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back to article Dell boxes VGA cable to within an inch of its life

We're sort of delighted to report that our campaigning Aboxalypse now series - aimed at naming and shaming those who would destroy Mother Earth with their cardboard and bubble wrap excesses - seems to be having some effect. We say sort of delighted, because Dell appears to have taken extreme measures to make amends for past …

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OFI
FAIL

Packaging

Today I received a couple of hundred quids worth of car audio equipment from a company online. It came in a used box which had been taped closed with packing tape.

The items inside were quite loose with no packign between them, one of which was a full wiring kit which had emptied its contents all over the box by the time it had arrived. The other two, an amp and stereo, were boxed and stacked on top of each other. Bringing the total height of the items to 20mm higher than that of the box.

Obviously the items were a bit squashed..

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Headmaster

Worst article ever?

Shock news. Man receives scrunched up cable.

This is almost as good as the article in my local paper this week which read: "the coastguard was called out on Friday evening, it reported that it found nothing of interest".

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Grenade

Meh

Who uses VGA cables anyway

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Pint

Minimum Bending Radius

Cable manufacturers (i.e. the bit between the plugs not the whole 'VGA Cable') generally specify a minimum bending radius. I'd check out what it is for a cable of that type and go back to Dell and ask for their comment.

It's a pint of real ale which is warm and has hop leaves and dead flies floating in it. Imagine the sound of grown men hitting each other with inflated pig bladders on sticks and with bells around their legs because that is the kind of comment this is.

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Who uses VGA cables anyway(?)

People that use real computers in a datacentre.

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Coat

@DarkNerd

"Who uses VGA cables anyway"

Dell on their M109s LED Projector obviously!

The clues in the article!

Mines the one with the bend VGA cable in the pocket.

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Silver badge

Bend Radius

He should ask them to specify the minimum bend radius allowed on the VGA cables before it invalidates the warranty.

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Bronze badge
WTF?

Dell support

I love how Dell still try and make it the customers fault. Same old story with them. Blame the customer - great business practice. So glad my company is moving away from them!

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Happy

@ Neil 6

You know, traditionally, Friday afternoon is a time that a lot of people find a sense of humour under their chair from the Friday Feeling Fairy.

Stick your head down there and take a look, you'll never know what you might find.

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FAIL

Ciena as bad

I recently received 3 large boxes from Ciena containing various PCB's and 5 x unknown part numbers.

I had two boxes which had the unknown part number marked on the outside so I figured I am missing 3 of whatever were in these not insubstantial boxes. I didnt raise the order so I got onto our supplier and asked where the other 3 things were.

He laughed and asked me to open one of the boxes. Inside (sandwiched neatly beteen anti-static foam, inside a large ant-static wrapper was and A4 envelope, inside the envelope was an A5 "certificate of authenticity" for two of the PCB's we received. Inside the other box was another "certificate of authenticity" for the other 3 PCB's we had ordered. You couldnt make this up some times!

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Bronze badge

Bad cables everywhere

All of the projectors where I work have the same color-changing problem, so I guess that bad cables are quite common. Oddly enough, all of the projectors have network ports for remote desktop-type projection (Windows Vista projector protocol), but nobody bothers with it.

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Silver badge
Boffin

Ummm...Connector?

"Hasnain inists there's nothing wrong with the projector, and that in the case of both cables, if you wiggled them a bit the image colours changed."

In that case (and given the appearance of the connector on the cable) I'd ask Hasnain to take a much closer look at the port on the projector -- it looks quite fragile. In my experience, an issue that can be "resolved" by wiggling the cable is much more often a connector issue than a cable issue. (I've seen both, but the latter is rare.)

Indeed, a quick lookup on Dell's site (http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c=us&CID=SubCat5188&cs=04&DGC=IR&l=en&LID=BN1&sku=224-0939) shows this quote in review position #2:

"The only thing I'm concerning is the connection between the unit and the cable. The connection is very delicate and fragile. Regular pluging and unpluging can easily damage the connection."

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Boffin

@DarkNerd

By simple observation, reader Hasnain uses them. I would also suspect that well over half of all projectors are still connected via VGA cables... so, in the millions.

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Bronze badge

Re: Meh

"Who uses VGA cables anyway"

Well at least analogue video has graceful degradation (hence colour changes when he wiggles the cable). Your HDMI cable either works or doesn't. That's digital for you.

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Flame

@ Greg D

if you had to deal with the sort of idiots that call a support desk, you'd realise that blaming the user is a fair assumption 99% of the time! HP support would be the same, as would Acer etc etc

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Sly

@Steven knox

My experience is the exact opposite. Cables that have tight angled bends in them usually don't have connector issues, but broken copper issues. I've had that issue with more than a dozen VGA Monitor cables (bolted down at each end to ensure good contact) and rarely ever had any actual contact issues. I could grab the cable at either side of the bend and make the monitor go through all kinds of colors and then reset the cable in it's original position and return the picture to it's slightly ghosted condition. Replaced the cable with a good one and the ghosting and flickering color(s) issues go away. The only time I've ever had a problem with the contacts was on connectors with bent/broken pins.

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Headmaster

@Steven Knox

"Regular pluging and unpluging can easily damage the connection"

I'm not surprised, sounds awful.

I'm also not sure what pluging is, but I'm sure unpluging is much worse.

g g <-- Keep these as spares :-)

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Bronze badge
Megaphone

Best wrapping I've seen...

...was for my Mosque clock (mosqueclocks.com) - a shi*t-loud device (see the video "Sandals at Seven" in the fun section). NSFW - will wake the dead(wood) in the office.

This is a typical example. The 'extra' wrapping is available for only an extra £0.99.

http://www.mosqueclock.com/badgiftwrapping.html

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Silver badge

VGA?

That looks an awful lot like a DVI cable to me, based on the connector shown on the right. It's far too wide vs. height to be VGA - unless you brits use some wacky dsub connector standard I'm not aware of...

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Bronze badge
Coat

@ Cottonfoo

"Who uses VGA cables anyway(?)" - "People that use real computers in a datacentre."

Actually we tend to use remote access such as Terminal Services and ILOs/RACs, and leave the KVM stuff to the monkeys who rack them :-P

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Boffin

Have To agree

With Steven Knox, the most likely cause is poor contact in the connector on the projector -- often the cause is one of the contacts being pushed back inside the connector with the result it barely makes contact hence wiggling the cable makes the colours change as the contact makes and breaks.

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WTF?

calling support can be embarrassing

Years ago I had a 30 cps teletype device. Not the noisy 10 cps units but a true 30. Light weight and normally worked well.

One day it died. I quickly checked to see if it was plugged in. Yep. Call support I guess.

Well I am not sure about the claimed 99% of the time the customer is an idiot but...

Once support got on the line, the kind gentleman asked if I had paper in the machine. What a stupid question I thought.

As it turned out the paper out sensor was back of the platten and had indeed tripped due to not having sufficient paper. Oh, the paper did reach up to the print head and partically hid the fact that the roll had run out.

What a stupid idiot was I, right?

Perhaps. But, maybe it was a design defect that placed the paper out sensor too far away from the printhead? The printhead had paper but in fact the roll was out.

AC of course.

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WTF?

@DarkNerd

"Who uses VGA cables anyway"

People who prefer the superior colour, response times and pixel density of analogue CRT monitors.

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Has
Megaphone

OP Response!

Thanks for the comments guys.

Steve...i have checked the connector block, no problem there.

I have 2 of these projectors and can confirm it is the cabling either by the blocks as seen in the picture or at a certain point on the cable where it is heavily bent.

From new Dell also squash them into the bags and starts to weaken the cable from day 1 !

Also agreed that its probably the copper thats damaged, u can hold the connector steady and move the cable around slowly and see the colour shift.

Seeing as Dell Tech Support tell you to always be carefull etc and yet they send out the cables pretty much damaged!

Still had no response from Dell yet....even tho i requested a call back :(

David W: The VGA connector is on the left, the one you are looking at on the right is the Dell Connector to the projector....its a shame that it uses a proprietary connector as i have loads of VGA cables!

On the other hand guys, the projector itself is great fro a tiny LED projector!

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Joke

Free colours

Doesn't he want Dells free psychedelic colours?

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FAIL

Us 'Whacky Brits'...

...at least know what a DVI connector looks like, David W - and that connector on the right sure aint it!! Do you know what one even looks like? Obviously not, you Whacky Yank...

FAIL!

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Silver badge
Linux

@Sly

"I've had that issue with more than a dozen VGA Monitor cables (bolted down at each end to ensure good contact) and rarely ever had any actual contact issues."

I'm not surprised; the standard VGA connector is a solid D-SUB connector with ample reinforcement. The connector on this projector, on the other hand, is one of those cheapy slide-in with pressure snaps types that you get on many cellphones -- and those connectors have issues often. That's why I looked up the projector: the pic in the article wasn't quite good enough for me to be sure.

@Neil: I don't know about you, but I prefer to quote people using cut-and-paste -- that way I know I'm qouting exactly what they wrote. I could gone back and edited the quote to read "...plug[g]ing...", but I find that detracts from readability -- and I've already posted on this site how [sic] I am with [sic]. (See what I did there? Like it? Thought not. You go your way; I'll go mine.)

<-- For no particular reason. It's just the cutest icon they've got.

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Gold badge
Happy

@Brian Miller

When you find that the projector is playing silly b's 'cos generations of arsewipes have stuffed the signal cable into the bag carelessly, simply take the cable to the nearest desk area and swap it for one on a PC who's owner isn't around. The luser you just gifted this POS to will then call desktop support at some time in the future to complain that their monitor's playing up, the desktop lads will replace the cable for them and the cycle is complete.

Works for me.

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Anonymous Coward

@David W

One end is VGA, the other looks like a propriety connector... most likely the Dell end ;)

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Boffin

@Kotonoha

Do you have a Nice Boat with your nice CRT monitor?

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