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Made by Monkeys

Ruinous Remote Sidelines Stair Lift

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deejayh
User Rank
Silver
Re: Shouldn't remotes be easy?
deejayh   7/12/2013 9:39:57 AM
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I can appreciate the design considerations that are worked into this type of equipment.  Considering that it can directly impact human life and limb.  Try working on designs that fly men and women into space, it's not an easy feat.  Yet the end user (an astronaut) is always consulted for review and recommentations.  As an Engineer it's often easy to mis a single tree for the forest blocking your view.

Tom-R
User Rank
Gold
Monkeys in the monkeys
Tom-R   7/12/2013 10:32:41 AM
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Interesting perspective fauxscot. I suspect your browser may be the problem for you posting. It is working for me and all I'm using is my phone. On the original topic I would suspect last minute chamges, after any prototyping was already completed, to be the problem. Whenever I got bit it was a last minute item that wasn't considered significant enough to fully test again, or it was something from a supplier (like a remote manufacturer perhaps) that didn't match what we had actually tested before a launch. Experience is just learning what can bite, and how to prevent it. But I will stick up for young grads. With the changes in technology today they've helped us find problems through analysis that wasn't even available until a few years ago. I learned from a wise co-worker to know the difference between 30 years experience, and 30 years of 5 years experience.

OLD_CURMUDGEON
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Shouldn't remotes be easy?
OLD_CURMUDGEON   7/12/2013 10:35:00 AM
This IS so boring discussing lousy engineering of high-priced items.  Let's talk about GTOs & their siblings.  That's MORE fun, and brings back a ton of memories.

#1)  Had a friend who bought his wife a 1965 TEMPEST convertible w/ OHC-6.  It WAS a neat car.  Bright yellow w/ black rag top & black interior.  Was stolen.....

#2)  Had a friend who bought a 1967 ragtop GTO used in 1968.  Dark Blue w/ white interior.  Even though it had the "400" engine w/ 4-speed tranny, it wasn't very good, so we pulled it, and replaced it w/ a slightly overbore 427 Chevy motor, done up right!  That fellow still has this vehicle to this day.....  It's a show car only!

#3)  Had a friend who bought a brand-spankin' new JUDGE in 1970.  Ran it for about a year, then "reworked" the motor.  Was neat vehicle, but unfortunately, it (the JUDGE!) got killed in a lame traffic accident that could also have happened to a 6-cylinder FALCON.  It wasn't the friend's fault, but his JUDGE paid the ultimate price.

ADIOS!

p.s.  Always enjoyed working on race cars in my younger days, but was never a GM fan, even though I did my share of work on them.  Preferred FoMoCo & CHRYSLER....

 

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Shouldn't remotes be easy?
Rob Spiegel   7/12/2013 10:36:22 AM
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Point well taken on "stupidity" Fauxscot. My point was really to stress that I didn't think the design was intentionally difficult in order to foster service calls. So, in an awkward way, I was defending the engineer. Kind of a backhanded compliment.

DoesTheBoxExist
User Rank
Iron
Service
DoesTheBoxExist   7/12/2013 10:59:00 AM
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I am guessing that the chair is similar to any remote operated appliance in the home (or workplace). The most frequently user serviced item is the battery. A design that includes a difficult to replace battery in a non-rechargeable remote is poorly engineered.

deejayh
User Rank
Silver
Re: Shouldn't remotes be easy?
deejayh   7/12/2013 11:02:28 AM
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Why do you insist on posting about the venerable GTO on "Made By Monkeys"?  My '68 was purchased used in '76. A 400 c.i., 4 speed, 411 rear end.  The only design error with the vehicle was that the speedometer didn't cover the vehicles true maximum speed.  But had I ever gotten pulled over in rural Oklahoma and was asked if I knew how fast I was going I could honestly reply "no officer".

OLD_CURMUDGEON
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Shouldn't remotes be easy?
OLD_CURMUDGEON   7/12/2013 12:42:05 PM
deejayh:  I think you should re-read my comment.  It was a tongue-in-cheek response to the main topic, and was based on the fact that there's another fellow, GTOLOVER, who responds quite frequently in these DESIGN NEWS blogs.

Maybe a little lightheartedness is appropriate in many instances.

ADIOS!

OldSkoolSyntax
User Rank
Iron
9V battery conections.
OldSkoolSyntax   7/12/2013 1:47:45 PM
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It's been a couple of decades but designing 9V battery holders used to be a compensated activity. I know of no engineer designer whose intention is to create service work. Save it with the other conspiracy theories. There are proven tested hardware pieces for 9V contacts available off the shelf that are used for all the usual reasons such as inexpensive, near zero lead time, functional, compatible with manufacturing processes, meet dfm requirements etc. The most common of these is the ubiquitous "vinyl covered two wire battery snap". My guess is that the designer was given a budget, a timeline and some design requirements that did not include "make the remote power source easily replaceable by an arthritic, left handed, very nearsighted octogenerian using candlelight without any tools." It's even possible that the remote itself was selected as an off the shelf unit that could be easily adapted to this use. That doesn't excuse consideration of the end user in completion of a functional design. Although I have seen tamper resistance in such specifications. It may well be that the assumption of a more adept caregiver being involved entered in. The recent focus on human factors in design is a positive move in the right direction, particularly as it impacts the elderly and other underserved populations. The design seems shortsighted - can we leave it at that?           

kenish
User Rank
Platinum
Battery swelling
kenish   7/12/2013 2:38:37 PM
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It's possible that the battery cavity was designed for standard, nominal battery dimensions and didn't account for the battery swelling as it discharged.  A battery can drop right in the cavity when new and become securely jammed as it discharges.

In a past life I was involved with a product that included a 9V battery cavity.  One high-end manufacturer that you see on retail shelves makes their batteries right at the high-end of the dimensional range to increase internal volume (and thus performance).  At least they provided a design guide and it warned us to account for the swelling.

deejayh
User Rank
Silver
Re: Battery swelling and thanks
deejayh   7/12/2013 2:53:21 PM
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The design had enough room for swelling as evidenced by the new replacement battery having the same tight fit.  The issue was exacerbated by the additional area needed to get past the battery snap "height".  This was not one of the newer style inexpensive batterty compartments that uses two smooth concave surfaces as the connection point.

My apologies to Old Curmudgeon.  Lightheartedness is always appreciated.  But I'd love to have an old Gas, Tires, and Oil in my driveway any day.

BTW, OldSkoolSyntax, my mother is a lefty.  Thank you everyone for the extra amusement on a Friday.

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