people in China don't source from the manufacturer. There are greater problems getting paid in China than in other places. For large orders, where a vendor would serve a US or European customer directly, most Chinese customers are served through a distributor. The vendor will usually provide engineering support, just as they would for any large customer they serve directly, but the distributor deals with the rolling debt issues.
But in the end -price really doesn't matter to engineers. Our paycheque stays the same if the product costs more. Any bonus, commission etc. goes to sales and the executives.
What kind of weird engineering are you involved in, where the BOM doesn't rule most engineering decisions? If the BOM isn't optimised there is no pay cheque.
 

Offline floobydust

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Re: EEVblog #1147 - 1 Cent Regulator! That's MAD
« Reply #47 on: December 01, 2018, 06:36:18 am »
Many engineers go through the painful lesson of choosing the lowest cost part, worse so from a foreign supplier.
Price as priority #1 for the BOM cost, is a fool's mistake.

What you will experience is phone calls from Production or Customers having problems with the product.
The 'little penny LDO that could' turns out to be out of spec for voltage, noise or oscillating at end temperatures, going into shutdown etc.

This is when the engineer learns, the hard way, that chinese datasheets have exaggerated numbers, missing specifications, typos, translation errors and no support available. The silicon has wide test limits and is loosey goosey.

What did you expect for a penny? Now, do you recall the sold products and replace the LDO? Do you try a bodge? Wait for a few reels of new parts? Or let customers live with a low quality product?

There is huge risk for the designer using parts such as this. Ultimately his/her paycheque stays the same, but the hassle and responsibility for choosing that vendor and the consequences are the engineer's. It is false economy to think money was saved, as there would be no drama using a more expensive part.

Looking at this part's datasheet, it's a cut'n'paste from some other manufacturer, full of typo's conflicting numbers and missing some very important characteristics. Many traps here.
The Arduino crowd won't notice but it's like walking into a casino to use this part in production of high quality product.
 
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Offline nick_d

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Re: EEVblog #1147 - 1 Cent Regulator! That's MAD
« Reply #48 on: Yesterday at 06:49:04 pm »
What the fakers generally do is put together a workalike of a well known part using IP library modules from their silicon supplier. Thus, if the library modules are well designed the part will work well. Where it can run into problems is that the library approach will use twice as many transistors as the genuine part as there will be well defined interfaces between the library module, so advanced uses of the part where the user has checked the official circuit to see what voltages, currents etc are produced internally when the chip is placed in unusual situations, won't work. An example of this is with the "LM386" chips I bought, the bias pin is supposed to have a certain voltage or resistance etc on it, and in my case I was using this to do advanced stuff like nulling a DC offset so that I could directly drive a speaker with no output filter. Did not work, because the fake is internally structured as an ordinary op-amp connected up to just RESEMBLE an LM386. It would work fine for ordinary, undemanding applications such as children's toys, and as said above, they're EVERYWHERE. The only real issue I have with this is the deceptive conduct. With a proper datasheet it would be a great part. That's why this LCSC gig is great in my opinion.
cheers, Nick
 


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