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Easy....yet hard

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by bddpaux, Nov 19, 2011.

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  1. bddpaux


    Nov 19, 2011
    I'm new here and quit new to please bear with me, as I'm struggling to even know what the heck it is I'm asking, let alone know how to actually form that into a question, so here goes:

    I've found lots of wonderful, free videos on the inter-web re: all sorts of cool projects......but I need something that will walk me through checking my build with a multi-meter AS I GO ALONG. Tonight, I was doing a simple blinking LED kit I'd bought at Radio Shack.......and I think I had a bad joint somewhere, but I don't really know how to trouble-shoot it with my meter!! If, say, you've got a small project that use 4 resistors, a couple of capacitors, a couple of transistors, etc. etc. .....and you solder on a couple of items, how does one then check, "Ok.....these went on, onto the other components." ??????? Do you need to solder on the battery wires first and hook up the battery, so there's current running through whatever it is you're working on?

    Help would be sincerely appreciated.:D:D:D

  2. davelectronic


    Dec 13, 2010
    Hi there bddpaux.
    Fault finding and checking circuits can be done with, and with out power applied, if your looking for a bad or poor connection, then a visual inspection is needed first, some times the fault shows up.

    If not then a continuity tester on a multi meter would be second on my list, if after the previous two attempts, and still no luck i would apply power from the battery, but only after a double check that all the components are in the correct place, and in the correct orientation.

    Then apply power, look for visual's in led's, if nothing then methodically work round the entire circuit following the tracks / rails checking for power voltage as you go, eventually you might still draw a blank, in this case a components probably at fault, you would need to check the most likely to be faulty, but this is not always apparent, so you test and check each component in turn, some can be tested in situe, others will need removing with a solder pump or and solder wick, then tested off the circuit board, whole books are devoted to fault finding and make excellent foundation in circuit understanding, as do general electronics books media etc. :)
  3. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    Bad joints are often the least likely. It's far more common to put the wrong component in the wrong place or mix up the connections on a component like a transistor or a diode.

    Perhaps you can show us a picture of the board (both sides) and we can comment on your soldering. From there maybe we can figure out what you've done wrong.
  4. bddpaux


    Nov 19, 2011
    This was helpful....thank you both! I actually (in frustration) tossed the board, after I ripped off the battery holder. But, I'll do another later. Thanks again!!
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