Tag Archives: Electronics

TV madness

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E an I have a number of televisions around the house, far easier you might say than having to cart one between rooms! Joking apart, many people have more than one television in their homes these days as they have become reasonably low in price to purchase. Last April we bought two identical sets for use in the bedrooms. One has since been used a few times as it is in the room our youngest son uses when he visits. It may have had around fifty hours of use. The other was placed in the guest bedroom we had refurbished early last year but that unit has hardly been used at all, probably less than ten hours. This is that tv shown working on the day we installed it.They each cost £129 which isn’t a lot of money for a 32 inch screen but it is the principle of the matter, we expect them to work as they should else they are not fit for purpose. I was in the room on Tuesday morning updating the security on the Windows 10 computer which now sits alongside the television and I thought I would watch the tv whilst doing that. Then I discovered it was faulty. It wouldn’t respond to the remote control which by the way worked with the other television and neither would it respond to the other remote control. We took it to Currys where we had purchased it but they after checking it out advised we contact their repair department. I did that on my return home and now as I write this I am waiting for a reply. I have received an acknowledgement to my email. Whilst at the store I asked if these televisions have in-built usage timers which would reveal their usage to the repair engineer. I was told that certain manufacturers do incorporate such devices and they can use the information to assist with guarantees to determine if the machine has had fair usage or not. It isn’t rocket science to be able to incorporate a timer to count usage time, one small chip……as long as it doesn’t go faulty too! I was told many years ago by an electronics engineer that most electronic devices that go faulty do so within the first few months or not at all. This television didn’t get out of the starting block!

Shirley Anne

Update: As the tv was out of guarantee it could not be replaced. They (the service department) say it isn’t worth repairing and we were offered a sum of £79 in lieu. That has been paid into my account. So a new machine (as it hasn’t been used for more than ten hours) is thrown on the scrap-heap and your’s truly has paid in essence £50 for the privilege of not being able to use it! If I was able to take it back to the manufacturer (Seiki) they would most probably exchange it. That however isn’t possible. The lesson here is to use something as much as you can during the guarantee period and if it goes wrong it should be replaced/repaired free of charge.

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She did it again

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Schematic diagrams of Light Emitting Diodes (LED)

Schematic diagrams of Light Emitting Diodes (LED) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

E has an aptitude for winning competitions having won so many prizes she has lost count. Many of those prizes have been high value items such as a holiday for four in the Caribbean, a weekend break for two in Vienna with two concerts thrown in, televisions, cameras, king sized beds, computer tablets and phones and many other items too numerous to mention. She does however spend a lot of time on her computer on-line which is a bit of a drawback but she evidently enjoys it anyway. On Thursday afternoon we had a surprise visit from our eldest son and his four year-old daughter. E would normally have gone out shopping around the time they had called but she was in no hurry. Soon afterwards the front doorbell rang and it was a parcel delivery. She had won another Android phone together with an Android tablet which incorporates a projector. How things have developed in recent times. Impressive as these things are for some people they hold no such fascination for me, that is I have no use for them; the ones I own get minimal use. Anyway the four of us ended up in the cellar hallway where the walls, although exposed brick, are painted in satin white emulsion and one is large enough to test the projector. We played a video on YouTube, a song our granddaughter wanted to listen to and she stood there in awe while it played. I was impressed by the quality of the projection too I have to admit. It is amazing that such a bright light can be produced by a portable device but of course it is only because of LED technology that these things are possible. I remember seeing my first ultra-bright LED component more than twenty-five years ago when I was using them in the construction of electronic devices of one sort or another. It is only within the last five years that LED technology has really taken off. E will use her new-found tablet when it is her turn to run her group’s quiz, then she can project questions and pictures onto a wall instead of having to produce them on paper. In that respect I think the device is well worth having. I don’t know how she wins so many things. Now she tells me she is trying to win another bed so that we won’t have to buy one for the bedroom refurbishment! I said it would be nice to win one provided it met our preferences but I doubt even she could win one to order!

Shirley Anne

It’s all very well but…

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English: photocell

English: photocell (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The world has gone gadget mad, the more wealthy of civilisation that is for there are numerous people in the world who cannot afford to eat never mind thinking about buying gadgetry. Those who have the money to lavish upon the latest tablet, smart phone, laptop or anything else that connects them to the Internet seem never to be satisfied. I wonder how many hours of those people’s lives are wasted browsing on their devices. Some will say and do say that these devices can be very useful tools to have at our disposal for times when things go wrong or when information is needed. Well I have to concur but I know that I will most probably only use my (smart) phone other than for communicating very rarely if ever for anything else. Whilst using my new phone it has become apparent that it gobbles up power! So that I can see more clearly how much power is left on the device I downloaded an application that monitors power consumption and displays the amount of power available as a percentage, far easier than trying to gauge it just by looking at the little green icon. It is of course the screen which uses the most power but applications left running in the background can do the same. This means that if I were to be constantly surfing the Internet or playing games the battery would soon be depleted, not a good idea for someone who relies upon her phone for business. The problem will not arise in my case though but it probably will for those who like to spend a lot of time using their devices away from home. So I got to thinking that people must need to carry around with them the charger and lead so they can top-up the battery if they can find somewhere to do that, if they wish to spend hours on their phones or other devices. Not very practical is it? So again I got to thinking why manufactures haven’t developed devices which charge themselves when in an illuminated place using photo cell technology, it’s not a new idea, it is used elsewhere in electronic devices. Size matters though and perhaps the technology is too cumbersome to incorporate within small phones but it should be possible to incorporate in larger devices such as laptops and tablets for topping-up when the device is idle. Just a thought. If an ordinary charger cannot be used a purpose-built plug-in photo cell charger could be carried to charge the device instead and indeed these devices are available though they tend to be pre-charged batteries and not dynamic photo cell chargers.

Fueltank 5

Fueltank 5 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is all very well having this wonderful technology but power is needed to keep them working!

Shirley Anne

Not switched on

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My ex is fascinated with a program on television called ‘The Gadget Show‘. I am not that impressed with it. Most of the things they talk about are pretty much useless to me and I have no interest in them at all. Some things however are very innovative and if the device itself isn’t that useful, the technology is, especially if it can be used in other applications. I am pretty much a dinosaur when it comes to technology, not the technology itself, I find that quite interesting, rather the applications to which it is put. I have an all singing, all dancing mobile phone like most people these days but I don’t use most of the available features on it, just the phone and occasionally text. I use text only if I am sent a message. On the Gadget Show program they have a weekly competition whereby the winner wins usually something in the order of £28-£30,000 worth of electrical goods with a few non-electrical items thrown in. If the person who won the prize was to use all of the gadgets and appliances each day they would have no time for anything else! This is technology gone bananas! we are slowly being turned into electrical gadgetry zombies who cannot survive without the latest ‘must have’ gadget. A healthy balance of technology in our lives isn’t a bad thing but it’s over-use means we become reliant and dependent upon it. I talked about this in a post some time ago. When it comes to personal choice I think I am more switched off than switched on. I do not need the levels of technology that manufacturers and inventors think I do. I am quite happy with the bare essentials thank you very much! I remember a couple of years ago seeing a woman on television being asked if she could cook a meal from scratch using her brand-new cooker. She admitted to always buying ready-made meals as she couldn’t cook or even boil an egg! The ‘brand-new’ cooker had never been used! The microwave oven had though! She never washed dishes but always used the dishwasher. How she would cope if suddenly all electricity was cut off is anybody’s guess! One of the guys who has been working in our garden is always playing music on his iPod. He claims he cannot work without it! Personally I find music a distraction when I am working. I used to hate building sites for that reason because someone would always be playing a radio whether anyone else wanted to listen to it or not. I love music by the way. So for me, technology has its place as long as that place in my life is small!

Shirley Anne