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Topic: How Often do Electronic Components Stop Working? (Read 2994 times) previous topic - next topic

vertigo5

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.

dannable

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?
Beginners guide to using the Seeedstudio SIM900 GPRS/GSM Shield

fungus


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?



No, I don't answer questions sent in private messages (but I do accept thank-you notes...)

sonnyyu

#3
May 24, 2013, 01:51 pm Last Edit: May 24, 2013, 01:53 pm by sonnyyu Reason: 1
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.

sonnyyu


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.





Grumpy_Mike

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

vertigo5


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.

Grumpy_Mike

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.

AlxDroidDev

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

Grumpy_Mike

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.

GoForSmoke


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.
Nick Gammon on multitasking Arduinos:
1) http://gammon.com.au/blink
2) http://gammon.com.au/serial
3) http://gammon.com.au/interrupts

GoForSmoke



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.

Nick Gammon on multitasking Arduinos:
1) http://gammon.com.au/blink
2) http://gammon.com.au/serial
3) http://gammon.com.au/interrupts

oric_dan


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

oric_dan

#13
May 24, 2013, 07:52 pm Last Edit: May 25, 2013, 04:08 am by oric_dan Reason: 1


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.

DVDdoug

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!


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