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I've soldered a featherwing on my feather, then unsoldered it because it had stopped working: after the soldering of the featherwing, I was unable to upload new software to the board.

But now that the featherwing was removed, I still can't upload a software onto the board.

Here's the complete log I get:

$ ~/.arduino15/packages/arduino/tools/avrdude/6.3.0-arduino9/bin/avrdude -C~/.arduino15/packages/arduino/tools/avrdude/6.3.0-arduino9/etc/avrdude.conf -v -v -v -v -patmega328p -carduino -P/dev/ttyUSB0 -b57600 -D -Uflash:w:/tmp/arduino_build_190205/Blink.ino.hex:i 

avrdude: Version 6.3, compiled on Jan 17 2017 at 11:00:16
         Copyright (c) 2000-2005 Brian Dean, http://www.bdmicro.com/
         Copyright (c) 2007-2014 Joerg Wunsch

         System wide configuration file is "~/.arduino15/packages/arduino/tools/avrdude/6.3.0-arduino9/etc/avrdude.conf"
         User configuration file is "~/.avrduderc"
         User configuration file does not exist or is not a regular file, skipping

         Using Port                    : /dev/ttyUSB0
         Using Programmer              : arduino
         Overriding Baud Rate          : 57600
avrdude: Send: 0 [30]   [20] 
avrdude: Send: 0 [30]   [20] 
avrdude: Send: 0 [30]   [20] 
avrdude: ser_recv(): programmer is not responding
avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding
avrdude: stk500_getsync() attempt 1 of 10: not in sync: resp=0x00
avrdude: Send: 0 [30]   [20] 
avrdude: ser_recv(): programmer is not responding
avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding
avrdude: stk500_getsync() attempt 2 of 10: not in sync: resp=0x00
avrdude: Send: 0 [30]   [20] 
avrdude: ser_recv(): programmer is not responding
avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding
avrdude: stk500_getsync() attempt 3 of 10: not in sync: resp=0x00
avrdude: Send: 0 [30]   [20] 
avrdude: ser_recv(): programmer is not responding
avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding
avrdude: stk500_getsync() attempt 4 of 10: not in sync: resp=0x00
avrdude: Send: 0 [30]   [20] 
avrdude: ser_recv(): programmer is not responding
avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding
avrdude: stk500_getsync() attempt 5 of 10: not in sync: resp=0x00
avrdude: Send: 0 [30]   [20] 
avrdude: ser_recv(): programmer is not responding
avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding
avrdude: stk500_getsync() attempt 6 of 10: not in sync: resp=0x00
avrdude: Send: 0 [30]   [20] 
avrdude: ser_recv(): programmer is not responding
avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding
avrdude: stk500_getsync() attempt 7 of 10: not in sync: resp=0x00
avrdude: Send: 0 [30]   [20] 
avrdude: ser_recv(): programmer is not responding
avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding
avrdude: stk500_getsync() attempt 8 of 10: not in sync: resp=0x00
avrdude: Send: 0 [30]   [20] 
avrdude: ser_recv(): programmer is not responding
avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding
avrdude: stk500_getsync() attempt 9 of 10: not in sync: resp=0x00
avrdude: Send: 0 [30]   [20] 
avrdude: ser_recv(): programmer is not responding
avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding
avrdude: stk500_getsync() attempt 10 of 10: not in sync: resp=0x00

avrdude done.  Thank you.

I used to have this error from time to time before, but I always was able to make it work, either by using another USB port, choosing the right port for the arduino or rebooting Linux, but now nothing I do works.

So, I think I might have broken the board because of the soldering/unsoldering.

I attached the pictures of both sides of the board.

board top board bottom

Three LEDs continue to blink: the red one when I connect the board to the USB, the battery one and the RX one when there is an attempt at transmission.

Can you tell me whether the board looks damage?

  • 2
    no, it does not look damaged, but it does look like it needs a cleaning ...... is that really the question that you want to ask? – jsotola Jan 20 at 20:10
  • Well, I'd like to know if it looks like a hardware issue (maybe there's soldering that prevents the upload of a sketch or something else). – antoyo Jan 20 at 20:11
  • 1
    look for bits of solder that may be bridging adjacent copper traces ..... the pictures are not clear enough to do that ...... you have also left out important information ..... it is unknown how the featherwing was connected – jsotola Jan 20 at 20:17
  • What type of soldering paste / flux are you using? – VE7JRO Jan 21 at 0:37
2

It looks like you have soldering paste all over the circuit board. If enough paste bridges a gap between the ceramic resonator and the IC, it can attenuate the oscillator signal to the point where the board won't work.

I use an old tooth brush and Isopropyl alcohol to clean excess soldering paste. As the alcohol evaporates, a lot of moisture forms on the circuit board, so it's important to ensure it's completely dry before you power it up.

Try cleaning the circuit board and see if that fixes the problem.

EDIT:

I would like to show you how much soldering paste it takes to stop a 328P from working. The following image shows the bottom of a perfboard with 0.1" hole spacing. You can see the soldering paste bridging the gap between pins 8, 9, and 10 of a Atmega328P DIP IC. Pin 8 is ground, and pins 9 and 10 are connected to the crystal / capacitors. All three pins are connected together via the paste, and since I forgot to clean the board before "final assembly", it's possible other pins are connected together via the paste.

Excess soldering paste

The circuit board is from a "kitchen clock project", and was taken the day it stopped working. There are no mechanical connections to this circuit board except for the 328P's IC socket. This clock worked for 3 months, then it quit suddenly. I re-booted it once, it worked for an hour, then it quit again. The only factor that changed after the first three months was a change of seasons (the ambient temperature in the kitchen was reaching 90+ degrees F during the day). I don't know if the "blobs" of paste were touching each other when I assembled it, but they were when it failed. How does thick soldering paste start moving around on it's own? With some heat and Capillary action of course :)

Cleaning the board with Isopropyl alcohol fixed the problem, and the clock has been running for the past 6 months without issue.

EDIT 2

When I monitor pin 9 of a 328P on a 5V Arduino Uno, this is the waveform I see.

enter image description here

You can see the small amount of voltage change the oscillator has to make for the 328P to sense it, and function correctly (800mV peak to peak). If the soldering paste is conductive, capacitive or perhaps both, connecting this signal through the paste to ground, power or several other pins can disrupt the signal to the point where the IC fails to operate.

  • 1
    "If enough paste bridges a gap between the ceramic resonator and the IC, it can attenuate the oscillator signal to the point where the board won't work." Can you please backup your comment. Why do you think this would affect the 26MHz signal? Or is this only your opinion? – Rudy Jan 20 at 22:43
  • What 26MHz signal are you referring to? The OP is using an Adafruit Feather 328P running at 8MHz / 3.3V: learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-feather-328p-atmega328-atmega328p/… My answer is not an opinion, it's a fact, and it happened to me. Excess soldering paste that bridges the gap between GND and the oscillator circuit can attenuate the signal to the point where the board stops working. No oscillator means no "uploading" either. I will edit my answer to provide proof. – VE7JRO Jan 21 at 0:17
  • My mistake I thought the Feather was a ESP8266 board. Then excessive flux on the board certainly had nothing to do with the failure. As far as the white residue, yes that is typical of a no clean flux. I have worked for electronic manufactures for the past 35 years. The past 33 designing electronic hardware. When I started the company I worked for used a freon based cleaner. It worked great but it was bad for the environment. They went to no clean and the boards certainly did not look as good. The next company used a water soluble flux, better, but now use no clean. Same with current company. – Rudy Jan 21 at 1:18
  • I was looking at the flux on the board and not looking at all the stuff on the board. Looking for failure cause. But the focus is off so I didn't spend much time on it. I never noticed the 328P text on the board. – Rudy Jan 21 at 1:20
  • By "paste" do you really mean "flux"? Solder paste is something completely different. It's microscopic solder balls suspended in flux used for reflow soldering of SMD components. – Majenko Jan 21 at 10:21
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There is flux on the board and that is not going to cause the problems you are seeing. At worst the flux may have an affect on the ability to get a proper lock at 2.5GHz, and that is unlikely.

Clean the board and use magnification to look for damage to the copper foil on the board and inside the plated holes. That will most likely be the problem.

This was from a question regarding no-clean fluxes but the information also applies to the use of regular flux as well.

Today, one of the most common reasons to remove no-clean fluxes is to prevent malfunctions in circuits with clock speeds over 1 gigahertz. "When you get above 1 gigahertz, the electronscan conducted on the outer surface of the conductor. If you have flux on those conductors that have those high clock speeds, it can interfere with these fast signals." http://www.circuitnet.com/experts/73284.html

Most electronics are not cleaned after soldering. The company I work for went to a no clean process 20 years ago.

  • What 2.5GHz signal are you referring to? The OP is using an Adafruit Feather 328P running at 8MHz / 3.3V: learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-feather-328p-atmega328-atmega328p/… Unfortunately, I don't know anything about "no-clean fluxes". I use Kester Soldering Paste. It has a distinctive color, just like the color of the soldering paste in the OP's pictures. I have a few hundred modules / circuit boards manufactured in China that have a white residue on them. Is this what "no-clean flux" looks like? – VE7JRO Jan 21 at 0:32
  • My mistake I thought the Feather was a ESP8266 board. Then excessive flux on the board certainly had nothing to do with the failure. As far as the white residue, yes that is typical of a no clean flux. I have worked for electronic manufactures for the past 35 years. The past 33 designing electronic hardware. When I started the company I worked for used a freon based cleaner. It worked great but it was bad for the environment. They went to no clean and the boards certainly did not look as good. The next company used a water soluble flux, better, but now use no clean. Same with current company. – Rudy Jan 21 at 1:17

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