Towards a goal of cutting out third world manufacture

I tend to be quite cagey about what I say about our sourcing practices because I don’t want to be accused of being isolationist. I’m definitely not, and I’m not the type to splash an American flag over our products with “proudly made in America” - even though the cables are 100% assembled here in Florida. I think labels like this are somewhat deceitful anyway because your source components usually come from elsewhere. Legally I can slap this label on anything (you only have to declare the source where final assembly was carried out) but it still feels wrong.

A small business like us can’t afford to work with fair trade associations and I don’t think these exist for electronics at any rate, nor does big business exactly adhere to such practices.

I am personally, morally opposed to the hiring practices and quality control practices of countries that most electrical components come from. I’m opposed to western nations and big businesses exploiting third world manufacture. So if we can cut out on the use of parts from these countries and still keep costs affordable we’ll do that. Sometimes you basically have no option, and a lot of our end components like SCART plugs are made in - in that case Taiwan. But when it comes to the crunch, if I can afford to source from a country in the EU with strict employee rights laws and strict manufacturing standards, if the option exists to source from there, I will do so. That is why our new coax cable comes from Italy, because we hit on that option as soon as I found out that Italy actually has a strong history of cable manufacturing, a lot of cable plants around Milan and most importantly - the cabling is actually affordable vs most American solutions for custom cable. In other words, we were quoted a much better price for the same coax grade that one American manufacturer offered, to the point we could stay at our pricing points.

We don’t currently have our business name on this cable even though it was custom manufactured for us. We needed it ASAP and wanted to thoroughly test it, with the option to sell it on if it wasn’t 100% suitable.

Our Italian manufacturer has also offered us high grade metal SCART plugs but these are costly, I would like to gauge interest - these would be an additional $4 on the cost of each cable as an option. If interested please let me know. Our previous option used metal plating on what was already a plastic case and these are currently out of stock.

We also decided to manufacture our Snes plugs ourselves after seeing the quality trend downwards over the years to the point we received a couple of returns for flattened pins - there is low quality control in China *especially for console connectors* (non consumer grade plugs on the other hand usually give you better options within China) and the suppliers were making the pins thinner and thinner to save on metal. We’re currently using very similar connector pins to those used in the official Snes cables. They aren’t too thin, they won’t easily bend or break and don’t have too tight a grip to potentially wear out the pcb in the snes. 


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