Category Archives: Fail of the Week

Fail Of The Week: This SD Card Won’t Slot

If you’ve got a few self-designed PCBs under your belt, you probably know the pain of missing some little detail and having to break out the bodge wires to fix it. So we feel for [Arsenio Dev], who placed an SD card slot next to an SoC, only to find …read more

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Posted in Fail of the Week, fotw, Octavo, sd card | Leave a comment

Fail of the Week: How Not to Watercool a PC

To those who choose to overclock their PCs, it’s often a “no expense spared” deal. Fancy heat sinks, complicated liquid cooling setups, and cool clear cases to show off all the expensive guts are all part of the charm. But not everyone’s pockets are deep enough for off-the-shelf parts, so …read more

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Posted in bearing, brushes, classic hacks, computer hacks, coolant, corrosion, dielectric, Fail of the Week, fotw, fuel, fuel pump, gasoline, lubricant, PC cooling, water colling | Leave a comment

Fail of the Week: Bright Idea for LED Signs Goes Bad

Typically when we select a project for “Fail to the Week” honors, it’s because something went wrong with the technology of the project. But the tech of [Leo Fernekes]’ innovative LED sign system was never the problem; it was the realities of scaling up to production as well as the …read more

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Posted in animation, ASIC, design for manufacture, Fail of the Week, fotw, invention, led, patent, rgb, scaling, sign | Leave a comment

Fail of the Week: In CAD, Remember to Model the Environment

What’s wrong with the above picture? Failure can be an excellent teacher, and [J. Peterson] reminds us all of this when he says to remember to model the environment when designing things in CAD. He contrasts a failure with a success to demonstrate what that means.

The failure was a …read more

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Posted in 3d printed, 3d Printer hacks, advice, cad, design, Fail of the Week | Leave a comment

Fail of the Week: Thermostat Almost Causes a House Fire

Fair warning: any homeowners who have thermostats similar to the one that nearly burned down [Kerry Wong]’s house might be in store for a sleepless night or two, at least until they inspect and perhaps replace any units that are even remotely as sketchy as what he found when he …read more

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Posted in electric heater, Fail of the Week, failure analysis, fire, foresnsic, fotw, root cause, safety, teardown, thermostat | Leave a comment

Fail of the Week: Ambitious Vector Network Analyzer Fails To Deliver

If you’re going to fail, you might as well fail ambitiously. A complex project with a lot of subsystems has a greater chance of at least partial success, as well as providing valuable lessons in what not to do next time. At least that’s the lemonade [Josh Johnson] made from …read more

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Posted in AD8302, Fail of the Week, filter, fotw, harmonics, RF, thesis, vector network analyzer, vna | Leave a comment

Fail Of The Week: How Not To Light Pipe

You’d think that something made out of glass and epoxy would transmit a decent amount of light. Unfortunately for [Jeremy Ruhland], it turns out that FR4 is not great light pipe material, at least in one dimension.

The backstory on this has to do with #badgelife, where it has become …read more

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Posted in badgelife, Fail of the Week, fr4, led, light pipe, non-plated, oreo construction, through hole, via | Leave a comment

Fail of the Week: The Arduino Walkie That Won’t Talkie

There’s something seriously wrong with the Arduino walkie-talkie that [GreatScott!] built.

The idea is simple: build a wireless intercom so a group of motor scooter riders can talk in real-time. Yes, such products exist commercially, but that’s no fun at all. With a little ingenuity and a well-stocked parts bin, …read more

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Posted in arduino, distortion, Fail of the Week, lm358, NRF24, RF, walkie talkie, wireless, wireless hacks | Leave a comment

Fail of the Week: EPROMs, Rats’ Nests, Tanning Lamps, and Cardboard on Fire

It all started when I bought a late-1990s synthesizer that needed a firmware upgrade. One could simply pull the ROM chip, ship it off to Yamaha for a free replacement, and swap in the new one — in 2003. Lacking a time machine, a sensible option is to buy a pre-programmed aftermarket EPROM on eBay for $10, and if you just want a single pre-flashed EPROM that’s probably the right way to go. But I wanted an adventure.

Spoiler alert: I did manage to flash a few EPROMs and the RM1X is happily running OS 1.13 and pumping out the …read more

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Posted in eprom, fail, Fail of the Week, fire, hack, hardware, Interest, led, Original Art, ultraviolet, uv | Leave a comment

Fail of the Week: How Not to Electric Vehicle

If you ever doubt the potential for catastrophe that mucking about with electric vehicles can present, check out the video below. It shows what can happen to a couple of Tesla battery modules when due regard to safety precautions isn’t paid.

The video comes to us by way of [Rich], a gearhead with a thing for Teslas. He clearly knows his way around the EV world, having rebuilt a flood-soaked Tesla, and aspires to open an EV repair shop. The disaster stems from a novelty vehicle he and friend [Lee] bought as a side project. The car was apparently once …read more

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Posted in battery, battery management system, car hacks, electric vehicle, Fail of the Week, fire, lithium battery, safety, tesla | Leave a comment