Planned Obsolescence: The Light Bulb Conspiracy

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by tom66, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. tom66

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    May 9, 2009
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    I found this video very interesting and it echos basically what I have been telling people and have known myself for a long time.

    Products are deliberately designed to fail.

    Bad capacitors, under-rated components and like the printer in the video, a built in counter which actually tells the product to stop working!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=endUcoHsCVY

    I am thinking that this creates a lot of waste that needs to be disposed of.

    So why don't we offer incentives for long warranties? A 5% tax break for example is a lot for say a 5 year warranty. But the cost of cleaning up all this waste (born by the government) must be greater than a small cut in taxes would cost them. For example, at my local recycling centre I see about 10 LCD TVs delivered every week; imagine that amount divided by 5, or more. Every part of the TV needs to be recycled and/or disposed of. Encouraging a long warranty would encourage manufacturers to increase the reliability of their products: after all, they want to limit people claiming on the warranty as it will cost them money.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2011
  2. Kermit2

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 5, 2010
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    The people who make all the PARTS that go into those products want them to wear out and stop working so people have to buy another one, then they can sell more parts to the manufacturer who will build another widget for people to buy to replace the widget that broke.

    The lobbyists for different industries will be hard to fight, when it comes to reducing the source of their monetary income, which is sales of parts.
     
  3. praondevou

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jul 9, 2011
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    I don't think so. They are designed to be cheap in production. Cheaper than the the competitor's products.

    The main discrepancy I see where a printer costs $39 but labor costs more than this/hour.

    We don't want to pay much for our electronic toys, so we produce them elsewhere for less money. The consequence is that they are not worth to being repaired.

    But the main reason for failing devices is IMO that you want to produce cheap and you want to be the first on the market (first hand experience from companies where I worked)
     
  4. tom66

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    May 9, 2009
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    I disagree. Why do electrolytic capacitor manufacturers proudly promote "10000 hr" lifespan capacitors (and that's load life - typical lifespans in 100,000hr range)? Why do EEPROM manufacturers give "40 year" to "100 year" data retention statistics? Why did one manufacturer of a diode I was looking at give load life vs. temperature (showing 10,000,000 hour lifespan @ 30°C)?
     
  5. Kermit2

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    For companies that build equipment that is NOT supposed to fail(like medical devices). The guys building cheap TV's and printers buy the far less expensive chinese caps that swell up like an angry toad and short out after 1000 hours.
     
  6. tom66

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    May 9, 2009
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    Sure, but those guys are in the minority, at least I like to think that. You won't find CapXon in many reputable electronics catalogues, for example.
     
  7. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    The video referenced in the first post keeps proclaiming that, "Planned obsolescence is the consumers desire to own something newer". No, planned obsolence is the manufacturers desire to charge me 2, 3, even 4 times for the same product. Now that they are actually installing the fabled "warranty timers", I call that fraud. Time for a class action lawsuit.
     
  8. praondevou

    AAC Fanatic!

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    Maybe this is true for consumer electronics. It is NOT true for industrial devices. Commercial costumers get fed up by failing machines and devices and next time they buy from a competitor.

    Also I don't understand why everybody wants to buy laptops for 300 bucks and expects them to work forever. High class electronic equipment DOES cost real money.

    The costumer (we) that want everything for no money is causing this too because we produce everything in China to get it as cheap as possible. Cheap labor and cheap components...

    IMO it's more negligence than purpose.
     
  9. #12

    Expert

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    Oh. So that's why the warranty timers are being installed and light bulb manufacturers combined and conspired to spend thousands of hours designing shorter life light bulbs.

    That was sarcasm. I totally disagree with you.
     
  10. GetDeviceInfo

    Senior Member

    Jun 7, 2009
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    In manufacturing, my objective is to produce consistently. Nothing more or less. The customers dictate the level of quality they desire to consume. Our management team decides which customers they will produce for based on earnings, which subsequently set the level of quality of our products. The majority of todays products are highly engineered to provide sufficient service/price ratio. If not, word gets out quickly and your done for.

    As a consumer, I have a wide choice of quality to consume. Am I influenced by marketing/advertising, or is it largely a heriditary path.

    The only conspiracy here is in someone conspiring to convince others there a conspiracy.
     
  11. praondevou

    AAC Fanatic!

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    Well, I worked in companies who developped commercial electronic appliances and it's simply not true that they put something in so that the thing burns after a certain time. At least not where I worked. I don't want to argue about warranty timers that maybe have been installed somewhere, because I don't know nothing about it.
    I'm only telling from my experience that it is not true for everything on the market.

    And then, this video remembers me of various ZEITGEIST conspiracy videos I've seen, and I don't believe everything of what they say.

    It may even be true for light bulbs and for cheap printers, but then for me the whole system is a misconception.
    What would it be like if a printer or a light bulb or a car works for as long as you live? You wouldn't buy another one, right? So things would have to be MUCH more expensive to keep the economy running. Everything is based on consuming and even though I do not agree with it, and even if I don't buy all the things I don't need, I (and my job) depend on other people consuming the things I help to produce.

    So what happens if a light bulb or a printer works for 100 years?

    This is just my opinion...
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2011
  12. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    They make long life light bulbs, they are common. They are rated for 130VAC instead of the normal 120VAC and produce slightly reduced wattage. Almost every industrial catalog sells them.

    However, Congress has gotten involved, so I don't know if you can buy them anymore. These jokers are willing to trash the economy, but feel they are qualified to judge technology like light bulbs.
     
  13. JoeJester

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 26, 2005
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    I wouldn't trust a congress critter as far as you could throw one.

    Well, there were a couple I would trust one federal representative and one state senator, only because I've seen them at the diner regularly (every few months) when I had lunch and we chatted over coffee. Naturally it was a small town and not DFW. It wasn't from my previous state either.
     
  14. loosewire

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 25, 2008
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    They build in profits,they don't care how long it last.A failure no one has
    to answer for it.So down the line of command thing get made by budget,
    and like I always say the C.E.O.'S duty is to make a profit. The nature of
    electronics parts gives you a better chance of something lasting.Don't
    forget that insurance that seemed to be a tag along Item until we learned
    how big the insurance Industry Is,In the billions. In the the previous post
    there is a lot of I's and my's like he owns a factory.Is It a stock company
    or member owned. Worker have to go thru the motion of producing as
    business model,I say the top does not have to answer,some manager
    get the bad news.
     
  15. GetDeviceInfo

    Senior Member

    Jun 7, 2009
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    Profit, either by a private or public business, isn't made by ripping people off, rather by creating brand loyalty.

    If I was to offer an instance of 'planned obselesence', I'd point to Microsoft as the leader of the pack. My GM vehicle has an annoying 'service' lamp that won't shut off, and one of my printers won't let me refill the ink tub. Is it a conspiracy?
     
  16. HarveyH42

    Active Member

    Jul 22, 2007
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    Printers... There are still printers, that costs about the same as the ink cartridge replacements, less if found on sale. Pretty much cheaper to buy another printer, instead of just the consumable cartridge. My HP1020 Laserjet, was $99, on sale, free shipping. A new toner cartridge costs $69 + shipping... The new cartridge lasts much longer though. A refilled cartridge is still in the $40 range, but not too good for making PCBs, basically useless. I've had some LED light bulbs, admittedly cheap, and Made in China, which most of which have at-least, half failed, meaning half the bulb is dark. Have tried CFL bulbs, and have two failures out of 8, so far, about the same as incandescent. More advanced electronics, usually have a microcontroller, mystery marked devices, tar blobs, for which no one could know for sure what all they are programmed for. But I would doubt that a company would intentionally program a failure into them. Life is hard on electronics, and people will usually look to go bigger or better, technology and pricing change every year, doubt it would be worth getting caught doing something dirty, a former employee blowing the whistle. If there was much truth to it, somebody would reverse engineer it, fix it, and post it on the internet. Don't most of us, attempt repairs on out of warranty? The price of taking into a repair shop, will cost you nearly the same as buying a newer product to replace it. Will the repair only return function, or correct the condition that lead to the failure? What else was damaged, and soon to fail? Have some serious doubts, about a failure conspiracy. Cars are usually traded in before they are paid off these days, for those who are into new cars. Those of us into just transportation, are happy enough with something that runs reliably, and usually don't shop the car lots, new or used. Obama's Cash4Clunkers, was a bad move for America, great for Japan (cheap scrap metal).
     
  17. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    For those who didn't spend most of an hour watching the video, it shows the owner of the printer going on the internet and finding the method to fix the printer by resetting the code in the lock-out chip so it will let the printer run again.

    ps, one method I have used with incandescent bulbs is to wire a dimmer into the circuit so they never run at full power. I have (2) 75W bulbs in my bedroom that are now over 28 years old. I defeat planned failures ever time I can, like putting a drain plug in my automatic transmissions so I can easily give them an oil change.
     
  18. praondevou

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jul 9, 2011
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    I had a similiar model C43 and it worked fine until the color printer cartridge was empty, problem is I couldn't use the black one without the color cartridge.... Conspiracy or not, THAT sucks... they obligate you to buy a whole new kit...:mad:
     
  19. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    I've been refilling my cartridge for years. Works well, so when I thought my printer had gone out, I found another used one exactly like it.
     
  20. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    I bought a Canon MF4150 Laser printer because I rarely print (wet printers dry out b4 I get to the second print job). After 4 years, I'm still on the "starter" cartridge! The day I learned that laser printers don't use ink was a wonderful day for me.
     
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