How many different kinds of electronics can be fixed by smacking them?

And, for extra credit, how exactly does such a satisfying solution come about by such a visceral vicissitude?

So far I count TVs, VCRs, and car radios. Your turn.

If you’re the Fonz, any and all of them!

I’d add certain digital watches. And, I’d suggest maybe this belongs in MPSIMS.


Aaaaaayyyy thumbs up

Jukeboxes, obviously.

And my DVD player, but that’s not really an electronic fix, simply that the disc tray sometimes gets stuck and won’t eject until I apply a level-2 percussive maintenance procedure to the top of the player.

Space shuttles can be fixed by hitting them. That’s how they do it in Mother Russia.

I’ve heard of people fixing (or rather, temporarily working around) computer hard drive problems on ancient machines by picking up a corner of the main case and dropping it a quarter inch. Not sure if that works on any recent hardware though.

Wikipedia has an article on this, including some “famous taps” from history.

The article mentions a few reasons why it might work for various applications. In electronics terms, I always assumed it was down to a badly soldered joint that can leave a gap in a circuit somewhere, which can be fixed by jolting it so that the conductors touch again.

I have a digital 8 camcorder that occasionally gets messed up. After a year of thinking it was a pricey paperweight, some googling of the error code found me numerous instances of people saying the proper solution was to smack it, hard, in a specific spot.

Works like a charm.

Apparently some gear slips out of place in normal usage and…

That’s pretty much it. Anything with a loose electrical connection or a stuck mechanism can be affected (in a good or bad way) by mechanical shock. OTOH, A malfunctioning solid-state device (e.g. a thumb drive with a flaky transistor somewhere inside) is not likely to be affected either way.

Ah yes, the wonders of percussive maintenance.

Personally, I do it for the cathartic effect more than out of any real expectation that it will fix something.

Older-style desk phones (the big chunky ones) could sometimes be fixed by lifting the phone about 6 inches from the desk surface, then returning it to its original location with a solid, highly satisfying, thump.

Also if there is dust or dirt preventing contact being made in a relay. I have to slap my machine at work a couple times a week to get the relay to work.

My first Playstation sometimes needed a whack on the right side with a particularly sized screwdriver to get it performing again.

The fan in the desktop in my office sometimes gets noisy. A light tap on the side of the machine shuts it up nicely.

The window switch in my car door sometimes needs a good wack to remind it whose the boss.

My old computer monitor.

Confirmed. I have resolved problems with CRT monitors many times with percussive maintenance.

I now have an LCD TV/monitor that has an intermittent vertical line down the display which is fixable with a slight tap.

I was helping someone with a PC problem when another worker came by and said she had trouble with her machine. I walked over and her PC was powering itself on and off every few seconds.

I called our hardware guy and he came up, gave the PC a good thump and it powered on and stayed on.

Everyone was duly impressed.

I used to have a 1990 Volvo 240 whose O/D would disable itself randomly. The only way to remedy this was to whack the top of the dash.

The optical drive on my xbox 360 is going out. It refuses to read disks. 3 solid, swift whacks on top of the optical drive, timed properly while it’s spinning up (about 3 seconds after the tray is flush with the system) work 80% of the time (the first time, and 80% the 2nd, etc), as such I see no need to spend 99 dollars sending it off to microshit getting it repaired.