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Vinyling & Milling & Soldering

I made the LED array in green and the RGB color changer.

I made a valiant attempt to do this week's assigment on the vinyl cutter but after two afternoons, many, many iterations of speed and force modifications, and some very near misses where shredding happened half way through the weeking process, I decided I needed a backup plan.

Milling went fine - board cut nicely and cut out neatly.


I used lead-free solder, which was somewhat more difficult to work with than the lead-based solder - it did not melt as easily,was harder to desolder, and did not finish as shiny as the lead-based stuff. Still, fewer toxins, right?

Here are some of the completed boards.



I programmed the board in C using the hello.array.44.c and hello.RGB.45.c code.

Problem #1: Computer couldn't find the device and wanted me to "check connections." After checking many connections, cleaning up the solder joins in the event there was a short I was missing, and cleaning between traces to make sure there were no shavings left by mistake, I noticed the LED on the AVR programmer flickering. Turns out the battery I'm using is only running at less than 2 V, and replacing the battery allowed me to program the boards.

Now, I programmed the array, it worked. I disconnected the battery and programmed the RGB board, and it worked


Now, I disconnected the battery. I smelled something burning. I plugged the battery back into the array board. It didn't work. I plugged the battery back into the RGB array, and it didn't work. I redid the battery connection and confirmed that the connection works, and it does. The battery is at 9.5 V. Neither of them work now. And I'm very perplexed.