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Old 28th November 2010, 02:13 AM   #1
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Default Why does the new stuff not last???

Its' as if I'm living in an alternate universe! My families electronic gear is breaking down faster than I can fix it! First to go was my CD/VCR combo..fixed that OK PS solder cracks (Poor heat management). But now I have two LCD computer monitors down, and, I just heard of a relatives BIG flatscreen going sizzle, sizzle. It is almost as if....the newer it is, the less life it will have. Whats going on here? The first monitor (KDS 700P) May 1995 build. OK. The second monitor four years. The flatscreen two years. Are the builders relying on the public buying new rather than fixing? It would seem so.
So I jump into the first one & of course it has the SMPS PS...all that crap for just two voltages, 12VDC & 5VDC...gotta make it small.forget about reliability.....forget about "overbuilding". Just make it good enough to work & nothing else. We took it to a tech first & of course its obsolete & "parts are not available" was the refrain. So I got a shot at it....cleaned up all the chintzy solder jobs(Cold joints) still nothing.........& finding a diagram? Not in this universe.



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Old 28th November 2010, 05:31 AM   #2
wwenze is offline wwenze  Singapore
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Oh yea I did have a big flatscreen that died after a year. Poor quality electrolytic next to a heatsink that overheated and died.

There's an economics theory, I forgot the exact, but if there is enough competition in the market and as long as consumers are satisfied, quality of product will start good at first and drop to the absolute minimum after some time.

And another rule - consumers are complete idiots - does not help the situation.
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Old 28th November 2010, 07:04 AM   #3
benb is offline benb  United States
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I recall when the primary-side transistor or a rectifier diode was the most common failure of SMPS's, but now it's surely capacitors. See the thread earlier this year about the capacitor failures over the last decade that caused many computer problems, and some makers, especially Dell, chose to ignore the problem as long as possible. Try shotgunning the electrolytics.

But yeah, the SMPS actually saves all around - it's reasonably efficient (compared to an old linear-regulated supply) and smaller than the earlier supply type, and it's lighter than a mains-frequency transformer, saving weight in shipping the product, saving money there.
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Old 28th November 2010, 08:27 AM   #4
godfrey is offline godfrey  South Africa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Ellis View Post
... The first monitor (KDS 700P) May 1995 build. OK. The second monitor four years. The flatscreen two years...
Spot the asymptote? These are just the outliers on the edge of the bell curve. It's accelerated built-in obsolescence ( driven by rising greed) at work.

Every year since 1975, the large corporates have reduced the design life of their products by one year. Everything is due to die in 2012.
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Old 2nd December 2010, 12:29 AM   #5
jaycee is offline jaycee  United Kingdom
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RoHS will make it worse
but yes, the primary cause of failure is capacitors. My 32" CRT tv (yes i know, obsolete) is currently out of action (horizontal collapse)... the cause ? A dead 47uf 35V coupling capacitor in the horizontal drive stage. Undoubtedly most of the other electrolytics will be in poor condition also.

Still it has also worked to my advantage - my stepdaughters current 17" lcd monitor was a giveaway on Freecycle due to it being intermittent, the problem was simply dried up decoupling capacitors in the PSU. Very cheap fix
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Old 2nd December 2010, 01:02 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by jaycee View Post

Undoubtedly most of the other electrolytics will be in poor condition also.
Some new electrolytics have a life of 2000 to 3000 hours.

Its so common people having trouble with amps with worn out electrolytics.
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Old 2nd December 2010, 01:22 AM   #7
toufu is offline toufu  United States
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I noticed it too, electronics (including computers) used to last forever. But now things break much more easily, especially after warranty period. It's as if the build spec has a lifetime of just over the warranty time.
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Old 2nd December 2010, 01:47 AM   #8
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I feel a case of the "you old guys" coming on.

I paid $1500 NZ for a Macbook 100 in 1994. It has a 20mB hard drive and a black and white screen. I felt like the dog with the biggest nuts in town.

I just bought an Acer netbook the other day for $399 NZ. It has full colour graphics a 160gb HDD wireless networking, webcam, soundcard etc etc. And it weighs half as much as the Mac.

On a value for money equivalence they are not even in the same country let alone ballpark.

The Mac still went last time I powered it up (about 5 years ago), and I sold it to a collector of such stuff for $40. THe Acer doesn't have to last long to equal or better the Mac on a dollar per year of ownership basis.
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Old 2nd December 2010, 02:28 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by aardvarkash10 View Post
I feel a case of the "you old guys" coming on.

I paid $1500 NZ for a Macbook 100 in 1994.
And that was in 1994 NZ dollars. With inflation that would be over $2000 today.

I remember when my late father bought our first (B&W) TV in 1954 - a DuMont console. He had a good job- officer in the Canadian military and I think he was making about $4500/year before taxes. So that TV probably represented several weeks of income. How many weeks of income does it take today to buy a 19" colour TV?

BTW, my father was a telecomm/electronics guy and a good thing, too. That TV needed new tubes and alignment on a regular basis. There was a special 'alignment tool' - a plastic knitting needle sharpened to fit the slot in the tuning slugs in the tuner- accessed under the 'Fine Tuning' knob. That knitting needle was kept in a convenient spot!
It did last, though. I recall it wasn't replaced until the mid-sixties at least- and during those years it had a new picture tube as well.

And don't get started on what it was like keeping a car running in the 'good old days'. Every Saturday, half the driveways in the neighbourhood had cars with the hoods up...plugs & points..adjusting the timing......drive through a puddle and the thing would stall.

John
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Old 2nd December 2010, 02:50 AM   #10
benb is offline benb  United States
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Originally Posted by nigelwright7557 View Post
Some new electrolytics have a life of 2000 to 3000 hours.

Its so common people having trouble with amps with worn out electrolytics.
To be fair, that's the guaranteed lifetime at 105 degrees C, above the temperature of boiling water. They last much longer when operated closer to room temperatures.

Also, not sure, but I think many years ago you could only get electrolytics rated up to 85 degrees C.

Electrolytics CAN last a while, but the problem I alluded to in my earlier post, regarding the bad caps thread involving Dell and other computer makers, had a specific design defect, bad electrolyte that only lasted six months in high-stress uses such as computers. This was discovered as early as 1999, but apparently wasn't "fixed" until 2007.

With the high temperatures in vacuum tube equipment (such as the old 5-tube table radio), it's amazing the electrolytic capacitors lasted as long as they did.
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