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TECHSHOP
01-13-2007, 02:28 AM
Looks like my little oil filled space heater lost its spark (and my formerly frostbit ends really noticed!).

Multi-meter--check;
Screwdriver--check;
Wire cutter--check;

Ok, boys I'm going in...

Evan
01-13-2007, 03:34 AM
Wonder what sort of oil is in there? Hopefully you don't find out unintentionally.

TECHSHOP
01-13-2007, 04:02 AM
Evan:

Don't know about the oil, pulled one wire, that had no condutivity from end to end, but a "bump" in a heat shrink wrap, but I also don't know where I can find a fusable link at 0230(+/-) hours locally. Maybe I should go bother SWMBO...

The Doctor
01-13-2007, 04:24 AM
I find that whether or not the parts are user serviceable depends largely on who the user is :D

Evan
01-13-2007, 11:17 AM
What they really mean is "No Luser servicable parts". :D

nheng
01-13-2007, 12:47 PM
I'm not sure why they haven't changed to "no serviceable parts inside" :D

EDMTech
01-13-2007, 01:40 PM
What they really mean is "No Luser servicable parts". :D

HAHA! Kind of like my free shop microwave that didn't work. $0.50 fuse ;)

I always look at it like, "it's broke, and I'm not paying to get it fixed. So if I take it apart and can't fix it, oh well, I learned something."

zopi
01-13-2007, 02:07 PM
at least with the microwave, you can snag the Magnetron magnets..

Swarf&Sparks
01-13-2007, 02:38 PM
Yeah, just as long as you don't snag the magnetron capacitor while it's charged. Death can really slow you down.

darryl
01-13-2007, 03:14 PM
-bump wrapped in heat shrink- that's probably one of those failure-prone fusible links. You could just replace it with one of those thermal breakers that you find in all sorts of things, like coffee pots, hair dryers, etc. It's a little black device with some mounting tabs and two spade lugs sticking out of it. Maybe there's already one in the heater, and that 'bump' is in there as added protection, though in my opinion it's there to kill the product after the warranty period has expired.

Evan's right- lots of stuff has no loser serviceable parts :) Sad that so much stuff is made to be throwaway, or would be throwaway anyway if someone was not willing to go in there and do a simple repair. Hopefully it's simple in this case, and you can get the feeling back in your digits :)

Weston Bye
01-13-2007, 03:56 PM
Techshop:
Be sure to use an apropriate replacement for the "bump". A fellow I know jumpered a thermofuse (inline metal bullet-shaped thingy) in his coffee maker and came back later to find his kitchen in flames. Sometimes these things fail for legitimate reasons other than expired warranties.

kendall
01-13-2007, 04:40 PM
Evan's right- lots of stuff has no loser serviceable parts :) Sad that so much stuff is made to be throwaway, or would be throwaway anyway if someone was not willing to go in there and do a simple repair. Hopefully it's simple in this case, and you can get the feeling back in your digits :)

companies have two ways to stay in business, make an excellent easily repaired product, which will require constant 'must have' improvements to produce repeat sales, or a decent product with a limited lifespan thats nonrepairable so the purchaser HAS to buy a new one. Most companies choose the latter because it doesn't require the R and D investment.

disposable has become the watchword, a halfway decent 'single use' device is going to produce a lot more repeat sales then a great multiple use one.

Odd thing though is that most of the 'disposable items have the same internal components as the easily repairable items, just the case is welded or glued, where the 'repairable' has screws or bolts.

Funniest I think I've seen are the disposable fast chargers for cell phones a lot of places carry for $19 or so.

or calculators you can buy for $20. with batteries that run you $20 to replace, Have bought cheap calculators a couple times so I could replace the batteries in my good one, was much cheaper them buying the batteries alone. (also bought a brand new computer from office depot because it was y $30 less than buying the hard drive, dvd writer, and ram I was upgrading in my computer, transfered all my moms stuff into that computer, and we both had new ones!)

Ken.

Evan
01-13-2007, 06:08 PM
You just reminded me of a minor pet peeve I have. Why is it that solar powered calculators turn off after several minutes to save the batteries? Why? How much would it cost to put a disable pin on the chip? .000001 cents per unit? Less?

Or is it simply a case of numbingly stupid design?

Wirecutter
01-13-2007, 09:00 PM
Or is it simply a case of numbingly stupid design?
Ahem. Uh, it wouldn't be the first time.


TECHSHOP -
I used to have one of those oil-filled radiator-style heaters. I really liked it, aside from the waiting for it to warm up. It gives great heat, and is much less of a fire hazard than a red-hot wire ribbone.

When mine went bad, it was the main power switches for the two heating elements. On mine, the big element was 1000W, the small one 600W. (Hence three power settings - 600, 1000, and 1600W) The problem is that the switches used are working at their max capacity, and that's before derating them for working in such a hot environment. So what I did was got a couple of stud mounted (yes, isolated stud) 40-amp triacs, and mounted them inside the side panel below where the burned-out switches were. I then put a couple of little cheapo toggle switches in and used them to switch the gates of the triacs. Never had another problem.

I was never brave enough to remove the cap on the oil filler hole - the one the heating elements were mounted to. I'll bet it's quite a mess in there.

-Mark

Wirecutter
01-13-2007, 09:05 PM
Funniest I think I've seen are the disposable fast chargers for cell phones a lot of places carry for $19 or so.

or calculators you can buy for $20. with batteries that run you $20 to replace, Have bought cheap calculators a couple times so I could replace the batteries in my good one, was much cheaper them buying the batteries alone.

Oh, it's not that funny...


Same is true for the ubiquitous ink-jet printer - or even better, the 3-in-1 printer. I looked at the cost of ink cartridges for my old HP 500 series all-in-one, and decided to scrap it. But not before gutting it for interesting parts. The coolest were the sensor element for the scanner part, and the little micro-printed mylar strip and sensor element used to sense exactly where the print head was. I haven't decided what to do with them, but the position feedback stuff was particularly interesting.

Oh yeah - and the parts I kept occupy a lot less space than that useless old printer. :D

-Mark

Mad Scientist
01-13-2007, 09:14 PM
No User Serviceable Parts Inside” This is “always” viewed as a challenge.

Just what is it inside and what makes the manufacture think that it is not user serviceable?
Have they never run across a dedicated do-it-yourselfer?
Someone who is willing to boldly go where someone has gone before. :D

Mad Scientist
01-13-2007, 09:21 PM
You just reminded me of a minor pet peeve I have. Why is it that solar powered calculators turn off after several minutes to save the batteries?

No. They do that is to prevent the suns energy from being wasted. :)

TECHSHOP
01-13-2007, 11:18 PM
After daylight, I went to the local Robber Baron (Radio Shack) and asked the helpful sales staff (that, surprise, knows less than I do about this high tech electrical stuff). But I didn't let that blank stare slow this ol'man down, apologized for asking a question, and started looking in the parts bins. located a part #270-1322, paid about a buck and halve to the helpful sales (hey, does anyone know if Radio Shack is still commision sales?) girl. Then went home and replaced the old 128*C thermal fuse with a new 128*C thermal fuse (custom manufactured in the USA of foreign and domestic components, printed right on the package).

It's Alive!

Evan
01-13-2007, 11:31 PM
custom manufactured in the USA of foreign and domestic components, printed right on the package

Yeah, but where was the fuse made?


I'll bet the oil inside is plain old vegetable oil, either corn oil or canola. Probably some beta carotene added as a preserative, entirely non-toxic.

My wife just gave me a spray can (with tube, like WD40) of a new product she is selling. It's a penetrating and cutting oil made from canola oil treated the same as biodiesel. Non toxic and she says it the best thing since sliced bread. I'm going to try it and see if it's as good as claimed.

TECHSHOP
01-14-2007, 12:13 AM
Well, if I could read the Chinese, I could tell you for sure.

Also I always thought that the oil was a mineral oil, like that stuff mothers slather on a baby's bottom.

But as long as the magic oil is in there I don't want to let it out.

Evan
01-14-2007, 12:50 AM
Probably not mineral oil, it isn't biodegradeable. They are now using vegetable oil in large power transformers too.