Well, today my BRAKE boards finally came in. No Zoran COACH chips, and no footprints carefully sawed off of them (in the world where I’m NOT a Viking), but I didn’t even have them all the way out of their little Fedex box when I noticed the first fuckup. All my text on the top silk was missing. No revision numbers, no hidden haiku(ish) easter eggs underneath chips, no amusing quotes encircling the board to add a little personality. Okay, not anything major…just a bad omen.

Take it down to the lab and start building up the power-supply stuff…testing….hello, what’s this? It’s not doing much to power the board, but it’s doing great at testing the current-limiting feature of the bench supply (and if I didn’t kill power fast enough, the smoke detector), so I start probing around and….wait a minute, there shouldn’t be voltage here. Or here. Here, either. I definitely haven’t shorted anything, but things are not where they are supposed to be. Poke poke …scratch head… WTF?! The signals on the IC footprint are all swapped around. Pin 6 is pin 12, pin 12 is pin 8, so on and so forth. I say again… WTF?

Pinch myself, I’ve been having bad board dreams lately. Nope, it’s still fucked…

Finally I threw up my hands and MacGyver’d the boards, bypassing all the onboard power stuff and running everything directly from the bench supply. But not before finding TWO other fuckups by the end of the day… (I’m ranting because two of them are guaranteed to be my fuckups, …the third I don’t know about…)


Leave a Reply