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Made by Monkeys

Camcorder Needs a Good Smack

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Nancy Golden
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Platinum
Re: tried and true repair technique
Nancy Golden   8/10/2012 12:08:50 PM
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Percussive repair using my troubleshooting hammer - I like it!

Nancy Golden
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Re: Its not the Engineering as much as it IS the Market
Nancy Golden   8/10/2012 12:11:11 PM
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I agree Ann, and it is a shame. A telling point is that our teenage kids do not expect longevity in products - for them, throw-away is the norm and they are the next generation...

Ann R. Thryft
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Blogger
Re: Its not the Engineering as much as it IS the Market
Ann R. Thryft   8/10/2012 12:27:35 PM
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Nancy, I'm with you on that thought. Some of them get it and see the need for recycling, etc., but I think the whole concept of throwaway products is what they're used to, so it's a fish-in-water thing.

Droid
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Platinum
A smack fixed my Dell Power Supply
Droid   8/10/2012 4:37:14 PM
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What can I say - A few months back the power supply for my Dell laptop died. Like any good DIY fixer, I gave it a few small bumps and noticed the little green light flicker.  Seeing some hope, I gave it a good forceful smack - and the thing came back to life.  Its still going.  

Sometime smacking can work for computers also.   I know a couple people at work who have used the smacking technique - or perhaps more accurately described as the pick-it-up-and-slam-it-down technique.  While this did not actually "fix" the computer, it successfully made it completely inoperable which meant that our computer tech friends had to finally quite fooling with the old PC and bring them a new one.

RICKZ28
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Platinum
Good Slap on old B/W TV
RICKZ28   8/10/2012 7:00:22 PM
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When I was growing up, we only had one TV as was typical in those days...a knob-tuning black and white 19-inch tube TV.  From a very young age, I remember the standard family practice to get a better picture was to slap the top of the TV with an open hand...and it worked!  (My Dad was an EE.)  That old TV lasted forever though, so I was a teenager by the time we got a new-fangled color TV.


I haven't had to smack TV's since, except for when they broke after a few years.  The old TV's seem to last much longer.  I hope my new LCD HDTV's last a good few years, but I recently had to replace our first LCD TV at four years old.


The cost to repair electronics these days always seems to equal or exceed the cost of a new unit, so that means disposable consumer electronics.

Tim
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Platinum
Re: Good Slap on old B/W TV
Tim   8/10/2012 7:42:08 PM
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Growing up, we had a TV from about 1970.  In the 90's, we bought a VCR and after a few years, the TV required a good smack on top of it every time we used the VCR to alleviate a wavy screen.  This worked for a few years until we got a new TV.  I do not know what the smack did, but it felt good and it worked.

gafisher
User Rank
Gold
Re: Know Where to Smack!
gafisher   8/10/2012 9:31:00 PM
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"... the product was purchased at a Best Buy or some such store with an extended warranty added at the cash register."

Understood, Nancy, but a warranty is a legal contract -- either the manufacturer or the aftermarket warranty company is on the hook (during the warranty period) for a working unit or a refund.  Admittedly, most warranty service these days requires the customer to pack up the ailing device and ship it off to Guadalajara or some such place, but being noisily insistant at the Big Box Customer Service counter can often work wonders ... ;-)

Nancy Golden
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Know Where to Smack!
Nancy Golden   8/10/2012 9:39:35 PM
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I appreciate your input gafisher - but my phone conversation with Sony was even more exasperating than the error message. I had the warranty papers in my name that showed store, date of purchase and serial number of the unit – yet they asked for a receipt, which I did not have since I had the warranty certificate. It took a week for them to research my warranty which puzzled me, until I found out why. Savvy consumer that I am, I had waited for this particular camcorder to go on sale. My warranty specified a replacement would be available if my unit became defective, which is why I purchased it. However, the fine print that I did not notice specified that the replacement value would be for the amount I paid for the unit, not the manufacturer's retail value like I had assumed. Of course they did not have a replacement unit available at the sale price so if you include the purchase of my warranty, by receiving my warranty refund (not the option I would have chosen) I got to pay $50.00 for a defective camcorder.

Nancy Golden
User Rank
Platinum
Percussive Repair
Nancy Golden   8/10/2012 9:46:30 PM
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Looks like we got a lot of fellow smackers out there - so if you smack something to fix it - make sure you explain it as a percussive repair. That makes it sound technical!

David12345
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Platinum
Re: Percussive Repair
David12345   8/13/2012 12:04:36 PM
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Ironically, there are a number of ailments that truely can be temporarily repaired with "Percussion Repairs."  The scariest one I ever witnessed was on a commuter flight from Philadelphia to Harrisburg on an old Beechcraft 99.  As we taxied out to the runway, with the cockpit in full view of us passengers, we hit a bump and every idiot light lit and every gauge on the instrument panel pegged one direction or the other.  The pilot never missed a beat, punched the instrument panel and everything jumped back where it was supposed to be.  Clearly, a major open or short (most likely an open ground) that he temporarily repaired.  I was so shocked and impressed I didn't even think to insist I get off for another flight.

As mentioned in previous posts:

a)  a sticking car starter solenoid can be broken free, or if the starter is on a commutator arc dead spot the shock can move it to another spot or break the oxides enough to make contact and start. 

b) motor bearing "sticktion" can be broken by a quick jar.  In the case of the camcorder, it could adjust tape cassette alignments in the guide-track, or shift pinch rollers on their shaft. 

c) Silver or tin whisker growth shorts can be broken by the shock. 

d) Oxides on a "flakey" intermitant electrical contact, such as on a tin-lead plated connector contact, can be cracked allowing the current to tunnel through.

e) I have seen broken lightbulb filaments move and make contact . . . for awhile.  I suspect that broken elements in the old technology vacuum tubes could rearrange in much the same manner to make connection again for awhile.

I'm sure there are other ways in which this crude "fix" could legitamately affect the device to get it working again temporarily.  Clearly, if the root cause were designed-out, these temporary fixes would not be needed.

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