Author Topic: chinese plastic  (Read 11966 times)

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Offline codeboy2k

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chinese plastic
« on: February 14, 2013, 10:19:00 pm »
what is it about chinese made plastic items that just oozes low quality ??

For example, I've always used banana plugs to alligator clips / croc clips and I thought I would get some banana plugs to grabbers.

So I started looking around, and found this on sparkfun.

I don't think I want to get them, they just look so ugly and cheap, even from the photo, I can tell.  And I like longer grabbers too.

but why does it look (and probably is) so cheap? What makes the plastic feel and look so inferior to other, better quality items from better manufacturers?

Even the wires look stiff, and the banana plugs look like they might actually wear out and lose their spring. The plating looks like chrome, not like a good matte tin plating I usually see. I hate bright tin.

Finally, when it comes to what I want, should I just get a bunch of gold plated black and red plugs, some grabbers, some decent probe wire and make a few myself?  At least I'll get a few different lengths that way and what I end up with is probably better than what I can buy .

the 'bay is loaded with these cheap  imports too

Cheers!

https://www.sparkfun.com/products/506


 

Offline marshallh

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Re: chinese plastic
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2013, 10:30:30 pm »
Saw mention of Pomona in another thread.

The chinese will cut every corner there is. I have a $20 ebay probe that is old and brittle after just a few years. 18 year old lecroy probe is like it's brand new. It also cost a lot more.
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Offline Mechatrommer

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Re: chinese plastic
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2013, 11:10:03 pm »
what is it about chinese made plastic items that just oozes low quality ??
they are cheap, and the tax too.

I don't think I want to get them, they just look so ugly and cheap, even from the photo, I can tell.  And I like longer grabbers too.
why even bother to post the picture if that is not what you want? get Hilscherman grabber or something else.

but why does it look (and probably is) so cheap? What makes the plastic feel and look so inferior to other, better quality items from better manufacturers?
Even the wires look stiff, and the banana plugs look like they might actually wear out and lose their spring. The plating looks like chrome, not like a good matte tin plating I usually see. I hate bright tin.
what are you trying to prove? you didnt. i can post a picture of Ferrari or Lotus and mourn - why it looks so "ugly" and "cheap" compared to "better manufaturers" - who is the better manufacturers? zilch.

Finally, when it comes to what I want, should I just get a bunch of gold plated black and red plugs, some grabbers, some decent probe wire and make a few myself?  At least I'll get a few different lengths that way and what I end up with is probably better than what I can buy .
ditto. but then are you going to waste your time DIY'ing? why dont you just buy the readymade goldplated from the "better manufacturers" and start doing something else more productive?

the 'bay is loaded with these cheap  imports too
because they are cheap, and the tax too. its a hot item produced in millions. and thats what we know since we were born. we are adapt to deal with it.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2013, 11:13:52 pm by Mechatrommer »
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Offline Spawn

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Re: chinese plastic
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2013, 11:49:37 pm »
Try to search for Hirschmann KLEPS 30, not expensive but great quality.

Offline Psi

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Re: chinese plastic
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2013, 01:17:16 am »
what is it about chinese made plastic items that just oozes low quality ??
Plastic made in china (on the cheap) is mixed with various waste products form other processes to lower its cost.
That's why it feels different and is sometimes very brittle.

It's mixed with whatever they can get away with while still impressing the 'higher-ups' with lower costs.

« Last Edit: February 15, 2013, 01:20:18 am by Psi »
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Offline TerraHertz

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Re: chinese plastic
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2013, 02:39:43 am »
It's mixed with whatever they can get away with while still impressing the 'higher-ups' with lower costs.

There was a famous case a few years back here in Australia, where cheap footwear (rubber thongs) from China had some trace contaminant in the strap rubber that caused severe skin blistering on contact. Photos on the net of people with severe burns due to an extreme reaction. For eg (not the worst one I saw): http://www.blisstree.com/2007/08/06/mental-health-well-being/flip-flop-burn/

I even saw the effect myself - a friend of my daughter had bought a pair, and fortunately only wore them briefly before she noticed the inflammation. The 'thong-strap shaped' blisters on her feet took weeks to heal. I never heard what the contaminant was, but it must have been something pretty nasty.

Then there's the 'Melamine powder in baby milk' scandal. Apparently those food contents analysis listings on products, for 'protein %' are based on an indirect test that actually measures nitrogen content. Someone discovered that adding ground-up melamine (an organic molecule with many nitrogen atoms) to food boosted the 'protein' analysis result. Melamine is used for molding objects such as bowls and laminated benchtops. There's a lot of scrap melamine available for almost nothing. Obvious profit opportunity is obvious - if you don't understand anything about biology, or care.
Actual result - tens of thousands of extremely sick babies.  It was also done even more blatantly with animal feed, producing horrible results.

I've read that in China, the accepted norm in engineering/manufacturing (a policy actually taught in schools) is to establish a sales agreement, start supplying product, and then deliberately incrementally reduce your manufacturing costs (by cutting quality) until your customer complains. In other words quality is the buyers problem, not the manufacturer's.
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Offline c4757p

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Re: chinese plastic
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2013, 02:54:56 am »
Then there's the 'Melamine powder in baby milk' scandal. Apparently those food contents analysis listings on products, for 'protein %' are based on an indirect test that actually measures nitrogen content. Someone discovered that adding ground-up melamine (an organic molecule with many nitrogen atoms) to food boosted the 'protein' analysis result. Melamine is used for molding objects such as bowls and laminated benchtops. There's a lot of scrap melamine available for almost nothing. Obvious profit opportunity is obvious - if you don't understand anything about biology, or care.
Actual result - tens of thousands of extremely sick babies.  It was also done even more blatantly with animal feed, producing horrible results.

That's really sad. Dumping in random shit to stretch a batch of plastic is sleazy, but dumping in random shit to stretch a batch of baby food is poisoning. It makes me weep for mankind that there are so many people who are willing to nearly commit murder to save a bit of money.
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Offline Rick Law

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Re: chinese plastic
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2013, 03:37:56 am »
From a news report I remember: The baby food CEO said was not aware of the problem and explained that the contamination was accidental.  He was shocked at the damage he caused, he apologized and then killed himself.

I don't remember the details (I read that news story rather long ago).  But here is Wiki's repeat on that story:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protein_adulteration_in_the_People's_Republic_of_China

He paid a very high price.  I believe him (that it was accidental) since he surely shown remorse.
 

Offline c4757p

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Re: chinese plastic
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2013, 03:44:23 am »
He was running his operation carelessly enough that his baby food became poisoned. That only brings it from murder to reckless endangerment. When you're making food for the helpless you need to take extreme care to do it right, not just feel really bad when you realize you didn't.
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Offline Psi

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Re: chinese plastic
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2013, 03:56:34 am »
He was running his operation carelessly enough that his baby food became poisoned. That only brings it from murder to reckless endangerment. When you're making food for the helpless you need to take extreme care to do it right, not just feel really bad when you realize you didn't.

Yeah, i agree 100%.
But there's only so much a CEO can do when the entire culture is that - employees at all levels take care of problems without involving their boss.

If the boss says "We need to raise profits by cutting some costs" it's not culturally acceptable for the employees to say "No".
The employee has to find "some" way to do it because otherwise they are "letting the company down" or "embarrassing their boss".

The concept of "corporate family" and "saving face" is so important in china that people will break the law if needed.
It is considered to be like "falling on your sword" for your company and an honorable thing to do.


If the CEO decided to visit a factory, to check that everything was safe, all the managers would make discrete arrangements beforehand and inform workers of the visit so that everything was perfect when he arrived.

The whole culture is around shielding your boss from anything that is wrong.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2013, 04:05:24 am by Psi »
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Offline G7PSK

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Re: chinese plastic
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2013, 11:13:52 am »
I read that a number of CEO of baby milk manufacturers were tried and convicted and executed by the Chinese authorities so one may well have committed suicide in order to avoid the same fate. But melamine has been showing up in protein additives imported from China for pet food for many years in the US and Canada with many cats and dogs dying from the food mostly produced by Purina. Now the latest trick of the Chinese is to use the rendered down dead bodies of stray animal that have been euthanize in California and the waste exported to china for disposal. It seems that if you send your shit abroad for disposal it might well come back to haunt you.
 

Offline haveissues

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Re: chinese plastic
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2013, 11:33:57 am »
While I MIGHT be convinced the CEO didn't know, I don't believe that the whole thing was an accident for a second.  Someone down the chain put melamine in the food and they knew what they were doing.  We make sure that anything that goes in our baby's mouth is made in either the states or Europe. Same goes for food for our cat.
 

Offline G7PSK

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Re: chinese plastic
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2013, 12:30:29 pm »
The problem is that some of these food stuffs are made in the US or Europe but contain raw materials such as protein enhancers that come from China or some other far eastern country and are not listed as such. You never know when you might eat a horse or pet burger. Most modern ready meals contain additives that are made in India or China.
 

Offline haveissues

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Re: chinese plastic
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2013, 12:35:16 pm »
The problem is that some of these food stuffs are made in the US or Europe but contain raw materials such as protein enhancers that come from China or some other far eastern country and are not listed as such. You never know when you might eat a horse or pet burger. Most modern ready meals contain additives that are made in India or China.

This is true.  I know there was a push to put country of origin labels for the ingredients in food here in the states but I'm not sure the current status.  I do know exactly where our beef comes from though-a farm 60 miles away in NY.  I guess that is the only way you really KNOW.
 

Offline bombledmonk

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Re: chinese plastic
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2013, 03:22:53 pm »

This is true.  I know there was a push to put country of origin labels for the ingredients in food here in the states but I'm not sure the current status.  I do know exactly where our beef comes from though-a farm 60 miles away in NY.  I guess that is the only way you really KNOW.

Unless they are part of those scammy farmer's markets which import whatever produce and meats they can from around the country/world and call it "locally grown".  Not saying they do specifically, but even if you think you know, that may be a stretch.
 

Offline haveissues

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Re: chinese plastic
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2013, 04:30:24 pm »

This is true.  I know there was a push to put country of origin labels for the ingredients in food here in the states but I'm not sure the current status.  I do know exactly where our beef comes from though-a farm 60 miles away in NY.  I guess that is the only way you really KNOW.

Unless they are part of those scammy farmer's markets which import whatever produce and meats they can from around the country/world and call it "locally grown".  Not saying they do specifically, but even if you think you know, that may be a stretch.

In this case it is a small farm that you can visit..  You buy the entire cow (we split it with my brother).   They are all free range and you can pick the cow if you like.  We buy our beef this way as we believe we get a better product and the animal was treated better than a mega farm.  But I agree- how do you REALLY know it is organic unless you see it for yourself.  Sorry to stray so far off topic.
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: chinese plastic
« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2013, 05:38:40 pm »
What was the cow fed?  That is another source for contamination, Scrapie infected sheep being ground up and fed to cows and chickens, and the chicken manure being fed to the cows.
 

Offline haveissues

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Re: chinese plastic
« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2013, 07:25:24 pm »
I know they are mainly grass fed but don't know what else.  I certainly trust a small family farm in upstate NY more than food from china.  Short of growing and raising our food for ourselves its the best we can do.  As a bonus, the beef is cheaper than the super market.
 

Offline jamesp15

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Re: chinese plastic
« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2013, 08:58:17 pm »
I have bought a few of these from Franky and the quality on them is very good for the price.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Silicone-Leads-16-AWG-Sprung-Hooks-and-Banana-Plugs-1-Pair-Red-Black-/200883953288

Flexible
Just the right length (for my bench at least)
Very good quality Minigrabbers (55mm/~2inches overall length, 35mm/~1.3 inches of the narrow part)
Decent banana plugs
 

Offline codeboy2k

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Re: chinese plastic
« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2013, 09:01:53 pm »
Can I plug a banana jack into a sheep or cow  :-DD  (please don't answer !)

LOL. love where this thread is going :)

Thanks for all the comments on my original question, and the suggestions, and the interesting side track we are now on ...

btw, on the original topic, I asked my father about it, so he gave me some new old-stock of red and black banana plugs he had, these are

ABBATRON HH SMITH - 211-103  and 211-102.. Seems ok to me. Anyone have any comments on this brand?

http://www.newark.com/abbatron-hh-smith/211-103/banana-plug-15a-stud-black/dp/82T5298

Newark lists them as 15A, 1KV banana plugs, nickel plated beryllium copper



I have 15 red and 15 blacks now.  So it seems I would be best to buy wire and clips and make my own in various lengths.





Cheers!
 

Offline codeboy2k

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Re: chinese plastic
« Reply #20 on: February 15, 2013, 09:43:32 pm »
I have bought a few of these from Franky and the quality on them is very good for the price.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Silicone-Leads-16-AWG-Sprung-Hooks-and-Banana-Plugs-1-Pair-Red-Black-/200883953288

Flexible
Just the right length (for my bench at least)
Very good quality Minigrabbers (55mm/~2inches overall length, 35mm/~1.3 inches of the narrow part)
Decent banana plugs

Thanks for the link.. I think the 2-inch grabbers would drive me nuts after some time..  I will probably end up buying 3" grabbers, and get a few variations (round, flat) so I have some different ones ... because I can :)

Actually, I've been thinking about using red/black zip cord, at least 16 gauge and maybe 14 gauge.. I realize it won't be as flexible as silicone test lead wire, but maybe I can find what I want... i.e. 14 gauge red/black zip cord with a high strand count
« Last Edit: February 15, 2013, 10:11:01 pm by codeboy2k »
 

Offline lapm

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Re: chinese plastic
« Reply #21 on: February 15, 2013, 10:37:54 pm »
Well in chinese stuff theres this old thing: you get what you pay for...

I used to work in company that sold electronics components. I name no names... My boss imported stuff from china, usually the cheaper the better for him... I hate to say it, but it also effected the quality of stuff.

There is good stuff comeing from china as well, but you dont usually see it if you always buy the cheapest things...
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Offline jamesp15

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Re: chinese plastic
« Reply #22 on: February 15, 2013, 11:02:30 pm »
I have bought a few of these from Franky and the quality on them is very good for the price.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Silicone-Leads-16-AWG-Sprung-Hooks-and-Banana-Plugs-1-Pair-Red-Black-/200883953288

Flexible
Just the right length (for my bench at least)
Very good quality Minigrabbers (55mm/~2inches overall length, 35mm/~1.3 inches of the narrow part)
Decent banana plugs

Thanks for the link.. I think the 2-inch grabbers would drive me nuts after some time..  I will probably end up buying 3" grabbers, and get a few variations (round, flat) so I have some different ones ... because I can :)

Actually, I've been thinking about using red/black zip cord, at least 16 gauge and maybe 14 gauge.. I realize it won't be as flexible as silicone test lead wire, but maybe I can find what I want... i.e. 14 gauge red/black zip cord with a high strand count

Can be hard to get flexible large guage wire.  A good source is Silicon wire thats intended for RC car/plane use (its NOT rated for high voltages though, so be careful there.  I use 12guage and 16guage "Deans Wet Noodle" wire for making jumpers and banana to banana leads for low voltage/high-current use.  (Most hobby shops should sell by the foot/meter, can also order online)
(Hobbyking has Turnigy branded for not a bad price per meter: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__466__377__Hardware_accessories_-Silicon_Wire_Mesh_Guard.html)

For higher voltages I like and use silicone Pomona's Test Lead Wire, though it is 18guage it is rated up to 20amps/10kv*. 
Pomona model numbers:  6733-0 and 6733-2 (-0 black, -2 red)  ~$20 for 50 feet isnt terrible pricing for very good quality wire (same wire as flukes silicone leads are made out of)
It is also available in PVC, not as flexible, but still nice.  ~$12 for 50 feet. (6734-0 and 6734-2) (15amps/5kv rated*)
(datasheet:  http://www.pomonaelectronics.com/pdf/d6733_6734_100.pdf)
* The datasheet says for "CE compliance in handheld use 33v RMS or 70v DC max")

« Last Edit: February 15, 2013, 11:06:56 pm by jamesp15 »
 

Offline codeboy2k

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Re: chinese plastic
« Reply #23 on: February 16, 2013, 12:02:54 am »
Yes, thanks for the tip .   I also just came across the R/C wire, it's silicone and 12-14-16 gauges, so I was considering it.
The hobby shops sell it too expensively. After I came across that, I have been trying to source about 50 feet (25/red 25/black) on spools.

Yes, I know it's not HV.  This RC stuff is probably 300V max, but unless it's clearly stamped on the insulation I won't put that much through it.
But for benchtop use at less than 100V DC it's ok.

For bench use I can also accept less stranding and a PVC jacket.  I can live with slightly less than wet noodle flexibility, and I don't really need the benefits of silicone's chemical resistance on my benchtop.

Since power and ground are almost always (!) together, I really like the zip cord approach, and I am in fact going to check out the home depot bulk wire section, and do a quick flex test on it to see how it might fare on a bench.

Also, some AC extension cord wire (the round black wire with 3 internal stranded black/white/green jacketed wires - North American colors) is really cheap and really flexible too. It's 600V rated usually. The insulating jacket on the inside wires almost feels like silicone but I am sure it's not.  If I can get that same stuff in red/black it might be really low cost and quite flexible ( with the outer jacket removed of course )




 

Offline Rick Law

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Bare in mind...
« Reply #24 on: February 16, 2013, 12:11:47 am »
My daughter was interested in a radio, so I opened it to show her the insides.  It was a "free gift" we got when we ordered some magazine a couple of years ago.  I was amazed how they managed to do things so cheap.  Along with low quality components, the cost cutting is amazing.  Not much in there are extras - even the length of wires.  The plastic tabs to hold something in place was just enough.  A millimeter or two shorter the battery would have just slip out.  Nothing extra, just barely enough to do the job.  They have the cost-cutting down pad.  The plastic was literally falling apart in my hands when I tried to put it back together but it held well until I opened it.  Oh, the soldering was awful too.

But then it occurred to me.

Not very long ago in the 1960's-1970's, "Made in Japan" was the description for junk.  Toyota and Datsun were cars you drive only when you cannot even afford a VW bug.  Then comes 1980's: US car makers were playing the catch-up game to try to catch up with the Japanese.

Not long ago, "made in Korea" brands like Samsung were stuff to avoid and you buy it only when you cannot afford the dollars for the "Made in Japan" quality.  Now Samsung is considered a quality brand.  Even Hyundai autos are now considered rather main-stream instead of "cheap junk."

I can see in the not too distant future, perhaps we will have to fight hard to beat the quality stuff out of China.

China is big - around the size of the USA, so like in the USA, there will be different areas perhaps making stuff with different quality level.  Already, their Shanghai students already command the top spot in PISA score (tests of students of OECD countries).   Korea, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore are the frequent top 5's.  The Netherlands is not far behind.  We are way back in the twenties.  The last published number I remember well is 2009 where we were down to 26/29 (reading/math+science).  I think last year we failed to even make top 30 with math & science.  While we in the USA consider them making only cheap-junk, they are bringing up a generation that MAY leave us in the dusk!

So, we should look at ourselves and ask if we are doing enough to keep up.  Today, most would prefer "Made in USA" quality (nationalism aside) over "Made in China".   But, we need to work hard to keep it that way -- or else soon in the future, we will be buying "made in the USA" stuff only when we can't afford the $ for quality stuff from China.
 


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