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John-Boy
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2019 3:53 pm    Post subject: Modern appliances Reply with quote

Specifically washing machines.

So - picture the scene, old JB has a bundle of post Christmas washing, the machine picks this exact moment to break - specifically the start button gets kind of mashed up (technical term).

I'm not too hot with electrics/DIY, but this looks reasonably easy and quitting isn't the attitude that built the British empire.

OK, let's grab a screwdriver - I've got Philips and flat head, the most common type and quickly locate three screws. They're Torx. Arse, don't have Torx in da house - fiddle around with an Allen key for 10 mins, getting close to stripping the head of one the little buggers.

Order a set of Torx srewdrivers.

They arrive, take the front panel off - or try to. Apparently you have to take the top cover off. Alright I lug the thing out (washing machines are actually quite heavy, fortunately after Christmas I have a weight advantage).

Take the top panel off.

Then take the front panel off (after struggling with some hidden clips)

The smashed switch is hidden under a PCB.

Remove PCB.

The smashed switch locking clip is also partially hidden under another smaller PCB.

Remove smaller PCB.

Spend ten minutes fiddling with catch - I think I cracked it a bit - but still .

Replace smashed button with new (must have cost 2p to produce, retails for £7)

Carefully replace PCB's above, screw down and tentatively check to see if I can change programs. Appears to work, I'll test the start switch properly tomorrow mind.

Shove it back, then notice that I haven't aligned the second PCB properly so some of the buttons are a bit sunken. I'm a little OCD, but they appear to make contact, so at this point I can't be arsed.


Too long didn't read, why are things made like this ? It shouldn't require the amount of jiggling that I've had to do to replace something fairly simple.

I need a drink.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2019 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know that feeling. I had to get rid of our Samsung washer and drier as the machines just kept breaking.

I ended up with a pair of Maytag machines, which while loud, are certainly more reliable... except for the switch. Same situation as you, but thankfully bog standard Philips head was all that I needed.

Same clippy thing holding the start button's actual switch to the inside panel (after removing the outer covering). Piece of junk plastic clip. Seriously. Use metal FFS.

I would love to get a functional washing machine from the 1960s. These modern ones are either trying to be too clever with "fuzzy logic" or are just built without total stability in mind.


Haven't had an issue since, but I really am not a fan of the "water saving" features mandated by lolgov.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2019 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Muso wrote:
I would love to get a functional washing machine from the 1960s.


I'm dreading replacing my tumble dryer, I inherited it from my mother and I think it's a mid-late 80's model (direct vent they are more reliable apparently) - it's built like a tank and it's always been there running away in the background. Recently though, I'm starting to see signs that the elements or whatever are on the way out - clothes slightly damper than they should be.

In the old days, you'd be able to get somebody in to repair and it would be economically feasible. even using reconditioned parts - now it's throw stuff away, they don't even make 'em easy to do basic maintenance on.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2020 2:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

None of this would've happened if you used proper tools, such as a hammer. It would've either worked or not. You get your answer early in the exercise.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2020 2:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I get older I appreciate the simple elegance of older style appliances. My 1980s washer is beyond my ability to repair (a whole bunch of things wrong with it and I can't find some parts) and I am not looking forward to replacing it with a new one.

Can you imagine an IoT dryer? Hack that and maybe you can set someone's house on fire.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2020 2:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

o'bogamol wrote:
can't find some parts) and I am not looking forward to replacing it with a new one.
I was really hoping 3D printing was going to advance more quickly than it has. I really wanted an in-wall "replicator" for these kninds of situations.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2020 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have these and couldn't be happier with them. Things that need to be taken apart are Phillips, but I have Torx drivers anyway.

Torx is the future; its patents have expired. Phillips is inferior.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2020 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wswartzendruber wrote:
Torx is the future; its patents have expired. Phillips is inferior.


Hmm, thing is with Philips you can bodge a flat head in there if it's a bit stripped, also at a pinch a flat head can be made to fit in - but the point with me mentioning the type of screw is that if you're designing an appliance for domestic use, I'd bet that there are more Philips/flat head screwdrivers in that type of setting.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2020 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also I'm now to proud owner of a set of Torx screwdrivers, need to find something else to do with 'em.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2020 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John-Boy wrote:
wswartzendruber wrote:
Torx is the future; its patents have expired. Phillips is inferior.


Hmm, thing is with Philips you can bodge a flat head in there if it's a bit stripped, also at a pinch a flat head can be made to fit in - but the point with me mentioning the type of screw is that if you're designing an appliance for domestic use, I'd bet that there are more Philips/flat head screwdrivers in that type of setting.

The right tool should be used for the right job. You can get very far with just this: DEWALT DWMT73808 Multi-Bit & Nut Driver Set (70 Piece), 1/4"

Although I prefer combining two options available from a U.S. vendor:

DEWALT-DWAX200
DEWALT-DWHT69233

That first item has every security bit in common use. If you can find that set in the U.K. you should have no problems getting into tamper-resistant devices.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2020 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wswartzendruber wrote:
you should have no problems getting into tamper-resistant devices.



Hammer does that.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2020 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John-Boy wrote:
wswartzendruber wrote:
you should have no problems getting into tamper-resistant devices.



Hammer does that.

Well, I mean...yes, that will work, too.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2020 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You have to channel Thor whilst you're swinging it mind.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2020 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wswartzendruber wrote:
Torx is the future; its patents have expired. Phillips is inferior.
So is IPv6 :twisted:

If Torx is better (lower cost, including time/errors/retooling) for manufacturing, then it ought to gain adoption rather quickly. That will, no pun intended, drive adoption. I think I have encountered one thing with Torx heads, and it wasn't something meant to be disassembled. Might have been an HDD. I have a set of small screw drivers (common, phillips, torx) and have either never used the Torx, or only to disassemble that HDD (if that's what it was -- I like the magnets).
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2020 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wswartzendruber wrote:
I have these and couldn't be happier with them. Things that need to be taken apart are Phillips, but I have Torx drivers anyway.

Torx is the future; its patents have expired. Phillips is inferior.


There was always away round the Torx patent via the Hexalobular ( ISO 10664 standard ). I totally agree it is the future as it is a fantastic head. almost mitigates slippage and ensure uniform application of torque

Torx > Allen
Pozi > Philips

That said, it sounds like the OP was suffering from inadequate toolset, forcing the issue to strip the head and generally newer "technology".

Along the way people forgot what they are designing and building. its all too easy to chuck in shinies for shiny sake and forget what it is to do and where it is going to work.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2020 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naib wrote:
That said, it sounds like the OP was suffering from inadequate toolset


Matron. Nothing wrong with my toolset. :D

It's not so much that, it's that I don't really need to keep extra tools about, got the basics - a set of flat head screw drivers, Philips head, a quality socket set (inherited from my father, saved my bacon with a stuck tap head) - hammer etc. Haven't seen Torx before, in fact out of curiosity I had a look around and I can't see 'em anywhere else, so it really isn't economically viable to grab a set on the off chance (although in this instance it saved me money over a repair bill).

What got me with this, was that the use of a relatively unknown (compared to the other types) screw was the icing on the cake of a litany of bad design choices.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naib wrote:
Torx > Allen
Pozi > Philips

I find that with pozi and torx it's the tool that wears faster/fails first, but it really depends on what you are doing.
One of my suppliers sells screws in boxes of 1000 with 5 driver bits included, if I buy Philips I'll have 2-3 bits left over, pozi and I'll use them all, and put some wear on some of my own too.
John-Boy wrote:
isn't economically viable to grab a set on the off chance

This is when I buy cheap shit, like off the market, then replace/upgrade the items that get worn/broken, that way I have the bases covered and am not constantly cursing cheap tools
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ralphred wrote:
Naib wrote:
Torx > Allen
Pozi > Philips

I find that with pozi and torx it's the tool that wears faster/fails first, but it really depends on what you are doing.


and that is intentional. You can replace a bit but a stripped head causes no end of problems
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, the thing is fixed, two washes and everything so far is peachy, plus however much the screwdrivers cost + part, cheaper than getting somebody in to look at it (and really, it's a switch that shouldn't even be a consideration). The cracked latch is going to cause problems down the road, might use some of that JB weld stuff to form a callous - but really if it lasts another 5yrs that'll be end of life.

I did a bit of reading about lifespans, for a standard cheapy washing machine it's about 7yrs - the higher end Miele, they say 20.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naib wrote:
and that is intentional. You can replace a bit but a stripped head causes no end of problems


That's why I prefer raised heads, a hacksaw can be used at a pinch.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 3:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pjp wrote:
If Torx is better (lower cost, including time/errors/retooling) for manufacturing, then it ought to gain adoption rather quickly. That will, no pun intended, drive adoption. I think I have encountered one thing with Torx heads, and it wasn't something meant to be disassembled. Might have been an HDD. I have a set of small screw drivers (common, phillips, torx) and have either never used the Torx, or only to disassemble that HDD (if that's what it was -- I like the magnets).

Go look around your car. Torx will be everywhere, including places it arguably shouldn't be.

It's days of being used as a tampering deterrent, I think, are limited.

John-Boy wrote:
Haven't seen Torx before, in fact out of curiosity I had a look around and I can't see 'em anywhere else, so it really isn't economically viable to grab a set on the off chance (although in this instance it saved me money over a repair bill).

Go into an American Home Depot store and look for deck and construction screws. You will not find any on the shelf in anything other than Torx.

John-Boy wrote:
What got me with this, was that the use of a relatively unknown (compared to the other types) screw was the icing on the cake of a litany of bad design choices.

The only way I could see Torx being a bad design choice would be if it was used instead of Robertson and then sold in Canada. Aside from that, what does Europe have that beats the technical superiority of the Torx head?
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 3:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wswartzendruber wrote:

The only way I could see Torx being a bad design choice would be if it was used instead of Robertson and then sold in Canada. Aside from that, what does Europe have that beats the technical superiority of the Torx head?


Well, anything that's not recessed for starters.

Also if you're going to use something that's not too common, include a screwdriver with the applicance.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wswartzendruber wrote:
Go look around your car. Torx will be everywhere, including places it arguably shouldn't be.
The only thing I know I've encountered are bolts you'd typically find on a vehicle. I'll try to remember to look around in daylight.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wswartzendruber wrote:
pjp wrote:
If Torx is better (lower cost, including time/errors/retooling) for manufacturing, then it ought to gain adoption rather quickly. That will, no pun intended, drive adoption. I think I have encountered one thing with Torx heads, and it wasn't something meant to be disassembled. Might have been an HDD. I have a set of small screw drivers (common, phillips, torx) and have either never used the Torx, or only to disassemble that HDD (if that's what it was -- I like the magnets).

Go look around your car. Torx will be everywhere, including places it arguably shouldn't be.

It's days of being used as a tampering deterrent, I think, are limited.

John-Boy wrote:
Haven't seen Torx before, in fact out of curiosity I had a look around and I can't see 'em anywhere else, so it really isn't economically viable to grab a set on the off chance (although in this instance it saved me money over a repair bill).

Go into an American Home Depot store and look for deck and construction screws. You will not find any on the shelf in anything other than Torx.

John-Boy wrote:
What got me with this, was that the use of a relatively unknown (compared to the other types) screw was the icing on the cake of a litany of bad design choices.

The only way I could see Torx being a bad design choice would be if it was used instead of Robertson and then sold in Canada. Aside from that, what does Europe have that beats the technical superiority of the Torx head?


If you want to pull the US Vs EU as oppose to continued evolvement by corporation to solve technical challenges...ASTER recess
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