After looking at this question, I'm a bit puzzled. It looks like a couple of people are posting consumer electronics questions on here, for things like A/V receivers.

While I admit they are cool, these questions seem highly off-topic. Opinions?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Related question: Possible Name Change? \$\endgroup\$ – Kevin Vermeer Nov 9 '10 at 23:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ Their intent is very different, I am thinking they both deserve answers. \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk Nov 10 '10 at 0:47

I don't think that consumer electronics fits our site at all. Debugging broken consumer electronics is on the borderline, but we're definitely more about designing those products than selecting or using them.

The Electronic Gadgets Stackexchange was an attempt to create a site about consumer electronics. It was closed due to a lack of activity - Is it possible people are looking for that site and accidentally coming here, or coming here as a plan B?

Our FAQ reads:

What kind of questions can I ask here?
Electronics and Robotics - Stack Exchange is for electronics and robotics hardware hacking enthusiasts - topics that include robotics, electronics, physical computing, and even those working with Microcontrollers and Arduinos.

I'm not sure if 'hacking' is the best word here. Perhaps this should be clarified to mean design and not use? It's possible a power user might (incorrectly) identify with that description. Alternatively/additionally, we can add a clarification that this is not about consumer electronics to the What kind of questions should I not ask here? section.


This is definitely an issue that is cropping up. I Would have to vote that these are clearly not the intent of this site.

Kellenjb's question discusses how to handle this, but I think it is important we agree on if this fits on our site.


I don't think our community is really a good place to be answering questions like these. The expertise required to answer consumer electronics questions is completely different then what is needed for chip hacking.

Also in general I have found consumer electronics questions very hard to have a single answer. Most of them can have multiple correct answers with the only difference being personal opinion. Questions like this have a very hard time conforming to Stack Exchanges structure.


While http://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/614/electronic-gadgets failed, there is now http://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/60741/mobile-devices which addresses much of the same area.

I agree that electronics is a poor fit for the typical gadget question. Note I too have considered this site as a 'plan B' for what would better be gadget stack question, as @Kevin Vermeer mentioned above.

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    \$\begingroup\$ You do realize that this question is close to 4 years old? The FAQ now reads the site is NOT about "consumer electronics such as media players, cell phones or smart phones, except when designing these products or modifying their electronics for other uses" \$\endgroup\$ – placeholder Jul 18 '14 at 5:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ With the advent of the "mobile devices" stack, there will be a place to send all those off topic postings. \$\endgroup\$ – Bryce Jul 19 '14 at 5:00

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