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Electronic Kit Basic Fault Finding Guide

How to Test Almost Anything Electronic" by Delton T. HornIf you have built a kit and found it does not work first time please don't despair. Getting a dead board working is a very rewarding experience. Not only do you get the satisfaction of it working but you will actually learn a good deal more about electronics on the way.
Normally some basic fault finding efforts will help locate the problem but where do you start? Right here is the answer!
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Basic Fault Finding Guide

Here are some simple fault finding techniques that you can try.

We suggest that you thoroughly recheck the circuit again using the sequence detailed below.

  1. Check that all components are in the correct position and orientation.
  2. Check that there are no short circuits (excessively high current drain on the power supply may indicate shorts). Examine the PCB for solder splashes across pads/tracks and stray component leads/wires.
  3. Carry out some basic electrical tests to ensure power is reaching all parts of the circuit.
  4. Check all components are functioning correctly. Has overheating during soldering damaged any components? IC's and transistors are particularly susceptible.
  5. Remove and test suspect components using appropriate test equipment. Alternatively, substitute dubious components with tried and tested ones.
  6. Make a thorough check of circuit voltages/currents/signals using appropriate test equipment.
  7. Where kits are connected to other equipment check for compatibility problems by testing on alternative equipment.

By adopting a systematic approach to fault finding you will eventually discover where the problem lies. If you wish to learn more about the design and testing of electronic circuits we recommend that you explore the extensive range of books and magazines that are available on the subject.

Please note that we are unable to provide specific help or advice on design modifications or adaptations of project kits for individual customer applications.

Fault finding can be quick and easy or a case of time, effort and perseverance. It may (and will) be frustrating at times but it really is one of the best teachers, providing you with a greater knowledge and understanding of electronics. We have all been there. Have faith and keep trying! The sense of satisfaction of finally cracking the problem can be immense.

If you are still unable to locate the fault after carrying out the above tests, please Contact Us.