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post #128 of (permalink) Old 11-04-2012, 01:27 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: "Out West, in the Land of Fruits & Nuts"
Posts: 806
Well Guys, I was messing around with my tank today and had to remove the lighting to gain access. When got everything back together and reconnected the power I noticed something weird. Two out of the three SmartyCats would not turn the leds back on. I rechecked all my connections and could find nothing wrong, so I figured the problem had to be internal to the SmartyCats themselves. I connected them to my PC and soon found that the System time had been reset to an earlier time? I did some further checks and found that the DS1307 RTC's weren't keeping time with the power interrupted. After another hour or so of trouble shooting, this is what I found- There's a defect in the PCB at the DS1307 RTC. Pin #7(SQW), which should have been left "floating" according to the schematic and PCB design files, is in reality grounded . This defect was not caught at the PCB factory and may be present in some of the SmartyCat's that some of you are using. I found the same defect in 2 more of the units that I haven't even built yet.
If any of you guys notice the same problem with the clock, here's the fix- Remove Pin#7 from the DS1307 and the problem will be fixed. I used a fine point soldering iron to heat the pin and a small jeweler's screw driver to lift the pin from it's pad. Here's a photo-

If your unit suffers from this defect and you can't tackle the repair yourself, send me a PM and we'll make other arrangements.

225 Gal, Glass "Reef Ready" w/ twin Iwaki Pumps & 2 Ocean Clear inline filters.Lighting- Custom built DIY 600 watt LED system, BlueFish "mini" Led Controller,iAqua Aquarium Controller , and a 20lb CO2 system w/ Milwaukee Ph Controller.
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