Can people stop making electronics out of black plastic?

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BABAR

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Just got my Jolly Logic AltimeterTwo made by @John Beans , and I already have my Estes AstroCam and a number of other 808 cameras.

is Black Plastic so much less expensive then fluorescent red or yellow or pink or orange? Some of these things are (intentionally, since they are supposed to go on small rockets) tiny. Is it that much to ask that they make them in striking colors so if you drop them they don’t just disappear from sight?

just wondering......
 

Bat-mite

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No, they can't stop. It is an addiction with manufacturers.

Kidding aside, sounds like a question that should go directly to the manufacturers. I assume black is sort of the industry standard. Maybe nobody ever thought of doing it differently.
 

KennB

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Use some Kevlar string to tie a small, bright streamer to it.
It may help it survive if it becomes detached in flight, too.
 

cerving

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It's kind of funny that you almost never see anything 3D-printed in black, and it does seem that everything that's injection molded is black.
 

rharshberger

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Manufacturing plastics iirc, need to be specifically formulated per color to maintain consistent characteristics to be used in the various blow and injection molding machines. We have a couple of local injection molding companies and again iirc one of them told once that to change the color of a case from one color to another required testing the new color to verify it was identical to another color mechanically, chemically, impact resistance, all that stuff.
 

Dustin Lobner

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Yes, color change affects properties with injection molding (speaking as a Materials Engineer that works with injection molding). It also affects how the material processes through the molding machine, so machine settings that work with blue might not work with black. And then if you get it to mold right, the properties might not be the same.

Black works with most color schemes, so people start there.
 

Arpak

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It's kind of funny that you almost never see anything 3D-printed in black, and it does seem that everything that's injection molded is black.
My first spool was black, I'll tell you watching it print was pretty boring with a black build plate too.
 

BEC

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It's not black, at least not opaque black....or you wouldn't be able to see whether it was charging or not when you plug it in to do so....
 

rklapp

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Henry Ford said you could order any Model A but they all came in black because that color dried that fastest on his new assembly line.
 

Aslansmonkey

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Can I second this notion that black is a poor color choice? I had my Jolly Logic Altimeter 3 fall out of a rocket last week. That's my fault for not securing it. But we have been unable to find it in no small part because of the color.

My next one (once they become available again) will be painted some fluorescent color and have a streamer attached.
 

mjennings

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I'll second the pigment having effects on properties. In college I ran the rapid prototype machine, what we now call a 3d printer. And black was clearly weaker than other colors. Think we had issues with yellow fusing together but it was 20 years ago. LEGO bricks have different strengths, while it appears to have been improved reddish brown bricks are well know to be easily breakable.
 

ksaves2

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The other disadvantage of black is it absorbs any sun on it and overheats the electronics.
The way to look at that is keep the device in a storage box or inside a rocket so it is out of the sun. Is only subjected to indirect heating then. Once the rocket is down, well if deployment/recovery is successful, can get the device out of the sun. I haven't had any problem with the Jolly Logic chute release. They're kinda fun to get a "pseudo" dual deploy out of a single break point deploy rocket.

Kurt
 

dhbarr

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The way to look at that is keep the device in a storage box or inside a rocket so it is out of the sun. Is only subjected to indirect heating then. Once the rocket is down, well if deployment/recovery is successful, can get the device out of the sun. I haven't had any problem with the Jolly Logic chute release. They're kinda fun to get a "pseudo" dual deploy out of a single break point deploy rocket.
I like to think of it as deploy-and-a-half 🙃
 

cerving

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I like to think of it as deploy-and-a-half 🙃
As long as the rubber band holds up to the ejection and getting thrashed around on the way down. :) BTW, that's not a dig on the JLCR, it's true of any chute-binding device.
 

dhbarr

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As long as the rubber band holds up to the ejection and getting thrashed around on the way down. :) BTW, that's not a dig on the JLCR, it's true of any chute-binding device.
+1, single break with a bound chute is so, so easy as long as you practice your homework.
 

rklapp

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My black GoPro8 will shut down after an hour in the sun but not my silver GoPro3. I suspect the 8 was a flawed product because I've read many complaints online about the 8 overheating when used as a dashcam. Their solution was to not use it in the sun. I guess that's why it was so cheap at Costco. I have little tiki umbrellas to tape to the side of the black camera when it starts to overheat.

I put yellow tape on my Astrocam in case it falls out but I've lost a yellow Mosquito and Swift in the grass.
 

dr wogz

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I'll 2nd the Lego colour bits breaking (Brown is the worst!) And white bricks will yellow after a while..

I'll also add that we now only use black ABS & Red PLA in our 3D printer. We found that, as we order rolls, we would change the colour, and noticed that the printer / slicer settings had to be tweaked ever-so-slightly. So, now all 3D parts are either red or black..
 

manixFan

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Even with a 3D printer different color filaments from the same vendor can have different properties. Pigments are a chemical after all and it makes sense that they could interact with the material/mechanical properties of the resin.


Tony
 

Arpak

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I've read many complaints online about the 8 overheating when used as a dashcam.
I never understood the appeal of using a GoPro as a dashcam, they cost upwards of 400 bucks, aren't designed to run 24/7, can't do impact detection, and now the sun issue.

I picked up a front back dashcam from thinkware for 180 bucks and it can do impact detection, wireless file access, continuous recording, parking recording, and it's actually designed to run in a hot Texas car.

Although come to think of it, it's also made with black plastic 🤔
 

jonnywanabe

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Another thing to consider is material contamination. The company I work for does a lot of injection molding and the bright colors are difficult for several reasons, many of which have been noted above. One of the big ones is color contamination. If a speck of something gets in a batch of black material, you don't see it. But get one tiny pellet of a dark material in a batch of yellow and you will have many parts ruined.

Color variation between batches is also a issue. Bright colors are almost never 100% identical from run to run. But black nearly always is.

The black color concentrate we use is by far cheaper than any of the colored materials.

Black is just easier to produce consistently and at the lowest cost. At least it is in our industry. YMMV.
 

RobertH3

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Like like like - the JLCR is much too expensive to disappear in the grass. FL ORANGE PLS : )
 

BABAR

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Okay, @Angie @Peartree @cwbullet and any other admin or moderators out there

Since we have a vendor section where they post to us, can we make this a two way street and forward this post to all the electronics vendors? TRF members may not be a big market for LPR kit makers, but I suspect while we may not be a huge market for electronics, our opinions likely are more REFLECTIVE of the general electronics consumers.
 

mjennings

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So that's why a bunch of ET pieces broke when I knocked over my Space Shuttle Adventure...
Likely, Lego dose classify the oranges with brown so it is likely that the chemical formula is similar.
 

kenstarr

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20210515_132605.jpg

Here's some color contamination in a squatty potty. They are molded just down the street from me. Got a free sample while doing electrical work there.
Regarding my electrical tools, as black is the most popular color except for my insulated tools... I have red or yellow tape on about everything else to make it harder to loose it an attic or other dark space
 

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