Technology
Alt.CES: more repair-friendly gadgets, please!
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The remote control for one of our ceiling fans just started acting up. It turned out that some of the switches had gone bad. I was thrilled to see a nice assortment of through-hole parts when I took it apart. In fact, just a couple weeks ago, SparkFun listed those push buttons as their top-selling item. altCES1.jpg

Thanks to simple, easy-to-find components, this was a quick fix vs. a throwaway + replacement. (The pareidolia is a nice bonus!)

Found any gadgets that were refreshingly easy to repair? Post your pictures in the Make Flickr Pool!

Repair-friendly celing fan remote on flickr

6 thoughts on “Alt.CES: more repair-friendly gadgets, please!

  1. Doesn’t it seem like buttons nowadays are junk? I have had several MS mice where button 1 doesn’t give out, buts starts to give random extra clicks. They could have put a slightly longer debounce routine, or spent another $0.00001 on putting in a million cycle switch for just that one high-use button. Instead, the mouse is expected to be replaced for each Diablo sequel.

    My solution was to desolder the problem button and a dumb side button, and trade them.

  2. @Anonymous: I agree. I had an older Logitech optical mouse for years (at least 5, maybe 7), and I eventually wore out the slider pads on the bottom, and had ended up sanding down the plastic just from sheer use. But it still worked.

    My new mouse has been around for about a year, and the right mouse button is already acting up; the right-click isn’t always connected when the right button is down, it depends how much pressure you give it, like it’s struggling to connect.

    I’d just buy another mouse to replace it, but honestly I already have another optical mouse for parts kicking around, and I might as well fix it. I tossed one of those buttons into my Sparkfun cart during my free day order, we’ll see how it works.

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I'm a tinkerer and finally reached the point where I fix more things than I break. When I'm not tinkering, I'm probably editing a book for Maker Media.

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