MAKE Asks: Tricky Troubleshooting

Make: Asks is a new weekly column where we ask you, our readers, for responses to maker-related questions. We hope the column will spark interesting conversation and that we’ll get to know more about each other.

When using an XBee for the first time, I found that if I tried to run the “Hello World” code, I could only get my flashing LED to work if I unplugged one of my indicator LEDs, and vice versa. After going through what I thought was every possible troubleshooting measure, it turned out the culprit was a weak solder joint where the power was coming through. It provided enough juice for just a couple of LEDs, but no more than that. It took a while to figure out but it was one of my most maddening problems to fix.

This week’s question: What was a bug or tricky problem on a project you’ve done, and what did you finally do to figure it out and get it working?

Post your responses in the comments section.


In addition to being an online editor for MAKE Magazine, Michael Colombo works in fabrication, electronics, sound design, music production and performance (Yes. All that.) In the past he has also been a childrens' educator and entertainer, and holds a Masters degree from NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program.

View more articles by Michael Colombo