Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Mistake->Frustraion->Worse Mistake... (ugh)

Happily assembling new boards - great traces, electrical tests correct, components set out in order, in the "right mood"... I found that on a new component I made a mistake with the hole diameters...

This happens (it was the one I didn't check and used a library part -> sma connector)... I had multiple other new parts (that I did make components for) and they were correct (so I was happy) and I decided to assemble anyway...

Why after I had all the smd components in place (double sided - worked perfectly - yay) I thought "Oh, I can just increase the hole sizes a bit" was a wise thing to do I have no idea.  It was a stupid stupid thing to do (for this stage in the prototype I don't even need to have the connectors to test)... But I did it anyway... dumb dumb dumb...

Of course that blew out the plating through the hole, but stupidly I thought - "that's ok since I can just solder the legs on both sides of the board".  Nope - so many problems with that on an sma connector (on a some components it works fine, not on sma connectors (no access to the center signal pin and the signal line in on the front).

After trying a number of methods to fix it I finally realized that the best thing to do would be to look at it as a learning experience... I did improve my 0603 skills (tqfp144 was unexpectedly easy) but what I had to learn (again) yesterday was apparently (Don't do something stupid trying to fix a little mistake and end up making the problem much much worse - walk away).  I knew in my gut that I should have just left the connectors off rather than risking ruining the board, but I did it anyway...

Every so often (1 or 2 times a year) I end up doing this (making a problem worse trying to fix it) and I always have that gut feeling that I shouldn't do it... Why I still do I have no idea (I do always end up learning something from it though).  The next day (after sleeping) I always have this complex mixture of happiness/understanding/contentment/embarrassment/experience, but at least the frustration is gone...

So this little board now goes into the salvage bin for parts... Hopefully today I will just do it right...