SparkFun Troubleshooting Tips

Contributors: bboyho
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"It's not working!" A common utterance made when working with electronics. But, have no fear. There are numerous troubleshooting tips that make diagnosing your problem much simpler than it may seem. In this tutorial, we will be exploring a few general troubleshooting tips and possible solutions that frequently come up in SparkFun's Technical Support department. Some of these tips may not apply to all cases and projects, but it is a good place to start to determine the source of the problem.

EL Escudo Destruction Damaged from Automated Optical Inspection


The development and breakout boards that are produced by SparkFun are usually tested on a pogobed and inspected by a technician for quality control before they are packaged and sent out. Let's assume that the boards are good to start.

Electronics Assembly

How SparkFun assembles SMD electronics.

Constant Innovation in Quality Control

In this article, we share our recent advancements in quality control. Along with making our tests more thorough, we have also made them more efficient and robust.

Suggested Tool

At a minimum, a low cost multimeter is a must for basic troubleshooting. Depending your setup, you may need additional tools and components.

Digital Multimeter - Basic

Digital Multimeter - Basic


Suggested Reading

If you aren't familiar with the following concepts, we recommend checking out some of these skill tutorials. The complexity of the project may require additional skills to help you troubleshoot.

How to Solder: Through-Hole Soldering

This tutorial covers everything you need to know about through-hole soldering.

Working with Wire

How to strip, crimp, and work with wire.

How to Use a Breadboard

Welcome to the wonderful world of breadboards. Here we will learn what a breadboard is and how to use one to build your very first circuit.

How to Read a Schematic

An overview of component circuit symbols, and tips and tricks for better schematic reading. Click here, and become schematic-literate today!

Serial Terminal Basics

This tutorial will show you how to communicate with your serial devices using a variety of terminal emulator applications.

How to Use a Multimeter

Learn the basics of using a multimeter to measure continuity, voltage, resistance and current.