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  • Buy Another

    I've noticed that no matter how well I care for some of my electronics and tools, the planned obsolescence always wins out. Just a few examples that come to mind are the very expensive condenser microphone which used a "mercury" battery, no longer made. My motorola cell phone which did not have GPS capability and was taken out of service! Now my Sony digital camera which uses a memory stick, no longer available. I have not included the many items in my home and garage for which parts are "discontinued". Thanks to the Internet I have been able to scrounge around and find some parts to help prolong the inevitable, but we certainly live in a disposable, time stamped world. You may think you are buying the most advanced whatever, but given time it too will need to be replaced.

  • #2
    Re: Buy Another

    Digital cameras are the worst when it comes to short lifespans.

    Although, even I am not much for conspiracy theories, there are times when I am forced to consider some companies sabotage their own products with "time bombs" of sorts to force customers to purchase new replacements.

    Case in point, my is a machinist, the CNC he uses one day just stops working all of a sudden for no reason. The manufacturing company calls for tech support, and the folks over the phone could not help. So, it gets passed on to sending a team over. The crew could not fix it. Finally, the company gets a hold of the lead engineer, who asked for the specs and model of the CNC. The engineer gets back and notifies the company that he found a little mircochip implanted on the mainboard, designed with the sole purpose of shutting the CNC down after a set amount of time. So the engineer guides the team through bypassing that chip, and sure enough, the CNC fires right back up like nothing happened.

    I wonder if my digital camera is having a similar issue. The LCD screen shows nothing but black from the arpeture, yet all the controls are still being displayed, as if the arpeture is frozen shut.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Buy Another

      Same thing happened to my daughters cell phone a year and half old and all of sudden she gets a white screen. I looked it up on the net turns out 1000's of other people had the same exact problem. Luckily she qualified for a free upgrade. (new 2 year contract)

      Originally posted by tailgunner View Post
      Digital cameras are the worst when it comes to short lifespans.

      Although, even I am not much for conspiracy theories, there are times when I am forced to consider some companies sabotage their own products with "time bombs" of sorts to force customers to purchase new replacements.

      Case in point, my is a machinist, the CNC he uses one day just stops working all of a sudden for no reason. The manufacturing company calls for tech support, and the folks over the phone could not help. So, it gets passed on to sending a team over. The crew could not fix it. Finally, the company gets a hold of the lead engineer, who asked for the specs and model of the CNC. The engineer gets back and notifies the company that he found a little mircochip implanted on the mainboard, designed with the sole purpose of shutting the CNC down after a set amount of time. So the engineer guides the team through bypassing that chip, and sure enough, the CNC fires right back up like nothing happened.

      I wonder if my digital camera is having a similar issue. The LCD screen shows nothing but black from the arpeture, yet all the controls are still being displayed, as if the arpeture is frozen shut.
      Ron Hasil Lic #058-160417
      A-Archer Sewer & Plumbing specializing in:
      Tankless Water Heaters | Drain and Sewer Cleaning
      Sump and Ejector Pumps | Backflow RPZ Testing

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Buy Another

        I needed to repair my Porter Cable orbital sander and my Dewalt orbital sander.
        The parts were worn and dry rotted...living in the desert does that....

        I vacillated back and forth buy new ones or fix what I have.....
        Upon closer observation I realized my sanders were ones actually built in the "USA" Yeah they are that old!

        I immediately went to repair parts and ordered the replacement parts. A bit pricey if you look at the price of the new models out there but my units were made in "USA"

        Now my sanders are perfect and actually the Dewalt sander is better as they offered a newer/better dust collection bag instead of the older plastic square one. I should be good for another 10 years of use!

        I recently repaired a Cuisinart coffee maker..but it was a challenge removing the security torx screws!
        Sadly we have evolved to a throw away society and most people want the new color flavor of the day so they discard their stuff! what a waste of resources and money.
        But on the other hand it does employ children, prisoners, and grandmothers in china!

        I wonder if the tag you may find in the product.."inspected by inspector #13" is still around
        or they just printed the tags and toss them in the packaging?

        Cactus Man

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Buy Another

          Frank, i think we all feel your pain. that we are such a consumable people nowand it seams to get worse all the time.
          my 2 year old 55 inch lcd t.v. went out just before Christmas. orderded a new lamp for it $250.00 and yesterday that one went out as well. so i call up the co. i bought it from and they tell my that they will send another one under there 30 day warranty but do not do refunds just replacements. they also said that when they see thing, like the new lamp going out this soon, there are other internal problems that are causing the lamp to go out. they say i might just have to throw it away. so what your saying is i payed $2,000 for the t.v. then $250 just to say i have to buy a new t.v.?
          good thing i still have a 32 inch tube style tv in the bedroom. that is 10 years old!!! i had a 27inch were the 55 inch sits now that i gave to my mother inlaw that was 15 years old and still runs like new!
          the only dumb question is the one that is not asked!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Buy Another

            How about the "Engine Needs Service" light, when it does not need service!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Buy Another

              Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
              How about the "Engine Needs Service" light, when it does not need service!
              They should realize that dealer's don't buy cars, people do. They should just use the display on the radio to tell you what the code is.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Buy Another

                Originally posted by Jerad View Post
                Frank, i think we all feel your pain. that we are such a consumable people nowand it seams to get worse all the time.
                my 2 year old 55 inch lcd t.v. went out just before Christmas. orderded a new lamp for it $250.00 and yesterday that one went out as well. so i call up the co. i bought it from and they tell my that they will send another one under there 30 day warranty but do not do refunds just replacements. they also said that when they see thing, like the new lamp going out this soon, there are other internal problems that are causing the lamp to go out. they say i might just have to throw it away. so what your saying is i payed $2,000 for the t.v. then $250 just to say i have to buy a new t.v.?
                good thing i still have a 32 inch tube style tv in the bedroom. that is 10 years old!!! i had a 27inch were the 55 inch sits now that i gave to my mother inlaw that was 15 years old and still runs like new!
                Very frustrating when you can get a replacement part asw you mentioned and then discover the problem is much more involved. Ten years ago who thought we would be spending $2000 or more on a TV, or that it would only last a couple years? We are getting drained dry, and you can call it weak technology, poor build quality or a corrupt plan, but the bottom line is our finances! Even those of us with the technical know how to tackle some of these repairs are faced with roadblocks such as you stated. How do we change this?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Buy Another

                  i have a reader that i bought for $80 that saves my a ton on gas cap is loose even whe it is not. it goes on every 6 months plug it in says the same code every time. i have used it on a guy at the bank said his has the light went out to his car same thing as well. i wonder if they have this code come up on purpose. you take it in and they say will have to replace some engine part that didn't need to be replaced at all.
                  the only dumb question is the one that is not asked!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Buy Another

                    if this lamp goes out again. i'm thinking of trying to find a used older tv. do i really need a 55 inch when the 27 inch before was fine for the kids?
                    the only dumb question is the one that is not asked!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Buy Another

                      Originally posted by Jerad View Post
                      i have a reader that i bought for $80 that saves my a ton on gas cap is loose even whe it is not. it goes on every 6 months plug it in says the same code every time. i have used it on a guy at the bank said his has the light went out to his car same thing as well. i wonder if they have this code come up on purpose. you take it in and they say will have to replace some engine part that didn't need to be replaced at all.
                      Can't be good for the manufacturers. At least early in the lifespan of the car, they end up eating the repair under warranty.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Buy Another

                        Originally posted by cpw View Post
                        Can't be good for the manufacturers. At least early in the lifespan of the car, they end up eating the repair under warranty.
                        I'm almost willing to bet Jerads vehicle is the dreaded Toyota Camry EGR system.

                        It's built flimsy in comparison to other parts on the vehicle. i.e. the weakest link in the chain.

                        And when ANYTHING gets slightly out of tolerances, it throws the Check Engine light. Junk.

                        J.C.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Buy Another

                          Originally posted by Jerad View Post
                          Frank, i think we all feel your pain. that we are such a consumable people nowand it seams to get worse all the time.
                          my 2 year old 55 inch lcd t.v. went out just before Christmas. orderded a new lamp for it $250.00 and yesterday that one went out as well. so i call up the co. i bought it from and they tell my that they will send another one under there 30 day warranty but do not do refunds just replacements. they also said that when they see thing, like the new lamp going out this soon, there are other internal problems that are causing the lamp to go out. they say i might just have to throw it away. so what your saying is i payed $2,000 for the t.v. then $250 just to say i have to buy a new t.v.?
                          good thing i still have a 32 inch tube style tv in the bedroom. that is 10 years old!!! i had a 27inch were the 55 inch sits now that i gave to my mother inlaw that was 15 years old and still runs like new!
                          Friends is doing the same thing. Last time I was there you could see the picture dimming.

                          Didn't have the heart to tell him it's time to pay the piper.

                          My 32" JVC Tube that just wasn't good enough for someone just keeps on going.

                          Makes me wonder about new camera monitors vs. old ones. See CRT ones all the time a decade old with no apparent problems.

                          J.C.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Buy Another

                            I'm absolutely sure it happens, but I have to say that in 31 years as an engineer I've never worked on a single product that had features designed in to force unneeded replacement or service.

                            There are still folks that are absolutely convinced that cars are designed to fail right after the warranty is up. Truth is, it's amazing that these extremely complicated devices last as long as they do. In the 50's and 60's, valve jobs were common at 50,000 miles and "ring jobs" were common at 80,000 miles. Today, you can buy an fairly-low end economy car that will go 200,000 miles with just routine maintenance. As many of these modern marvels go to the boneyard because the paint and interior have deteriorated as do because of mechanical problems. Materials, heat treating, improvements in manufacturing precision and tolerance control and better, smarter engineering all contribute. Often even a cheap car (relatively) will be state of the art in these areas - because so many of the economy models are sold, the manufacturer can afford it. Honda Civics and Toyota Corollas are great examples. Wonderful cars. You wouldn't rebuild the engines on either... after 150-200,000 miles the car wouldn't be worth as much as the repair bill. BUT - you sure got your money's worth by that time.

                            A lot of the problems with servicing consumer items has to do with the huge improvements in manufacturing that allow super-complex devices to be manufactured very inexpensively. For example, many of these cameras are jam packed with tiny surface mount electronic parts mounted by robotic "pick and place" machines on super high density circuit boards, and the entire assembly has been optimized to be as small as possible. To to keep it inexpensive it is designed to go together easily (many snap together)but not necessarily ever come apart. It sells at retail for $150. The service guy has to be making $25-$35 bucks an hour... the cost of that guy to the company including benefits and overhead has to be $75 to $100 an hour. Consider the time it takes to do a repair, and the fact that for 99% of the products out there, it's totally impractical to repair the circuit, you have to change an entire board or assembly. The part costs aren't much, but someone has to pay the logistics cost of packaging all those spares and getting them to the service centers... it's very costly to do that! So the cost of parts looks crazy compared to the price of the entire gizmo. Then after the repair, someone has to spend more time testing because consumers are intolerant of problems, and then the repaired unit has to carry some sort of warranty...which costs. In the end it's cheaper to scrap it. A brand new one off of the production line is often substantially cheaper.

                            My point is that in many (not all) cases, the throw-away nature of products is really a reflection of the fact that many of these super complex devices are available to consumers for essentially peanuts - due to modern technology and very, very optimized manufacturing methods. Repairs are still, for the most part, one-at-a-time labor intensive activities. Why would anyone want to pay to repair an old phone or camera when you can get a new one with added features, probably smaller and works better, for less money?

                            As I see it, as long as there is some environmentally responsible way to recycle the parts, this is all actually a good thing - .

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Buy Another

                              Originally posted by Andy_M View Post
                              I'm absolutely sure it happens, but I have to say that in 31 years as an engineer I've never worked on a single product that had features designed in to force unneeded replacement or service.

                              There are still folks that are absolutely convinced that cars are designed to fail right after the warranty is up. Truth is, it's amazing that these extremely complicated devices last as long as they do. In the 50's and 60's, valve jobs were common at 50,000 miles and "ring jobs" were common at 80,000 miles. Today, you can buy an fairly-low end economy car that will go 200,000 miles with just routine maintenance. As many of these modern marvels go to the boneyard because the paint and interior have deteriorated as do because of mechanical problems. Materials, heat treating, improvements in manufacturing precision and tolerance control and better, smarter engineering all contribute. Often even a cheap car (relatively) will be state of the art in these areas - because so many of the economy models are sold, the manufacturer can afford it. Honda Civics and Toyota Corollas are great examples. Wonderful cars. You wouldn't rebuild the engines on either... after 150-200,000 miles the car wouldn't be worth as much as the repair bill. BUT - you sure got your money's worth by that time.

                              A lot of the problems with servicing consumer items has to do with the huge improvements in manufacturing that allow super-complex devices to be manufactured very inexpensively. For example, many of these cameras are jam packed with tiny surface mount electronic parts mounted by robotic "pick and place" machines on super high density circuit boards, and the entire assembly has been optimized to be as small as possible. To to keep it inexpensive it is designed to go together easily (many snap together)but not necessarily ever come apart. It sells at retail for $150. The service guy has to be making $25-$35 bucks an hour... the cost of that guy to the company including benefits and overhead has to be $75 to $100 an hour. Consider the time it takes to do a repair, and the fact that for 99% of the products out there, it's totally impractical to repair the circuit, you have to change an entire board or assembly. The part costs aren't much, but someone has to pay the logistics cost of packaging all those spares and getting them to the service centers... it's very costly to do that! So the cost of parts looks crazy compared to the price of the entire gizmo. Then after the repair, someone has to spend more time testing because consumers are intolerant of problems, and then the repaired unit has to carry some sort of warranty...which costs. In the end it's cheaper to scrap it. A brand new one off of the production line is often substantially cheaper.

                              My point is that in many (not all) cases, the throw-away nature of products is really a reflection of the fact that many of these super complex devices are available to consumers for essentially peanuts - due to modern technology and very, very optimized manufacturing methods. Repairs are still, for the most part, one-at-a-time labor intensive activities. Why would anyone want to pay to repair an old phone or camera when you can get a new one with added features, probably smaller and works better, for less money?

                              As I see it, as long as there is some environmentally responsible way to recycle the parts, this is all actually a good thing - .
                              I wonder about vehicles sometimes though. Engine management systems optimize fuel use for sure. Optimization could bring longer life.

                              But mileage never has been nor ever will be an accurate measurement on an engine. There should be a mandate to install hour meters on any engine produced. Then you can tell more about it.

                              People move differently today also. The 80,000 mile theoretical life of vehicles from the 50's & 60's was often 8 mile or less trips.

                              Now people driving the Toyotas and Hondas for 200,000 miles often have a 15+mile commute to work. Urban sprawl puts them further away from their consumer purchases which in turn shows more miles but not necessarily true engine wear in comparison to older designs. Plus they travel further & more often for vacation or visiting family.

                              Finally, manufacturers got big on preventative maintenance. Who replaced a water pump, re-shimmed the valves, etc on their Ford years ago because it had 50,000 miles on it?

                              Noone. At least not here. Makes it hard to get an accurate conclusion to me.

                              J.C.

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