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Components and Circuits For discussions about component types, alternatives and availability, circuit configurations and modifications etc. Discussions here should be of a general nature and not about specific sets.

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Old 23rd Jul 2020, 11:17 pm   #1
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Default Substituting for Chinese-made components and modules

When shopping for modern components we find many real bargains which can be bought straight from China and shipped in days. When it comes to little modules for any and all electronic uses we again find what we want from Chinese dealers, but after hearing the Today Programme yesterday about the treatment and torture of the Uighur people I realise I have to stop in any way supporting the Chinese economy.

This will call for considerable restrictions on what tools and engineering parts I can buy. All those excellent and precise tools from the trade counters, often with house-brand names. Look for British, German and Swedish brands, but then I'm not sure where Stanley tools are made these days, they don't often say Made in Britain.

For components it is not difficult to find Japanese brands, but it wouldn't surprise me if many are made in the PRC. When it comes to the little modules, these can often be sourced from either China or Taiwan and though similar are often not identical, so Taiwan would be the only option. Now I'm even feeling worried about buying shiny new screws and nuts as you never know where they have come from.

Any suggestions how I can reduce my dependence on Chinese imports? I can start by reusing old stock of components.

- Julian
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Old 23rd Jul 2020, 11:27 pm   #2
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Default Re: Substituting for Chinese-made components and modules

Originally Posted by Julesomega View Post
I'm not sure where Stanley tools are made these days, they don't often say Made in Britain.
I think Stanley have been international for a long, long time. The set of screwdrivers I got for my 18th birthday 30 years ago were Made in NZ, and I'm sure I've had Australian Stanley as well.

I understand the sentiment but I think it'll be a struggle to avoid Chinese items completely, although in consumer electronics there is a reasonable amount of stuff made elsewhere (Panasonic has a lot of Malaysian manufacture for this region, and my current Nokia and previous Microsoft phone were made in Vietnam).
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Old 23rd Jul 2020, 11:45 pm   #3
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Default Re: Substituting for Chinese-made components and modules


I always thought Stanley was a British company but they're actually American. I've acquired quite a few Stanley carpentry tools over the years as I like their quality.

I'd gladly support buy British but in the present world market it's pretty well impossible. We could and should make more products in this country like we used to.

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Old 24th Jul 2020, 12:26 am   #4
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Default Re: Substituting for Chinese-made components and modules

I've met Julian and he's a really great guy-also incredibly knowledgeable on the radio technical front and archiving record labels, plus he likes a good pint of Thwaites bitter in Ramsbottom! He totally qualifies as a "proper chap" Come back to Rammy Julian but only when I can be there myself

Boycotting the Chinese at the individual level won't really help them and I don't think it's realistic to go down that route however much their government shames and embarrasses itself. There are other options not suitable for further discussion here but buying up the cheap red record player cartridges and many useful adaptors, valves and circuit boards etc does not mean at all, that we support what's going on with the Uighur suppression! We continue to buy products from many inventive ordinary Chinese people who are not the enemy, while we still can. The rest will be history [as they say]. Ultimately it's all about about money as usual. I've suggested to my mother-in-law [who lives near there] that refusing entrance to Bicester Village for all the incredibly eager Chinese Tourists who seem to do London, Bicester and Edinburgh in a day or so, might even change the world.

Dave W

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Old 24th Jul 2020, 12:55 am   #5
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Default Re: Substituting for Chinese-made components and modules

I think boycotting modules, specific parts and tools from China isn't realistic at this point, and also not necessary. Instead of us shoveling money into their state owned enterprises, it's us little guys helping their little guys - which might be a good thing. Apart from that, if buying a 150 euro tool from China keeps you in business when buying a western made 500 euro tool isn't within budget, we're actually helping our own economy by helping ourselves to stay afloat - at least for the sort time.

Solutions to end the 'totalitarian regime with marxist characteristics' should be sought on a multinational and political level. At this moment, the big institutional investors might be the largest problem but they will probably stand back as political pressure increases.

Also, there might be some truth to the ancient Chinese belief that natural disasters indicate the need for a regime change so that in the end, we don't even have to work that hard on political pressure.

Meanwhile while I won't hesitate to buy on Ali Express, I prefer Taiwanese alternatives where possible. They also still have some reasonably cheap tools etc.

Last edited by Maarten; 24th Jul 2020 at 1:04 am.
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Old 24th Jul 2020, 5:02 am   #6
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Default Re: Substituting for Chinese-made components and modules

Having spent several years working and living in the PRC in the 80s and 90s, and many years doing the same in many other countries around the world (ranging from sweet to appallingly dangerous), I can say that I found the average person that I interacted with to be friendly and helpful in the same proportions everywhere. They want, as we all do, a safe life for themselves and their children, and full bellies. Unfortunately many peoples cannot choose their political masters, and I'm sure that the denizens of the PRC would rather not have facial recognition and recording of social habits invading their every waking hour, but they have no choice. Sanctions of any kind can and do work but at the expense of the life quality of the innocent citizens.

I received a brush carrier plate for a Makita 18v drill from China the other day, which was identical in all ways to the original. I then realised that the whole drill was made in the PRC so it was a 'genuine spare' really.
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Old 24th Jul 2020, 5:55 am   #7
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Sanctions, whether enforced or voluntary, rarely have the desired effect on the perpetrators and it is often the innocent that suffer as a result. Far better to engage in dialog than sanctions, trade wars and sabre rattling.
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Old 24th Jul 2020, 7:34 am   #8
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Default Re: Substituting for Chinese-made components and modules

If we don't buy things from China whether through sanctions, boycott or whatever, the ordinary Chinese people do the suffering. The mandarins will look after themselves, they will be OK for sure.

If we buy things from China, the ordinary working people in the West will be the ones that suffer. The plutocrats and mandarins will look after themselves... and they have! The rich have got richer, the poor have got poorer. This is documented.

If manufacturing gets concentrated in one area, that area does well, at the expense of the rest of the world. It happened in the days of steam and the British empire. It is happening today.

I remember wondering, back in the late seventies, when everything worth buying seemed to come out of Japan, once Japan makes everything, how were people in the rest of the world going to make the money to buy stuff from Japan? The thought was quite vexing.

What happened was that the Japanese currency went up and their prices went up with it, making their stuff less competitive on price. It didn't change the small fact that if you wanted a reliable telly you bought an Hitachi.

I want to live on a civilised planet. Without trade wars, without even ordinary wars. Without extremist nutters thinking it's OK to blow up people with other opinions.

For this to happen, manufacturing and jobs and pay levels need to be better spread around.

So I prefer to avoid Chinese goods, where I can, not as an attack on China, but as support for local people. I've figured it out, that if everything moves out of the country more people in this country go on the dole and my taxes go up.

(I feel a little strongly about this, as this month, my job moved out of the country.)

There is one proviso. Maybe UK manufacturers ought to have made a better, more reliable product and charged better prices and competed with the Japanese? Maybe if they'd made products people would have preferred and could have afforded? A small island at the side of the pacific managed it... so how about a small island at the side of the Atlantic?

Can't afford the volcanic island yet, but the plans for my monorail and the goons' uniforms are done
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Old 24th Jul 2020, 7:47 am   #9
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Default Re: Substituting for Chinese-made components and modules

With you there Julian, the PRC has a terrible environmental reputation too, what with Pangolins being decimated, sharks left living after their fins have been cut off etc, etc. I understand our stand probably won't make a difference and may do harm, but you have to start somewhere. Ethical buying is hard work, I think it's a good idea if you don't get too obsessed and just do what you can, so I try to buy secondhand where i can or re-use/re-purpose stuff, so I save money too.

I take the point about sanctions, our fellow forum member Miguel from Cuba knows a thing or two about this, for myself not buying apples from country X but from the UK is also about trying to support local businesses and reducing air miles of freight, it's about individual conscience rather than a Quixotic tilting at windmills.

Good luck, Andy.
Curiosity hasn't killed this far.

Last edited by Diabolical Artificer; 24th Jul 2020 at 7:55 am.
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Old 24th Jul 2020, 8:04 am   #10
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Default Re: Substituting for Chinese-made components and modules

The (UK) company I work for creates and sells software for design of memory chips. It's a rather niche market but quite a good one; until recently we didn't have any business in China - but with Trump's trade war we suddenly found the Chinese very interested in buying our stuff (and the fact that we are not US-owned).

Which helps keep our 30+ UK R&D team employed, most of whom are in the NE of the UK where those jobs are valuable. So the UK can and is selling high value goods to China. The current anti-Chinese rhetoric is not helpful keeping that business going. You want British manufacturing and design, well please start by supporting us, and not vilifying the customer.
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Old 24th Jul 2020, 9:46 am   #11
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Default Re: Substituting for Chinese-made components and modules

Sorry folks, but the mods feel that this thread is effectively a political discussion and violates forum rules. Everybody will have their own opinion on China, and this is not the place to discuss the subject.
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