Pages: [1] 2 3   Go Down
Author Topic: How Often do Electronic Components Stop Working?  (Read 1777 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Offline Offline
Newbie
*
Karma: 0
Posts: 27
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

So, I'm a newcomer to Arduino, and have worked my way through the starter kit for the last month or so.
Recently, I have spent **hours** trying to debug code, or rewire projects, until I finally found out the problem was that one of the components simply didn't work anymore. When I replaced it with a different one, everything worked again.
To be more specific: three N/O switches died, and one tilt switch.

My question is:
Is it normal for components to stop working so often?
or is there maybe something wrong with my workflow which keeps killing them?
or maybe the components that come with the starter kit are just low quality?

Thanks,
vertigo5.
Logged

Leeds, England
Offline Offline
Sr. Member
****
Karma: 8
Posts: 442
Quick, chuck it in the bin before the boss finds out...
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

It reminds me of the old joke:

Passenger "Excuse me young man, do these planes crash often?"
Steward "No ma'am, only once..."

No, it's not common to have so many failures, but it's strange that all the components are switches. Are you using them within their ratings?
Logged

Beginners guide to using the Seeedstudio SIM900 GPRS/GSM Shield

Valencia, Spain
Offline Offline
Faraday Member
**
Karma: 118
Posts: 4574
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

To be more specific: three N/O switches died, and one tilt switch.

My question is:
Is it normal for components to stop working so often?

If you're killing switches then you're definitely doing something wrong. What on earth are you connecting to them?



Logged

No, I don't answer questions sent in private messages...

Earth
Offline Offline
Edison Member
*
Karma: 41
Posts: 1388
My browser no longer is binding static IP, Floating is the way to go.
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

Mean time between failures (MTBF) is the predicted elapsed time between inherent failures of a system during operation.

The MTBF can be defined in terms of the expected value of the density function ƒ(t)



Electronics is Math.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2013, 06:53:21 am by sonnyyu » Logged

Earth
Offline Offline
Edison Member
*
Karma: 41
Posts: 1388
My browser no longer is binding static IP, Floating is the way to go.
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

To be more specific: three N/O switches died, and one tilt switch.

To answer this type specific question;-

The MTBF figure for a product can be derived from laboratory testing, actual field failure data or prediction models such as MIL-HDBK-217 (the Military Handbook for Reliability Prediction of Electronic Equipment, published by the U.S. Department of Defense, Approved for public release; distribution unlimited).

MIL-HDBK-217 contains failure-rate models for various parts used in electronic systems, such as integrated circuits, transistors, diodes, resistors, capacitors, relays, switches and connectors. These failure-rate models are based on a large amount of field data that was analyzed and simplified by the Reliability Analysis Center and Rome Laboratory at Griffiss Air Force Base in Rome, N.Y. (Instructions for downloading MIL-HDBK-217 are at http://www.t-cubed.com/faq_217.htm.)


N/O switches is at 14-1 section.




Logged

Manchester (England England)
Offline Offline
Brattain Member
*****
Karma: 513
Posts: 31529
Solder is electric glue
View Profile
WWW
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

My guess is that you are wiring the switches up so you have a dead short across the power supply when they are pressed.
Look again at how they should be wired up. The best way is between input and ground with a pull up resistor to +5V.
See:-
http://www.thebox.myzen.co.uk/Tutorial/Inputs.html
Logged

Offline Offline
Newbie
*
Karma: 0
Posts: 27
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

My guess is that you are wiring the switches up so you have a dead short across the power supply when they are pressed.
Look again at how they should be wired up. The best way is between input and ground with a pull up resistor to +5V.
See:-
http://www.thebox.myzen.co.uk/Tutorial/Inputs.html

That might well be the reason, as I've been focusing on understanding pull up resistors lately. Are there common wiring/code mistakes that lead to dead shorts with switches? I've been fairly careful with the tutorials and wiring, but maybe I will recognize something I did wrong.
Logged

Manchester (England England)
Offline Offline
Brattain Member
*****
Karma: 513
Posts: 31529
Solder is electric glue
View Profile
WWW
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

Quote
Are there common wiring/code mistakes that lead to dead shorts with switches?
yes we get a lot on here.
A tip with the 4 pin buttons is to use the two opposite corners.
Logged

BHZ, MG, Brazil
Offline Offline
Sr. Member
****
Karma: 10
Posts: 346
Android developer; Arduino enthusiast
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

Electronics is Math.

Isn't mostly everything?

Logged

Learn to live: Live to learn.
Showing off my work: http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/topic,126197.0.html

Manchester (England England)
Offline Offline
Brattain Member
*****
Karma: 513
Posts: 31529
Solder is electric glue
View Profile
WWW
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

Quote
Isn't mostly everything?
No. It is physics. Because Physics is the branch of Mathematics that deals with reality.
Remember that maths is only a language used to describe things, you need Physics to constantly keep it on track.
Logged

Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Offline Offline
Faraday Member
**
Karma: 58
Posts: 4024
I learn a bit every time I visit the forum.
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

Mean time between failures (MTBF) is the predicted elapsed time between inherent failures of a system during operation.

The MTBF can be defined in terms of the expected value of the density function ƒ(t)



Electronics is Math.

I would go so far as to say that electronics can be described with math but I have yet to light a led with an equation.
Logged

Examples can be found in your IDE.

Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Offline Offline
Faraday Member
**
Karma: 58
Posts: 4024
I learn a bit every time I visit the forum.
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

Electronics is Math.

Isn't mostly everything?



Ha!

Though experiment:

There is a room with 2 doors. In one corner is a bucket of sand. A fire burns in the middle.

In through one door enters an engineer. The engineer sees the fire, sees the bucket of sand and pours the sand on the fire solving the problem and then leaves.

Same room only this time a physicist enters, sees the fire and sees the bucket of sand. The physicist pours the sand in a ring around the fire and studies the fire until it goes out, solving the problem, then leaves.

Same room only this time a mathematician enters, sees the fire and sees the bucket of sand and realizes that there is a solution and leaves.

Logged

Examples can be found in your IDE.

the land of sun+snow
Offline Offline
Faraday Member
**
Karma: 149
Posts: 2790
View Profile
WWW
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

Mean time between failures (MTBF) is the predicted elapsed time between inherent failures of a system during operation.

The MTBF can be defined in terms of the expected value of the density function ƒ(t)



Electronics is Math.
Due to t being in the equation, it doesn't seem to adequately take into account
"infant mortality" on electronic devices, or the 2nd phase either. Likely only describes
the 3rd phase.
http://www.murata.com/products/emicon_fun/2012/04/special_en16.html
http://blogs.indium.com/blog/an-interview-with-the-professor/electronics-failure-analysis-for-pb-and-pb-free-solder-joints
Logged

the land of sun+snow
Offline Offline
Faraday Member
**
Karma: 149
Posts: 2790
View Profile
WWW
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

Electronics is Math.

Isn't mostly everything?

This is very nice, but is really just the "reductionist" perception of the world, ie mainly
that of physics.

What's missing is the concept related to complexity theory that use of the word "just"
here limits the analysis to only half the problem. In reality, each time you go "up" to
another level of description - ie, moving from right to left <----------- there are new
sets of rules and interactions that come into play that are basically indescribable by
the reductionist perspective alone.

The most obvious example is flying from physics on the right over to sociology on the
left, it would be utterly hopeless to try and describe human behavior and male-female
interactions using equations from quantum mechanics and movement of individual
atoms and molecules.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2013, 09:08:45 pm by oric_dan » Logged

Offline Offline
Edison Member
*
Karma: 22
Posts: 1169
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

Quote
To be more specific: three N/O switches died, and one tilt switch.

My question is:
Is it normal for components to stop working so often?
No! Mechanical things can wear-out, but how often have you had to change the light switches in your house?   

Have you tested those switches with a multimeter?

Quote
or is there maybe something wrong with my workflow which keeps killing them?
Your "workflow" should not harm them, unless perhaps you get solder flux inside the switch, or if you clean them with water and they corrode inside....     If you are running excessive voltages & currents through them, they can be damaged.  But with 5V or 12V and milliamps, any switch should survive.

Quote
or maybe the components that come with the starter kit are just low quality?
Possible, but it's unlikely that they are THAT bad!

Logged

Pages: [1] 2 3   Go Up
Jump to: