Saturday, November 28, 2015

Paradise ponders...

Paradise ponders...  Another stage of the clock is done: the tens-of-minutes digit.  This time it did not work when I fired it up.  Yay!  Troubleshooting!  But the fun didn't last for long, as the problem turned out to be the same trace broken, on the same (2^3) flip-flop, as I ran into on the prescaler.  Once I saw the symptom (stuck 2^3 bit) I went right to the problem.  One jumper, just as before, and that problem was fixed.  There was another small problem: the top segment of the LED wasn't lighting for a 5.  That problem could only be a particular decoder diode, so I went looking for it – and discovered a single unsoldered joint on the exact diode that had to be the source of the problem.  One press of the soldering iron and everything worked.  Photos of the current state of the clock:

There are a whole bunch of components on there!  So far the kit has been darned near perfect.  A couple of board errors for a board this complex isn't exactly unusual.  If it was being manufactured in large quantities, the sorts of broken traces I ran into would be tweaked out.  Undoubtedly this is a low volume board, so these sorts of problems are totally forgivable.  Lots of extra components are included, though I haven't needed any so far.  There wasn't quite enough solder included; I ran out partway through this stage.  I have a big roll, though, so that's a non-issue.

The weather continues to be cold (around 20°F) and intermittently snowy.  Some of my neighbors are plowing, but I'm holding off as there's more snow int the forecast...

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