Industrial manufacturing: DFM or planned obsolescence

I’ve stumble upon a fairly common appliance, present in most home, built by million of unit, a TV.

This model is a GRUNDIG 40VLE5324BG with LED backlight: not starting anymore (one could see the “Grunding” logo or “signal not present” when flashing a strong light on it).

After seeking the net for a solution, removing dozen of screws, accessing the 100cm long LCD panel made of ultra thin glass with COG and flex PCB on side, I finally had access to the culprit: No, it was not the capacitor, not the LED driver, not even a LED but a single connector: PCB to PCB connector, designed to decrease assembly time and cost. As these LED string are serial driven (140V @ 400mA), a single failure will render the whole system useless.

Just wiggling the connector would start/stop the backlight:

In this case, slight flex, oxidation or poor connector plating cause the problem, and as the LED as serial connected, the connector is oxidized from long arcing:

And the connector:

Let’s strap these connector with a piece of wire and fix this stuff!

Cheap 5ct clip will render a 500€/USD TV after few years! Hurray to planned obsolescence and global grow and economy!

Outdated icons (or why you should use more text)

Have you ever wonder how comes we keep using those outdated icons?

Excluding the bike, all the symbols are SERIOUSLY outdated, so please, when designing GUI, use text too.


Choose your laptop: Fn and Ctrl keys

Be carreful when choosing your new laptop, it can end in a real nightmare just for 2 keys:

Regular Ctrl (strong) and Fn

List of vendors:

– Hp/Compaq

– Acer

– Asus
– Sony

– Toshiba

Very annoying non conventional layout Fn THEN Ctrl:

List of vendors:
– BenQ

– Asus

– Lenovo

– Fujitsu

Since it’s alternate key, managed by the keyboard controller, you cannot remap or swap it with a software.
Alternatively you can pop it up and use a conductive paint to remap it:

FN / CTRL-Key Switch Mod

(Hardcore mod inside)