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Uncooperative Powerboost Circuit
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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.

Uncooperative Powerboost Circuit

by Quaseedodo on Mon May 20, 2019 1:44 pm

Hello all! I've been trying to attach pictures and it keeps saying they're too big. I will update when I am somewhere stable to upload them. My NeoPixel Jewel is connected to my Trinket Pro via the data input. The Trinket Pro is connected to the Powerboost 1000C via the - and + terminals.

When I try to connect the GRN and 5V cable of the Jewel to the Powerboost, with an added LiPo battery, the circuit does not turn on. The "Low power" LED on the Powerboost flickers and the board begins to grow hot. When I remove everything but the Trinket from the Powerboost, the blue power LED turns on and powers the Trinket. Of course, because the Jewel is not drawing power from anywhere (sans the data cable), it does not turn on. I would also like to add either a slide or push toggle switch.

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Re: Uncooperative Powerboost Circuit

by adafruit_support_bill on Mon May 20, 2019 1:59 pm

Sounds like a short circuit somewhere on the jewel. Some photos showing your soldering and connections would be helpful.

There is a 1 meg limit for uploads. If your photo software does not support re-sizing, there are lots of free online services that do. 800 x 600 usually works well.

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Re: Uncooperative Powerboost Circuit

by Quaseedodo on Mon May 20, 2019 4:28 pm

This is Part 1/2. I've attached the back of the Jewel (sorry for the blurriness), its connection to the Trinket Pro via the Data Pin and then the Trinket's connection to the Powerboost.
Attachments
20190520_115626.jpg
Back of the Jewel
20190520_115626.jpg (65.11 KiB) Viewed 181 times
20190520_115638.jpg
Front Trinket, Data Pin 6 is connected to Data Input on Jewel
20190520_115638.jpg (138.28 KiB) Viewed 181 times
20190520_115704.jpg
Trinket Connection to Powerboost
20190520_115704.jpg (97.49 KiB) Viewed 181 times

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Re: Uncooperative Powerboost Circuit

by Quaseedodo on Mon May 20, 2019 4:31 pm

Part 2/2

The first image shows the Powerboost. The far right shows wires that lead to the Trinket Pro 5V. The bottom right wires that are in the G and 5V pins lead to the Jewel. I understand I they are not soldered in this picture; I wanted to make sure everything worked before making everything permanent. The far left is a microUSB port and to the left of that is a port for a LiPo battery.

The Powerboost turns on itself and the Trinket no problem. However, when the Jewel is connected to the Powerboost, the "LOW power" LED in the upper left corner right next to the battery port begins to flash. The board then becomes hot. When I tried putting a slide switch in, nothing turned on. The slide switch has three prongs, and I was instructed to solder the middle pin to "EN" and the other prongs to "Bat" and "GND" respectively. Essentially, when the Jewel and and switch are not touching the Powerboost board, it turns on. When those wires are soldered, a short happens. Am I doing something wrong? Also, the wires used are 20G. I have ordered 24G so that they can fit more easily in the holes.
Attachments
20190520_115459.jpg
Connectivity between Powerboost, Jewel, and Trinket
20190520_115459.jpg (103.29 KiB) Viewed 181 times
20190520_115601.jpg
A wider shot of the Jewel's connectivity
20190520_115601.jpg (118.94 KiB) Viewed 181 times

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Re: Uncooperative Powerboost Circuit

by adafruit_support_bill on Mon May 20, 2019 4:41 pm

Please post a clear photo of the front of the jewel too.

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Re: Uncooperative Powerboost Circuit

by Quaseedodo on Mon May 20, 2019 6:03 pm

I tried cutting the wires as neatly as possible without them overlapping or damaging the lights.
Attachments
20190520_175808.jpg
Front of Jewel
20190520_175808.jpg (86.63 KiB) Viewed 161 times

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Re: Uncooperative Powerboost Circuit

by adafruit_support_bill on Mon May 20, 2019 6:50 pm

I see a number of soldering issues on both the PowerBoost and the Jewel.

The power and ground connections to the PowerBoost both look like cold joints.
The connections to the Jewel also appear to be cold joints. But there are also some stray wire strands that look dangerously close to the pins on adjacent Neopixel chips. And that is most likely the cause of the short circuit.

This guide has some tips on identifying and fixing common soldering problems. http://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-guid ... n-problems
In this case, it looks like either your iron is not hot enough, or you are not giving the solder enough time to fully melt and flow.

On the top side of the Jewel, make sure that all of the solder joints are trimmed close to the board. Any stray wire strands that might come into contact with a nearby pixel are a risk for a short circuit.

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Re: Uncooperative Powerboost Circuit

by Quaseedodo on Mon May 20, 2019 7:13 pm

adafruit_support_bill wrote:I see a number of soldering issues on both the PowerBoost and the Jewel.

The power and ground connections to the PowerBoost both look like cold joints.
The connections to the Jewel also appear to be cold joints. But there are also some stray wire strands that look dangerously close to the pins on adjacent Neopixel chips. And that is most likely the cause of the short circuit.

This guide has some tips on identifying and fixing common soldering problems. http://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-guid ... n-problems
In this case, it looks like either your iron is not hot enough, or you are not giving the solder enough time to fully melt and flow.

On the top side of the Jewel, make sure that all of the solder joints are trimmed close to the board. Any stray wire strands that might come into contact with a nearby pixel are a risk for a short circuit.


Hmm. I'll take another crack at it shortly. Should I thread my wire through the front of the Jewel? I didn't want the wires to get in the way of the flashing when I place this in a costume.

Also, the cold joints that go from the Trinket to the Powerboost or from the Jewel to the Powerboost? I'm still fairly new to soldering so maybe this is just operational error on my part.

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Re: Uncooperative Powerboost Circuit

by adafruit_support_bill on Mon May 20, 2019 7:19 pm

Should I thread my wire through the front of the Jewel?

For a Jewel, you would typically thread the wires from the back. But you do need to make sure that there are no stray wire strands or solder that contact any adjacent pixels.

Also, the cold joints that go from the Trinket to the Powerboost or from the Jewel to the Powerboost?

Anything that looks rough or lumpy is probably a cold joint. Good solder joints are smooth and shiny and have a cross-section like the diagram below:

Image

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Re: Uncooperative Powerboost Circuit

by alphanumeric on Tue May 21, 2019 6:51 am

I would clip the ends of the wires back so there is a minimum amount of bare wire. Then twirl the wire end so all the strands are together. It doesn't have to be much just enough so the strands look like the threads on a screw etc. Then tin the ends with a little bit of solder. It will make soldering them to a solder pad much easier.
A little bit of solder on the circuit board pad won't hurt either, if your just going to solder the wire on top and not through a through hole. Do that and all you have to do is touch the wire and remelt the solder to bond the wire to the pad. 2 or 3 seconds should be plenty. Just don't move the wire until the solder hardens.

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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.