NotTaR of Television Sets : Why can't TV manufacturers learn to sold..  
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Why can't TV manufacturers learn to solder properly?

I can think of several potential reasons - all solvable but at higher manufacturing cost.

  1. Mass of large component leads (like shields) does not get adequately heated during manufacture leading to latent cold solder joints. While they may look ok, the solder never actually 'wetted' the heavy pins and therefore did not form a good mechanical or electrical bond.

  2. Thermal cycles and differential thermal coefficients of circuit boards, traces, and solder. While it is not easy to do anything about the material properties, using plated through-holes or a similar mechanical via would greatly increase the surface area of the joint and prevent the formation of cracks.

  3. Vibration. This is also directly related to the single sided circuit boards without plated through-holes to strengthen the joints.

  4. Lack of adquate mechanical support (single sided circuit boards without plated through-holes (vias).

I believe that the single most significantimprovement would come about by using plated trhough-holes but this would add to the cost and apparently the consumer is not willing to pay more for better quality and reliability! Some designs have used rivlets - mechanical vias instead of plated ones. While this is good in principle, the execution has often been flawed where cold solder joints resulted between the rivlets and the circuit board traces due to lack of adequate process control.

The Sony and RCA/GE tuner shield problem is interesting because this could have been solved years ago at essentially no additional cost as other manufacturers - and their own repair procedures - have proven.

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