Developing Perspectives - May 2012

Post Reply
User avatar
CeaSaR
Posts: 1691
Joined: Sat Nov 08, 2003 1:01 am
Location: Phoenixville, PA USA
Contact:

Developing Perspectives - May 2012

Post by CeaSaR » Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:52 pm

I have to admit, this is one editorial that really hits home with me. I have seen, over the past
decade or so, a real decline in the quality of consumer goods, especially that of the lesser price
category. It seems to me that the so-called engineering that goes into these products is run
right on the ragged edge of the safe operating boundaries. Take, for example, several video
products. I bought a Sanyo ?21"? TV for the bedroom because the GoodWill set was on it's way
out. Nice TV, crisp and clear, enough audio power to be heard during it's prescribed time slot.
About a year and a half after I bought it, it started to flake out and go Black and White. After
about a month it stayed that way. One of these days I'll take it apart and look at the board. That
was the last CRT TV I bought new. Next is the Westinghouse Computer monitor I bought at BestBuy.
After about three years, the backlight PS went. The caps were shot. They are awaiting order and
replacement. Then there is the no-name portable DVD player that came from Walmart about 6 years
ago. Lasted about 4 months. Won't recognize any disc. The Toshiba DVD player from around that
time did the same thing.

As for audio, the surround system won't respond to the remote. That's on the list to be looked at.
Then there's the plethora of "cheap" MP3 players that my sons have. Most have the same problem -
the headphone jack only works sometimes. I have found that the surface mount jacks have bad or
cracked solder joints. A bit of heat and some real solder (NOT lead free) fixes them for a while. These
jacks are subject to stresses that actually require through-hole parts, just for the extra mechanical
strength. God, how many Walkman type units from the 80's had jack problems? Not many that I know
of. The RadioShack Optimus 101 CD changer that always had trouble reading CDs even after going to
their repair shop. Tossed that thing when I found a Pioneer 101 CD changer (which was the exact same
model the Optimus was, just in it's true form) and that one works great. Now the 30+ year old stereo
needs some attention, but that's been good for almost all it's service life.

Computers, the PS of my early 2000's HP destroyed a bunch of caps - that was that bad batch that
was going around back then. Even 1 on the mobo was bad. And the replacement fan I got for another
one didn't last long at all.

I just replaced my 30-yr old microwave. I shudder to think of how long the new one will last.

Non-electronics stuff: a pair of shoes I bought less than 3 months ago decided they were going to
separate themselves from their soles. The last pair I bought, exact same brand and model lasted about
a year of hard use. Same thing with the last pair of workboots I bought - soles separated from the uppers.

What a sad state of affairs when you can't trust manufacturers anymore. Even the so-called big names
have had their bouts with poor quality. It makes one wonder if the "breakdown" period is built into the
business model.

</rant off>

Anyway, what is "your" take on "today's" consumer goods and the quality thereof?
All replies welcome.

CeaSaR
Hey, what do I know?

Robert Reed
Posts: 2276
Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2004 1:01 am
Location: ASHTABULA,OHIO
Contact:

Re: Developing Perspectives - May 2012

Post by Robert Reed » Tue May 01, 2012 9:15 pm

Ditto here
I am in the process of building a new home. All of our appliances will stay with the sale of this home. Everything is between 12 and 25 years old - and hums away like the day they were purchased. Hitachi TV is 18 yrs. old and still performs well other than two 50 cent caps in the horizontal that I replaced several yrs. ago.
In the near future we will start shopping for new appliances for our new home and from the reports I am getting almost everything out there is pure crap with a life expectancy of <5 yrs. What has happened in the last 20 yrs. to cause such a severe drop in quality? The worst part is I am a Mr. Fixit type guy and after a lifetime of honing my skills, there is nothing that is fixable anymore :sad:

User avatar
CeaSaR
Posts: 1691
Joined: Sat Nov 08, 2003 1:01 am
Location: Phoenixville, PA USA
Contact:

Re: Developing Perspectives - May 2012

Post by CeaSaR » Wed May 02, 2012 12:45 pm

Seems to me that the only fixing one will be able to do is a mass reflow of the solder
on a board! With all the chip style caps and resistors, there is no real way to easily
tell where a problem might be. You would need a serious workshop just to open up
an appliance. And that's another thing, you'd almost need an electron microscope
just to inspect this stuff. Miniaturization is a wonderful thing, but there is a point
where the diminishing return limit will be hit, and I think we are at that door.

CeaSaR
Hey, what do I know?

Robert Reed
Posts: 2276
Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2004 1:01 am
Location: ASHTABULA,OHIO
Contact:

Re: Developing Perspectives - May 2012

Post by Robert Reed » Wed May 02, 2012 6:17 pm

On that note, the robotic component pickers and placers aren't only for production speed anymore. It's just not humanly possible for their assemblers to place them. Oh, for the good old days of thru hole!!

User avatar
CeaSaR
Posts: 1691
Joined: Sat Nov 08, 2003 1:01 am
Location: Phoenixville, PA USA
Contact:

Re: Developing Perspectives - May 2012

Post by CeaSaR » Tue May 08, 2012 9:36 pm

Oh, we can place them, just nowhere near as fast or as accurate. :/

CeaSaR
Hey, what do I know?

Robert Reed
Posts: 2276
Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2004 1:01 am
Location: ASHTABULA,OHIO
Contact:

Re: Developing Perspectives - May 2012

Post by Robert Reed » Wed May 09, 2012 7:07 pm

Place them?
I can't even see them! :smile:

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests