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Always feel free to post help requests in the forums. Try to include sharp, close-up pictures of both sides of your hardware that is having a problem. As you already know, people in this community are more than happy to help...and are friendly about it to boot!

If you are willing, please use Teamspeak chat. Most nights the DLA staff is in chat and we can quickly help out on most problems.


  • Divide and Conquer or Binary Search
IF you ask the RIGHT questions of an ordered set (all understanding and knowledge about the system) and it is not intermittent, you can always arrive at the answer in 21 questions or less!
  • Start at one end or the other and work forward/backward to the other end.
  • System integration/separation
Try to separate power and hardware problems from software and communication problems.
  • Ask yourself:
What do I know about this thing?
What don't I know about this thing?
Could I describe the problem to someone else in an understandable way?


(GFCI, Circuit breakers, extension cords, power panels, etc.)


Check and recheck for:

  • Correct solder flow, no shorts
  • Unsoldered leads - especially on large chips - this happens more than you might think!
  • Correct component orientation - matching the silkscreen image on the board - not necessarily the orientation of chip sockets or other carrier devices (they could have been installed backwards).
  • Bent pins on chips, chips not seated in the chip carriers
  • Correct resistor values
  • Correct capacitor polarities
  • Correct part numbers



  • What are the problems when setting up a pic programmer?


(DMX cabling, com ports, length of runs, distance or orientation of wireless transmitter and receiver, etc.)

  • Does your hardware need to be terminated?
  • Why aren't my devices talking? (check cabling, check hardware, go back to lowest common denominator - what do you know works)
  • How do I wire stuff up?


  • My multimeter doesn't read the right resistance. (in circuit or out of circuit?, are you inadvertently touching both meter leads at the same time?, set on the wrong range, battery dead)

Quick Troubleshooting Help

  • My Lynx DMX dongle is not working. Now what?
  • Why are my incandescent lights flickering?
  • Why are my LED lights flickering?
  • Parts are backordered at Mouser. What can I use as a substitute?