Made in Taiwan

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And people wonder why DVD players are so cheap and crappy… I pulled one to bits yesterday for spare parts. Well, actually I salvaged what was left of it’s bits, after Laura had already taken to it with some kind of extremely large, heavy blunt object. No, seriously – she’d torn the metal casing into pieces rather than undo the screws. She won’t tell me why. Perhaps it looked at her funny.

Anyway, on the front panel with all the interface logic – which is all pretty standard amongst DVD players and VCRs – the circuitry was the worst I’ve ever seen. Not only was it 90 degree only – i.e. vertical or horizontal tracks, resulting in nearly every corner being a right angle – but they’d flood filled it with a mesh. Not a mesh connected to anything, just meshes. So there’s random blocks of floating mesh inbetween all the tracks, just sitting there, waiting to pick up EMI and add parasitic capacitance to the rest of the board.

Ye gods, it’s a wonder these things ever work at all. I can do better, honestly – my layout for PRJ was an order of magnitude more complicated and still vastly superior*.

* = Ignoring minor details such as functioning correctly. 😉

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