Test your hardware before you use it

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Here’s a little pro-tip that I could have used yesterday:

Test your hardware before you solder it into your device.

I was using a brand new Wemos device that I just took out of the bag, soldered into place and then fired up. It didn’t work. Closer inspection shows that a wayward surface mount resistor has got underneath another component and as a result the board is useless.

I't’s not a huge loss, I’m only paying 2.50 for my Wemos devices at the moment, but it does mean that I have to un-solder the failed device and solder another in place, which is a bit of a pain. From now on I’m going to test my new device just hanging off a usb connector before actually fitting it. Something I used to do, but seem to have forgotten. Of course, the perfect way to do this would be to test all the devices as soon as they arrive from China, that way I might be able to send back faulty ones.

Oh, and the another thing to hold dear is:

Throw away broken devices. They are never worth keeping.

Once it had its moment of glory under my camera, the failed Wemos went straight into the bin. It looks pretty much perfect in every way, and I guess an expert in surface mount technology could do something with it, but I’m not that person, and I don’t want to confuse it with a working one.