First, I am sorry if this comment shows up in a thread as a reply to another comment. My intent was to leave one standalone comment, but the PAGE IS BROKEN! Clicking 'comment' leads one to the COMMENTS section, with no ability to post a comment. To get here, I had to REPLY to some other gent's comment.
In a venue that wallows in criticism of other peoples' mistakes, having a comment posting link broken is a nice irony! (I use firefox and Safari on a win7 box, and I am pretty sure it's not the browser, but if it is browser-specific, that alone is egg-on-face territory.)
The larger issue, of course, is not this specific design failing, but the environment that breeds design shortcomings. There is a tradeoff of time to market and product features. The things that might short circuit a bad system element like this remote battery are things that are expensive to implement. Product specifications (pre-design), implementation specifications, software specs, etc. Design reviews, the most hated part of product design are essential but are useless if there aren't product criteria against which to judge the thing. These types of things are hallmarks of large organizations, and even then, are no guarantee of covering all the bases. If they were, the word "recall" would not feature so often in discussions about top notch product design firms like Toyota and GM.
It's easy to be smug about a battery connector. Criticism is a much more common hobby than good design. Anyone who has spent any time designing anything knows how hard perfection is to achieve, how easily career-limiting criticism is distributed, and has a list a mile long of personal failures in design and judgement. Small companies in particular do not usually have the enormous resources available to tolerate multi-year design efforts and the large support groups with specialties like quality, IE, incoming inspection, reliability engineering, maintenance engineering, manufacturing engineering, procurement and one or two engineers have to cover all the design and much of the build load.
I hate bad features as much as anyone. I have a lab full of failures stretching back 20+ years and memories that go well beyond that. I can pick up almost any product in my house and criticize it, and I do that extremely well. I wonder, however, how we can help the small guy dodge these bullets without just complaining about a feature shortcoming? What about some organizational advice on how to spread the single slab of engineering butter over 10 loaves of engineering bread?
I'm lucky. My career included some big firms (video games to rockets to hydaulic presses to remote vehicles to dairy equipment ) with some big names and I am eclectic as hell for a poorly educated engineer, but some BSET with 5 years of industry experience isn't going to catch that batter connector problem. Gray hair will, but a MSEE from MIT alone won't.
Ideas, gents? Not specifics, but generalities. How to achieve perfection on a budget?
Pontiac also carried the good induction sound into the 70s and 80s with their Trans-Ams that were equipped with the shaker hood scoops. Any decent owner knew to open up the back of the shaker scoop, to enjoy the goodness of the induction sounds that came from within. Only a four barrel, instead of triple-dueces, but still good sounding.
I'm still angry with GM for killing my favorite brand. I was just about ready to buy a new G8 GT, but never got the chance. I still may pick one up used.
I agree about the air induction sound of a GTO, Tool_maker. I've mentioned this previously, but if you watch the clip from the movie, Bullitt, the Mustang has a similar air induction sound. It's the best part of the clip.
@GTOlover: Knowing that these devices will be used by the elderly or immobile people, I think your suggestion of a service call is right on. I do believe if I had been faced with the same situation I would have broken off the piece of plastic that hampered access to the battery and resorted to good old duct tape to close the hole. I do not have your patience.
By the way I also loved GTO's, even though I never owned one. When you really put your foot in it, the sound of the three deuces sucking air was really cool.
Even the 9 V leads that the author suggested are sometimes difficult to replace. I suspect that the designer thought that this design is easier to change the battery than the lead style. However, the plastic remote case may have been manufactured on the small side. Instead of reworking the tooling, the company of the remote felt it works even better to ensure battery contact. Overlooking the battery replacement ergonomics.
Or this is another way to bilk money from the owner by getting service contracts or service calls!
What should be the perception of a product’s real-world performance with regard to the published spec sheet? While it is easy to assume that the product will operate according to spec, what variables should be considered, and is that a designer obligation or a customer responsibility? Or both?
Biomimicry has already found its way into the development of robots and new materials, with researchers studying animals and nature to come up with new innovations. Now thanks to researchers in Boston, biomimicry could even inform the future of electrical networks for next-generation displays.
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