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Buyer Beware

Discussion in 'Electronic Components' started by Watson A.Name - \Watt Sun, the Dark Remover\, May 20, 2005.

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  1. The following is an opinion of mine, and only mine.

    Often you will see an item come up for auction on Ebay with something
    the following description that I've seen recently:
    "(4) RARE NOS 1966 VINTAGE Motorola.. 2N4264 AUDIO AMP TRANSISTORS"

    Let's look closer at some of the buzzwords in the above statement.
    What do they imply, and what do they really mean?

    The seller is trying to make it sound as if there is some additional
    in the rarity of the item. He seems to be justifying his high prices.
    the rarity of the item doesn't necessarily relate in any way to the
    worth of
    the item. In many cases, in fact in most cases, it can indicate that
    reason for its rarity is that it's nearly worthless. People originally
    purchased very few of the items because it wasn't a good value for the
    money. Or else most of the items ended up in the landfill as trash.
    In the case above, the 2N4264 transistor, it has specifications that
    are so mediocre that it seems to be what was left over after the better
    transistors such as the 2N3904 and 2N4124 were picked out during the
    manufacture. These 2N4264s would have been rejected as 'seconds', so
    Motorola gave them a new number and probably sold them as rock-bottom
    low-end parts.

    New Old Stock and vintage. Well, you can still get the datasheet for
    transistor, and it was still being made as of 1997, the date at the
    of the datasheet. So if you would prefer old stock over new, then by
    means, buy them. But new stock is probably better, and in this case, a
    cheaper. Why? Because the cost of a part is heavily related to the
    sold, so that a very high volume part such as the 2N3904 often costs
    than the 2N4124 which has lower specs but also lower volume.

    So don't be fooled by "NOS" or vintage terms. They're just another
    opportunity for the seller to distort the truth. That item that has an
    inherent worth will be known by others and the bids will indicate this
    worth. Rather than look for these buzzwords, look for factual
    such as date code, or provenance. If they came from a plant that has
    down, they may be production parts that were new when purchased. If you
    parts that are still in the sealed bag or container or on tape feed,
    you can be reasonably certain that they're new and have not heen picked

    Well Motorola is now ON Semi, and you can still get the datasheet for
    transistor from their website. And the specs show that it is a really
    mediocre transistor, literally what's left over after the common ones
    as the 2N3904 and 2N4124 have been picked out or 'culled'. Perhaps the
    seller didn't want you to know that they are still being made by ON
    so you wouldn't find out how much of a ripoff he's trying to sell you.

    What I've said about this particular electronic part applies to other
    as well, and indeed to anything you buy whether it's from Ebay or from
    local store. Even the U.S. government is guilty of doing this. For
    the U.S. Postal Service has tried to convince people to buy
    stamps because they're a good investment. Recently I bought sheets of 8
    cent stamps from the early '70s for little more than their face value on
    Ebay, so if you had invested your money in commemorative stamps, you
    be getting very little return on your investment.

    The motto here is Buyer Beware. Just because people say that it's
    supposedly rare or worth a lot doesn't mean that it is. Do your
    research to
    find out what the prospective purchase is really worth before you put
    money down on an item that's advertised to be more than it really is.
    sure that the NOS and vintage really are just that, and not some
    parts that have been picked over. Your research will later save you a
    of money and grief.

    @@[email protected]@[email protected]@@[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@@[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@,@@[email protected]@[email protected],@@[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@
    ###Got a Question about ELECTRONICS? Check HERE First:###
    My email address is whitelisted. *All* email sent to it
    goes directly to the trash unless you add NOSPAM in the
    Subject: line with other stuff. alondra101 <at>
    Don't be ripped off by the big book dealers. Go to the URL
    that will give you a choice and save you money(up to half). You'll be glad you did!
    Just when you thought you had all this figured out, the gov't
    changed it:
    @@[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@@[email protected]@[email protected]@@[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@@
  2. Pooh Bear

    Pooh Bear Guest

    I thought the whole point of NOS was to take the piss out of the buyers ! I
    really must get round to ridding myself of some junk that way.

    I especially like those ppl advertising *used* toobs - lol.

  3. Phil Allison

    Phil Allison Guest

    "Watson A.Name

    NOS and VINTAGE New Old Stock and vintage. Well, you can still get the
    datasheet for this transistor, and it was still being made as of 1997, the
    date at the bottom of the datasheet.

    ** According to dealers like Farnell in One, Motorola still make "classic"
    power devices like the 2N3773, MJ802 and MJ4502. In reality - none of
    these have been made within the last 20 years - current types like the
    MJ15003/4 are simply supplied labelled with the vintage numbers.

    Motorola are NOTORIOUS for relabelling current production devices with the
    SAME numbers as older popular types that have long ago been deleted. This
    is to cater for a small but constant demand mainly from the repair industry.

    Motorola can no doubt justify this by citing their oft published right to
    upgrade the specs of a device at whim and with no notification to users.
    So -- by this logic -- as long as some new type exceeds the major specs
    of some older one it can be supplied in lieu with the old part number

    The nasty bit is that devices bearing these "pseudonyms" cost more than the
    current production devices they really are and may not perform as expected
    or as well as the originals when used as replacements in vintage gear.

    Buyer beware !!!!!!!!!!

    ............... Phil
  4. mc

    mc Guest

    Motorola are NOTORIOUS for relabelling current production devices with the
    Yes... the beta might be a lot higher, for instance.

    Speaking of which, are the TL071 and TL081 op-amp now the same chip?
    Originally they weren't, but nowadays I can't find any difference between
  5. Phil Allison

    Phil Allison Guest

  6. Boris Mohar

    Boris Mohar Guest

    Not used. Well aged and cured like fine whiskey ;) Right!


    Boris Mohar

    Got Knock? - see:
    Viatrack Printed Circuit Designs (among other things)
  7. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    Bottom line, especially someplace like ebay, is that it's worth what
    somebody will pay for it. I wonder if anybody'd buy a "repairable"
    IBM Thinkpad T-30?

  8. DaveM

    DaveM Guest

    That "repairable" term is used extensively throughout Fair Radio's catalog
    and web site in the descriptions of their test equipment and military gear.
    Quite frankly, it scares me away from what I might otherwise have an
    interest in. Their test equipment prices are a bit steep for "repairable"
    items, especially since they provide nary a clue as to what the problem(s)
    might be, nor even if all the parts are there. Or are they trying to say
    that the equipment just has not been bench-checked and verified that the
    item performs at least some of its functions?

    I've probably sent many hundreds of dollars to vendors other than Fair Radio
    because of that one word in their descriptions.

    Has anyone had any experiences with buying "repairable" equipment from Fair
    Radio? If so, I'd sure like to hear about them... might cause me to change
    my opinion of "repairable".

    Dave M
    MasonDG44 at comcast dot net (Just subsitute the appropriate characters in
    the address)

    Never take a laxative and a sleeping pill at the same time!!
  9. Chuck Harris

    Chuck Harris Guest

    Repairable is Fair Radio's way of telling you that the item is complete,
    but either doesn't work, or hasn't been tested. It has been a while since
    I have ordered from them, but as I recall, repairable items were about as
    likely to work as not.

  10. DaveM

    DaveM Guest

    Thanks for that... it makes sense to indicate an item as "repairable" when
    they know that it doesn't work, but it would make more sense to indicate an
    item as "unchecked" if that is the case and its condition is unknown. Oh
    well.. guess they are too set in their ways to change...

    Dave M
    MasonDG44 at comcast dot net (Just subsitute the appropriate characters in
    the address)

    Never take a laxative and a sleeping pill at the same time!!
  11. Sometimes it means there is a damaged part and they include the part
    with the equipment. I used to drive to the store when I lived in Ohio
    and I found that the test equipment they sold as scrap was in better
    shape than what some others sold and claimed to work.

    They had a retired EE working part time to determine which category
    to put something, or to sell it as "Checked" if you wanted to pay a
    little extra for it.

    I've bought things there for $25 that others wanted $250 for, and it
    was in good condition. After all, there has to be a reason that they
    are still around when hundreds of other surplus places have died.
  12. It's not that I'm unappreciative of these comments in the thread that I
    srarted. It's just that some inconsiderate followed up with a comment
    that totally snipped what I had originally posted, and things went to
    hell in a handbasket.

  13. Kim  Sleep

    Kim Sleep Guest

    Doesn't buyer beware apply to everything you buy...not just EBay purchases.?
  14. purchases.?

    Well, I would say that the average consumer doesn't give a thought to it
    when they walk out of a store with their purchases, because they have
    purchased items from reputable companies. And they can walk back in
    there later and get a refund or resolution to their dissatisfaction.

    So far in my several score of Ebay purchases, I have had several that
    were shoddy, and i've had to send many of those back to get a refund.
    I've had nowhere near as many problems with store purchases, or
    purchases from online retailers.
  15. We have been more fortunate with ebay, not yet had a bad one other than a
    displaced galvanometer movement probably caused by postal handling.

    It does depend a lot on what you are buying and how much you have paid IMO. The
    guy who gets a reasonable price for his sale is more likely to pack properly etc
    than the guy who expected $15 and got $2 for example.

    I had one like that last week or so, he wanted $15 for posting some packs of
    plotters pens internally in the USA, while we were able to point out to him that
    $5.50 was more than sufficient.

    Takes all sorts! :))

  16. Bad hair day, Watson? As a middle-poster, I generally try to snip all
    but the pertinent parts to which I'm responding. Am I the inconsiderate
    to whom you refer? (which, just to snipe, "inconsiderate" is an adjective
    - inconsiderate what?) ;-D

    So here's your rant, and your rant rant, re-re-quoted in its entirety, as
    well as that stupid 15-line sig that only annoys people.

    I've placed my Wacko sig even underneath _that_. :)
    (it came up at random from the obscene 'fortunes' collections, but it's
    worth a scroll, I opine....)
    "It was in a bar in midtown Manhattan and the Frenchman and the American
    were talking about love over some dry Martinis. "Deed you know, sir," the
    Frenchman said, "that een my country thair are 79 different ways how to
    make the REAL, passionate luff?" "Do tell?" said the American. "Well,
    that's amazing. In this country there's only one." "Just one?" the
    Frenchman said, condescendingly. "And what eez that?" "Well, there's a
    man and a woman, and --" "Sacre bleu!!" exclaimed the Frenchman. "Numbair
  17. legg

    legg Guest

    2N4264 has an order of magnitude less switching storage time than the
    2N3904 and one fifth the current fall time. It doesn't suffer from
    gain reduction or desaturation above 100mA - being characterised to
    200mA with low VCEsat. The trade-off is operating voltage, being
    useful only in <12V systems.

    The 2N4124 is not really characterized for switching purposes.

    2N4264 isn't an 'audio' device, but has reasonable small-signal
    characteristics for use in amplification.

    What is your motive in spreading mis-information? The seller's motive
    is obvious - he's selling.

  18. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    In "Seat Of The Pants Design School" they taught me to design such that
    beta is inconsequential anyway, as long as it's "enough".
    I thought it had something to with commercial vs. industrial applications,
    possibly temp. range, but to be honest, that's a WAG.

  19. mc

    mc Guest

    The nasty bit is that devices bearing these "pseudonyms" cost more than
    Right. But the person who designed your stereo in 1964 may not have been
    taught that way...
  20. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    Yes we were ;-)

    Probably more so then than now. Most of today's "engineers" aren't.

    ...Jim Thompson
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