Don't ever buy Alligator cables from MPJA

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Paulo540, Dec 24, 2009.

  1. Paulo540

    Thread Starter Member

    Nov 23, 2009
    188
    0
    I love Marlin P Jones, dont get me wrong, but as tantalizing as their prices are on these cable sets, don't fall for it.

    If you have built test circuits with these and are wondering why it doesn't work, or have melted the ends on a load array, then you're not alone.

    Basically, they are made from 3,000 gauge stranded wire but the worst part is that said nanoconductors aren't even soldered to the clip!

    "Well, then they must be attached with a screw then right?" you ask... Wrong!

    No, pull back the boot and you'll see the angel hair is wrapped, maybe half around the end of the clip.

    So, if any of you have bought these, pull back that boot and take a looksee.

    I actually discovered this some time ago at my previous job but managed to block it from memory until I was visiting their site today. Basically, I cut new wires and soldered them to the clips and the magic commenced.
     
  2. SgtWookie

    Expert

    Jul 17, 2007
    22,182
    1,728
    You should let them know about what you found.
     
  3. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,764
    2,534
    I didn't think of it, but Wookie's right. They are the middle men, they probably don't know about quality issues unless someone tells them.
     
  4. SgtWookie

    Expert

    Jul 17, 2007
    22,182
    1,728
    I've ordered from MPJA many times, and have yet to be disappointed in any regards as to my orders.

    It is quite possible that the manufacturer supplying that item to MPJA has dropped the quality level on that product.

    I'm sure that if you report the shoddy goods to them, that they will take appropriate actions to correct the situation. I would be very disappointed to hear otherwise.
     
  5. VoodooMojo

    Active Member

    Nov 28, 2009
    503
    53
    I know the set you are talking about! Just stretch them a bit and you can hear the 3000 ga wire tearing apart inside the insulation!
    Northern Tools and Harbor Freight sell the same sets.

    I find it hard to speak up for Radio Shack (certainly in comparison to mpja) but in this case, for the price, they provide the finest jumper lead sets. a couple three bucks for a set of ten, 14" leads, will get you a quality, heavy duty (by comparison) set of soldered, strain-relieved, multi coloured leads in a handy dandy reusable plastic pouch with a bio-degradeable cardboard flap on top.

    http://www.radioshack.com/family/index.jsp?categoryId=2032304
     
  6. lmartinez

    Active Member

    Mar 8, 2009
    224
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    As a customer, you should notify them of your findings. It is part of a good ethical thing to do.
     
  7. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
    15,815
    282
    It's not just Marlon P. One standard test I have always had for alligator clip cables is to grasp both clips and pop the cable tight a couple of times. Out of anybody's bag of 10, at least 2 will fail and have to be resoldered and crimped.

    Never saw any with such weenie conductors, though.
     
  8. eblc1388

    Senior Member

    Nov 28, 2008
    1,542
    102
    This is old news.

    Manufacturers have been doing that for at least ten years.

    One should pull pack the plastic boot and solder the cable to the clip the moment it arrives. It never hurts to check what one got as it matters a lot in subsequent usage.
     
  9. Paulo540

    Thread Starter Member

    Nov 23, 2009
    188
    0
    I did actually call them after noticing it, they offered to exchange them but I was like no thanks, since it wasn't the first time it had happened. Plus we had already modified them.

    As one poster mentioned, radio shack ones aren't too shabby, I've been using mine for years.

    I was mainly posting to warn people who have bought them or considering buying them.

    I doubt anything will change since these things are so cheap and most people that buy them barely use them. I do love MPJA and will continue to buy from them, just not alligator clips, lol
     
  10. lmartinez

    Active Member

    Mar 8, 2009
    224
    6
    As an AMERICAN, you have a duty to help the economy... There is a thing call "A better business bureau."
     
  11. maxpower097

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2009
    795
    388
    Made in China really means nothing. It all depends on the manufacturer and the specs set forth by the buyer. You can get great stuff or total crap from anywhere.
     
  12. Paulo540

    Thread Starter Member

    Nov 23, 2009
    188
    0
    True, but if people aren't savvy enough to be an active member of this forum, then they can get stuck with crappy cables.

    And believe me, if spending money is the ultimate form of patriotism, then I've hit over-unity!
     
  13. lmartinez

    Active Member

    Mar 8, 2009
    224
    6
    We all pay our dues to the big guy, right! So why not assist the big guy to enforced the laws and regulations we currently have established within our society. What they do not know will never be corrected.......:cool:
     
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