made-by-monkeys2

Good ideas with bad execution, or good execution of what should be bad ideas - an analysis of inferior, off-beat or malfunctioning products, and how other people's failures can help us design better stuff.

Solar-Powered Tape Measure/Calculator Requires Pencil Backup

calculator.jpg

Ian Benton sends in this submission of a solar-powered device with an interesting backup mechanism in the event of a power failure:

” Iwas once given a combined tape measure and solar powered calculator like this one. I thought it would be handy for working out the area of a room. I measured the length, and entered it into the calculator memory. I then measured the width of the room. In doing so, my hand covered up the solar panel that powered the calculator, which caused it to lose the number in its memory.

Now I know why it includes a notepad and pencil! I suppose I could use the calculator to convert inches to millimetres, but the tape is already marked in both imperial and metric.”

Related posts

6 Comments

  1. March 10, 2011 13:05

    I’m sure you’re right, Mark, that was the intention. You’ll just also need a tape measure to carry out the measuerments, so you have something to write down (when the power is lost)!

  2. Mark Jackson
    March 09, 2011 11:08

    Is it possible that the pencil & paper are to make a noite of your measurements or would that possibly be too obvious?
    As suggested this is more used by monkeys ;-)

  3. Bernard Green
    March 12, 2009 17:47

    Now if there was generator geared to the spool of the pul out tape measure the calculator would get a boost of power each time a measurement was made.

  4. March 11, 2009 11:21

    I have one of these – and I agree that the calculator is almost a waste of space because its so easy to cover the solar panel and thus loose what you’ve entered. (Its not quite so bad if you take it out first.)
    To make matters worse, the calcular slides in and it relies on an interference fit to keep it in place. On my one I find that if I hold it at the wrong angle the calculator falls out. I often had to search for where it might have fallen out – although now I don’t use it except occasionally for the tape measure.

  5. Minoru
    March 11, 2009 11:19

    FOllowing up on Yimmy’s post, perhaps this segment should be renamed as “Used by Monkeys”.

  6. Yimmy
    March 09, 2009 15:23

    The obvious reason for the pencil would be to mark what you’re measuring….