A question I recently posted has been put on hold for the following reason:

put on hold as off-topic

Questions on the repair of consumer electronics, appliances, or other devices must involve specific troubleshooting steps and demonstrate a good understanding of the underlying design of the device being repaired. See also: Is asking on how to fix a faulty circuit on topic?

Although my question does mention repairing an LED lamp, it is only for the sole purpose to provide some background information and is not in any way part of the question itself. As the title says, the question is dedicated to determining the mentioned IC model or type.

Why has my question been put on hold then and how do I fix it?

  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ I personally would prefer if "what's this IC?" questions were off-topic as their own category, because they're rarely written in a way that they provide any useful search terms, so they're unlikely to be helpful for future readers. This kind of question could be asked in chat, or on other less-structured sites. \$\endgroup\$
    – The Photon
    Apr 10, 2017 at 20:15

3 Answers 3


We grudgingly accept component identification questions. Since they are at the edge of what we do, and some think we shouldn't do them at all, they need to be extra good. Yours wasn't.

Seriously!? Did you look at those pictures, particularly the first one, yourself. It's dark, the IC is hard to see, and we can barely make out what it says. If you can't be bothered to take a decent picture and process it appropriately before posting it, then why should anyone else bother with your problem either?

Thumbing your nose at the volunteers here by posting slop will not entice them to do you the favor you seek.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I understand that my question is not at the professional level some people on this site would require. Nobody is asking you to answer or even bother with a such question so if you don't want to, just close it and ignore it. I don't see a reason why to restrict users that are willing to help from doing so just because you don't like the question. \$\endgroup\$
    – DELTA12
    Apr 12, 2017 at 12:43
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @DELTA: There is very good reason to restrict others from answering. We don't want people getting away with dumping slop here and getting the desired result. That only gives incentive to do it again, and teaches others that it works. Note also that this isn't about professional level in electronics. The level of electronics has nothing to do with it. It's about the quality of the presentation. Yours was inexcusably low. If you wouldn't hand it in as homework or bring it to a job interview, it doesn't belong here either. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 14, 2017 at 11:49

I don't have a strong opinion regarding whether your question should've been put on hold as off-topic or not, per se.

However, I do agree with some of the reasons said by Olin. I took myself a look at your question when you posted it. In order to see something, I had to zoom in the picture and then rotate my head by an angle \$\approx \frac{\pi}{2}\$. Too much hassle, and not worth making worse my neck ache.

You might argue that you did provide a transcription of the marking so that no one had to break their neck. And it's true, but someone wanting to help you would almost certainly want to take a closer look on the IC to search for logos or other additional relevant markings.

So my recommendation for you is: make it easy for other to help you, as we are all volunteers here and there are a lot on new questions from new users coming in all the time. Especially when your question is borderline off-topic.


I tend to agree with The Photon here, component identifications aren't that helpful or easy to search for. They still seem to be somewhat reluctantly accepted as on-topic. You seem to have phrased the question in a way that made people think it was a repair question. Stuff happens. There's enough bad questions that it's sometimes difficult to see through to a user's actual problem.

How to solve this is written in the close reason: (emphasis mine)

If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

It can then be nominated for reopening.

  • \$\begingroup\$ "nominated for reopening" Good one, LOL! On very rare occasions a revised question might get re-opened, but I can't imagine this one ever will, considering the initial slop that was dumped on us. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 11, 2017 at 11:41

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .