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Old 7th Sep 2023, 5:34 pm   #1
high_vacuum_house
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Default Mistakes made when ordering components !!

Good afternoon,
Here’s one which may touch a chord with a few, especially those who order components.

I ordered some HV capacitors for an oscilloscope and required 5 of the same value.

I found they were delivered today and find that I now have 25 of them. Reading more closely, I should have spotted that they were in multiples of 25 and therefore accidentally ordered 5 X 5 packs!

I did a similar thing years ago on EBay where I wanted some big standard 5mm red LED’s and bought a big lot from China and was surprised when a pillowcase size package arrived with several thousand loose LED’s inside. They were remarkably cheap per device, which is why I originally didn’t spot the mistake, but I misinterpreted a colon in the description meaning that I had enough LED’s to start a small factory!!

Another one at work was I designed a jig to endurance test a lock box and needed a length of pneumatic tubing to connect an air cylinder to a valve. The requisition process form was not brilliant and could easily cause confusion and I got a call from our purchasing department on why I needed several kilometres of tubing! They had converted millimetres to meters as the quantity required!!

Anyone else to confess to ordering clangers!!
Christopher Capener
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Old 7th Sep 2023, 5:52 pm   #2
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Default Re: Mistakes made when ordering components !!

In the very early 80s while I was still at uni I made a nice income from designing electronic instruments for the agricultural industry using the then novel microprocessor.

One piece of stuff used the RCA COSMAC 1802 chip for its low power consumption.

When I handed my design over to the client everything seemed well at first, then I got a fax (remember them?) from the client who had ordered up the parts to begin production, and was horrified by the cost of the Chipset


"this damned microprocessor chip alone costs more than we can sell the finished product for!!!"

Turned out that their buyer had got a RCA pricelist and was looking at the prices for the aerospace and military grade versions of the chip rather than the consumer version.

And he was also using the dollar price back when the exchange rate to Sterling was well better than 2:1

I got a few bottles of single malt out of that little debacle.
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Old 7th Sep 2023, 5:55 pm   #3
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Default Re: Mistakes made when ordering components !!

Not a “component” but as the engineer in charge of deploying some kit in the ocean depths, I was responsible for buying lifting equipment for use in the exercise. The kit didn’t come back so the ships bosun didn’t want to stand the loss. Fresh from a safe lifting course where factor of safety of 3 was drummed into us, and knowing the kit was about one tonne, I requisitioned 3 tonne rated shackles. The supplier came back “ no stock” so next size up was 10 tonne rated and so this was requisitioned. Trouble was that the buyer knew I was an electronics guy and thought I was ignorant on lifting factors of safety. He changed the order to 30 tonne rated shackles. They turned up on board, taking 2 men to lift and the crew fell about laughing, having had their expectations about electronics bods confirmed.
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Old 7th Sep 2023, 6:42 pm   #4
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Default Re: Mistakes made when ordering components !!

Just to put the cherry on top with this capacitor order, I thought they physically looked a tad small for 16nF at 3KV. The seller has instead sent 16pF 3KV capacitors. Least I didn’t get that bit wrong!!

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Old 7th Sep 2023, 9:49 pm   #5
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Default Re: Mistakes made when ordering components !!

Order for LR44 cells: wanted 10 to put into stock, ended up with 10 cards of 10 cells each.

They came in handy for the electronic caliper thingie which eats LR44 cells for breakfast.
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Old 7th Sep 2023, 9:59 pm   #6
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Default Re: Mistakes made when ordering components !!

For items that are sold as multiple items in a pack, CPC do give you a reminder about how many individual items a pack contains, and how many individual items of that type you are buying. This is on the page where you review your on-line orders before paying.
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Old 7th Sep 2023, 11:18 pm   #7
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Default Re: Mistakes made when ordering components !!

Oh yes........here are but two



Our stores department are always mucking about with item codes and unit of issue etc. I remember once I (thought)ordered two boxes of woodscrews, only to receive two woodscrews! The crazy thing was some wood screws came as UOI "each"(so order, say 200 for a box) and others came UOI per box, it was crazy.

Another time I intended to order(ironically) a roll of 200 stores returns labels, and , yes you have guessed it, a "santa sack" of 200 rolls of labels duly arrived. Fortunately though, I had a label for the inevitable return of the remaining 199 rolls.
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Old 8th Sep 2023, 12:36 am   #8
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Default Re: Mistakes made when ordering components !!

Someone thought that the part number on a box of stores requests was for a box of stores requests (80 column cards with a flysheet for writing part number, quantity, billing account.)

So when he needed some, he filled in a stores request to get a box. You can guess the rest.

My favourite stores jest for which I do claim originality was when someone ahead at the counter had given the stores guy a request slip and the guy had been gone about a quater of an hour, I said there must have been an error and he's hit the part number of the holy grail.

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Old 8th Sep 2023, 1:18 am   #9
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Default Re: Mistakes made when ordering components !!

Guilty

Purchased not that long ago what I thought was 1000 1N4148 diodes only to receive a reel of 10,000 - an extra 0 had somehow snuck in to the order form so now have more than a enough to last until I fall off my perch

Maybe lucky, as that reel ended up costing less than what I had originally intended to order.

Second one (quite a while ago) was a bag of SMD Varicaps which didn't arrive in the normal delivery time so listed it with the supplier as lost, only to receive two deliveries totaling 500 of them - like others, misread the order details thinking I was getting 25 but they were in lots of 250 pieces per order (I've used 4 of them so far).
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Old 8th Sep 2023, 9:45 am   #10
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Default Re: Mistakes made when ordering components !!

My best was not electronically related, but doing some chemical work and wanted 500 m/l of H2SO4. I had ticked the box for 500 Litres - fortunately someone telephoned and asked if I was sure...
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Old 8th Sep 2023, 12:34 pm   #11
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Default Re: Mistakes made when ordering components !!

Then again, ordering stuff from stores when you don't appreciate what it is:

Engineer on afternoon shift decides he needs a compressed air nozzle thingie & duly orders & receives same.

Except said nozzle thingie contains an antistatic radioactive source.

Said nozzle thingie gets put into a drawer in our stores.

Some time later, a somewhat concerned H&S chappie comes knocking on the workshop door saying "Do you know anything about this?".

Fortunately I did, dug it out of said drawer & H&S chappie went away happy.

I forget what was in it, but it's quite hot from what little I recall after 45 years.

However some research has revealed it may be Po-210.

Now that's what I call hot.
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Old 8th Sep 2023, 12:59 pm   #12
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Default Re: Mistakes made when ordering components !!

The only mistakes for me have been when trusting the picture on the website (or in days gone by, the catalogue) when I didn't know a part number. Not useful. For example ordering a panel fuseholder and only getting the body, the carrier being extra..and usually in packs of 100.

I do remember when RS went over to its 'SSM' system rather than 'pack size'. This caused my boss much confusion and we were all left wondering why they'd changed the system when the difference between 'each' and 'pack' seems clear to all. RS did eventually put a paragraph in the front of the catalogue to explain how it was supposed to work. ('standard supply multiple').
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Old 8th Sep 2023, 1:01 pm   #13
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Default Re: Mistakes made when ordering components !!

Needing a common or garden CMOS 4006 logic chip, I accidentally ordered the Motorola (MC1...) prefixed version of it, which turned out to be a different type of logic IC altogether. The thing is, I knew this about Motorola logic ICs... 30-40 years ago, but had forgotten all about it since then.
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Old 8th Sep 2023, 6:59 pm   #14
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Default Re: Mistakes made when ordering components !!

In the 1980's, we had an office visit to the BT research establishment at Martlesham to see their new developments. On arrival in the foyer, the first thing we were shown was a demonstration of their interactive "Prestel" service. We were shown how, amongst other things, it could be used for purchasing goods. It was explained that the step of completing a purchase had been disabled on the demo apparatus. This was a consequence of one of their earlier demonstrators having inadvertently completed a purchase order during his demonstration, resulting in the unintended delivery of several cases of expensive fine wines at their goods inwards.
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Old 8th Sep 2023, 7:09 pm   #15
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Default Re: Mistakes made when ordering components !!

I tend to use 1N4007s for everything these days after CPC supplied me 100 packs of 10 for the price of one, their slip-up...
Nowadays their ordering website tends to say 'note, these are supplied in packets of 10' presumably to try and reduce this sort of error. Wouldn't say no to a few bottles of expensive plonk though!

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Old 8th Sep 2023, 7:17 pm   #16
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Default Re: Mistakes made when ordering components !!

Yes I've ordered multipacks by accident , but that never really caused a problem.
What did was ordering 6.8ohm resistors instead of 6.8k.
Packet was just marked "6.8" and I didn't notice it, fitted two to an amplfier I was repairing and introduced a real pain of an oscillation fault which caused much agrivation until I noticed the mistake.

I now double check components now before fitting.
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Old 8th Sep 2023, 8:44 pm   #17
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Default Re: Mistakes made when ordering components !!

Fond memories of a colleague at PO Telecoms who ordered 10m of each of 10 colours of pvc-covered cable from the "Ratebook" for lashup work in the lab. A few months later he was shocked to see a low-loader unloading 10 man-sized reels of cable (each 10km) onto the central-London office forecourt. The driver refused to accept an instant return, so they stayed there for quite a while as a reminder to double check quantities, until "Factories Division" took pity and collected them.
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Old 8th Sep 2023, 9:21 pm   #18
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Default Re: Mistakes made when ordering components !!

I had a new job when 1.4MB 3.5" floppies were the latest thing and used by some HP test gear. A box of 10 would normally cost £10-£15. Hidden in the back of a cupboard were 3 cartons each containing 10 boxes... You can see where this is going, my predecessor had thought he'd ordered 30 discs, but had accidentally ordered 300!
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Old 8th Sep 2023, 9:25 pm   #19
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Default Re: Mistakes made when ordering components !!

Much as above for several others but it cost my customer the extra and I wasn't going to say anything as it wasn't really my fault in my opinion. Basically I was hired to build a copy of an item from somewhere like DIYaudio.com and the customer provided me with a full parts list of RS numbers ie "5 x 123-7890", it was quite a long list.

I duly ordered the parts on the list I'd been handed verbatim and found when they arrived that some were in such SSM multiples that where say 5 x 100uF 25V caps were required I actually received 5 packs of 25 caps per pack.... out of a list of maybe 100 components around 10 instances of the above happened! It only added around £30-40 to a bill of say £650 so I concluded it was best not to mention it.... This particular customer seemed the type who would argue black was white if it saved him £10 and I didn't need the hassle of a drawn out argument as to whose fault the miss-ordering was.
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Old 8th Sep 2023, 9:27 pm   #20
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Default Re: Mistakes made when ordering components !!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrStrangelove View Post

They came in handy for the electronic caliper thingie which eats LR44 cells for breakfast.
Maybe try the Silver Oxide version, should last 30 - 100% longer. 1.5v vs 1.55v


John.

PS, I have a TESA calipers, Carboot find not working for £2. Only needed a battery. This was 7 years since. I have only had to put another battery in. I would guess it averages 7 measurements a week.

John.
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