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.
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.
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.
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.
Nancy, I think all TVs were like that in the 50s and 60s, and so were stereo systems (but not the record player!). Like you, I've been surprised, and disappointed, to see just how short consumer electronics lifecycles have become. The throwaway society does not encourage good consumer product or machine design, among other things.
gafisher - Smacking the salesperson's desk sounds pretty satisfying too...or the desk of the Sony rep who thought the problem was just an isolated incident...the problem is, these people are unreachable - the product was purchased at a Best Buy or some such store with an extended warranty added at the cash register.
My job at a local aerospace manufacturer included repooling mecury wetted relays. Just had to smack it on the bench in the right direction. Most times it worked. If not then it was time to replace one of the relays. Also repsitioning or resequencing the boards would help to identify just which one was bad. The other thing I did was vacuum the ATE to the tune of $35/ hr. What a job!
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