Author Topic: To RMA or to not RMA  (Read 208 times)

G8B4Life

  • Signalman (Global Mod)
  • Conductor
  • *****
  • Posts: 611
    • View Profile
To RMA or to not RMA
« on: May 16, 2019, 04:30:18 AM »
Now dispensing with the Shakespearean references, for those that don't remember last year I had an issue with weird behavior with my HC-2b after updating to revision 2.08. Not long after that I had to pack the HC away, along with everything else for an impending house move.

Figuring it to be a software issue from the update and because it was packed away I decided to wait until the next software revision came out and try that first before contacting TR (due to the issues he has with me personally).  This was stupid I know as I completely forgot how long these updates take to come out but if you put yourself in my shoes you'll understand.

Well 2.09 came out the other day and upon seeing it I went and dug the HC out of storage and updated. Unfortunately I'm sorry to say the problem remains. I mustered up the courage and sent TR an email with a description of the problem. To my genuine surprise he answered about the problem and suggests it should be returned for fixing and didn't tell me to fob off or just ignore me, though there was no "Thanks for contacting..." in the reply.

So the likely issue I've been told is a crack in the display. I've not heard this before but apparently a crack in the display (as it's a touchscreen) can cause the ghost button presses and sometimes non responsive display that I experience.

What have peoples experiences with returning stuff to Ring for repair been like? Technically the HC is out of warranty now (by only a few months) even though the fault happened while under warranty (see, stupid >:( ).  I can get the screen from DigiKey (https://www.digikey.com.au/product-detail/en/newhaven-display-intl/NHD-3.5-320240MF-ATXL-T-1/NHD-3.5-320240MF-ATXL-T-1-ND/2165879?cur=AUD&lang=en) easily enough and could probably replace it myself.

The other thing I don't know is if the screen would need calibration or not, and then there's the question of what if it isn't actually the screen. I've looked the screen up and down with a 20x magnifier and can not see a crack, not that doesn't mean there isn't one, I guess it could be hidden.

I'm at a bit of a crossroads with this, to post the HC to Ring will cost a bit unless I can get the weight down to under 500g (you thought USPS was bad on post charges!). Then there's what he'll charge for the repair if he deems it not a warranty issue, and then post back if he decides to charge for that to. Just buying the screen would likely cost a lot less.

Am I overthinking this or am I just going bonkers?

- Tim

William Brillinger

  • Dispatcher (Admin)
  • Conductor
  • *****
  • Posts: 961
    • View Profile
    • Precision Design Co.
Re: To RMA or to not RMA
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2019, 06:34:25 AM »
In my experience Ring Engineering is very generous with his warranty coverage.
While shipping is certainly super expensive, I would probably still send it in.

- Bill Brillinger, RPUG Admin

Modeling the BNML in HO Scale, owner of Precision Design Co., and RailPro Dealer.


nodcc4me

  • Conductor
  • ****
  • Posts: 492
  • RailPro Fan
    • View Profile
Re: To RMA or to not RMA
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2019, 08:25:43 AM »
I have also had very good experience with TR in returning things for repair/replacement. If the screen is not cracked there may be another issue he can resolve.
Al

Run your train, not your brain. Get RailPro. It's a no-brainer.

Alan

  • Conductor
  • ****
  • Posts: 765
    • View Profile
    • LK&O Railroad
Re: To RMA or to not RMA
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2019, 07:12:50 PM »
I act as a freight forwarder on behalf of a model railroader in Australia for all his purchases in the US and Canada. Once his purchases meet either maximum USPS size limit or value gets close to Australia import without duties limit I package everything and send it in one big box. Much less expensive for him than sending small boxes one at a time. I am sure he wouldn't mind including your HC in the big box if you chip in a little on the freight bill. He lives in the Melbourne area. Let me know if you are interested.
Alan

LK&O Railroad website

When I was a kid... no wait, I still do that. HO, 28x32, double deck, 1969, RailPro

G8B4Life

  • Signalman (Global Mod)
  • Conductor
  • *****
  • Posts: 611
    • View Profile
Re: To RMA or to not RMA
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2019, 08:48:23 AM »
Thanks Bill and Alan for your offers (Alan, that is a very nice thing you do for your friend down here).

For the moment I believe I have fixed it without needing to send it back. Not being adverse to poking around a bit I opened it up and had a good look around. Could find no crack in the screen looking with a 20x magnifier but I noticed that the 54 pin connector on the flex pcb didn't look fully seated in the connector on one side so I gently pushed that home. That didn't fix the issue but with the cover off I noticed that the weird behavior didn't happen. On close inspection of the inside of the cover I noticed various "disturbances" on the cover where the touchscreen sits in. I shaved these off to make the cover smooth and replaced the cover. So far no more weird behavior, all the buttons respond to presses in a timely manner and no more HC self initiated phantom button presses.

I haven't tested fully yet (my testing board etc is all packed away) but the 10 or so times I tested it by turning it on and leaving it to it's own devices has seen it sitting there happily waiting for human input and not just doing it's own thing by registering phantom button presses.

Unfortunately, I seem to have traded one faulty device by fixing it for two more faulty devices. Now I have to see if I can fix the faulty backlight on my monitor (capacitor, MOSFET or diode, take you guess as to which is failing) and if I can recover the data from my hard drive that just started spewing critical S.M.A.R.T errors. It has not been a good week. Sigh!

- Tim