Agreed, David. But again, this is why more consumers need to know about electronics. We're coming to the time when electronics are so ubiquitous that consumer may start learning more about what's inside their electronics so they know what quality it. Engineers are in the perfect place to educate the public.
@Suan: "As long as there is a demand and a knowledgeable consumer." If there were a few more knowledgable consumers like you around, the standards would be higher. As it is, I won't give up my day job just yet......
Price is pretty much king, which is why China does so well!
@Don Tavidash: If ever I became a washing machine or drill charger manufacturer I would mandate that all joints that might get mechanical stress MUST be hand soldered. (Of course my appliances would then be so expensive I'd go out of business... :-)
Hmmm. Maybe this is the answer to getting people back to work: fine appliances with hand-soldering. Imagine if that were a selling point on appliances. If customers read this Frankensteins Fix, they might look for hand soldering in the future. As long as there is a demand and a knowledgeable consumer.
Wave-soldering just doesn't work on any joint that gets mechanical stress. See my dead drill story for another example of this. If ever I became a washing machine or drill charger manufacturer I would mandate that all joints that might get mechanical stress MUST be hand soldered. (Of course my appliances would then be so expensive I'd go out of business... :-) I had a washing machine once with a similar problem except that the board was encased in resin. You could see - thru the clear resin - dark marks on the board where relay connections had gone bad and there had been sparking. I spent $ 180 on a new board only to see a recall notice for the machine the next week - fortunately I got my money back from the manufacturer. I wish I had a $ for every wave-soldered mechanically stressed joint I have fixed.....
Good fix, wonder how many appliances subject to long-term vibration end up in the dump when a thorough solder reflow would have fixed things. I once had a Dodge Neon that used a flexible pcb in the dashboard - a wonderful idea in a high vibration environment - NOT. When the dashboard lights then the speedometer became intermittent it came out and every solder joint met my soldering iron. Worked fine after that.