UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Powered By Google Custom Search Vintage Radio Service Data

Go Back   UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Discussion Forum > General Vintage Technology > Where To Get Sets and Parts

Notices

Where To Get Sets and Parts For discussions about swapmeets, rallies, NVCF and BVWS, car boot sales, antique and charity shops, dealers, newspaper adverts, the local tip and just about any other source of equipment (other than eBay).

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 4th Jul 2020, 3:06 pm   #1
SiriusHardware
Dekatron
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Newcastle, Tyne and Wear, UK.
Posts: 4,313
Default Littlediode

Recently another forum member and I placed an order with 'Littlediode' and ordered some bipolar PROMs, which can only ever be programmed once, can not be erased and then reprogrammed and are therefore useless if already programmed.

When the three PROMs turned up, they had labels on them (image #1), a sure sign that they were already programmed. I read them and found that they were indeed programmed.

We informed Littlediode of this problem and explained, in case they really did not know, that devices of this type can not be reprogrammed and re-used. They offered to replace the three devices with three which were not labelled. When they turned up, they didn't have labels on them but it was blindingly obvious that they had had labels on them (image #2). These also proved to have been programmed with the same code as the original three.

This left us with no option but to return the three original devices and the three substitute devices as per their returns procedure along with a polite note explaining why the three original and three substitute devices were being returned.

To our amazement, the other party then only received a refund for one of the three devices because 'that was all he had asked for'. Really, three devices sent back with a cover note explaining why, and they thought we only wanted a refund for one? At that point he ran out of patience and asked Paypal to intervene and pull back the remaining amount.

After this experience I did what I should have done in the first place, hunted around for evidence of other people who had had a bad experience with the company. It wasn't hard to find, but then it has to be said that virtually every company in the world has a few unhappy customers who are always louder than the happy ones.

I've also 'spoken' to two other people who have bought parts from them several times and did receive what they actually thought they were buying - not PROMs, but other types of device.

On the basis of our experience, however, I definitely would not recommend them for bipolar PROMs.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	3_Devices.jpg
Views:	176
Size:	49.7 KB
ID:	210287   Click image for larger version

Name:	devices_2nd_batch.jpg
Views:	185
Size:	81.4 KB
ID:	210288  

Last edited by SiriusHardware; 4th Jul 2020 at 3:19 pm.
SiriusHardware is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 4th Jul 2020, 3:24 pm   #2
Lloyd 1985
Octode
 
Lloyd 1985's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Coningsby, Lincolnshire, UK.
Posts: 1,810
Default Re: Littlediode

I’ve bought something from them before, can’t remember what now, but it must have been ok. It’s a bit much that they are selling ‘pulls’, they always seem to be more expensive for components than anyone else too.

Regards
Lloyd
Lloyd 1985 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th Jul 2020, 3:31 pm   #3
SiriusHardware
Dekatron
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Newcastle, Tyne and Wear, UK.
Posts: 4,313
Default Re: Littlediode

Pricing has also been mentioned, but I suppose if they (genuinely) have what you want then it's a seller's market and they can name their price, up to a point.

No-one is forced to buy, but if you take that step you do expect the goods to be as described / as advertised, and you don't expect the company to fight you when you (clearly and reasonably) ask for a full refund.

In the case of the PROMs mentioned above they were in physically brand new looking condition still with their pins splayed, they had never been inserted into anything but a ZIF socket, but the labels were a dead giveaway that they had been programmed. Someone must have programmed and labelled a batch up but then never used them. Littlediode should have had more sense than to buy them in, and certainly should not be trying to re-sell them.

It is highly unlikely, if Littlediode know anything at all about components, that they do not know these devices can not be re-used.

Last edited by SiriusHardware; 4th Jul 2020 at 3:38 pm.
SiriusHardware is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 4th Jul 2020, 3:53 pm   #4
mickm3for
Hexode
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Chatham, Kent, UK.
Posts: 324
Default Re: Littlediode

Hi i have got sevral items from them as a last try when only other option is China seemed expensive but that or fake from China rather pull from working item than fake. Mick
mickm3for is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 4th Jul 2020, 4:07 pm   #5
SiriusHardware
Dekatron
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Newcastle, Tyne and Wear, UK.
Posts: 4,313
Default Re: Littlediode

I actually have no problem with working second hand ICs if they are described as such, even memory ICs such as EPROMs and EEPROMs where they can be erased and re-used.

The specific problem here was that they were a type of device which could not be erased and re-used, and anyone selling them should (and almost certainly does) know that.
SiriusHardware is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 4th Jul 2020, 4:24 pm   #6
AC/HL
Moderator
 
AC/HL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Heckmondwike, West Yorkshire, UK.
Posts: 8,536
Default Re: Littlediode

I used them once, quite a while ago, for a couple of AF124s. They were cheap, genuine, and arrived promptly. Not cheap now of course.
__________________
Bill, BVWS member
AC/HL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th Jul 2020, 5:00 pm   #7
TonyDuell
Dekatron
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Biggin Hill, London, UK.
Posts: 3,816
Default Re: Littlediode

Some years ago I bought some obscure Philips teletext-related ICs from Littlediode to repair a Prestel terminal. They arrived quite quickly and certainly worked properly. They also looked unused. Of course these were not programmable devices (certainly not one-time programmable) so second-hand ones would be have been fine.

Based on that I would use Littlediode again, but possibly not for bipolar PROMs or PALs or something like that.
TonyDuell is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 4th Jul 2020, 5:03 pm   #8
Craig Sawyers
Nonode
 
Craig Sawyers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Oxford, UK.
Posts: 2,588
Default Re: Littlediode

I've used them for JFETs and bipolars, and they have measured correctly and worked fine.
Craig Sawyers is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 4th Jul 2020, 5:26 pm   #9
turretslug
Dekatron
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Surrey, UK.
Posts: 3,379
Default Re: Littlediode

I wonder if this was a case of someone insufficiently technically aware of detail difference making a genuine mistake? After all, my perception of Littlediode was that the reason they cost more than others was that you were less likley to be disappointed/conned. One to watch in future.
turretslug is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 4th Jul 2020, 11:32 pm   #10
SiriusHardware
Dekatron
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Newcastle, Tyne and Wear, UK.
Posts: 4,313
Default Re: Littlediode

When the original three devices arrived and were found to be programmed I suggested to them, more diplomatically than I felt, that as these were very old devices it was possible that they might not know these devices were not reprogrammable.

If the person handling the order really did not know this then that was the point at which the case should have been escalated upwards to someone more savvy.

Instead, their response was to send me three more programmed devices and then, when those were also rejected and all of them were returned with an explanatory cover note they tried to claim that we had only asked for a refund for one, despite all six devices having been returned along with a note saying 'please refund ...'s purchase costs in full'.

I was deeply unimpressed.
SiriusHardware is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 5th Jul 2020, 7:54 am   #11
Craig Sawyers
Nonode
 
Craig Sawyers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Oxford, UK.
Posts: 2,588
Default Re: Littlediode

According to their accounts, they have 8 employees.

Suggest you call again and ask to speak to either Hasem Ebrahim
El-Hamdoon, or Zakia Hasan Mohammad, who are the two directors of Littlediode.

Craig
Craig Sawyers is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 5th Jul 2020, 8:23 am   #12
Electronpusher0
Heptode
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Bognor Regis, West Sussex, UK.
Posts: 943
Default Re: Littlediode

I have used Littlediode with no problems. I was not aware that the devices could have been "pulls" or used but they worked fine.

Peter
Electronpusher0 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 5th Jul 2020, 8:33 am   #13
Craig Sawyers
Nonode
 
Craig Sawyers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Oxford, UK.
Posts: 2,588
Default Re: Littlediode

Their main business model seems to be buying end of life stock in quantity, and then selling it.

Craig
Craig Sawyers is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 5th Jul 2020, 9:37 am   #14
SiriusHardware
Dekatron
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Newcastle, Tyne and Wear, UK.
Posts: 4,313
Default Re: Littlediode

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Sawyers View Post
Suggest you call again...
Craig
Our involvement with them is now over after we had to get Paypal involved. I'm afraid I won't be using them again but I note from comments here and elsewhere that many people have used them without any problems. My own very negative experience and impression should therefore be taken in that context.

They clearly either lack necessary knowledge regarding Bipolar PROMs or do not mind trying it on by attempting to sell devices they know perfectly well are already programmed.

Either way, they've lost my business permanently.
SiriusHardware is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 5th Jul 2020, 9:47 am   #15
camallison
Hexode
 
camallison's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Yarm, North Yorkshire, UK.
Posts: 442
Default Re: Littlediode

Add one more who will not deal with them ever again after a similar experience.

Colin
camallison is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th Jul 2020, 9:57 am   #16
Oldtestgear
Hexode
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Devon, UK.
Posts: 275
Default Re: Littlediode

I bought some Intersil ICL DVM chips from them. Offered as genuine Intersil in the advert but some Chinese clones arrived. When I commented they really did not care OR change their advert. Not a company that I would willingly deal with again.

Phil
Oldtestgear is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th Jul 2020, 1:31 pm   #17
SiriusHardware
Dekatron
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Newcastle, Tyne and Wear, UK.
Posts: 4,313
Default Re: Littlediode

Did the Chinese clones work? Even if they did I agree that it was not on to describe them as 'genuine'. In this internet age, a company with an established name / presence can't get away with behaving this badly indefinitely. Word gets around, as can be seen here.
SiriusHardware is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10th Jul 2020, 11:36 am   #18
McMurdo
Dekatron
 
McMurdo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Staffordshire Moorlands, UK.
Posts: 3,974
Default Re: Littlediode

I've had a few bits off them without much incident apart from a couple of things where I had a phone call or message to say they parts I had ordered would take a while to 'obtain'. Eventually they conceded they couldn't get them and I was refunded.
__________________
Kevin
McMurdo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th Jul 2020, 1:46 pm   #19
SiriusHardware
Dekatron
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Newcastle, Tyne and Wear, UK.
Posts: 4,313
Default Re: Littlediode

Offering things they don't actually have for sale is not a great strategy either.

I think the thing which annoyed me most was not sending out unusable already-programmed PROMs, that was either ignorance or purely cynical, I still can't decide which - it was the way they 'misunderstood' the request for a refund as being only for one item, despite the fact that all of the devices had already been returned with a polite note explaining why and asking for the full purchase costs to be refunded.

Sorry, but if you are a company you only behave that way towards me once. You'll never have another opportunity to do it again.
SiriusHardware is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10th Jul 2020, 6:59 pm   #20
Red to black
Octode
 
Red to black's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, UK.
Posts: 1,994
Default Re: Littlediode

Another one here who cannot really recommend, or use them ever again.

Over a Decade ago the firm whom I used to work for bought about 200 (their entire stock) of the 8038 function generator ICs to keep a legacy product going a little bit longer to use up existing PCBs and to keep some spares, unfortunately more than half didn't work at all! and most of the rest were sub-standard in that the sinewave output part could not be set (purity) anywhere near acceptable for our purposes.

Agreed the 8038 chip never had a very pure sinewave output at all by any stretch but was normally acceptable for this particular firms use, however the situation was so bad with this batch of chips even with the application test circuit a reasonable halfway approximation of a sinewave output was not possible.
I went through testing the entire batch and only about maybe a dozen were within spec. as I had both working examples of Harris and Intersil ICL versions to compare with using the application test circuit.

To be fair they did refund the firm and did not want the U/S parts returning, however this incident did not inspire confidence at all, also the price was shall we say a bit steep too.
While I get the "supply/demand" argument, and these chips were NLA from manufacturers and so did command a bit of a price premium, these ones were obviously from a reject bin. It is more than likely that littlediode were totally innocent here and unaware, however we also need confidence in any given supplier to know what they are supplying.

Ps. forgot to mention the pins on these ICs appeared thinner than normal, this didn't matter to us as they were would normally be soldered into a PCB, I tried soldering them into the test jig in case this affected the test however it made no difference, counterfeit ? maybe?
__________________
I don't suffer from Insanity. I enjoy every minute of it.

Last edited by Red to black; 10th Jul 2020 at 7:07 pm.
Red to black is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 3:09 pm.


All information and advice on this forum is subject to the WARNING AND DISCLAIMER located at https://www.vintage-radio.net/rules.html.
Failure to heed this warning may result in death or serious injury to yourself and/or others.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2002 - 2020, Paul Stenning.