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Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
pauluk Offline OP
Just been doing the grocery shopping in Tesco today, and in the appliance section they are now selling "plain box" two-slice toasters for £3.70! Yes, you read that right -- Three pounds & seventy pence! crazy

Just how much cheaper can this stuff get? I guess I don't have to tell you where it was made.

Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 165
Fabrique au Chine, n'est-ce pas? frown

Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 853
Pardon My French, But I only speak english and Pig Latin.

I must expand. I'll guess,


Don't they kill their own for no reason and stuff? Why, How can we do Business whith them?

Oh never mind.

Money. Not Morals.
I feel better knowing we have priorities!

I feel even better knowing I have the RIGHT and FREEDOM to SAY THAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,497
I once had such a cheap toaster. After about half a year of service it was replaced with a used 1970s model I bought at a flea market for €1. The cheap one would frequently refuse to switch off, burning the toast in the process... never happened with the old one.

Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,335
That is beacaue the old one was built back when quality and pride meant something. Today is minimal effort, maximum profit.

"Live Awesome!" - Kevin Carosa
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 233
Just got my copy of E&T throught the post and it has an intresting artical about the upcoming 3D TV..... to replace HD TV

Look out for a free cathod ray TV with your petrol. After all that is what happend to digital watches and pocket calculators

der Großvater
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,497
{quote]That is beacaue the old one was built back when quality and pride meant something. Today is minimal effort, maximum profit.[/quote]
And people were willing to pay for quality. After all, some quality items are still in production today, but few people buy them since they're far more expensive.

For example, which customer buys porcelaine body snap switches with a bakelite cover for €30 if s/he can get thermoplastic ones for €5? Customers ask for cheap goods and they get what they pay for. I usually circumvent that logic by buying used.

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,432
Likes: 3
Hi Paul,
During my hypothetical "spare time" I do the odd electrical appliance or electronics repair, for friends, workmates and family.
I only take on the "simpler" faults, because in this day and age, the problem of getting circuit diagrams or even spare parts, is nothing short of diabolical.
Even so called "big ticket" items like your large TV's and stereo's have little or no service support these days, even with common house-hold name brands.
Manufacturers just aren't interested in having anyone repair an appliance these days, they are built to a price and if it fails, buy a new one.

I will be working on a Philips 34" CTV tomorrow that belongs to my sister, it all of a sudden went bang, only 2 years old, at the time of purchase, it cost NZ$999.
If it is anything too serious, it will be going to the tip.
But I reckon it might have been an electrolytic capacitor in the power supply that failed (I haven't had time to open it up thus far).
Switch-mode power supplies seem to be really hard on capacitors in TV's, this will be the 3rd TV that has suffered this fate, I've had 2 where the switch-mode chip has literally blown to pieces.

People that manufacture this junk seriously need to lift their game, but then again, people buy it don't they?

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
pauluk Offline OP
I'm in the same position Mike. I'll still take a quick look at TVs, VCRs, etc. for friends and neighbors, but even on a "just for fun" basis much of it is now unrepairable. Have you tried getting a replacement line output transformer for a modern TV these days? Even if you can find one, it'll cost at least three times the value of a 5+ year old set. frown Service manuals or even a schematic -- Forget it.

Most of the VCR mechanisms on the £29.99 supermarket specials (and on a lot of the mid-range stuff for that matter) use so much cheap plastic that after a few years continual use it's all worn to the point that you'd have to rebuild the entire mechanism to get it back to a reasonable technical standard.

I'd rather spend my time restoring old equipment which is worth keeping going because it was built up to a standard rather than down to a price.

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,432
Likes: 3
Yeah Paul,
The TV is working again, which is due more to good luck than fault-finding/repair skills on my part.
I opened the set up last Sunday and found 4 capacitors had ruptured (all in the PSU area of the PC board), luckily the cases were still intact, otherwise I would have been totally lost, in working out the size of the replacements.

While I had the set open, I noticed that the ultor cap on the back of the tube had been burnt at some time in the TV's life, as it looked like the silicon rubber had melted in places, I checked the connection to the tube and it was loose, I pulled it out and the pins had no "spring" left in them, so I welded a small spring between the pins and the TV works as good as gold now.
It's a tad worrying that a connection such as this (carries upwards of 15kV) could actually be loose and not be noticed.

One thing I must say though, we have certainly gone backwards fast in the methods of building TV's these days, to get the main PC board out to work on it, took about an hour of drawing a diagram on a bit of paper because all the plugs and sockets are the same on the board, get two of these connectors mixed up and it's all over! mad
Luckily I very rarely ever fix TV's, people that do it for a living must be on anti-depressants.

I also like old gear, remember back when TV's had a wooden case and you opened the back and the boards (yes there was more than one) either hinged out or slid out with ample wire length to have a good look at things.

And all the metal parts that held the PC boards in place actually had all the sharp edges taken off!
Everything in an older TV seemed to be bigger too, like resistors and capacitors, the power transformer was always kept well away from everything else.

These days you get a super-thin PC board, loaded with millions of tiny components, I've even seen SMD components in a few new TV's here.
One thing there Paul, line output transformers aren't what they used to be, I've seen a LOT of TV's and CRT monitors die because of the LOPT failing, as you said above, forget trying to get a replacement.

IMO we are being held to ransom by manufacturers that won't supply spare parts at reasonable cost, because it will affect their bottom line.
All TV manufacturers should have the motto "We sell TV's, that's all we do"

Having said that, I've had good results from Samsung here in NZ, you CAN get parts and manuals for their TV's and other gear they make, trouble is, next to no-one buys Samsung stuff here and it also very rarely breaks down!

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