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Largely Transparent Peripherals

So you can see what's wrong
  [vote for,

The likes of paper jams and hoola hoops falling into the gubbins can cause problems with peripherals which dismantling the devices can then address. However, it's not always clear whether the problem is mechanical, a foreign body or something else.

Clearly peripherals do sometimes use potentially dangerous light sources such as lasers or scanner beams, and they may also contain light-sensitive parts such as the selenium on laser printer drums, so they can't be permanently transparent and still function safely and effectively. Consequently I propose an opaque cover which in normal circumstances is placed around the peripheral to stop light shining in or out. The rest of the peripheral should, as far as possible, be made of transparent materials in order that such problems can be easily observed. If there's trouble, take off the cover and peer around the interior for a bit to see if you can spot the problem, then either fix it or try another approach such as addressing a driver problem or whatever.

nineteenthly, Jan 30 2016


       You're clearly not an engineer. Engineers will remove and discard covers and panels even from new equipment that's working fine, partly to allow easy access for maintainance, but mostly so they can see the works ...
8th of 7, Jan 30 2016

       If the peripheral is "largely transparent", this implies that most of its parts are transparent, so if one of those parts goes wrong, seeing it might be difficult.
Vernon, Jan 30 2016

       It would, but it would still be better than not being able to see any problems at all.   

       No, I'm not an engineer. I break things instead.
nineteenthly, Jan 31 2016

       Actually, breakng things doesn't exclude you from being an engineer. Lots of engineers break things, both accidentally and deliberately - to test things, to try and improve them, or even to see if it will make a pretty noise ...   

       Sometimes, though, engineers can fix - or at least, partly fix - them afterwards.
8th of 7, Jan 31 2016

       But only sometimes...
Other times, you have to hope that the nearest store still sells that exact same model.
neutrinos_shadow, Jan 31 2016

       Isn't there an old saying to the effect that "an engineer is someone who can break something for £10 that someone else can build for £30"?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 31 2016

       We prefer "Mechanical engineers build weapons. Civil engineers build targets ..."
8th of 7, Jan 31 2016

       And Quality engineers baby-sit both types.
normzone, Jan 31 2016

       So what's actually needed is an array of tiny digital cameras and LED's by which I can look into the peripheral and see it from all angles.   

       OR, a tiny cam-quadcopter that can fly around inside the peripherals of the peripheral and climb around if needed to get a closer look.
pashute, Feb 01 2016

       (Ian), you must be thinking of inspection.   

       The QE tries to teach the other engineers how to reliably engage in behaviors such that the wrong location issue will be noticed BEFORE putting it there.   

       Such an uphill task, given the alleged caliber of participants.
normzone, Feb 01 2016

       Provide a set of pictures from a number of angles all around the device.
Provide a mount stick with tripod-style (1/4-20 thread) camera attachment that can be placed in a number of sockets all around the device to replicate the original pictures.
When you take pictures of the broken device, and mathematically subtract the original pictures, everything is completely invisible except those parts which are different - i.e., broken.
lurch, Feb 04 2016

       That gives me an idea!
whatrock, Feb 04 2016

       // However, it's not always clear whether the problem is mechanical, a foreign body or something else.//   

       I happen to think that a pair of legs hanging out of the printer is a clue that some engineers might notice.
Ling, Feb 04 2016

       That's the other engineer. He's still fixing it.
pertinax, Feb 05 2016


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