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.
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 corroded and fell out two years ago. (Really.)
Given my run-ins with mechanical locks, I am especially leery of electronic locking systems.
You might be too, after reading:
Digital Home Design Line Editor Maury Wright’s teardown and analysis of a failed keyless entry system for a 2005 Dodge.
He describes in detail a lousy solder job on the battery clip (photo above) and goes through a step-by-step analysis of his repair efforts, thereby avoiding the cost of a $150 to $200 replacement key.
I’ve heard about the small budgets that design engineers have to deal with on some of these features, but that’s no excuse for a shoddy manufacturing job.