Arduino kit help

Hi. Need help. Bought a make it yourself aurdiuno theremin kit that I had to solder together (it was a great kit, except I’m a noob with electronics soldering). Anyhoo, it isn’t working, isn’t downloading the arduino software, whatever, and was wondering if there was some in ERP that could look at it and see if it’s still salvageable; or do I need to get another kit?

Noooooo not another theremin!

At least this one is an arduino version.

So it won’t upload the sketch?

No it won’t; probably from my poor soldering.

Have you worked with other theremins?

Are you soldered into D0 and D1?

Not sure where those are…

A good first-step to troubleshooting this would be trying to upload the firmware to the Arduino with it isolated from everything else. I don’t know what kit you’re using, but Arduino kits usually just have you plugging stuff into the Arduino, so hopefully it’s easy enough for you to separate it from the rest of the electronics.

If it’s not easy to isolate the Arduino because you soldered onto it, a second Arduino (also not connected to anything) could be used instead, but it’s possible that there’s something wrong with that specific Arduino (especially if it’s a cheap knock-off).

You could pull your hair out trying to troubleshoot a circuit only to discover later that it was an issue with the Windows driver or a bad USB cable or something else like that. Simple sanity checks like this can be life saving!

@james.a.seymour mentions pins 0 and 1 because, as you can see in his image, these are tied to the serial lines (RX = “receive”, TX = “transmit”), so anything connected to them is likely to interfere with USB communication. Anybody designing an Arduino kit will have known this though, so hopefully your kit/instructions aren’t using those pins, but if you are able to upload your sketch to an isolated Arduino, this is definitely the next thing I would check.

Probably the next thing would be to check for shorts (where power is incorrectly connected directly to ground somewhere in the circuit). Solder bridges (where an extra bit (or blob) of solder is incorrectly connecting two nearby solder joints) are often the culprits. These can usually be identified with a visual inspection of the solder joints and confirmed with any basic multimeter in continuity mode.

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Thanks @dom
I get into a work mode sometimes and lead troubleshooting weird on the forum.

I live out of town and the wife’s birthday is this weekend so I’m not going to be at the makerspace at all but up load some pictures front and back so I can get a feel for what we are working with. Maybe there’s a part in there backwards or something.