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I had a bit more time and managed to finish the motherboard but there were a few (temporary) roadblocks and surprises along the way, I hope you take my experience as well meaning, constructive feedback, because it is 🙂
The pin LED and resistor pads should really be further apart, e.g. in a repeating “stair” pattern. It is “large” enough to just be possible with regular tip and solder thickness but IMO impossible to do cleanly without super fine variants or e.g. solder paste + rework + magnifying glasses or a tremendous amount of skill, which I don’t think is the target audience for this kit. More space to “navigate” and angle solder + tip would really help.
On that topic, maybe it would be a nice idea to offer a e.g. 5 Euro addon called (e.g.) “I’m not sure what I’m doing but I’m trying my best!”, a mini board with a some through holes and a couple of cm of solid core wire with varying gauges, an extra LED of each type and 2-3 extra surface mount (LEDs / resistors) pieces. The latter because “a friend of mine” blew away an LED attempting his luck with a rework heat gun and spend 20 minutes looking for it on the floor …
I really like the “Testing for faults” section but think it could be improved / be more clear:
– Mention explicitly that the ICs should _not_ be plugged in before the “Power Test” (you know, for those people, not me, that don’t read the complete instructions before starting …)
– Describe possible fault conditions even only visible via optional components, e.g. some of the pin LEDs being on and a subtle burned smell … (https://imgur.com/qRiCZ6b.jpg)
Maybe “someone” wouldn’t check the IC notches / dimples because “they” assumed that an author that calls out the orientation of text on other components and invokes “Chaos”, wouldn’t have the IC text oriented opposite to every other marking on the board. Anyway, it turns out that 5W are enough for Khorne to leave his mark … (https://i.imgur.com/ZzyYpZM.jpg).
When my USB powered and controllable power supply (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/507351807/sirubox-the-v-i-controllable-power-supply-for-your-pocket, great gadget btw.) drew ~600mA without the power LED turning on, I should have probably stopped to ask why, instead of plugging it into a 5V 1A wall socket where it “worked” and then finger-checking whether anything is getting hot because, you know, of the smell …
Still, I had a fun afternoon! (and a reason to pour a Whiskey on account of my throbbing fingertip)
+1 to the get proper “resistor length” holes btw (where possible)