Low-Tech Fix Saves Expensive, High-Tech TV From Junk Pile

Wiggling this connector caused the backlight to turn off and on.

[Tweepy]’s TV stopped working, and the experience is a brief reminder that if a modern appliance fails, it is worth taking a look inside because the failure might be something simple. In this case, the dead TV was actually a dead LED backlight, and the fix was so embarrassingly simple that [Tweepy] is tempted to chalk it up to negligently poor DFM (design for manufacture) at best, or even some kind of effort at planned obsolescence at worst.

What happened is this: the TV appeared to stop working, but one could still make out screen content while shining a bright light on the screen. Seeing this, [Tweepy] deduced that the backlight had failed, and opened up the device to see if it could be repaired. However, the reason for the backlight failure was a surprise. It was not the power supply, nor even any of the LEDs themselves; the whole backlight wouldn’t turn on because of a cheap little PCB-to-PCB connector, and the two small spring contacts inside that had failed.

The failed connector, once cut open, showed contacts in poor condition (click to enlarge). It was ditched for a soldered connection, and the TV lived again.

From the outside things looked okay, but wiggling the connector made the backlight turn on and off, so the connection was clearly bad. Investigating further, [Tweepy] saw that the contact points of the PCBs and the two little conductors inside the connector showed clear signs of arcing and oxidation, leading to a poor connection that eventually failed, resulting in a useless TV. The fix wasn’t to clean the contacts; the correct fix was to replace the connector with a soldered connection.

Using that cheap little connector doubtlessly saved some assembly time at the factory, but it also led to failure within a fairly short amount of time. Had [Tweepy] not been handy with a screwdriver (or not bothered to investigate) the otherwise working TV would doubtlessly have ended up in a landfill.

It serves as a good reminder to make some time to investigate failures of appliances, even if one’s repair skills are limited, because the problem might be a simple one. Planned obsolescence is a tempting doorstep upon which to dump failures like this, but a good case can be made that planned obsolescence isn’t really a thing, even if manufacturers compromising products in one way or another certainly is.

66 thoughts on “Low-Tech Fix Saves Expensive, High-Tech TV From Junk Pile

  1. Ooh, a rare occation where the apperent dying of a flat screen haven’t been fixed by changing the capacitors on the power board.

    Seriously, if your screen goes dark, google “[insert product code] power capacitors”.

    1. rare occasion?

      I remember having to often replace PSU capacitors and still do in other products but for the past few years probably 80% of the TV’s I have fixed have been for failed LED’s.
      Often the TV’s are set too bright and too dynamic to make them stand out in the showroom and no-one sets them up when they get home.

      Yes, the caps do still fail but usually way after the LEDs nowadays.

      Seriously, if your screen goes dark, shine a light and you will probably see an image :-).

      1. I had one that was most certainly a dead brainbox, I was quite disappointed. Broke as heck bachelor hoping to score a 40″ 1080p TV for cheap and once the repair bill crested $300 potential dollars I had to give it up.

        1. I’ve got those free, brainbox $30-40 on ebay once you figure out the OEM and the range of models that it services. Of course if its a common failure part it won’t be cheap or available. But the screens are fragile so parts should be available

        2. That is when you start looking round for someone selling the same model with a smashed screen on eBay or such as generally the rest of the parts are normally fine unless you get the 1 in a million that is broken because someone threw the remote at it in anger at it developing a different fault :-).

  2. My landlord a long time ago was throwing out a old CRT TV set a long time ago because it was not working. I rescued it from the skip, opened it up, and surmised that the only thing wrong with it was the old glass fuse. I replaced it and it worked.

    I kept the TV for many years through a number of moves. It kept failing about every 6 months. Again, open it up and replace the glass fuse. I had a supply of glass fuses on hand just for this.

    However, at some point I was looking at one of the old fuses, and I could not actually see the break, so I decided to test it with a voltmeter. To my surprise, it was fine. No break at all.

    I realised at that point that the fuses were fine. It was actually the process of removing the back off the TV and fiddling around which was fixing the TV, but I never worked out why.

    1. I’ve seen a similar thing on quite a few CRT TVs and computer monitors: heat cycles at the CRT socket lead to solder cracks around one or more pins on that socket. The cracks aren’t even a problem until they grow all the way around the pin, and even then they usually make the connection intermittently. Resoldering all of the socket pins has saved a few monitors for me.

    2. i haf one like tgis. I took it to tje old school tv repair guy (thru hole was his expertise) he claimed it was bad solder joints, not sure if he reflowed all the joints or not, tv is still at my father in laws, some 20 years after i rescued it…

    3. I spared the opening of the device and just gave it a good whack or two. :-) Also called the “magic touch”. It was well known at the time, that CRT TVs often (always?) failed with open solder joints. The high temperatures, together with heavy componenents and the – somewhat – high frequency of the line transformer very often lead to failures in that are.
      But when the intermittent connections went open too often, I started to resolder some connections in our families TV. Without success . So we decided to bring it to a repair shop. In the end we were told, they did jsut resodler connections. Obviously, they had the better knowledge about the critical places than me.

  3. Planned obsolescence is a thing, see the many comments in the linked article.

    Apple is one example of this. They introduced a whole new market category and very shallow type of users that forced other more advanced users to also have to deal with walled gardens, and simplified user interfaces, including battery lifetime reduction (which they got sanctioned for).

    Before Apple’s push, there was no trend to dumb down everything as much as now. Windows followed and reduced the options you had for setting colors, which is a usability issue, not just a cosmetic one.

    What really happened is that companies thought they are smarter than their customers/users, and tried to push certain design choices.

    The same happens since decades in advertising and marketing, which tries to create needs, instead of meeting those that exist. Claiming people just want cheap is patently false, as well, or expensive hardware like Apple would not sell.

    1. But planned obsolescence is different. Planned obsolescence is where a product is designed to OBSOLETE after a while. You know, like computers. The subject of this article was just shoddy work. Any time you see evidence of arcing and overheating on a connector, it’s because that connector wasn’t making good contact, so there was resistance, leading to a voltage drop, dissipating power, which made heat. In the case of brand-new connectors that have only been plugged in once, this is something that could/should have been caught, because there should be a distinct resistance felt as the LED strips are plugged together, but the strip must have just slipped into this connector with almost no resistance at all, and yet the assembler didn’t take the time to check why that connector acted differently from the others.

        1. Well, yes, I have worked on an assembly line. And everybody did QC on the previous person’s work. We DID care about quality, and got immediate feedback when we did something wrong. But I’ve also worked at a place that made electronics for the aerospace industry, that truly did NOT care about quality. Their attitude was, if it passed the test, ship it. It didn’t matter if we saw something that was going to fail in the field. Pass = ship it. So it’s NOT something that is inherent in the assembly line structure.

    2. My theory based on my experience for Apple and older iPhome is that they use iOS update for planned obsolescence. I try to keep my phone for a while, usually longer than most apple consumer, and what they do is sneaky. The problem is not that they stop supporting older model with iOS update, they actually support old model much longer than most android phone. I can understand having to move forward amd not cripple the software to keep backward compatibility with oder phone. The sneaky bit is that they (I believe) intentionnally release an update or two too many for older model so that by the time your phone is on the last supported version of the OS, it struggle to keep up and run like molasse. Normal user being faced with slower phone and long load time for apps then compare to other users with the newer model anf start believing their phone is just too old and want to upgrade. And even if you want to roll-back to a previous version, you are unable to do so because Apple only allow you to go up in version and never back. If you compare an iPhone 4 running the older versions of iOS, all your apps will load up very quickly and the phone will react very responsively. Upgrade that phone to the last supported iOS version and you will see right away how everything get slugish. Even typing a message will sometime have delayed input. Peoples don’t realise because the chamge are usually incremental over a years or two. But do a version jump from one of the earliest supported version (released when the phone was on the marlet) to the last few version, and I can assure you the useability of that phone will drop in the span of an hour. That’s why I always advice peoples with older iphone/ipad not to always update to the latest iOS in the end of life of thoses products unless they are forced to. Honestly, it should be illegal for Apple to prevent rolling back to previous iOS version.

    3. Regarding the mention of planned obsolescence….

      When it comes to manufacturing and physical design, planned obsolescence is pretty difficult to execute successfully. Aside from parts that “wear” in a predictable way (friction parts such as bearings/bushings, batteries that decay with use/age, etc.), designing something that is mass produced and incorporating an element of intentional failure after a specified amount of time would actually be quite a feat. There are just too many variables that come into play once the item is purchased: Differing operating environments, how the end user handles and cares for the product, how often the product is used / power cycled, etc.

      Designing a shitty electrical connector for the purpose of failing after a specified amount of time would be impossible. In the case of the TV – one user might leave their TV on for 6 hours a day every day, and move homes 3 times during the sampled period of time. Another owner might only use their tv a couple hours per week and the TV has remained securely wall mounted from day one. There would be no way to design a connector that would intentionally fail after the same amount of time for both those users.

      More realistically, planned obsolescence usually involves the following:

      -Newer, improved products entering the market place, leaving the end user with interest in replacing their item with the newer version. This is often driven by marketing departments – a new version product might have minimal improvements, but give it a new look, add the latest buzzwords, and now everyone “must have it”. An example of this is the shape of iPhone over the years – rounded edges, then sharp edges, then back to rounded edges. There is no “better” shape to move towards – just as long as the latest version is different from the pervious one and gets people looking at it and talking about it.

      -Firmware/software updates that are optimized for the latest hardware, resulting in decreasing performance as the product’s hardware specs start to diverge from the latest hardware specs that each new version of firmware/software is written for.

      -Firmware/software updates that intentionally decrease the functionality of the product (evil).

      -Designing a product with components that wear/decay at a predictable rate (this only works when wear/decay rate is a function of age rather than usage, or when there is a strong correlation between age and usage).

      You’ll notice that in most of these forms of planned obsolescence, the obsolescence does not come from the design of the product or manufacturing techniques. Instead, it is done externally, by the product’s designers, after the product is purchased and conveniently when the designer has a newer version of the product they would like you to buy.

      In the case of the TV, the crappy connector design was to save manufacturing steps, thereby reducing cost of manufacturing. The connector was likely evaluated, and testing concluded that the manufacturing cost savings outweighed the expected increase in fail rates. This isnt exactly the most ethical way of operating, as those failures are often experienced by the consumer, leaving them with a dead product they shelled out cash for. However, while it can be just as ethically questionable as Planned Obsolescence, it is not a form of Planned Obsolescence.

      1. There are some examples that counter what I wrote above. In the case of the iPhone, the design decision to have a battery that is not user-replaceable could be considered a form of planned obsolescence. As all current rechargeable battery technologies have a known life expectancy, the battery itself does not directly relate to planned obsolescence. However, by adding hurdles to the battery replacement process (such as having to take the phone in to a repair shop / apple store, there is now an element of planned obsolescence.

        Say two phone owners experience sub-par battery performance in their phones after 2 years of use. The phone owner that is able to swap out the batter in 30 seconds will likely just buy a replacement battery and call it a day. However, the phone owner that is not able to replace the battery themselves may say “I can bring my phone to a repair shop, pay them for labor as well as for the replacement battery, be without my phone for a day… or maybe I should just put that time and money into just getting a new phone, as my current phone is 2 years old”.

        1. Planned obsolescence can be helped along in the case of laptops by soldering the CPU and RAM. In the past, I would typically purchase used laptops and after maxing out the plug in CPU and RAM and installing an SSD, it would increase the performance to the point that years more of use were available. Now, we are lucky if the SSD is user replaceable.

      2. I once had a Philips clock radio, which had a strage construction detail: The “Snooze” button was mounted on a small sub-PCB whih was mounted on a small separate plastic frame part of the plastic chassis. And wit was just soldered with solder pads at a right angle to the main PCB without any wires. And the main GND trace for most of the circuit was routed over this sub-PCB with the button. You could argue, that saves a wire link.
        Now most people use this “Snooze” button quite regularly and the plastic frame had a little pliability – more than the solder joints.
        I don’t believe that “planned obsolescence” happens more often than just bad design and cheap components but in that case I have great difficulties to believe that this did not happen on purpose.

    4. I think the situations you describe actually strengthen the “no such thing as planned obsolescence” argument.

      Apple devices sell because consumers want what they do. Not the other way around.

      An iPhone has a sealed battery in it because the customers value the design that enables, not because Apple wants to force you to buy a new one when the battery wears out. Things aren’t “dumbed down” because they do something other people want instead of the thing you want. In fact, they’re actually smarter, but they’re not for you.

      Sure, _you_ might not have the same motivation as the customers driving the design in that direction. But that just means you’re a minority. Not that Apple is out to get you.

      Also, the real ironic thing about what you’re saying is that in many cases, due simply to initial quality, Apple products end up lasting longer that other products that are “less disposable” in the same category. Who cares if you can change the battery/add memory/whatever if it’s all shabby and worn out after a few years, or wasn’t that nice to begin with?

      1. And let’s consider what “planned obsolescence” (NOT planned wear-out) means: it means that we need a new phone or computer every five years, NOT because they wear out, but because the technology is actually advancing at that rate. Back in the 1960s, when I first heard the term “planned obsolescence”, it was applied mainly to automobiles, where there really WASN’T that much advancement being made, and obsolescence meant that car models LOOKED obsolete because of the rapid changes in their styling. I mean, you could identify any car by year, make, and model, just by looking at them, but there wasn’t a lot of difference under the skin. But that trend ran out of steam in the 1970s, where we started seeing cars with the same bodies being used for five years in a row. And if you look at the American Motors line-up from the 70s, you’ll see that having to come up with a new look every year had lead to some pretty bizarre designs.

        Fast forward to now, and sure, we see phones that don’t have replaceable batteries, but that’s because you’ll have other reasons to replace that phone by the time the battery is worn out, and the phone at that point will be two or three generations behind the state of the art, requiring the manufacturer to support three generations simultaneously. So yeah, there IS planned obsolescence, but it’s there because that’s what consumers want, not just because that makes the manufacturers more money.

        What I consider to be a more sinister thing than even planned obsolescence was, is the selling of hardware as a service. You see this in both cell phones and cars. With cell phones, it’s the cost of the phone amortized over its planned lifetime, so that when you subscribe to a phone “plan”, this includes the service AND the hardware. In cars, it’s the lease vs. buy option, where it’s not even a question of how long the car will last; it’s built into the deal that three or four years from now, you’ll replace it with a new one. In the case of cars, the big selling point is that the company is responsible for maintenance costs (which brings us back to the bulletproof Western Electric phones and IBM 3270 terminals). But again, it’s about making the car a service that you pay for continuously, rather than an owned piece of hardware that you can decide when to replace. Ask any John Deere owner: they used to buy tractors and run them into the ground over a fifty year period, but Deere is doing their best to speed up the turnover by making it impossible for owners to maintain and repair them.

        1. Yeah, except the only reason to have an iPhone newer than a 6 is because you _want_ one. The old one still works great. Even the supposed battery scandal was done to keep the phones from shutting down unexpectedly.

          The fact of the matter is that what people consider “Planned Obsolescence” is either their own consumer preference, or a myth – typically propagated to justify having purchased another brand.

          What John Deere is doing is something else entirely. The equipment doesn’t become obsolete – you just have to keep paying for it forever even though you own it. It’s _worse_ than planned obsolescence.

  4. I just fixed an exercise machine with a failed backlight. Designer ran LEDs at twice rated current. They blew out. Replace module? No. It was integrated onto the controller. Replace controller? No. They wanted half the cost of a new machine for a controller board. OK, replace LEDs. Unusual side-fire LEDs. Nobody had any unless you want 10,000 from the factory. Take 5mm LEDs and mill them to fit then polish them. Increased series resistors to prevent future failure. It worked. How many people can/will do this sort of thing? They saved possibly $3 manufacturing cost and made the $1500 machine virtually unrepairable. This is an incredibly wasteful society. Our children will not appreciate it.

    1. I don’t think we can blame society itself for the actions of irresponsible manufacturers. Having worked in a number of factories over the years, I can say that in my experience the problem is usually one of bad management, particularly those that expect continuous sales growth, and those that refuse to consider maintenance (machine, design, building, etc.) to be part of the cost of doing business and instead treat it as something to be eliminated to make their bottom lines (and bonus checks) look better. We all pay the costs incurred by those idiots.

        1. Yes. Profit-driven private enterprise will work to maximize profits. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll produce shoddy junk. Look at rotary dial telephones or IBM 3270 terminals for examples of reliable equipment that got produced when the profit motive encouraged reliability. True, those were boring and expensive, but they were nearly indestructible, because the entity responsible for their design was responsible for their maintenance.

          But when society sets up a marketplace that encourages ignoring maintenance costs, and rewards the lowest possible manufacturing costs, why would society expect anything other than cheap unmaintainable junk?

          Good managers will follow the profit motive.

          1. What on earth makes you think society wants those things, or has set up a marketplace like that? The marketplace was largely set up by corporate lobbyists and their politicians. It’s sad that I need to explain this, in 2020, to anybody over 16

          2. Funny you’ve chosen two things both made by a monopoly in their respective field (“No one ever got fired for…”). But when the desire for ever more affordable (aka cheaper) goods came about from consumers, that started the inevitable slide, we’re currently seeing.

          3. @Jul13
            I think “set up” is poor wording. The marketplace is organic, it changes and grows based on those that use it. There is no conspiracy by corporate lobbyists and politicians to force people to buy cheap crap. Granted, politicians do influence the market with tax cuts/penalties, substities, etc. but nothing was ever “set up”. Many voters LIKE this way of manipulating the actions of the population. Just look at the “sin taxes” on alcohol and tobacco. In Oregon they want to raise the tax on cigarettes by $2 a pack and to start taxing vaping. These are the same manipulations you are talking about and can be used for good and bad outcomes.

            When company A has widget 1 and people want it, companies B and C will try to make the same thing for cheaper, usually at the loss of quality. If people stop buying from company A because the others are good enough quality for them, then company A will either adapt or stop selling that widget. If people need the quality more than the cheaper cost, then company A will continue to sell that widget and the others may or may not continue. This is the marketplace that, I believe, Richard was talking about, where the society dictates what is more important, quality or price. Usually price wins and we end up with cheap unmaintainable junk.

            This is basic economics, supply and demand in the real world. No conspiracies required.

          4. The motivation was completely different in the case of rotary dial telephones. When those were being produced, you could not buy one – you could only lease them from the phone company. Bell Telephone’s Western Electric subsidiary made bulletproof phones because Bell Telephone was responsible for all of the maintenance, and the maintenance had to be done via house calls.

          5. In some cases reliability and quality are a selling point.
            I still have a 1960 Olivetti typewriter and is working flawlessly, sometimes need a bit of compressed air and some oil to run smoothly. The original IBM PC was expensive but they worked flawlessly and for the task they were designed, word processing an spreadshhet they are actually usable nowadays.
            If you go in an ham radio shack you could find sometimes tube based tranceivers, because hams are normally requiring schematics and service manuals, spare parts. This has some drawbacks, so an handheld looks like a cellphone of the ’90, has an easily detachable battery and some could use an alkaline battery adapter or run directly on 12V.

            Problem is that a smatphone user is willing to have a tiny and light and sleek handheld, so manufaturers are making what they could sell.

          6. @BrightBlueJim said

            >because Bell Telephone was responsible for all of the maintenance

            …Exactly! The way out of our battery problems is to make the manufacturers responsible for them

  5. I have a monitor that started playing up many years ago, random display corruption coming and going, there was nothing to be lost in taking a look, so I opened it up and quickly spotted a chip in a socket with a bent pin; straightened it out and the monitor is still in regular use to this day, not a single issue since. Definitely worth a quick look before assuming the worst, you never know unless you look!

  6. I have a monitor that started playing up many years ago, random display corruption coming and going, there was nothing to be lost in taking a look, so I opened it up and quickly spotted a chip in a socket with a bent pin; straightened it out and the monitor is still in regular use to this day, not a single issue since. Definitely worth a quick look before assuming the worst, you never know unless you look!

    1. It’s not that they make a product fail just after the length of the warranty, but rather they set the warranty to be just shorter than the expected life. That’s the point of the warranty though. They believe it should work for X years/months, and if it doesn’t that means it was definitely a manufacturing defect, and they will fix it.

      It’s insurance. If everything goes as intended, you’ll never use the insurance.

      1. It’s not that they make a product fail just after the length of the warranty, but rather they set the warranty to be just shorter than the expected life.

        If that was remotely true we’d see warranties with strange duration. 15 months because it lasts about 15 months. Instead it is always rounded to a nice number, which obviously rules out your mindlessly pro corporate “theory”

        1. I’m sure that if typical life is 15 months, the warranty gets rounded down to something like 12 months. Suggesting that manufacturers set their warranty and then engineer products to last just long enough seems mindlessly anti-corporate.

        2. Nope, if they expect it to last for 18 mo, they will still set the warranty to 12mo, not 15.

          I work in the Reliability department of a company that manufactures some rather pricey products (10K-20K USD). We test our products and calculate the expected lifetime, then set the warranty period based on that data as well as the cost of the logistics (stocking/manufacturing replacement parts, cost of repairs, shipping, labor, etc). We have tested our products in-house and they last for >7 years, but the warranties are often in the 1-5 year range (depending on customer contracts and local laws).

          Really, corporations are not evil, well most anyway. They are trying to make money and when people keep buying from them, then they must be doing something right. I hate Apple’s anti-consumer policies, tactics and overpriced crap, but there are enough people that like their products enough to make them one of the richest companies in the world. You can only blame their customers for that.

        3. Or… maybe they round down the expected life to the next sensible number?
          Wow. Had to think hard to invent that pro-corporate idea of mine… must be I’m a corporate shrill paid to write this stuff.

      2. No, not to make a product fail after the expected lifetime, but there are requirements for the product life. It has to live at least e.g. 5 years. Then you design it and do some (accelerated) lifetime testing. If it fails to early, you have to use better (= more expensive) components. I don’t know, if some companys extend the lifetime tests to look if it e.g. fails after 1,5 or 2 times the expected time and use cheaper components if not.

  7. While I totally encourage anyone who is interested to open their electronics and attempt troubleshooting, it’s worth noting that a crash course on how not to electrocute yourself inside mains powered devices might be a good idea first.

  8. Back in the old CRT time I once got a TV for free that stopped working soon thereafter.
    After fiddling around a bit and reading some datasheets I figured out it was because of a “low beam current” measurement at the start, and the TV turned itself of because of this measurement.

    My solution was to add a resistor somewhere in the back of the TV, connected to a microswitch and a piece of string. After you turned the TV on, you pull the string, which temporarily increased the beam current (which resulted in an overexposed image) and you got a picture. After a few years I gave the TV to some young kids in the family who also used it for years before it finally gave up.

    1. More than likely, the TV had an actual fault, and what caused it to turn itself off was the circuitry that was designed to prevent component failures from making it into an X-ray machine due to loss of HV regulation. Did you ever check the high voltage, to see it it was within spec? Your string-and-switch solution may have put enough load on the HV supply that it reduced the voltage to within specs. Since the set continued to work after you released the switch, you probably didn’t expose yourself to TOO much radiation, though.

    1. Most likely, the connector was designed in with the thought “That’s good enough” and never considered again. A few TVs were built and burned in for a while; none failed so the design was approved and went into production. Manufacturing tolerances, age, and perhaps an unfortunate operating environment led to eventual failure. It’s hard to get angry at this sort of thing unless the design was obviously inadequate or a part with an established record of poor reliability was used.

      As long as consumers want “new and improved” this sort of thing is going to happen. “New” and “established reliability” are mutually exclusive.

      1. This kind of thinking is uninformed. Manufacturers do NOT like it when their products earn a reputation as junk, and a manufacturer who gets a number of returned sets due to this connector is going to change vendors. Returned sets cost them a lot of money, especially compared to the price of a connector.

      2. I see very thick blobs of solder on the contact points. Solder can creep under pressure and develop oxide layers. You can see the depression of the spring in the solder. Perhaps they used another PCB surface finish at that point in the prototype phase when they did the test. Or it’s just a high solder deposit, at the upper end of manufacturing tolerances.

    2. Truly amazing planned obsolescence.
      How much work must have gone into creating a connector that’s reliable enough not to fail in normal warranty but will fail afterwards? How much work went into calibration of the spring so it lasted the right amount of time? How clever to choose a part which they can plausibly deny the intent, rather than a proper kill-switch.

      It’s unbelievable.

      “Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by incompetence”

  9. “but a good case can be made that planned obsolescence isn’t really a thing,”

    What’s wrong with you? That’s not a good case, that isn’t a decent case. It’s not even a bad case, the entire article reads like an exercise in brown nosing and making blind assumptions.

    Authors like this make hackaday a disgusting place.

  10. I did this fix for an elderly retired friend of mine, slightly different.
    One LED was burned, but the exact LED PCB was not available. I eventually just ordered the one from a different size TV in the same brand and cut out new holes. I do recall soldering it in, but I think the original was soldered. Also it wasn’t a very large TV, so there wasn’t any middle of the strip joint necessary. The spacing was very close on the new PCB. Still running strong today.

  11. The culprit of this failure is solder *as* contacts on the PCB. Look closely at the *soft* solder on the PCB deforms over time due to pressure. A fresh solder joint doesn’t look like that. This reduces the contact pressure and eventually escalated to poor contact and failure.

  12. “but a good case can be made that planned obsolescence isn’t really a thing,”

    No, it really can’t. Every “good case” I’ve seen including that garbage piece you linked to are all supported by anecdotal evidence or, “Believe me, I know what I’m talking about. I’m never wrong. fAkE nEwS!” The harder you press for sources and evidence, the harder they deflect.

    Now evidence of planned obsolescence on the other hand is very easy to come by and is solid.
    https://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-history/dawn-of-electronics/the-great-lightbulb-conspiracy
    Take a little read through this article on the Phoebus Cartel. Links to sources throughout, photo evidence, numbers.

    There’s no comparison. You’d might as well be linking to an article proving the easter bunny eats santa’s jack-o-lantern head for passover.

    1. A few days ago there was a really good explanation about the Phoebus cartel. It is not that easy as people who want to cite this as an example of “planned obsolescense” think. You can easily increase the lifetime of bulbs, if you reduce emperature and thus efficiency. Some people can measure the power consumption of bulbs, only very few can measure the light output or make statistics about lifetime. So the cartel was more about standardization and control of manufacturing quality than “planned obsolescense”. And the often mentioned “centennial bulb” has a very low filament temperature and thus energy efficiency. It’s very dim.

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