Spent a bit of time last weekend putting together my new Picaxe40X2 PCBs. I ran into major problems with the PCBs…. the solder simply wouldn’t stick to the pads. I fired off an email to iTeadstudio to see if maybe something had gone wrong in the manufacturing. Amazingly they responded to my emails over the weekend. They figured that perhaps the boards had been mistakenly done with a ROHS HASL process and then not protected well enough during shipping, resulting in the pads being oxidized. They are going to replace the boards. Nice! I didn’t expect any answers until Monday so I was pretty happy that they responded so quickly and didn’t brush me off. Fantastic customer service. They just became my new favourite place.
In the meantime I struggled along to get one of the boards assembled. I tried rubbing the boards (no luck), lightly sanding the boards (resulting in damaged silkscreen but still not great adhesion of solder to the pads) and finally I broken down and scraped each individual pad with an exacto knife down to the copper before soldering. Ouch! The other boards will be going in the bin while I wait for the new batch to show up.
In the meantime though, I can start working on the software to drive the Nokia LCD. I’ve got a slave 16F1825 processor which will be controlled from the main Picaxe40X2 processor via a serial line. I didn’t want to load up the Picaxe with SPI LCD drivers so a slave processor seemed like the best way to go. I could have used a more simple character LCD but the lure of the full colour screen was too much to resist. 😉