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Ah, the good old days. Back when everyone's dad had some semblance of a tool collection in his garage. Now they're just used for storage. Cars needed constant attention and tuning. TVs needed tubes replaced. Washers and dryers needed belts replaced or motors swapped out.
We were a more inquisitive lot back then and those manuals of old guided those with the knack in repairing things. Now things are more complex. We've lost those skills. Yet we still have that inquisitive nature and tend to screw things up and look for a lawyer to cover our mistakes.
My, how time flies. Sometimes in the wrong direction. :-)
All the best,
Dumbing down to teh audience is one explanation. Another is service revenues are often more profitable than selling the item. Also modern equipment especially digital tends to require very specialized info to service which goes hand in hand with the service cost thing.
Look, we bought a new refrigerator last year that is run by computer. We had a problem initially with fans running wild that required an update to software to fix. Took the tech 3 visits to figure that out. Also teh update can only be done manually by an authorized tech.
Also teh water filter is monitored and a light comes on when time to replace, about twice a year. Filters cost $40-$50 a pop.
Oh well, I hope it filters all the lead supposedly in our water that officials tend to like to keep under wraps.
Its a very nice GE refrigerator for anyone curious.
Welcome to the 21th century USA.
I held various positions related to marine electronics equipment documentation from the mid 80s until last year. The changes to the safety information section during that period became absurd. From a single page of common sense warnings (do not open the equipment unless qualified to do so) to three pages of information for persons lacking common sense. But when you have a user who complains that the screen darkens when he puts on sunglasses...
I tend to believe that this trend is not to dumb down anything, but to protect the company. In America, it is typical to sue people and companies for just about anything. And, since I have noticed many Judges actually allow lawsuits to go forward that have no place in court at all, I can understand companies taking this approach.
A good Engineer/Technician can reverse engineer just about any circuit. That said, some companies, like car manufacturers also, want buyers to take the product to their authorized service center for work instead of having someone with no knowledge or very little knowledge butcher the item first and then expect the manufacturer to service the item under warranty.
But since one can sue McDonalds for very hot coffee that the person actually spilled on themselves, (which I still can't believe was allowed), I can understand companies trying to prevent being sued because someone opened the unit, electrocuted him/her self and then sued after the fact.
It would be nice to obtain the schematics after the project is no longer being manufactured, but even that is rare.
Also, many companies steal designs from other companies. Why make it easy for them to do so by providing schematics.
Don't get me wrong, I like having schematics, because I like having the ability to work on or repair my equipment. There are some exceptions however. Try to repair a Mark Levinson 23.5 amp. Whomever designed and put that amp together, especially the stacked circuit boards, need severe punishment.