I agree with you, Keldawwg. I still have a very large CRT TV with a picture that's just fine. I can't imagine replacing it as long as it's working. Yet every time I walk into a friend's living room I see a large flat screen unit. I would guess that in about 90 percent of the cases, the new TV wasn't purchased because an older TV quit working.
What? Excuse me, but that is not a "problem" that products might become obsolete before they fail. I still have the 27 inch Mitsubishi TV that I bought right after I graduated from college. It no longer takes center stage in my living room as my main TV, and in fact it has not for almost 20 years.
For the last 10 years or so, it has not even been the TV in the bedroom. It is on a shelf in my garage, and I use it all the time when I am out there working on a car or other project... (Particularly on Sundays during football season!) It is close to 25 years old, and everything works perfectly... I had to get a box when the cable company went digital, and actually I am on the 3rd box right now, because the crap that Comcast gives you won't last as long as it should.
The millions of TV's discarded that were still working were the result of the invention of something better, the large flat screen. And throwing things away in a landfill is just lazy, in my opinion. When I bought a 50 inch TV to mount on the wall in my family room, the 35 inch CRT that it replaced was donated to a care home... They were ecstatic to have a perfectly operational TV for free. (It might have been the Mitsubishi that got donated, if I could have mounted that 35 inch TV above my roll away tool chest... The roll away is 5 feet tall, and if I had the TV above it I couldn't have opened the top completely... Plus it would have blocked my neon beer signs...)
I donated the other 35 inch TV I had in the bedroom to a women's shelter in a neighboring town when I replaced it with an LCD TV.
As far as a dishwasher goes, that might not need to be replaced for esthetic reasons for a lot of years... When my wife decided that we needed to put in granite counter tops and all stainless steel appliances, I just bought a stainless kit for my Miehle dishwasher... I can see that thing being there for another 15 years, and it's already about 15 years old. It's absolutely perfect... Works like the day I installed it. I've replaced two trash compactors in that same period because they either quit working and I couldn't fix it, or the plastic button panel fell apart. (Kitchen-Aid, by the way... Made by Whirlpool.)
I am so sick of companies designing their stuff to fall apart shortly after the warranty ends... That's why I buy Toyota and Mercedes vehicles. (Not that Mercedes doesn't ever have problems, but I have a 1993 400e with over 200,000 miles on it and it doesn't even have a squeak or rattle in that car. Everything in that car works, and works perfectly) When I drive it, which is not often, it still drives like the day we bought it... My Toyota T-100 has well over 325,000 miles on it, and I expect to be driving it for another 8 or 10 years... (I don't put the miles on it I used to...)
Toyota and Mercedes have had some problems, I know. But here's the difference: IT WAS NEVER INTENTIONAL! You can't say that about Chrysler or Government Motors! A lot of their "Problems" were completely intentional...
They just didn't think that people would hold it against them, I guess...
Your purchase of a Kitchen-Aid because you had such good luck with a previous product shows customer loyalty... The problem is, the Kitchen-Aid that made that old dishwasher no longer exists.
Kitchen-Aid was bought by Whirlpool... Some Kitchen-Aid products (the counter top mixers, etc) are still good products, because Whirlpool has not redesigned them yet to make them their typical cheap P.O.S. How can they cost reduce a Kitchen-Aid counter top mixer? Most of the cost involves things you can see and feel. If you went to the store and picked up a "Kitchen-Aid" mixer and it weighed 3lbs, you would immediately sense the drastic quality drop...
Maytag, Kitchen-Aid, Amana, Jenn-Air are American products that are now owned by Whirlpool. Consul and Brastemp are South American brands now owned by Whirlpool... Bauknecht is a regional German brand now owned by Whirlpool.
A lot of Kenmore appliances at Sears are made by Whirlpool... Of course, all appliances that have the Kenmore badge on them are made by someone, but the number made by Whirlpool is pretty large...
I personally have decided to always do my research, and most of the time, not buy anything made by that company... :-)
Agree with you, Bob. But even more amazing: Most of the latter day CRT's had a BETTER picture than most of present day "flat" screens, publicity and hype not withstanding!
Unless the flat display is fed a hi-res signal that matches its native resolution, the results are worst than those obtained with std-resolution signals fed to oldie-but-goodie CRT TV's. Last year I finally decided to take the plunge into "flat screen"... went to a Sears and bought a 32", 1080p LCD from Toshiba (wrongly thinking it would have a nice image quality, since it was meant to replace my old 34" Toshiba CRT TV). Gosh, viewed side by side, the image quality of the new LDC was totally unacceptable compared to the image of the old set! The only way to make the damn LDC perform acceptably, was by feeding it with a BluRay signal... anything lesser produced terrible looking colors, limited color shades and less perceived clarity. In my case, I promptly returned the LDC to the store and resumed appreciating the slightly lower resolution, but much better overall image quality, color and motion rendition of my old CRT. Overhyped flat displays won´t replace my CRT for as long as it still works and std resolution signal is available!
@ William K. : Maybe the original connector jack can be resoldered and "reinforced" enough to leave it solidly anchored for years. Please see the websites that I noted in my post, the pictures there are very clear and there are even some diagrams that show a case where a copper sleeve in the "tru-hole" had been accidentally pulled out, and how to fix that. There is another photo of a damaged jack being repaired and reinforced. One thing is clear: to be able to work on this problem, one has to physically remove the motherboard from the Laptop. In the case of my unit (Inspiron 5100), the Dell site has all the instructions for complete disassemble. Now, IF the jack in your Laptop is too damaged, or you cannot obtain a new one, replacing it with a different type of connector could be the best fix. In my case, the jack appears to be still joined to the board, but if I jiggle the plug, it breaks the contact and the computer shuts down. If the contacts in the plug of my charger are not making positive contact with the very slim pins inside the jack on the computer, I'll be forced to replace the plug too. In any case, Dell "designers" are to be blamed on, because in my case the plug on the cable end became very hot from a connector offering too high electrical resistance, or arcing! Anyway, a connector with bigger, better current capacity pins should have been used. No excuse for the puny pins selected by those monkeys.
Besides, I have read a lot of horror stories about the version of the Inspiron 5100 or 5150 models sold in Europe, that were run at slightly higher clock speeds (2.7 MHZ instead of the 2.39 MHz of mine)... there were a lot of burned processors and damaged units. This series of Laptops were always running on the verge of overhating the Pentium processor because the "design" of the heatsink and fan assembly were truly inadequate for any task more demanding than simple word processing. Just a little dust or lint on the narrow cooling air passages and the Laptop is "toast"... Another good example of inadequate design by Dell monkeys.
I also have a Dell laptop with a power connector that has failed. This one is not melted, but the connector is loose from the mother board. I did download the instructions to disassemble the computer to get to the problem, all 18 pages of instructions. IT is quite a task, it appears. I also found a company that does the job, BUT they offer no guarrantee that what they do will fix your problem, also, they charge a lot.
My ultimate repair plan is to remove the present connector and install some wire leads and a different connector that is supported by the case, and mounts to the case with a nut. Of course, then I will need to replace the power supply connector also, but the pair will run less than $5 from DigiKey. A properly supported connector should not have any broken connection failures, and if the connector fails, the wire leads will allow it to be replaced without having to touch the motherboard.
IT would have cost Dell less than a dollar to properly support the connector, instead of the way it was done. WHY did they choose to avoid doing the job right? They could certainly predict the failures that they have had.
I agree that repair parts are outrageously priced. However, it is incredible that for many appliances and cars, replacement parts are available 5+ years after their original use in the new product. In a prior life (before retirement) I learned that the markup between OEM pricing and non-warrenty repair car electronic parts was 10X or more. Somebody has to pay for all that inventory that the suits would just as soon get off their books.
The biggest savings I've had on a DIY job was when the starter motor on my 4-runner quit working. The dealer wanter well over $400 to replace it. I removed it myself, and took it to a starter motor shop. He replaced the solenoid contacts, tested it on his test stand, and charged me $8. I happily paid him $10. 85,000 mi later, it's still working.
Good points, Analog Bill. As for designing a product to last 20 years, one of the problems is that products reach obsolescence long before the product fails. A good example is TVs. There had to be millions of CRT TVs discarded when the HD flatscreens came out. And it didn't matter that those CRT TVs worked just fine.
Another, related strategy is to get an expensive or hard to find part from a third-party aftermarket vendor or even eBay, and bring it to your mechanic to install. I did this with the windshielf washer reservoir for my 2004 Nissan Sentra. It's a plastic piece with bolt holes molded in. For some reason (I think when an idiot dinged my front bumper when she was backing up), one end of both bolt holes broke off, so the reservoir was falling out of the bottom of the engine compartment. It was a pain to obtain (you needed a specific one which had a sensor in it to send a signal to the dash cluster when the level was low), but I was able to get it for a decent price. However, I would've botched the installation, as I'm sure I would've if installing a PC board were involved (car electrics are very sensitive; I crossed wires once on a car stereo install). Anyway, taking it to the mechanic got it installed and I was all set.
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
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