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Member Since 23 Jul 2010
Offline Last Active Today, 09:40 AM

Topics I've Started

Electronics workstation basics

12 April 2015 - 10:21 AM

This is another great youtube video from Eevblog... Much of the information may not be needed for what we do but there are tons of useful tips throughout the entire video like: soldering iron suggestions, esd pad tips.. the old upside down can of compressed air trick which many of us use to cool down/test defrost limits.. etc

Btw many of his videos are way over my head as they are geared towards electronic engineers and hobbyists but I have followed many of his recommendations and found them to be accurate...but what do I know, I'm still trying to understand the basics. ...but what I do know is i just love tools with lots of buttons and blinking lights! sFun_drool3.gif

EEVblog #168 - How To Set Up An Electronics Lab:

Most and Least Reliable Fridges per Consumer Reports

23 November 2014 - 08:00 PM

From consumer reports 11/14...

After spending a couple thousand bucks on a new refrigerator—or more if you spring for a full-featured model—the last thing you want is to deal with repairs. Refrigerators are complex machines with lots of moving parts, especially those with ice and water dispensers. That's why they have some of the highest repair rates among major appliances, based on Consumer Reports’ surveys of almost 80,000 subscribers. But certain brands have a better track record, so you can help yourself by choosing wisely.

Bottom freezers. If you're shopping for a bottom-freezer with icemaker, whether conventional or French-door, think twice about models from the Sweden-based manufacturer Electrolux. Its repair rate of 45 percent was significantly higher than that of other brands. You might also want to avoid Frigidaire, owned by Electrolux, since its 35-percent repair rate also stands out for the wrong reasons. Whirlpool and KitchenAid are two more brands with higher-than-average repair rates.

Better bets in the bottom-freezer with icemaker category include GE, LG, Kenmore, and Samsung. Kenmore combines reliability with particularly strong performance among conventional bottom-freezers. The Kenmore Elite 79043, for example, is our top scorer in that category, offering superb temperature control, energy efficiency, and noise. Three models are tied for first in the French-door category: the $2,100 Samsung RF261BIAESR, the $2,600 GE Profile PWE23KMDES, and the $3,330 LG LFX32945ST. The LG is the only one with a through-the-door ice and water dispenser.

Side-by-side. When it comes to side-by-side refrigerators, KitchenAid is the one brand to avoid, given its 29-percent repair rate. Your best bet is GE, though no models from that brand make our current recommended list. Samsung earned pretty solid marks for reliability, and we recommend several of its models, including the top-rated Samsung RS25H5121SR, $1,900.

Top freezer. Shopping for a top freezer with an icemaker? GE and Whirlpool had the highest repair rates at 19 percent. Kenmore is the reliability leader in that category, with a repair rate of 13 percent. The $1,400 Kenmore 79433 and the $600 Kenmore 78892 make our recommended list, and both come with icemakers.

Regardless of the refrigerator you choose, a few simple maintenance steps will help keep it running. First, make sure air can circulate freely around the unit by leaving a few inches between it and the wall. Every few months, clean the unit's condenser coils (check the manual for their location) so that they can effectively disperse heat. And clean the refrigerator's door gaskets with mild detergent and water to ensure a good seal. For more choices, see our full refrigerator Ratings and recommendations.
—Daniel DiClerico (@dandiclerico on Twitter)


Extreme data logging

09 November 2014 - 11:05 PM

The usefulness of temperature data logging a hard-to-diagnose fridge is unquestionable and has been discussed in numerous threads. However, wouldn't it be cool to also determine when and if the compressor or defrost heater is running or when an evap fan turns off or when the doors are open for an extended period?

This could be done by comparing and analyzing temp info and line current info together.

Using a current /voltage logger along with a data logger may allow this. Supco makes a reasonbly priced current/voltage logger. It's ac only which would reduce some of its usefulness but it still would make a great Christmas gift for the tech who has everything :

http://www.amazon.co...cription-iframe $165

If I can convince my wife to buy one along with all the other toys I want for Christmas, look forward to a Durham's Extreme Data Logging video... but I'm gonna need all of you to help me decipher the data!

Appliance Life Expectancy Article

01 September 2014 - 08:14 PM

Here's another interesting article for your appliantological enjoyment...

From the Columbus Dispatch:

Appliances can talk with one another. They can track their energy use. They can be controlled by phones.

Now can we just get them to last?

All the technological and energy-saving gizmos added to home appliances in recent years have come at an expense: life expectancy.

“The average appliance life span is 10 to 15 years,” said Robert Rist, whose family has owned Central Ohio Appliance Repair for almost 40 years. “The days of them lasting 25 or 30 years are gone.”

According to the National Association of Home Builders, the life expectancy of major household appliances ranges from nine years for dishwashers to 15 years for gas ranges. Other surveys, such as those from the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers and Mr. Appliance, give appliances a few years longer.

But whatever figure is used, experts agree that the plug gets pulled a lot faster on appliances today than in the past.

“Older products might have lasted 15 years before a repair,” said Dana Smith, who owns the Dayton and Lima

Mr. Appliance franchises.

“We’ve talked with people who say they just spent $3,000 on a range and can’t believe it doesn’t work, and we hear how the old one lasted 20 years without a single repair.”

A 2013 survey of 29,281 Consumer Reports subscribers found that 31 percent of side-by-side refrigerators broke within four years. In the same time period, 22 percent of front-loading washing machines and 20 percent of dishwashers failed.

The 2013 survey found that the failure rate of appliances and other household items was actually better than it was in 2010.

Celia Kuperszmid Lehrman, a deputy content editor with the publication, doesn’t know how the failure rate might compare with decades ago but thinks one reason people are frustrated with modern appliances is that when they fail, they really fail.

“When products break, it’s memorable,” she said. “About 53 percent of respondents said the products just stopped working altogether, and 32 percent said they work poorly, so it’s a big deal when it breaks. It’s not like the light stopped working on a refrigerator.”

Nonetheless, Lehrman thinks appliances today are better overall than in the past. They’re quieter, more efficient and more effective, she said.

Manufacturers have responded to issues of reliability in part by shrinking the typical warranty down to one year, compared with up to five years for large parts several years ago, Lehrman said.

There could be many reasons that appliances don’t last as long as they once did, including the greater reliance on plastic parts and thinner metal, but repair experts say the biggest reason is that energy-saving features and electronic components have made appliances more complicated and therefore more error-prone.

A favorite example among repair experts is the compressor used in refrigerators, which has shrunk to meet energy guidelines. Refrigerators are now far more efficient but also more likely to fail.

Another example: Dishwashers today consume about one-fifth the amount of water they used just a few years ago. But the water-saving change has boosted service calls from homeowners concerned about performance.

“They use a lot less water,” Smith said. “That affects performance, and people are disappointed.”< /p>

But perhaps the greatest culprit is the increased reliance on electronics and computers.

From simple LED displays to moisture sensors and Wi-Fi adapters, appliances have far more electronics, which brings a greater chance of failure.

“Each function adds another circuit,” said Jody Vass, president of Capital City Appliance in Columbus, which makes more than 30,000 appliance repair runs a year. “And each time you run electricity through a circuit, it creates heat and can fail.”

Local repair companies estimate that 50 percent of their service calls are due to electronic, rather than mechanical, failures.

“The classic example is the washer and dryer,” Smith said. “Most have automatic timers now. The old ones were all mechanical, and mechanical components don’t fail as often.”

Electronic components are also vulnerable to power surges and lightning strikes. (Repair experts strongly recommend surge protectors on major appliances.)

Each time a manufacturer introduces a new appliance bell or whistle, repair crews tend to roll their eyes.

“We cringe when we see stuff like this,” Vass said. “They just lead to additional problems. I wish people would have stayed basic. It would have made their lives and our lives much easier.”

The classic example among servicers is the LG refrigerator that included a television on the front door. (The model has been discontinued.)

“At a seminar I asked, sort of joking, ‘Should we send out the appliance repair tech or a TV repairman?’ ” Rist


Experts say homeowners share some of the blame for appliance failures. Many problems could be avoided if they simply cleaned the appliances and followed the owners’ manuals, servicers say.

“Nobody reads their use-and-care manual, but those things do help,” Smith said. “It’s much more critical now than it used to be.”

The question of when to repair and when to replace depends on many variables, but repair crews, not surprisingly, lean toward keeping an old machine running.

“If we see an old Maytag, we almost always recommend that the customer fix it,” Smith said. “ Even with a $400 repair and the increased electricity use with the old appliance, they’ll still save a lot of money in the long run.”


Extending use

How to prolong the life of your appliances:

Dishwasher: Average life span: 9 years

For best cleaning results, use moderate amounts of soap, rinse only large food particles from dishes and don’t overload the machine. Replace dish rack if worn or rusted.

Clothes washer: 10 years

Pull items out of pockets before washing and don’t overload the machine. Periodically check water hoses and replace if

they show signs of

cracking or wear.

Clothes dryer: 13 years

Regularly clean vents and lint filter.

Gas range: 15 years

Regularly clean the cooktop and the oven. (Use only the self-cleaning feature if your oven has one.)

Refrigerator: 13 years

Periodically clean condenser coils and replace rubber gaskets around the door if they don’t seal well.

Source: National Association of Homebuilders/Bank of America Home Equity study of Life Expectancy of Home Components

from http://www.dispatch....y--fragile.html

Maintaining Kitchen Appliances.. Consumer Reports article

01 September 2014 - 08:04 PM

Consumer Reports Search
Make your kitchen appliances last
How to protect a big investment in your large appliances
Published: August 27, 2014 12:30 PM

Replacing your major appliances doesn’t come cheap so once you make the investment, you want to make sure they'll last. Keeping them in good running order is key as is frequent cleaning. Here are some simple maintenance tips from the experts at Consumer Reports as well as some of our top-rated kitchen appliances.

Clean compressor coils every few months. The coils are usually at the bottom of the refrigerator. (On some older models they’re behind it, and on some built-ins they’re behind a grille at the top.
Wipe door gaskets with mild detergent and water, not bleach. Check the seal by closing the doors on a dollar bill; replace gasket if the bill falls out or can be removed without opening the doors.
Be sure the refrigerator is level. If not, the door might not close properly. Most have adjustable feet or casters.
Maintain a stainless finish by using dish detergent, water, and a sponge to wipe off stains. (Rubbing alcohol and a soft cloth can remove tougher grime.) Buff dry with a dry cloth to prevent water spots; polish with a cleaner made for stainless steel.

Our top-rated French-door refrigerator: Samsung RF261BIAESR, $2,100

Top-rated bottom freezer: Kenmore Elite 79043, $1,510

Top-rated top freezer: GE GTS22KBPWW, $1,300

Top-rated side-by-side: Samsung RS25H5121SR, $1,900

Replace a dish rack that’s worn or has rusted tines.
When loading, make sure silverware and dishes don’t catch the spray arms to avoid damaging the arms.
Inspect the spray arms for paper, glass, or other debris, which can clog holes; remove any obstructions. If you find glass, inspect the pump housing for glass as well as any seals that it might have punctured.
If your dishwasher has a manual-clean filter, clean it regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Run the dishwasher with a full load. You should scrape food from dishes but, as our tests show, you don’t need to prerinse them. Doing so doesn’t improve cleaning.

Our top-rated dishwasher: KitchenAid KDTM354DSS, $1,200.


Place heavy pots and pans gently on smoothtop models to avoid breakage.
Never cover drip pans and bowls with aluminum foil, which can short-circuit the burner.
Keep reflector bowls beneath the burners shiny and clean to ensure that they reflect heat up to the pan efficiently. Replace them when they can no longer be cleaned.
Periodically clean burner ports with a needle.
Don’t poke the igniter or spray it with oven cleaner.
Check door seals of the oven for damage.
If heat is escaping from an older oven, adjust or replace the gasket.
Don’t line oven racks with aluminum foil, which will inhibit air circulation. Also, do not place foil on the bottom of the oven to catch drips because that may cause permanent damage to the interior finish of the oven.
For high-temperature self-cleaning ovens, wait to initiate the procedure until you have just used the oven to bake. That helps the self-clean process use less energy.

Our top-rated electric range: LG LRE3083W, $1,000

Top-rated gas range: LG LSRG309ST, $2,000

Top-rated pro-style range: KitchenAid KDRS407VSS, $4,000


Avoid turning it on when empty and avoid putting metal inside.
Regularly clean food particles and splatters.
Use a surge suppressor to protect your microwave’s solid-state circuitry from voltage spikes.

Our top-rated countertop microwave: Panasonic Genius Prestige NN-SD681S, $180

Top-rated large countertop microwave: Panasonic Inverter NN-H965BF, $180

Top-rated over-the-range microwave: GE Profile PVM9215SFSS, $550

For more appliance maintenance tips, read “Keep your countertop appliances in tip-top shape.”

from http://www.consumerr...-last/index.htm

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