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Old 18th Jun 2017, 3:25 pm   #221
ColinTheAmpMan1
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Default Re: Museum of failure.

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So far as I can make out the Hoover Constellation was produced in the UK for nearly 20 years and ceased production in 1975, so maybe not a failure.
My mother had a Hoover Constellation and loved it. If I remember correctly, the air exhaust at the bottom was able to connect the flexible hose, and so could use the almost-useless accessories such as insecticide- and paint-sprayers. The cleaner had to be shoved over on to its side to do this.
If I remember correctly, the Constellation might have just preceded the introduction of the commercial hovercraft and my mother always referred to Christopher Cockerell's device as a "Hoovercraft", bless her (She's been dead a long time).
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Old 18th Jun 2017, 3:43 pm   #222
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Default Re: Museum of failure.

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Absorption refrigerators

The electrolux ones had an electric heater and a thermostat. The gas was ammonia. Very, Very reliable. Heaters were replaceable.
Remember ours well, Electrolux I think, it soldiered on for decades before being replaced but it never broke down, remember it had a tiny 'freezer' compartment that seemed fit only to make a few ice cubes!, now we consider ourselves hard done by without a large freezer and ready supply of frozen good to stock it with.
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Old 18th Jun 2017, 3:57 pm   #223
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Default Re: Museum of failure.

My late grandmother had an Electrolux fridge, and I am pretty sure it was an absoption one. It was silent in operation from what I remember (as a fridge without a mechanical compressor would be). I remmeber the tiny icebox inside (that never really got cold enough for frozen food) There was a sort-of cupboard under it which she told me was to house a gas cylinider if it was used that way (although the one she had ran on electricity).

Another (unrelated to fridges, but releated to the Rabbit telephone) failure was Zonephone. From what I remember it was even more limited than Rabbit. If you had the handset you could make an outgoing call if you were close to a base station (installed in public bulidings, etc). But there was no home base station availble so you couldn't use it as a cordless telephone at home. I have one of the base stations for it (obviously I have never powered it up, I have no idea what frequency it would transmit on, or what uses that now), it's quite complex inside.
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Old 18th Jun 2017, 5:21 pm   #224
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Default Re: Museum of failure.

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My mother had a Hoover Constellation and loved it. If I remember correctly, the air exhaust at the bottom was able to connect the flexible hose, and so could use the almost-useless accessories such as insecticide- and paint-sprayers. The cleaner had to be shoved over on to its side to do this.
If I remember correctly, the Constellation might have just preceded the introduction of the commercial hovercraft and my mother always referred to Christopher Cockerell's device as a "Hoovercraft", bless her (She's been dead a long time).
Hmmmm... you Mum sounds like she was a colourful and humorous Gal! I'll capsize my Sputnik sometime and see if I can do some 'curtain
dusting' and 'insect spraying' [now where's that DDT .....]!!!
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Old 18th Jun 2017, 5:59 pm   #225
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Default Re: Museum of failure.

I seem to remember that when the Sony Walkman was invented, there was a contemporaneous invention called the 'BonePhone' which you wore like a scarf and it transmitted the sound to your ears via bone-conduction. It was meant to compete with the Walkman as a personal music device, but I think it sunk without trace.
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Old 18th Jun 2017, 6:30 pm   #226
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Another (unrelated to fridges, but releated to the Rabbit telephone) failure was Zonephone. From what I remember it was even more limited than Rabbit. If you had the handset you could make an outgoing call if you were close to a base station (installed in public bulidings, etc). But there was no home base station availble so you couldn't use it as a cordless telephone at home. I have one of the base stations for it (obviously I have never powered it up, I have no idea what frequency it would transmit on, or what uses that now), it's quite complex inside.
You can still see the odd Rabbit sign if you know where to look , I've seen a couple recently myself.

I also remember the Mercury phoneboxes in our city too, in fact I think that if you look on the pavement you can still see the metal access covers with Mercury stamped on them, although i might be wrong.
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Old 18th Jun 2017, 8:29 pm   #227
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Default Re: Museum of failure.

Some one is (trying to, no planning permission required) erecting new 'phone boxes merrily for the advertising space.
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Old 19th Jun 2017, 2:10 am   #228
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Default Re: Museum of failure.

The Kenroy Auto-Caddy, chrome version. I used this for a while, but the chrome started to wear off and I didn't want to spoil it. I had an aunt who used one for years; because loose tea is cheaper, the Auto-Caddy has a very slight advantage over tea bags if you use a pot. Like many kitchen gimmicks it's of limited use, but I wouldn't count as a failure if it made some quick money for the promoter.
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Old 19th Jun 2017, 2:59 am   #229
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Default Re: Museum of failure.

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Philips Charley deck VCRs.
Not exactly a failure as they were produced and sold by the millions for roughly 7 years (going through some 54 revisions - obviously there was still some need for improvement) and generally provided good service, especially the later revisions. One of their strongest points was that they were very slim, because of their integrated lift mechanism.

Grundig U loader VHS mechanisms on the other hand.... Very bulky and unreliable. They switched to Panasonic G decks before they gained use of the turbo deck through their joint venture with Philips.

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Old 19th Jun 2017, 9:09 am   #230
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Default Re: Museum of failure.

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I seem to remember that when the Sony Walkman was invented, there was a contemporaneous invention called the 'BonePhone' which you wore like a scarf and it transmitted the sound to your ears via bone-conduction. It was meant to compete with the Walkman as a personal music device, but I think it sunk without trace.
On the subject of the Walkman, the 'Talk Line' on the original model was a pretty useless feature. Maybe Sony expected people to glue the headphones to their ears?

Liam
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Old 19th Jun 2017, 12:33 pm   #231
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Default Re: Museum of failure.

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The Kenroy Auto-Caddy, chrome version. I used this for a while, but the chrome started to wear off and I didn't want to spoil it. I had an aunt who used one for years; because loose tea is cheaper, the Auto-Caddy has a very slight advantage over tea bags if you use a pot. Like many kitchen gimmicks it's of limited use, but I wouldn't count as a failure if it made some quick money for the promoter.
That must have been one aimed at 'the posh people' Sue!! Ours was all plastic [no chrome or chrome 'look-a-like'] just two-tone plain old plastic.

Then again .... "we wuz poor" !!!
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Old 19th Jun 2017, 12:54 pm   #232
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Default Re: Museum of failure.

The Hoover Constellation was marvellous. My dad inherited one from his mother in 1977 or thereabouts and it was in use well into the 2000's as a secondary Hoover for things like cleaning stairs or wood/metal shavings in the garage. It would glide across floors and carpets almost as nicely as a modern compact vacuum cleaner and had great suction. And yes, the exit hole could be used as a blower.

In 2001 I actually managed to get genuine Hoover spare parts to replace the handle which had broken in the 80s. Certainly not a failure and I wouldn't be surprised if they get relaunched as "retro"
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Old 19th Jun 2017, 1:01 pm   #233
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Default Re: Museum of failure.

In fact it looks like Hoover relaunched the constellation relatively recently....but stopped production again

https://www.amazon.com/Hoover-S3341-...ct_top?ie=UTF8


Stateside there was a similar Maytag Satellite too.
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Old 19th Jun 2017, 1:06 pm   #234
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Default Re: Museum of failure.

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Yes indeed Ben, Amstrad did a VHS-C camcorder on which you could only record. I borrowed one to take on holiday in 1988 and still have the tapes now. All were recorded without any problems at all. It was a worry to not know that until returning from holiday though.
Peter
Amstrad had some very cheap camcorders on VHS-C in the 90s which had optical viewfinders coupled to the rather paltry 3x zoom. I guess it was cheaper than EVF's and to be fair the one I used did the job fairly well. But it did mean there was no reviewing your footage until you got home.

The Betamax camcorder never made it to the market, I believe. But was similarly hobbled.
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Old 19th Jun 2017, 1:20 pm   #235
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Default Re: Museum of failure.

The Mavica camera was OK for what it was. We used one at the school where I work in the late 90s to about 2003. It shot at 1024x768 which was fine for school newsletters and the website. I would imagine journalists getting a quick shot for their paper were happy with it too.

The disc drive ran at about 4x the speed of a PC's floppy drive and it seemed fast at the time. But tech was indeed moving quickly and solid state storage was about to take over. But even there we had XD cards, CF (now only for pros) and smart media...all gone now but successful for a time. But for a time it was successful and must have been sold for a few years.

I saw posts about gas fridges...these are still sold for people to use on boats, caravans and motorhomes. Some are dual powered, electric or gas.
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Old 19th Jun 2017, 4:03 pm   #236
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Default Re: Museum of failure.

Trio TR2400 handheld 2m rig. I remember selling them when they came out...horrible things, too big, failed a lot, almost instantly obsolete. Ive never seen one since about 1981 or 2 I think...even collectors shun them

D
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Old 19th Jun 2017, 4:39 pm   #237
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Default Re: Museum of failure.

I had a TR2400 and I loved it.Sold it last year for around 100 with original box and gun hide case.
Admit I had the black death on the lcd screen but at the time I renewed it easy enough with care.
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Old 19th Jun 2017, 10:00 pm   #238
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Default Re: Museum of failure.

No, no, no. How can you put one of those in, if no-one's suggested the Liner-2?

David
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Old 19th Jun 2017, 10:25 pm   #239
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Default Re: Museum of failure.

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How can you put one of those in, if no-one's suggested the Liner-2?

David
AKA "the sprog box" ISTR.

Got you on 2m SSB, though......
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Old 19th Jun 2017, 10:34 pm   #240
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Default Re: Museum of failure.

Perhaps another candidate would have been the fax division of Amstrad, developed on the lines of Sinclair computers. First we had the static problem, where the only cure ( at first ) was to take backup cells out. Then came other problems and finally a voltage problem caused by our old friend- poor quality capacitor.
Perhaps it wasn't a failure, but rather a push to get a not ready product onto the market, before a competitor got in there. Remember, Sir Clive was honest on his computers- 128 was the memory you got, to use.
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