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Mobile Phone degradation

:: EPE Chat Zone ­:: ­Radio Bygones Message Board :: » EPE Forum Archives 2005-2006 » Archive through 06 April, 2006 » Mobile Phone degradation « Previous Next »

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Petelobus
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Post Number: 104
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Posted on Saturday, 01 April, 2006 - 08:46 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post

I believe that mobile phones degrade with use and time. Every digital phone I've had (and I've used them almost since the start of the digital network) has seemed to get progressively worse at transmitting messages (both vox and text) in weak signal areas. I suspect that this is due to temperature degradation of the transmitter output, but accept that it may be a physicological effect (new phone must be better, this phone is getting old, hence worn out!). Does anyone else either have this feeling, or better, have any way to back it up/discredit it?

With intensive usage I used to notice that the phones (seemed) to get unusable after about 18 months. Current phone which I only use for texts and emergencies seems to have got bad after about 5 years.

Ian
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Dave_g
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Post Number: 99
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Posted on Saturday, 01 April, 2006 - 09:23 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post

Ian - I think you're right, I use a mobile a lot (about 500-600 minutes per month), and kill them every 2 years or so. Having said that, my current Nokia 6310 is OK after about 20 months, but it's used in the Nokia car kit most of the time. So I suspect there may be some transmission kit in the car kit electronics.

(Message edited by dave_g on 01 April, 2006)
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Terry
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Posted on Saturday, 01 April, 2006 - 02:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post

My 3310 is still as good as ever after 4 years or more. My 6month old xda is as good as useless.
I dont think its an age thing.

Terry
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Sounded_simple
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Post Number: 93
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Posted on Saturday, 01 April, 2006 - 05:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post

I think its the speaker that gets dirty over time.
The newer phones are a lot less reliable, there is just too much to go wrong and most of the features (camera, ring tones, 3G web browsing etc.) are useless.
Never had a problem with nokia but had serious trouble with motorola and LG.

I wish they had put the design time into a phone with better reliability and better call reception.
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Obiwan
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Posted on Saturday, 01 April, 2006 - 07:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post

Built in job security. It's like cars or other large items. YOu can bet that as soon as the warranty is up, something breaks.

With phones, they just want you to purchase another one, and most likely keep a contract going.
May the Force be with (most of) you.....
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Vk3kbr
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Posted on Sunday, 02 April, 2006 - 02:35 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post

G'day all,
Obiwan has nailed it spot on. The phones here in Oz are moderately expensive, however if your mobile packs up after warranty, they will provide a new (lower end) phone as long as you renew your contract.
I wonder why countries growl about land-fill containing all manner of "bad" stuff ?
If they were fair dinkum about waste, wouldn't they ensure the things were better designed (mainly batteries).?
The almighty Dollar wins again, over the health of the populace.

Rod
vk3kbr
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Obiwan
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Posted on Sunday, 02 April, 2006 - 04:19 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post

Oh yeah. It's really shameful really. I wish they could build stuff so that it's recyclable and more easily done so.

As it stands, even paper is hard to do! I mean, all you have to do it send it to one place and the other stuff to other places. But the way it's set up, it's too much trouble to do that.

But yes, the dollar (yen, dinar, whatever) does win out again. That's the way it is, the way it always will be until something else, really bad happens.

It's like terrorism here in the US. we got hit once and everybody was all up in arms about it (rightly so). But now, it's sort of "ho hum" because we haven't been hit since then.

So they're sort of ready to get lax again, go back to life the way it was. A lot of people know that if we do that, we will get hit again. But not enough. So what is it going to take for everybody to take this stuff seriously??

A really big hit, like a nuke where a million or more people die.

Same thing with recycling. It's going to take something really big before people see what's going on.

But! On the bright side, in the future, there will be big bucks in mining the old land fills where all this stuff is being dumped!

They'll figure out a way to reclaim the tantalum, reclaim the other stuff, and then it will be the next gold mine.

I suspect that when that happens, that stuff will be more valuable than gold itself. Because of the need, and the cost to reclaim it, it will be expensive. But they will have to pay, because there will not be any other alternative.

And the thing about the warranty, heck, they've been doing that for generations. Nothing new there.

But you know, I haven't noticed that with the phones. Mainly because I don't use one! I have one, but rarely use it. I'll ask around though and see if anybody sees the same thing here.

But you know if that's true, that could be a really big class action lawsuit. All you need is a bit more proof.
May the Force be with (most of) you.....
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Petelobus
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Post Number: 105
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Posted on Sunday, 02 April, 2006 - 09:52 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post

Terry/Sounded Simple - If what I see is not physicological, it is time/use dependant, and is in either the transmitter or receiver section, as the phones get to the stage where thay won't send texts reliably. Guess I'm quite interested to discover the engineering mode for failure.

I've also tried to find out about phone reception/ transmission performance, but all I get is the statement that 'these parameters are not released by the manufacturers'. When I'm buying I can easily discover which phone takes the best pictures, but not whether it is useable to talk to people on (or come to that, actually send the pictures)!

The social (waste disposal) thing is another issue. I think that the current state of affairs is pretty poor, but our whole economy depends on people throwing stuff away before its worn out, and as in UK we've pretty much stopped making stuff, the only way we keep money circulating is by selling other countries things, so we've got to sell loads, which means we've got to throw loads away. If this is a fixed parameter (and I can't see how we can change it - too much money involved), then the best thing is for everything to be made as cheaply and nastly as possible (hopefully using the minimum of resources), so that it is knackered and thrown away in the correct time frame. As I said at the beginning, I'm against the whole thing, but what can we do? Perhaps the radical Muslims have a point (now I'll get banned from here, and sent to prison without trial because I can appreiciate their point of view - not that its good to kill people, but that, conceivably there is a major flaw in western civilisation!).

Don't start me on the terrorism/civil liberties thing either!

Ian
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Dave_g
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Posted on Sunday, 02 April, 2006 - 03:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post

I think Obiwan has a point about terrorism, even though it is a horrible thought (the nuke comment).

However, in the UK, and living in London, we've lived with daily acts through the 70's and 80's. and perhaps are more "used to it". Admittedly, there were lots of smaller acts (in terms of numbers of people killed or injured). London is a much nicer place to live now, but security has been very, very tight since the second Iraq war.

I so wish for common sense, tolerance, understanding on all sides. I do wonder about the motivations of some - is it oil, for example - but there is so much stirring up going on there is far more to this behind the scenes (on all sides) than we will ever know.

Moving - swiftly - to the recycling thing, it's a complete nonsense until there is either some business benefit to make the real users recycle, and/or it becomes easier. The WEEE directive (EU legislation) is, perhaps, a move in the right direction but you should see the bureaucracy......

My phone is actually a Nokia 6820 (changed the thing so many times..) and normally they start dropping calls altogether. I have suspected for a while they do degrade, generating lots of heat in a small space.
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Sounded_simple
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Posted on Monday, 03 April, 2006 - 09:45 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post

I think that almost all consumer (and a lot of industrial) products are designed with the "Make sure it lasts the warranty and not much longer" idea in mind.
I remember in former employment we had a product that was very reliable, a customer wanted a new version with CE compliance (which is fair enough) we were told to change the IP67 encosure to IP55 and use a cheaper button. Two reasons were given - Firstly cost and secondly the company wasnt making money on service and spares because the product was so reliable!!
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Obiwan
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Posted on Monday, 03 April, 2006 - 03:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post

That's where many auto manufacturers make their big money, service and repairs.

Most companies know that's where the money is. You have to keep them coming back. If you sell a product that never needs parts or service and lasts a life time, you pretty much manufacturer yourself out of a job unless you can keep selling them to new people.

So service is where it's at. It's like the "Gillette" syndrome.

They started out pretty much giving the razors away, they still do some times. But they get you on the blades, that's where the real money is. (have you noticed the price of razor blades these days??? Good grief!)

But he knew the money was in the blades and not the razor.

So like a washing machine, you can't build one that people will buy only once and never need service.

But cell phones are more like computers these days, they have built in oblesence. Most everybody wants all the new bells and whistles when they come out.

Like before, they just had numeric displays,
along come basic graphics, and everybody wants that,
then along came good graphics
then along came color graphics
then came really nice color graphics,
then came cameras,
better graphics,
better cameras,
internet, MP3 players, video.... and who knows what's next.

People wanted all those new features as they came out. They don't "need" to build it so it fails, it's automatic because of the technology increase.

And I'm not sure how much of that is really pre-planned (the death after warranty). Do they really plan it that way, or does it just sort of happen more or less through poor engineering or maybe unknowingly??

Or how much of it is through testing?? If you make a product and test it well, you should know it's "general" lifetime. You see it as, "my workmanship, and the parts I chose should last "X" amount of time. So I'll guarantee MY work until then. After that, I can't be held responsible for the other manufacturers parts and workmanship, or the materials aging process".

I mean, how many engineers, or companies for that matter would be employed if they thought like "Well, a reasonable warranty is 6 months, so lets engineer it to break after that"?

A car battery is a very good example. Generally, after their rated number of months, they will die VERY soon afterwards.

Is that pre-planned? Or just somebody rated the components in it and said "well, it should last this long if we did our job right"??

But, would they build one that would last a life time? One that would go from car to car, so you never have to purchase another one, even for a new car. Would they??
May the Force be with (most of) you.....
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Sounded_simple
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Posted on Tuesday, 04 April, 2006 - 03:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post

I have seen it happen Obiwan -
I had a call out to a machine for cutting granite worktops.
The machine was quite complex and had a PC interface with all sorts of fancy features.
The owner asked me to have a look and al I could determine was that the automatic side of things wasnt working.
Contact was made with the italian manufacturers who informed us that the machine was due a service hence it had stopped itself! Not part of any discussions when purchading the machine.
To get around we ripped out the PC and installed 2 joysticks to work the relays - customer happy!

The manufactuer may be able to argue their case in that instance but I have heard of other "software time bombs" added on purpose to get service work.
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Armadillo
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Posted on Tuesday, 04 April, 2006 - 08:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post


quote:

A car battery is a very good example. Generally, after their rated number of months, they will die VERY soon afterwards.




Actually I think that's a typical case of 'it depends on how much you use it - but it ought to last X years'
My wife has a 17yr old Ford Fiesta. The original battery lasted 7yrs and the replacement is still going strong after 10yrs. I also have a Fiesta that's 10yrs old and that's still on it's 2nd battery. I doubt any of the batteries had more than a 3yr guarantee.

Armadillo UK
There's no such thing as gravity..........
The earth sucks!
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Obiwan
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Posted on Wednesday, 05 April, 2006 - 01:58 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post

That is strange! Every car I've or every battery I've put in it, has had a time date on it. When you start using it, it's good for say 48 or 36 months, what ever one you get (best one I've had was the Sear's Die Hard).

And after the end date, within a month, they WILL die, like clockwork.

That's one reason when I purchase a car or battery now, I put the end of life date in my Outlook calendar so I will be warned ahead of time.

Last time, I got up, started the car to go to work, left work for lunch, and back to work, left work and went to the grocery store afterwards, and all was fine. No hesitation at all from the battery.

But when I tried to go home from the grocery store, nothing. Rrrr rrrrr, click click. Dead.

Just like clockwork. It was down to the week. It dawned on me when I was just thinking eariler in the week that I had just bought the car that week a couple of years ago.

I think you're right though, if you don't use it, the plates can't really degrade. Take care of the acid levels and it should last almost forever if you don't use it.

But under "normal wear and tear" you can count on them dying, like clockwork.
May the Force be with (most of) you.....
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Petelobus
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Posted on Wednesday, 05 April, 2006 - 09:10 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post

Regarding car batteries (only a little off original topic, but do we care??), my experience follows Armadillo's in that I find car batteries last well out of the warranty (but do fail suddenly nowadays). Perhaps its because my vehicles are generally basic (no heated seats, mirrors, windscreens or alarms drawing current continuously), and are generally used for medium to long journeys, hence the batteries are normally fully recharged every time they are used. Last one failed after 5 years due to my stupidly leaving the lights on. Guess if it had been newer it might have picked up again.

BTW I very rarely check the levels, and when I do they never need attention. Last failed battery had dropped some, but was still above the plates

Ian
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Armadillo
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Posted on Wednesday, 05 April, 2006 - 06:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post

Snap!

Armadillo
There's no such thing as gravity..........
The earth sucks!
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Magnum4
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Posted on Wednesday, 05 April, 2006 - 08:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post

Seven years last one and it was still starting on first turn of the key. :-)However I do a good lot of travel and so it would always be fully charged.
Regards,
Jim

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