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Diagnosing hardware problems

Diagnosing hardware problems

Postby matt » Mon Nov 03, 2014 11:37 am

If your PRFM board isn't working, the first job is to check the various voltages around the board.

Take a multimeter, and with the black probe connected to the - battery input probe these points with the red probe in the order listed below:


If any of those voltages aren't right then you can narrow down the problem:

  • 1: Cathode of D2 - if this isn't only slightly below your battery voltage then you either have a short circuit, or diode D2 has blown.
  • 2: 5V - This is the next stage of the power from the battery. If this isn't 5V then either a short exists after the 5V regulator (on the other side of the board) or the regulator has blown.
  • 3: 3.3V on small ICSP header - This is the output of the main 3.3V regulator. If this isn't 3.3v then either the regulator has blown or there's a short further down the line.
  • 4: 1.2V - This is regulated inside the main chip. If it's not 1.2V then the main chip isn't functioning.
  • 5: 3.3V on Expansion header - This is a separate 3.3V regulator. If both this and the ICSP's 3.3V are bad then it points to the 5V regulator.
If all are OK then we need to look at other problems.
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