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November 29, 2010
about 5 years ago
It's clearly a problem, I think that at the very least, these things should ship with a big fat warning about soldering the 2mm headers. XBees are not cheap.
I second this. It's not my first time soldering. It's also pretty common to solder headers on top of components to make sure that they align properly. The problem with the 2mm headers is that the solder can flow from the pad and pin to the actual socket side of things.
This happens regardless of whether you solder things without the XBee attached, I just soldered together another of these things and the XBee wll not sit completely flush because of this problem. I'm not sure if this is just the nature of 2mm headers, my XBee explorer doesn't seem to have this problem, but it's sub-optimal to say the least.
Of course, this is more of a comment for the 2mm female headers than the BOB. Still I feed pretty dissastisfied with the overall expereince.
I got one of these with the Building Wireless Sensor Networks kits. Thanks to the shitty headers that ship with the kit I ended up soldering the headers onto one of my XBee. Nothing worked to unstick the components. Half an hour later of attempts and I have a totally trashed XBee breakout board and headers. All in the garbage. In retrospect I should have just let it be that way.
Now I'll be the first to man up and say that I can't really blame SparkFun for what happened. Part of the learning experience. It was silly of me not to have anticipated this. I should have let things be when i realized the darn things stuck together. But you know what would have helped: A FRIGGIN WARNING OF SOME KIND!!! Or some headers that I solate the pins in a way that this doesn't happen. For a fraction of cents the manufacturer could add enough metal to produce a header where the solder doesn't leak from the header pins to the pins of the attached XBee.
Anyway I guess I just needed to rant. I'll probably be buying my next break-out board headers and XBee from SparkFun. The hit to my ego and the sour taste in my mouth will probably take longer to deal with.
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