Well I’ve done the initial smoke test and thankfully all is working, but I had a few issues along the way.
Note the egg box in the background, an ideal area for placing parts
Naturally when you get your kit you are very keen to get going and build as quickly as possible, the simple rule you must follow is to take your time and check every component as you go along. You must check it’s the correct item, and when installed is soldered correctly with no bridges.
I did the classic of installing a component (the socket for U1 a large chip) and missed one solder point. Naturally I thought I had checked, but obviously no doubt due to haste I missed it.
Consequently I carried on and installed the LED Backlight assembly and the LCD over the socket, so two separate items were covering this costly mistake. On the first smoke test I got no LED backlight or LCD readout.
It took me a whole morning to find the problem and then I had the difficult task of creating an opening to raise the LCD followed by removal of the back light to actually get to the problem which then took only seconds to fix, a simple solder.
It felt more like a surgical operation rather than a repair. Mistakes are bound to happen, but the morale of the story when building this kit is check, check and double check!
With initial testing done the main board has now to be completed with RX and TX components
However, all is now well and with the smoke test completed I can continue on but at a slightly slower pace.