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bricking my Grand Central M4 board with a soldering iron
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bricking my Grand Central M4 board with a soldering iron

by bebo on Mon May 27, 2019 12:46 am

I spent last week wiring and troubleshooting an escape room, and I discovered an RGB led with a loose connection within the body of the led, so I decided to unsolder the connection and solder in a new one. There was probably 24" of wire between the led and the board, but the board was powered up. I applied the soldering iron (the cheap brown one, PID#180, works great) and the board quickly died. I only applied the iron to one wire, but it seems that I was able to conduct current through the tip of the iron and into the board. Is this possible with this iron? Would a higher quality iron (Hakko) be a safe alternative if I needed to solder on a system that has already been installed? This was a hard lesson to stomach, it undid a day and a half of wiring and troubleshooting.

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Re: bricking my Grand Central M4 board with a soldering iron

by franklin97355 on Mon May 27, 2019 1:17 am

Some irons have grounded tips and others have isolated ones. You would have to read the manual to see what your is. (I don't have access to them here) It is never a good idea to work on a powered circuit due to the chance you may touch something that will destroy it.

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Re: bricking my Grand Central M4 board with a soldering iron

by adafruit_support_mike on Mon May 27, 2019 1:45 am

I know my Hakko 888D soldering irons have grounded tips.

I've set up a group of relays that open and close the connections to the power supply while I'm soldering and testing. I also have relays for my oscilloscope connections so I don't have to remove and replace those every time I want to change a connection or swap in a different part.

I admit it's kind of overkill, but it's convenient.

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