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Sherlock Ohms

Monitor Goes Dark Over Cheap Components

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gsmith120
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Platinum
Re: cutting one corner too many.
gsmith120   5/22/2012 7:36:57 PM
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Rob, you read my mind.  That's exactly Rob, you read my mind.  Counterfeit parts are exactly what I was thinking; they are becoming a major problem.  This really bothers me especially since I deal a lot with mission critical systems.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: cutting one corner too many.
Charles Murray   5/22/2012 7:59:38 PM
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Here we are again, discussing a subject that comes up on our website almost on a daily basis. I'm amazed that the cost of a few capacitors is worth the damage it causes to Acer's reputation. If there are websites dedicated to problems like these, the situation must be pretty bad.

Shelly
User Rank
Iron
Re: cutting one corner too many.
Shelly   5/23/2012 9:19:35 AM
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The same exact issue happened to me with TWO Samsung LCD televisions!  I have a large LCD TV in my living room, and it started to take minutes, instead of seconds, to turn on.  This wasn't too big of an issue until it started to take upwards of 15 minutes.  I did some research and found that the power supply capacitors would blow (four of them).  I replaced them and all was well.

One year later, the small TV in another room began to show the same problem!  I immediately tore it apart and found the caps on the power supply bulged.  I am a mechanical engineer, so it was quite interesting for me to fix this (thanks to the internet).  The toughest part, especially on the small TV, was fitting the larger caps into the small space.

mrmikel
User Rank
Iron
Re: cutting one corner too many.
mrmikel   5/23/2012 9:20:32 AM
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It always boils down to money and bad days at the factory.

I don't think I have ever replaced a Nichicon in 20 years.  When  I find a bad part, I always go looking for other parts of the same value.  Nearly always they are bad too.  Since manufacturers buy in bulk lots, a bad day at the cap factory is a bad day for the end user.

ChasChas
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Internet for Troubleshooting
ChasChas   5/23/2012 9:42:31 AM
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Your right, Nancy. The internet used to be my last resort for troubleshooting - now it's my first resort. You can't imagine the time it saves. Like they say - no sin is strange to man. If you have the problem, someone else already did, too.

Larry M
User Rank
Platinum
This story is darker than you think
Larry M   5/23/2012 9:45:20 AM
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Rob Spiegel wrote: "This makes me wonder whether the components that failed were counterfeit."

 

Not counterfeits. The following is from an IEEE Spectrum article published around 2003 describing events that happened in around 2000, as I recall it. A Chinese engineer was working at a Japanese capacitor manufacturer, stole the secret formula for the electrolyte in electrolytic capacitors and started a factory in China. A second engineer, working at the Chinese factory, stole the formula and opened a second factory and underbid everyone else on capacitors.

 

However, in one of the transfers, some of the ingredients were omitted from the formula. There didn't seem to be any reason for their inclusion and the capacitors seemed to test just as well without them. Unfortunately, one of the ingredients was a stabilizer which prevented aging and degradation of the electrolyte.

 

These bad capacitors got into all kinds of electronics-- VCRs, TVs, computer motherboards, and monitors. Nearly all the computer motherboards failed, about 24 months out. The problem manifested itself in failures to boot, reboots in mid-stream, hangs, and crashes. All of the manufacturers but one refused to fix or replace the failed computers, in spite of the clearly inferior parts, arguing that they were out of warranty. Only IBM replaced every one. In fact, if you were having difficulty replacing the motherboard, they would send a suit-and-tie customer engineer to your house to do the job.

 

TexasTJ
User Rank
Iron
Bad caps
TexasTJ   5/23/2012 9:52:34 AM
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I replaced bad caps in my Mitsubishi TV and on my daughters Intel motherboard. Those are both "big name" brands. There's no excuse for such poor component sourcing.

Nancy Golden
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Internet for Troubleshooting
Nancy Golden   5/23/2012 10:33:39 AM
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Indeed, ChasChas,

"What has been will be again,
    what has been done will be done again;
    there is nothing new under the sun." Ecclesiastes 1:9

I am very appreciative of the folks who take the time to share their solutions!

OLD_CURMUDGEON
User Rank
Platinum
Bad components; Care-LESS Mgmt.
OLD_CURMUDGEON   5/23/2012 10:35:17 AM
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Does it really make sense that there are counterfeit electrolytics in the field?  Seems to me that the bulk cost of such small parts isn't worth the effort to get them into mainstream distribution.  Sort of akin to counterfeiting $1 bills.  You need quite a bucket full to make a dent.  But, $20 bills ..... now that's a different story! 

I can see disreputable types counterfeiting processor chips, since the margins are greater.

In the words a a famous "philosopher / songstress", 'And the beat goes on ......'

 

 

 

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: cutting one corner too many.
Rob Spiegel   5/23/2012 11:29:11 AM
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Yes, Gsmith120, there's just something about the story -- and the resulting comments -- that rings of counterfeit components. The counterfeits are disguised very well these days and they can show up even in non-gray markets in the form of returns.

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