Consumer electronics "war stories"

"Chuck" wrote in in sci.electronics.repair in message
> news: snipped-for-privacy@4ax.com...
> >> The receiver tech was flummoxed by one of those large 1970s Pioneer
> > receivers. It had a problem none of us had seen before and we were a
> > high volume audio chain. There was slight audio distortion on both
> > channels, only on FM. We all worked commission only so I was the only
> > one to volunteer to help him out. To cut to the chase, the receiver
> > had an over designed mute circuit that was 3 or 4 stages deep, At the
> > deepest stage there was one of the Sanyo electrolytics that became a
> > common failure item many years later which was slightly leaky. >
> Many electronic devices will have a common problem. It may take a while to
> find it,but once found, the first thing to look for.
Most of them have microchips (that you can't open up and repair). And they have software and wireless or hard wired connections to larger facilities elsewhere where techs can come in and review the software.
Many problems seem to be caused from malware or spyware (maybe some even from the government or other places) that intentionally interferes with the intended software provided by the company on the package's label.
I worked for a large company and we had a new building built and
> equipment installed.
Right now, I'm not even working. I'm just sitting around looking at space cartoons and video games.
Reply to
mogulah
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OK, we got one of those fancy energy-saving washing machines. After a few years, it started having trouble filling with water. I replaced the solenoid valve assembly twice over about 6 months, and then started invetigating deeper. The control board had a micro and about a dozen electeromechanical relays on it. The one for the cold water valve eventually developed contacts burned so bad that I was able to diagnose it. I replaced it with a solid state relay, and all has been good for several years. I gues the cold water valve gets cycled the most often, so that relay got burned up first. No problem yet with any of the others.
Jon
Reply to
Jon Elson
On Saturday, December 5, 2015 at 2:44:26 PM UTC-5, Jon Elson wrote in rec.crafts.metalworking:
Yeah, obviously a current relay or just that kind of an interface or something. Tell 'em about it, so they can buy you a whole new one.
You can't get anything if you stay silent. (I learned that the hard way)
Reply to
mogulah
The only thing I'll get out of them is a $250 service call, and another control board with a short life. I assume everybody else that has this or a related model ends up replacing that board every 2-3 years. Geez, I'll bet that is the largest moneymaker they have in this business!
Jon
Reply to
Jon Elson
So, are you going to tell me that this is a coincidence, or are these thieving bastids designing this crap to fail quickly, then making an equal amount (to the sales profit) by servicing their dead crap? I'm strongly guessing the latter.
Congrats on the troubleshooting.
Reply to
Larry Jaques
The future is in DRM, no unauthorized repairs or aftermarket consumables. With wifi connected everything you will simply rent or lease all your appliances, easy monthly payments, no need to spend big bucks appliances. Lets not forget the monthly use tax that will be automaticly deducted from your bank account. Fridge, stove broken? no problem the manufacture will simply remove the broken one and replace it with a factory refurbished one of the same model. Missed a payment on your wifi connected car? no problem they will simply disable it when your in a high crime area.
Best Regards Tom.
Reply to
Howard Beal
No, I think the evil bastards is pretty appropriate! On the other hand, it may have just been ONE crappy relay. I bought a bunch of parts to put arc suppressors on all the relays, but never did install them. So, there are still 11 relays of two different types perking along merrily for the last 3+ years! I was expecting the rest of the relays to start failing, but that hasn't happened.
Jon
Reply to
Jon Elson
It may not have been a bad relay, but may have been that the one relay that went bad was being asked to do something out of spec.
It seems like there ought to be solid state replacements for common mechani cal relays. I've never had a failure of an SSR, and you can get them with b uilt in snubbers and zero-cross switching. One would think it would be chea per to mass produce SSRs vs mechanicals.
Reply to
rangerssuck
I might expect one relay for each water temp, one for motor start, and maybe one for switching into spin mode, but 12? What the hell does your washer DO, besides wash clothes? Iron, fold, and stack, too?
I think you're right, the cold water relay/solenoid is the most heavily accessed one on the washer.
Reply to
Larry Jaques
There are, I think, six identical relays that drive six identical solenoid valves. I can imagine the cold water valve gets used multiple times per wash cycle (it does a bunch of tricky stuff to weigh the load by partially filling the basket and then swiring it with the motor to measure inerta) so that valve probably is cycled 6 - 10 times per wash load. But, if all the valves and relays were identical, I would expect that additional failures would have started showing up by now.
There are some bigger relays that operate heavier loads, no problem with those so far.
Yes, you WOULD think. But, I'll guess that some factory that is cranking these things out can make them for a couple cents each. If properly selected, about the only thing that will kill an SSR is lightning or a shorted load.
Jon
Reply to
Jon Elson
No, no no! This thing is a computer video game with a washing machine grafted on the side for grins!
OK, yes, there is cold and hot water main inlet. Then, the incoming water can go straight into the tub, or it can be diverted into the softener tank, the detergent tank or the bleach tank, to deliver some of that product into the tub. Then, when the recirculate pump is on, it has valves to select where that water goes. It has two pumps (recirculate and drain) and a VFD to run the drum motor. There is a spline coupling between the motor and the basket. When the tub is filled to a certain level, an air chamber floats the basket up to disconnect the spin coupling, and then the motor is rocked back and forth for the agitate function. When draining, the basket lands on the coupling, and then the motor tweaks back and forth gently until the basket seats the coupling onto the shaft before starting the spin cycle, so as not to tear up the coupling.
The pump motors look kind of like giant photograph motors, so apparently they are 120 V shaded pole motors, but have magnets in the rotor. The recirculate motor starts smoothly, but the larger drain motor rattles and vibrates for a while until the rotor falls into sync. Quite a strange way to do things. So, I think two of the big relays are for the pump motors. Another big relay must be for the heater, but I think our actual machine does NOT have a heater installed in the tub.
I was able to download the service manual for the thing, by pressing certain buttons, you can activate multiple diagnostic and test procedures that exercise and partially self-test verious parts of the machine.
Sheesh, what a bunch of complexity, to do what used to be done with some smooth rocks down at the riverside!
Jon
Reply to
Jon Elson
Does it have a speaker? "I'm sorry, Dave, but I'm afraid I won't wash that..."
Reply to
Ed Huntress
Still using the old Speed Queen Wringer Washer the parents bought in the late 60's...
I have two spigots with a Y-hose to fill it. Put clothes in the washer, add some detergent to your liking. Turn on the hot water, add some cold and use your hand to feel if it is the temp you want or not. When the level gets to within 2-3 inches of the top you turn the hose over to the two rinse tubs to fill. Turn the machine on, set the cover over the top and set a separate manual timer for 8-10 minutes. While it is washing keep you eye on filling the rinse tubs to within 4-5 inches of the top. When full shut the spigots off.
When the timer goes off, shut the agitator off, take the lid off and start running clothes through the ringer into the first rinse tub. When you have all the clothes in the first rinse tub, add another load to the washer. Set the timer, turn on the agitator. While the next load is washing continue sloshing clothes around in the first rinse tub and then run them through the ringer into the second rinse tub. Slosh clothes around again in the second tub and then run through ringer again.
For the last time I usually run them three times through the wringer. By this time the timer has usually went off and you wring the next load of clothes into the first rinse tub...
Now you can put the wrung clothes in the dryer or hang them outside weather permitting.
Drop the hose down from the side of the washer and run the wash water into the sump drain. Do the same with both the rinse tubs. Take the agitator out of the washer and swab out the tank, wipe down the agitator and wringer. Swab out the rinse tubs. Let them sit awhile to finish drying and then cover back up, push aside to where you keep them and wait till the next wash day.
Takes about 40 gallons of water and 1/2 cup of detergent to do my whole wash for two weeks and no relays to go bad ;-)
Reply to
Leon Fisk
A Steampunk washing machine! But you need a "Casey Jones Engineer" certificate to run it. d8-)
Reply to
Ed Huntress
Praps y'all should pursue these 2 less technical devices?
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They sure beat rocks. (Well, a bit.)
Reply to
Larry Jaques
There were wringer washers that ran on small gasoline engines. In the 70s, an old guy near me said he remembered (gesturing toward the road he lived on) when they came up along there installing power poles, hooking up houses, in the 1930s. Right behind them came a salesman selling electric wringer washers.
Reply to
Mike Spencer
Yeah, we had the gasoline-engined washers here, too. I remember seeing some as a kid, in south New Jersey.
Reply to
Ed Huntress
I have a concrete laundry tub like that in my house (two sinks instead of three) and one side has a built-in washboard made of sheet zinc. The house was built in 1924 and the sink probably was installed at the time.
I always liked the solution that John Steinbeck described in _Travels with Charlie_. He had a custom-made pickup camper that he drove across the country. In the shower stall he suspended a small plastic garbage can on bungee cords. He'd fill it with clothes, soap and water. He said clothes were clean in about 50 miles of driving.
Reply to
Ed Huntress
It does have a piezo beeper that responds to button presses, beeps multiple times for "sorry, you can't press that button in this mode" and signals wash done.
Jon
Reply to
Jon Elson
Well, but it really works well, gets clothes clean on about 10 gallons of water per load. It also spins the clothes so dry (at 1200 RPM) that you could almost wear them without using the dryer. We actually were able to see the drop in our water bill when we got the thing.
I did have to replace the main bearings and seals on it, and waited too long, so detergenty water got into the motor and burned up some windings. Fortunately, it didn't fry the VFD.
Then, last month I had to extract a US Quarter (coin) out of the drain pump.
Otherwise, it just works, and has done many thousands of wash loads. Some of the kids have moved out, but when we got it we had a family of eight, so the washer was busy from 9 AM to 9 PM most nights.
Jon
Reply to
Jon Elson

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