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  #21  
Old 28 September 2010, 10:07 PM
redspider
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveM View Post
At least in regards to electronics, this story could not possibly be true.
I totally agree. A production line worker (or even supervisor) wouldn't know what a component did. It's not his job to know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveM View Post
Finally, electronic devices are not tested in assembly. So if someone were to pull a part, he wouldn't know its effect.
Well there will be some basic testing, but not the kind that would necessarily test every component, or test all functionality. And testing would be an automated part of each sub assembly. If you're testing at the very end then you're doing it wrong.

Components like resistors cost 2 cents each. The cost saving is negligible.
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  #22  
Old 28 September 2010, 11:06 PM
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It's possible that the oveheating switch was of a type suitable for its purpose, but as with any component some just come out of the factory defective.

If the lamp maker bought a batch of 10,000 switches it's inevitable at least a few will go wrong.
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  #23  
Old 29 September 2010, 12:40 AM
Singing in the Drizzle Singing in the Drizzle is offline
 
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That should probably been watts not amps since the lights had dimmer switches. I believe that is how they are rated.

Now to try and remember my electrical courses that I took some 20 years ago.

The problem with using a 300 watt dimmer switch with a 300 watt bulb is that is not the real wattage. Watts = Amps * Resistance^2. The light is 300 watts plus one needs to add in the wire and the dimmer switch. As the dimmers switch warms up, it also increases the watts used do to the extra resistance. More load mean more heat and more heat mean more load. Things keep getting hotter until something has to give. It is always good to go a little bigger with these type of things to make sure bad things do not happen.

Another example of the same type of thing causing problems. I borrowed some floor sanders from by brother. They were rated and 15 amps and used a 15 amp plug. Used them for any length of time and they will trip the circuit breaker. The 15 amp circuit breaker while rated at 15 amps can not handle the loads for long periods of time. Plug it into a 20 amp outlet and problems go away. Brother when I talked to him about it, said he has the same problem with them all the time.
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  #24  
Old 29 September 2010, 06:33 AM
Troberg Troberg is offline
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddylizard View Post
It's possible that the oveheating switch was of a type suitable for its purpose, but as with any component some just come out of the factory defective.

If the lamp maker bought a batch of 10,000 switches it's inevitable at least a few will go wrong.
Or, it could be China made. THe Chinese are excellent at making cheap stuff, but quality control is not their strong side. We've run out of steel? Use pot metal instead! No screws left? Just use a screw of roughly the same type and force it!

There has been reports on automatic fuses in Sweden that's made in China, where, on opening them, it was discovered that the fuse components were gone, and it was just an ordinary switch. Many electricians now test all the automatic fuses by shorting them in a test rig, just to be safe.
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  #25  
Old 06 April 2016, 04:39 PM
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WARNING: Three years since the last post...

I may have found a real life case of this on youtube in the form of a video on youtube that rather ironically dates from the year (2012) this discussion was started.

1999 Daewoo color TV with missing filter capacitor (from the factory)
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  #26  
Old 06 April 2016, 05:16 PM
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GenYus234 GenYus234 is offline
 
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I'd expect that that is an example of a error in manufacturing more than a deliberate attempt to make a product cheaper by leaving off "unnecessary" components.
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  #27  
Old 06 April 2016, 07:30 PM
FullMetal FullMetal is offline
 
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Agreed that it would be more a mistake than deliberate attempt, you could change that heatsink to a much cheaper one and save more money. But watching the video, it actually appears to me that there was something soldered in there, and subsequently removed, and the solder cleaned up, (whoever did it did a good job). The hole didn't look as clean as it would be new to me. (the fact that the holes are not uniform in size, and the fact that there is no heat distortion shows it was a good job, heck you can see the repair done just beside it that wasn't as well done)

Also that's what a sub $1 part? Why do that when it would cause a lot of returns for saving $1 per unit? I don't think it'd be worth it.
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  #28  
Old 06 April 2016, 08:13 PM
UrbanLegends101 UrbanLegends101 is offline
 
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I'd always heard the practice went back to Earl Muntz, Mad Man Muntz, late 1940s, early 1950s.

See:

http://www.smecc.org/mad_man_muntz!.htm
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  #29  
Old 07 April 2016, 12:58 PM
overyonder overyonder is offline
 
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I was re-reading the thread, and someone mentioned power cords being shorter to save costs.

I've noticed it, in particular since the price of copper has gone up around 2009+ (it's the only history I can find).

My 4 year old coffee grinder has one of the shortest cords I've ever seen (not sure if it's even 2 feet?), newer toasters are similar.

OY
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  #30  
Old 07 April 2016, 01:24 PM
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chillas chillas is offline
 
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Kitchen appliance power cords have gotten shorter for safety reasons.
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  #31  
Old 07 April 2016, 01:32 PM
overyonder overyonder is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chillas View Post
Kitchen appliance power cords have gotten shorter for safety reasons.
Seems to be rather spotty. Some are still long, some are very short. No rhyme or reason.

OY
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  #32  
Old 07 April 2016, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chillas View Post
Kitchen appliance power cords have gotten shorter for safety reasons.
Which backfires when shorter cords lead to the use of extension cords.
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  #33  
Old 07 April 2016, 01:44 PM
overyonder overyonder is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
Which backfires when shorter cords lead to the use of extension cords.
The idea here is that newer homes have more outlets around the kitchen area. My nearly 20-y old house has I think 8 outlets around the kitchen (mostly where over the counter).

OY
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  #34  
Old 14 June 2016, 07:40 AM
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Graham2001 Graham2001 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
I'd expect that that is an example of a error in manufacturing more than a deliberate attempt to make a product cheaper by leaving off "unnecessary" components.
You may be right there, but recently I found two videos (Apologies in advance for the 'Steve Irwin' style of presentation.) about the repair of failed computer monitors, in the first there are a number of positions for uninstalled components drawn onto the circuit board. In the second case it's clear that a cost saving measure was taken after the board was drawn out with cheaper components being substituted at production.

EEV Blog 347:Bad Capacitor LCD Monitor Repair

EEV Blog 365:ESR Meter - Bad Capacitor Monitor Repair
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  #35  
Old 14 June 2016, 05:43 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham2001 View Post
You may be right there, but recently I found two videos (Apologies in advance for the 'Steve Irwin' style of presentation.) about the repair of failed computer monitors, in the first there are a number of positions for uninstalled components drawn onto the circuit board. In the second case it's clear that a cost saving measure was taken after the board was drawn out with cheaper components being substituted at production.

EEV Blog 347:Bad Capacitor LCD Monitor Repair

EEV Blog 365:ESR Meter - Bad Capacitor Monitor Repair
Often the same printed circuit board is used for more than one product, hence the "uninstalled" components. The missing components are for an upgraded version.

The failed capacitor problem is definitely the result of using cheap components, though the cheap components were supposed to be within spec. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitor_plague) There are even rumors of industrial espionage and capacitor makers stealing patented or proprietary formulas from other makers then saving money by omitting key components of the electrolytic mix. The caps were cheaper but they failed after only a year of two in use.
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  #36  
Old 15 June 2016, 02:22 AM
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Graham2001 Graham2001 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy101_again View Post
Often the same printed circuit board is used for more than one product, hence the "uninstalled" components. The missing components are for an upgraded version.

The failed capacitor problem is definitely the result of using cheap components, though the cheap components were supposed to be within spec. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitor_plague) There are even rumors of industrial espionage and capacitor makers stealing patented or proprietary formulas from other makers then saving money by omitting key components of the electrolytic mix. The caps were cheaper but they failed after only a year of two in use.
Thanks for the addtional info, I've watched a number of teardown/repair videos and always wondered about the empty spaces on circuit boards. The basic story has been around a while, but things like this tend to act to re-inforce it.
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  #37  
Old 16 June 2016, 04:04 PM
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Graham2001 Graham2001 is offline
 
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One last YouTube video, pay attention to what is said starting at 6:24...

"Fake" Dr. Dre Beats Mini Bluetooth Speaker Teardown - For Fun!

...nice to catch an Urban Legend...
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  #38  
Old 16 June 2016, 05:41 PM
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Hold on, what I noticed was he opened a Pepsi with an old pull tab. I haven't seen those in years Where did that come from?
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  #39  
Old 16 June 2016, 05:50 PM
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GenYus234 GenYus234 is offline
 
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Hipster grocery store. But they sold out.
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  #40  
Old 16 June 2016, 06:05 PM
overyonder overyonder is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachlife! View Post
Hold on, what I noticed was he opened a Pepsi with an old pull tab. I haven't seen those in years Where did that come from?
He said he was in Shanghai, China...

Quite possible they still use the old style pull tabs.

OY
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