Poll

15 votes (78.94%)
4 votes (21.05%)

19 members have voted

pacomartin
pacomartin
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October 9th, 2011 at 12:22:22 PM permalink
Without googling this question tell me what you think. In comments reveal if you have ever thought about this question. Please don't be a spoiler.

Also speculate on office thermostats and walk buttons at street corners,
Nareed
Nareed
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October 9th, 2011 at 12:23:42 PM permalink
You left out "it depends on which elevator"
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konceptum
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October 9th, 2011 at 12:27:48 PM permalink
I've heard and/or read the argument that such buttons do nothing. (I know my office thermostat changes, mainly because I installed the thermostat myself, and utilize it all the time.) However, I've known of street corners where the crossing sign does not change to walk unless the button has been pressed.

When I stay in a hotel with an elevator, I will usually conduct a test with it. Get in, let the door close on its own. Then, at another time, get in, push the close door button. See if there is a difference in time.

I'd say about half the time there is, and half the time there isn't.

As a side note, in a previous job, I utilized a lot of commercial elevators. (I'm not sure that's exactly what they are called. Basically, the elevators that are utilized by delivery personnel for transporting larger cargo, rather than the standard personnel elevators.) Anyway, those elevators almost always did close quicker when the close button was pushed. However, by default, the doors on those elevators tended to stay open longer than the personnel elevators. This is probably be design, since it might take longer to load up whatever is going into the elevator.
Face
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Face
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October 9th, 2011 at 12:29:43 PM permalink
It is a pacifier. Nothing more, nothing less. In every single elevator I've ever been in, counting off the time taken for the door to close by itself on the up trip has been the same as the time taking it to close with the button push on the down.

Nareed saying "it depends" makes me think it may not be all encompassing, but all the ones I've used (mostly casino and hospital) are blanks.
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Doc
Doc
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October 9th, 2011 at 12:36:34 PM permalink
I know there are plenty of dummy, placebo devices around, but I have indeed tested some door-close buttons and found that they quicken the response. I suspect I have only tried this on elevators where the normal closing was irritatingly slow, so I don't have anywhere close to a complete experiment set. As Nareed suggested, it may well differ from system to system.
Nareed
Nareed
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October 9th, 2011 at 12:58:37 PM permalink
If it pacifies the user then it does something. :P
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AZDuffman
AZDuffman
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October 9th, 2011 at 1:00:50 PM permalink
I have been on elevators where I am positive it did nothing and others where I absolutely know it did as the doors closed the instant I hit the button every time. I like others have seen "walk" signals that only gave a "walk" when you pushed a button, these were at intersections where pedestrians were not crossing on most lights but were there on a regular basis. Office thermostats I have read often do not do anything but I do remember in high school that the thermostats did work to a point. They were sensetive to the temperature even if not to input. Some people (always the girls) hated the cold and would talk some teachers, almost always subs, into soaking a paper towel in cold water and putting it over the thermostat. Not only was the room far warmer but you could sometimes hear the heat kick on right away.
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Wizard
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October 9th, 2011 at 2:07:50 PM permalink
Usually when I reach to press the "close door" button, half a second before I touch it, the doors close on their own. It makes me look an impatient Pavlovian monkey to everyone else in the elevator. Meanwhile everybody else will have a self-righteous look on his/her face, that seems to say "Don't you know the button doesn't do anything?"
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FleaStiff
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October 9th, 2011 at 2:12:03 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

Without googling this question tell me what you think. In comments reveal if you have ever thought about this question. Please don't be a spoiler. Also speculate on office thermostats and walk buttons at street corners,


I've often wondered. Those capacitance buttons light up when pressed and that calms the anxious, perhaps it does more, but I don't know. I imagine its not an immediate "close the doors" its more a "start the close doors sequence" anyway. More effective is the hand passed through the electric eye that seems to close the doors more promptly anyway.

Office thermostats... probably not as much as moving the young ladies around the floor will do.

Walk buttons... sure, makes the cops think you tried. Probably doesn't really do anything. Driver once asked me (a pedestrian) to push the walk button while he was stopped at the red light. No way was I going to do that, even if did work.

Alot of things are like that suggestion box on the wall with a wastebasket under it. It makes a nice cartoon but its also probably the truth.

Auto parts stores and Radio Shack used to market these switches... laser ray gun, ejector seat, Green Light switch... etc. None of them worked.

I think if you press an ATM switch the first thing you hear is "kachunk, whirr, whirr"... but its probably just a recording.
Johnzimbo
Johnzimbo
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October 9th, 2011 at 3:12:05 PM permalink
I recently read a fiction novel that took place in Washington DC, and it stated that in many of the elevators in government buildings where muckety-mucks work, the muckety-mucks could get in on the upper floors and, if the page held the "close door" button in, the elevator would not stop at any floor during descent, thus allowing the m-m's to avoid having to share their car with lesser beings.

I wondered if there was any truth to this, or did the author just conjure that idea in his mind?

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