Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Did I kill my board?


After getting the last of the balun’s soldered I still can’t get it to transmit. It’s getting stuck at sd_softdevice_enable. I’ve tried everything. No luck. It indicates either:

  1. The 32.768 khz crystal is not hooked (cold solder joint)
  2. The transceiver is fried

I’m inclined to think the later because I can see a good solder joint, it even wraps around the edge a bit and there is clear separation between the pins. I suspect it’s a fried transceiver because I’ve had to reflow the board so many times and I think I’ve shorted ANT1 and ANT2 to each other, to ground, to Vcc, to just about everything. I have no Balun’s left. I did however receive 10 new nRF51422 from Mouser which I suspect I’ll be getting a tariff bill in the mail from Fedex. I mean, Fedex are jerks for cross boarder tariffs but they still be UPS by a wide margin.

Which of the following do I do?

  • Design new board, order from APcircuits (1 week turn around at most). 6 boards = 100 dollars
  • Design new board, order from OSHpark (25 day to 1 month turn around). 6 boards = 50 dollars (costs more to ship than the actual boards).
  • Order new Baluns, build up last two boards. Might destroy these too but could be more careful?

It’s a hard decision. All involve even more money. I was asked today how much I’ve put into this project, and I really don’t want to think about it. I feel desperate to get this board working though. A month setback really starts pushing beta testing into next year as the ride season comes to a close.


  1. You could always look more south for beta testers... even southern US is pretty warm during the winter.

    1. True, though my problem is I want to be around for initial debugging of my product in case people have issues. It's a good suggestion and something I'll consider.