Jumat, 09 April 2010

Good, and not so good design, Plastic Clip & Microphone Jack

I've thought that after posting mainly DIY audio stuff, its time again to look at design things. First, a 'sorry' microfone jack for my son's electric guitar and second a deceptively simple clip.

I've bought these poor jacks to replace low quality cable that comes with the guitar. Just rush to nearest small electronic shop around the corner & found very low quality jack, asked for another but to no avail :(, My son just want to play (read: make noises..) so I grabbed a pair knowing I can fix them temporarily.

So whats wrong with these sorry jacks? See pic below, the paired one. Built is very poor, thin and flimsy solder prongs, cable grip that's too short to fully clamp my light brown Canare mic cable.

But the biggest problem is that the ground shank (negative) does not stay fixed to the threaded body, in fact you can easily turn the shank relative to the body. Now that's a good design or what ?. I can imagine my son will make more noises - pops and cracks all the time due to poor ground contacts...

The temporary fix?, I've soldered the prong to the body - so that's solved. The Canare's sounds cleaner and more full bodied against noisy giveaway cable :)..

Since I know this is a temp-fix, I bought another pair, a much better build and sturdier thicker metals and you can not turns any of the shanks. The clamp just can grip the cable nicely with slight overlap. Just a week ago or so the sorry jacks gave up, so 10 minutes jobs with this new jacks and my son can make more noises...sigh..

What I don't understand is why on earth you make things so badly? You'll do badly on the market, you've spent at least the same amount of money and effort to produce them and what a waste of resources? Think about the shiny metal plating process that pollutes river?. Beats me..that's why we need industrial standards, in our case SNI-short for Standar Nasional Indonesia

Now to the good executed design..a simple plastic clip shown below. What are they used for? It's used originally for bread plastic wrapping, yes to tighten the 'bag'. I always hate the green tapes - while they are a breeze to apply for the store clerk but not to us the user.

Now somebody very smart have made both the store clerk and us happier. this clip is very easy to apply and to detach. All plastic design philosophies are used..in short, one piece, integrate all functions in one single part.

Lets see, there is a hinge, a toothed ribs for better grip, there is a lock that function very well, easy to lock, not easy to open unintentionally but easy to unlock ..now..this locking things sound familiar to me? an echo of my past..yes it is one of the design requirement for an aircraft door - even after crashing !...how about that!.. for a simple plastic clip?

None of  any car doors in the world even come close to this clip! Now don't get me started on public transport doors in Indonesia ha ha....(this one is unique..you can throw garbage and yourself in and out the door while driving....)

And the best part of this 'simple' clip is...see for yourself....:), my 4 thumbs up for the clip designer