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.

Made by Monkeys: Manufacturing Reviews

Poll: LED lamps overheating

Temperature issues and LED lights have featured before in recall corner – see Recall Corner: LED lamp overheating – and there is now a new addition. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission warns of ‘LED Night Lights Recalled by Camsing Global Due to Burn Hazard’. The CPSC has received five reports of…

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Maths problems bulge PC capacitors

Our attention was drawn to this one by David Manners, on his Mannerisms blog – Dell Up Against It For Dodgy PCs. It involves some evidence in a case against Dell that it sold faulty PCs, which was highlighted by the New York Times. It seems the problem involved bulging Nichicon…

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Xbox 360 hits striking failure rate

We’ve written about the Xbox 360 before – see Xbox 360 Recall: Penny Wise, Pound Stupid and Xbox Faults Cost Microsoft – but a new report has looked further into the failure rates of Microsoft’s gaming console. A rather astonishing 23.7% have problems within the first two years… The…

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Poll: Key Fob Failure Diagnosis

Here’s something new. Let’s bring your collective experience and knowledge to bear on a particular case brought before Made By Monkeys. We recently highlighted a Mercedes key fob failure – please see Key Fob fails for surface mount leads – and lots of pics of the problem are available for…

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Keyless Entry Fob Sports Crappy Solder Job

    I live in a part of the world where I used to dread the frigid days when I had to deal with the nasty inconvenience of frozen car door locks on my 1995 VW Jetta. Solution: Hair dryer and a long extension cord. That is until the lock barrel finally…

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Fortune Cookie Fails QC Test

In a twist of real irony, here’s the latest fortune my husband pulled out of a cookie. Rather than a full size stirp of paper with an actual fortune printed on it, the cookie contained what appears to be the trim that would normally be thrown away as scrap…

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A Dog's RF Tag Fails - Is RoHS the Culprit?

Over two million pets in the UK have an idENTICHIP RF tag in the scruff of their neck that works as a kind of electronic ID tag. So what are the chances that two new devices based on the same technology — which has had a good track record up until…

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What -- You've Never Seen a Mutant Ninja Sea Slug Before?

View entire comic strip.Graphic artist Doug MacLaughlin and I created this pilot for a comic strip last year. Called “Hell’s Factory,” it’s a reality-based comic strip inspired by design engineers’ tales of insanity on the shop floor. Had a hellish experience yourself? Share your best “from…

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