Author Topic: The single worst feeling after giving up on a build ...  (Read 2872 times)

midwayfair

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The single worst feeling after giving up on a build ...
« on: May 23, 2012, 07:43:37 AM »
is that, when I'm going through the process of canibalizing the parts for another board, I find that the problem all along was a single resistor of the wrong value, but I've now wrecked so many pads from desoldering that the board is no longer salvagable.

I feel especially dumb because this one was a simple build (EffDub's Shoot the Moon) and I made the rookie mistake of using a 100K where a 100R was called for but just never spotted it despite multiple checks over several days. (Second board came out perfectly, though, and it's going in a spiffy black sparkly box.)

So what are your favorite facepalm moments when you reach the end of your troubleshooting tether?
Myself's music & things I make: http://jonpattonmusic.com. My band: http://midwayfair.org. PCBs of my designs from: http://www.1776Effects.com (Bearhug Comp & Cardinal Harmonic Trem); http://www.jmkpcbs.com (Hamlet+ delay & Blue Warbler envelope vibe); Snow Day OD/Flabulanche: www.madbeanpedals.com

Sigesmundninja

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Re: The single worst feeling after giving up on a build ...
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2012, 08:17:12 AM »
that's easy... forgetting to put the battery in.

jkokura

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Re: The single worst feeling after giving up on a build ...
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2012, 08:32:09 AM »
I never give up, never surrender, whatever the cost may be.

Jacob
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GermanCdn

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Re: The single worst feeling after giving up on a build ...
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2012, 08:46:48 AM »
"Single" is such a restrictive word.  I think truly the worst feeling after giving up on a build is when you watch Youtube videos of what the pedal is supposed to sound like, and knowing you're so close to that, but not quite there.  But yes, not hooking up the power supply or not sticking the IC in the socket (dear IC socket manufacturers, maybe make the socket any other colour but black so our errors are that much more obvious) easily round out the top three.

While I haven't fully adopted the "Never give up" mantra, I have assumed the "Never throw out/salvage" anything that's on the board, for exactly the reasons you've mentioned.  Boards that don't work after 30 minutes of troubleshooting generally go into the "Later" bin, and I actually find that when I trouble shoot multiple boards when I've been away from them for a while my success rate actually goes up.  Why I don't know, probably because the frustration goggles are off.  I did the exact same thing as you on the Lavache, frustrated me to no end especially because it's such a low parts count project, left it for three weeks, found the guilty party in three minutes when I went back to it.
The only known cure in the world for GAS is death.  That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

gtr2

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Re: The single worst feeling after giving up on a build ...
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2012, 08:47:52 AM »
I never give up, never surrender, whatever the cost may be.

Jacob

+1

I'm to stubborn for something not to work.  I've spent the time troubleshooting until it's right. This could be over a period of days or months.  Not continuously...but some time here and there.

I have cannibalized some circuits I just didn't care for.

But my facepalms are when I forget to stick the IC's in the sockets.   ::)

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midwayfair

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Re: The single worst feeling after giving up on a build ...
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2012, 08:53:33 AM »
I never give up, never surrender, whatever the cost may be.

Jacob

Fortitude ftw.

I'm very close to never giving up on a project. I've really only done it when I thought that the board was too mangled to work.

In this case, I actually needed two of the 220K metal film resistors that were on the non-working board, and I'd already previously wrecked the pads on one side of the vactrol slot. (I had it in backwards at first, and then I actually thought it blew because I was getting the same resistance both ways across the LED.) I then decided to nab a few other pricey parts (1uF boxes and such) and a few more pads came loose ... then I saw the 100K resistor where the 100R goes. I quite honestly thought that the board was buggered beyond repair in this case.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2012, 09:01:44 AM by midwayfair »
Myself's music & things I make: http://jonpattonmusic.com. My band: http://midwayfair.org. PCBs of my designs from: http://www.1776Effects.com (Bearhug Comp & Cardinal Harmonic Trem); http://www.jmkpcbs.com (Hamlet+ delay & Blue Warbler envelope vibe); Snow Day OD/Flabulanche: www.madbeanpedals.com

slimtriggers

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Re: The single worst feeling after giving up on a build ...
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2012, 09:02:23 AM »



But my facepalms are when I forget to stick the IC's in the sockets.   ::)

Josh

I've done that.  Also switched the in/out wiring more times than I care to admit :(

night-B

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Re: The single worst feeling after giving up on a build ...
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2012, 09:03:27 AM »
My DMM can't test caps so sometimes I think about a faulty cap and just can't verify it. I'll grab a new Dmm soon...
For resistors, I force myself not to hurry but double check the value with the color code and an app on my phone.

Right now I'm trying to debug my ampeg scrambler on tonepad board. When I plugged the in jack, had bypass signal, not when engaged, I looked at the pedal and seen some smoke! The battery snap and his wires had melt and were extremely hot. I checked my wiring but I can't see the bug  :-\
I'll leave it a couple of days and give it a fresh look...

GermanCdn

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Re: The single worst feeling after giving up on a build ...
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2012, 09:49:26 AM »
Smoke usually means either your ICs or transistors are in backwards.  Don't touch them if they're smoking, they get ridiculously hot.  Something worth checking.
The only known cure in the world for GAS is death.  That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Bluestrat

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Re: The single worst feeling after giving up on a build ...
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2012, 10:04:38 AM »
My favorite is when I have the back off the pedal and  put the in in the out and the out in the in >:(
and...bypass but no effect. Always fakes me out :o

jkokura

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Re: The single worst feeling after giving up on a build ...
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2012, 10:11:14 AM »
I never give up, never surrender, whatever the cost may be.

Jacob

Fortitude ftw.

I'm very close to never giving up on a project. I've really only done it when I thought that the board was too mangled to work.

In this case, I actually needed two of the 220K metal film resistors that were on the non-working board, and I'd already previously wrecked the pads on one side of the vactrol slot. (I had it in backwards at first, and then I actually thought it blew because I was getting the same resistance both ways across the LED.) I then decided to nab a few other pricey parts (1uF boxes and such) and a few more pads came loose ... then I saw the 100K resistor where the 100R goes. I quite honestly thought that the board was buggered beyond repair in this case.

WINNING!

But seriously, I haven't really given up on anything I know should work except once. I had two PCBs made of a Phase 45, and after mangling the first PCB I ended up building on the second and it fired up right away. So that first PCB got chucked as I didn't need to try and repair it. I think I did the same with an EA tremolo, but it was one that came back for repair from a client, and instead of debug and repair it, it was simpler just to rebuild the pedal with a new PCB. I salvaged the parts later and chucked that PCB too. I think that's the only two times I didn't repair something, but it was pointless to.

Also, I have disassembled PCBs I didn't need any more like Josh. If you don't like it, or don't need it, no need to keep it with the parts on it. Though in most cases I save the PCB.

I have also disassembled PCBs and chucked them when I've found honest layout or schematic issues. When doing your own layouts, it's good to double and triple check your schem and layout. Otherwise you get Hotcake PCBs with no power connections, or SHOD circuits with a power feedback loop in them... Those PCBs should go in the garbage.

Jacob
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frankie5fingers

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Re: The single worst feeling after giving up on a build ...
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2012, 06:00:11 PM »
I never give up, never surrender, whatever the cost may be.

Jacob

+1

I'm to stubborn for something not to work.  I've spent the time troubleshooting until it's right. This could be over a period of days or months.  Not continuously...but some time here and there.

I have cannibalized some circuits I just didn't care for.

But my facepalms are when I forget to stick the IC's in the sockets.   ::)

Josh

+++1 on this.  Obviously, after only a year or so, I'm not of the class of these guys, but I've only given up on one, then cannibalized it for what seemed like $1.06 worth of parts.  I felt so stupid that I just won't do that anymore.  Now I take a breath (and maybe a beer), hit the net, read a little more and go at it again until I get it figured out.  Sometimes I ask for help.  Almost always, someone here is willing to help out.  FWIW, I just re-ordered a box full of resistors because once I received the order confirmation I saw I had ordered several values of "K" instead of "R".  I'm sure the old pros do the same thing now and again.  BTW, nice Galaxy Quest reference Jacob.

jkokura

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Re: The single worst feeling after giving up on a build ...
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2012, 06:40:49 PM »
Yeah, it's worth it to leave things and go at them again.

More than a year ago I started on a SW Auto Wah. It worked, but I had some sort of issue with it. I ended up rebuilding it, but then it just plain didn't work right at all. So, I went back to it after a while, but didn't find the issue.

I ended up leaving it until just this week. I took it apart, and began to look a little bit closer. Checked all the resistor values, checked all the cap values, checked all the part orientation... everything checked out. Then I checked the Pot values - behold I had switched two of the pots around during reassembly! I had a B50K where there should have been a C1M, and a B1M where there was supposed to be a B50K...

Now it works fine.

Jacob
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raulduke

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Re: The single worst feeling after giving up on a build ...
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2012, 02:29:52 AM »
'Leave it for a bit and come back to it later with a fresh perspective' is a very good approach to take with a lot of stuff IMO. Clears all the annoyance/anger that I usually get when something doesn't work and I can't figure out why  >:(!

culturejam

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Re: The single worst feeling after giving up on a build ...
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2012, 12:16:47 PM »
I'm surprised you're getting that many lifted pads. I've found these boards to be fairly tolerant to desoldering (although not bullet-proof by any stretch). I use the same board house as madbean. Or at least the one he used to use (don't know if he switched).