Dimmers - Rip off

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I purchased a few dimmers last week, at Turks. I get a 22% discount at my
local store, which I understand is pretty close to regular wholesale prices
charged to contractors. I purchased three different, Clipsal (450W) dimmers:

* Orange - Fan speed controller type.
* Green - Trailing edge type, for electronic transformer halogens.
* Blue - Leading edge type, for standard incandescent.

All are encased in transparent plastic cases and make extensive use of
surface mount technology. I didn't take note of the country of manufacture,
but:

1) It was probably China.
2) It probably doesn't matter all that much, given the level of robotics
used in SM stuff.
3) Labour costs in manufacture would be minimal.

Anyway, I haven't purchased a dimmer in nearly 20 years, but I'm pretty
certain that they cost me less than $20.00 way back then. Imaine my surprise
when I had to fork out $44.00, $43.00 and $33.00 respectively, for what is
around $2.00 in materials. What gives? Why are these things so damned
expensive? Hell, I bought a 5 disk, carousel CD player on Friday for $59.00
from K-Mart and it is considerably more elaborate than any dimmer.


--
Trevor Wilson
www.rageaudio.com.au



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How do you like paying retail ?
  my price is a little better  .(29 , 27 , 24 )

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**I don't. I'll be chatting to Turks later today. According to the
paperwork, I get a 22% discount. I also paid $105.00 for 2.5mm twin and
earth. How does that compare?


--
Trevor Wilson
www.rageaudio.com.au



--

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you could do a little better , I buy mine in Brisbane from some guys in
Salisbury on Orange grove Rd , best prices on switch there is , lousy
and hungrys are a little cheaper than your price , did you know the buzz
here is Turks are closing branches.

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for the average customer probably ok. I got some the other day, $61.60 incl
GST.

There are retail prices, trade prices and discounts on trade prices.




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Get some more at that price.
Copper has just gone through the roof about a 350% hike
7/067 T&E cost me $78 today up from $55 about 2 weeks ago :-(



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I bought a pallet this morning of two pair twisted , its going up around
4% a week...
  RG6 quad was $97 plus tax two months ago 300 m roll, now it scares me

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some RG6 quad is all steel and aluminium, unless you count the thin
plating on the centre conductor.

Bye.
   Jasen

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On Mon, 5 Jun 2006 09:19:50 +1000, "Trevor Wilson"

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Hi Trevor,

It is a few years since I bought a few halogen lamp dimmers and I
can't recall what I paid. However, I checked the Clipsal trade
catalogue for 2002 and here is the pricing for standard wall mounting
dimmers at the time;

250V, 400VA low voltage, $39.04 trade price + gst each
250V, 400VA incandescent, $37.59 trade price + gst each

Sweep fan controllers were about the same price.

500VA and 600VA units were appreciably higher at over $60 each trade +
gst.

I doubt that their pricing has dropped since then so perhaps you got a
good deal.

Ross H

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"Trevor Wilson"
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** Don't be so sure -  it may well be made in Australia.

The Atco " Possum" series of  electronic 12 volt halogen transformers is and
very nicely too.

http://www.lightshop.com.au/transformers.asp


Altronics sell the 60 watt model for $22.50.




.......   Phil





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**They're the ones I use. Compton package them with a 50 watt lamp + gimbal
mount. I bought mine (the complete package) from Turks for 13 Bucks apiece.
I haven't measured them yet, but I reckon I'm saving at least 15 Watts over
the old magnetic trannies. This is another example of why I reckon that
dimmers are a rip off.


--
Trevor Wilson
www.rageaudio.com.au



--

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We renovated in 2000 and I bitched about the price of dimmers
then, and was told at L&H "the old dimmers caused too many EMI
problems and had to be completely re-designed subject to new
regulations". It seems possible that regulation was used as an
excuse, because they couldn't just use the cheapo imports they'd
been palming off onto us and had to actually do some *work* for
a living (by designing a quality product) so they wanted to get
their money back - which they've certainly now done, and then
some :-).

From a point of complete ignorance about what standards and
regulation actually apply, in this case it would seem best if
Australia had just adopted whatever most stringent standards
apply in a large global market - maybe Europe? - and then the
local suppliers wouldn't have to get off their butts, except
perhaps for packaging reasons. Either way, it's clear that
inappropriate regulation is often a reason, or an excuse, for
raising prices beyond what's justifiable.

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@news.optusnet.com.au:

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The Australian EMC standards are based on CISPR and IEC standards and are
generally exactly the same technical limits as EU standards, with a
different and more anal compliance regime, that's all.

The R&D for a compliant dimmer I don't think will be difficult at all. I
don't know if the modern ones are still phase controlled. I designed a
filter addition to a 12kW single phase SCR a few years back, and got it to
pass Class B so it ain't hard.

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In other words, the regulation *was* just a pretext. Figures.

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22% off what?  At the prices quoted that is 22% off retail PLUS  appx 10%

Hint: Don't buy from the big wholesalers, Turks TLE etc.
Try Gemcell group.



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Yes that surely is a rip-off.  If you look on the UK Farnell website, the
cheapest 400W ones cost £6.31 + 17.5% VAT, delivery would be free in the UK
so the total would be about AU$18.56, and I'm sure there are cheaper places
than Farnell.  It's a pity that the Australian Farnell doesn't stock any.
I bet that the safety / EMC standards in Australia are not more difficult
to meet, though probably different.  It is possible that the Australian
ones are more tolerant of lightning, though I doubt that because they seem
to fail without much provocation.  The screw holes are probably in
different places on the UK ones.

Chris


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On Mon, 05 Jun 2006 22:34:57 +0100, Chris Jones

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The Farnell units are for UK style wall boxes so they wouldn't fit
directly into ours. The range of dimmers they have are shown here
http://cpc.farnell.com/jsp/endecaSearch/searchPage2.jsp?Ntt=lamp+dimmer&Nty=1&N41%1&Ntk=gensearch

(watch for line wrap)

You will notice that while some units are quite cheap the 375W low
voltage units are at more expensive than ours. ie. UKP31.54 = AUD79.23
currently.

Also, CPC Farnell in the UK are quite happy to ship at very reasonable
rates to Australia if you want anything from them. I recently bought
some items from them and their service was excellent.

Ross H

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http://cpc.farnell.com/jsp/endecaSearch/searchPage2.jsp?Ntt=lamp+dimmer&Nty=1&N41%1&Ntk=gensearch
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A few years ago the UK branch used to refuse to deliver things to my
Australian address which were also available in their Australian catalogue.
(I was trying to get some expensive surface mount ICs from Farnell UK
because it was about half the price.)  I had to get someone in the UK to
buy the parts instead.

Chris

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http://cpc.farnell.com/jsp/endecaSearch/searchPage2.jsp?Ntt=lamp+dimmer&Nty=1&N41%1&Ntk=gensearch
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I was after some $2 IGBT's listed in their catalogue, they admitted that
no, they didn't really keep them in stock even though they said they
did and yes they could get them if I wanted to pay an extra $40 "freight
surcharge" and then added they were going to buy them off "Mouser in the
States".

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SNIP
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CPC (Combined Precision Components) is a separate division of Farnell
Premier and they seem to operate as a separate entity from Farnell
On-line.

The parts I ordered came in a padded envelope and each item was in its
own sealed bag at an all up cost of UKP22.20 including the freight
charge of UKP7.50. At this rate they don't seem to be trying to make a
profit on the post and packaging side of the sale.

I can't say if they have the same catalogue of items as FArnell but I
would certainly give them a try if you want something you see in the
Farnell product range. It can't hurt to send them an email and ask for
pricing.

Ross H

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