Build Repair Service

Posted by Hairball Admin on Mar 15 filed in DIY Resources

Going back a little over two years, we began offering repair for clients whose builds didn't go the way they'd hoped. Charging a flat amount, plus replacement parts and shipping, we'll get your build working just as you had imagined.  We're now on the verge of repairing our 100th build!

A comprehensive repair report is sent with each finished repair listing what we saw and repairs that were made. Every unit is tested and, if necessary, calibrated and with our guarantee for a whole year.

We're often asked: What kind of build issues is typically encountered? The biggest problem by far is poor soldering technique. Our kits require soldering 100-200 through hole solder joints. Even with poor technique, most of them do work fine.

However, there will be a few that will not. The joint can have issues with solder on the lead but not on the pad itself, cold solder, two pads shorted, or more commonly, a destroyed pad from applying too much heat for a too long duration. In most cases, we simply desolder the suspected joints and resolder. In cases where the pad has been destroyed, we hand wire the pad back into the circuit.

Another common issue we usually confront is excessive flux on the PCB. Flux might not prevent your build from working, but it can still hinder accurate calibration, and in the long run, its corrosiveness can damage your PCB.  Flux should be cleaned off the bottom side using isopropyl alcohol and a stiff brush.

The key is not to hesitate, just pour it over and let it drip off the PCB as you scrub. Being volatile, it will evaporate quickly. If your build is 500 series, be sure to clean off the edge card connectors well.

Surprisingly, an improperly placed part is a rarer circumstance. We do see builds where, for example, a 470Ω resistor and a 470KΩ resistor are swapped, but it's not as common as you might anticipate. We also see some defective semiconductors, particularly transistors. These devices are very sensitive to static electricity and excessive solder heat so take care when installing them.

If you're interested in learning more about this service, visit our Build Support Services page.

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