2018-12-01 (Sa) ModuKey

When testing IO, any missing connection probably meant that a pin on the IC was not soldered correctly. Sadly, this was not always an easy fix. A fine-tip soldering iron can fix the problem by adhering a loose pin, but that is not always the problem. In one case, a new IC had to replace a scorched IC on the back of a 4x4 board. When the new chip was installed, there was a solder bridge between two of the pins.

Solder bridge on SMD component

A soldering iron was used to try to wipe away the solder bridge, but it was ineffective. A piece of wire was heated with the hope that the solder would prefer the copper wire and enough would plate the wire and leave the chip. Of course, none of these worked so the chip was entirely removed and the glob of solder was shaken off with the chip removed.

Solder cleared when the chip was removed

With all offending solder removed, the chip socket was reheated with a hot air station, and the IC was soldered back in place. This method, while a bit time-consuming, worked very well and the computer was able to see the device and read all the IO properly.

Reinstalled chip

The breakout board was showing problems, which may have had to do with a broken wire. Testing for continuing was difficult so a scrap of wire was bent into a shape which could be easily replaced and removed. In the animation below, it can be seen triggering the red lights which indicated that it was making a connection.

Testing input with wire jumper

All the IO tested well after fixes were made, so keyswitches were installed on the entire left half of the keyboard. The next step will be testing IO on the right side of the keyboard and installing those keyswitches.

Populating boards with keyswitches

ModuKey on GitHub

The rest of the posts for this project have been arranged by date.

First time here?

Completed projects from year 1
Completed projects from year 2
Completed projects from year 3
Completed projects from year 4
Completed projects from year 5

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