Ripped off JTAG header pads on my dev FritzBox [FAIL]

Ugh… this is so disappointing. I tried to solder a ribbon cable to the JTAG header of my “development” FritzBox 7270. Right during the process I accidentally bumped against the bare PCB. It fell off the table and the already soldered cables ripped off some of the pads. Here’s a photo after removing the remaining cables:

FritzBox Ripped-off JTAG pads

I’m unsure how to continue. I followed the traces but so far did not find adequate vias or pads to solder to. At the moment I’m trying to not brick the FritzBox and therefore do not need a JTAG connection… again…

Osram LED lamp [FAIL]

About two years ago we started switching from compact fluorescent lamps to LED lamps, mainly to avoid the mercury in the former ones. Also the longer lifespan of LEDs was a reason for us to switch. We currently have two types in our household: several cheap ones from Müller Licht (ALDI) and a bit more expensive ones from OSRAM. Guess which ones failed first…

Defective OSRAM Led LampThe stated 100,000 on/off cycles or 25,000 hours of run-time (at least that’s what I remember from their package) were definitely not reached. Far from it.

OSRAM gives a 4-year guarantee as far as I understood from reading their website. But to be honest: who keeps a bill for a lamp bought with other purchases two years ago? At least I did not… Sigh. 🙁

Homemade DCF77 receiver [FAIL]

A few weeks ago our old clock radio broke. Out of curiosity I’ve disassembled it: I wanted to remove the DCF77 clock radio signal receiver. Unfortunately, the clock contained a single board, but the receiver part was clearly distinguishable from the rest.

The circuit board of my broken clock radio. The radio signal receiver is marked with a yellow frame.

For fun, I cut out the relevant part of the board and replaced/refreshed the solder joints. I also added four connections for 1.5 Volt (power supply), the clock signal and a power-on line. (At least I think that’s what the last two lines should be).

My low cost self made DCF77 clock signal receiver.

I have not yet managed to get a stable time signal. On my digital storage oscilloscope I get occasional spikes with a distance of one second (what you would expect), but only a few of them and then nothing… The problem is probably the correct initialization of the chip under the black blob (a so called chip-on-board, by the way). Maybe, I also damaged a part of the receiver while cutting out the board, or when resoldering the two joints on the 77.5 kHz antenna.

Update: Well, after playing a bit more with the receiver I’m pretty sure I damaged it while cutting it out. I used common initialization sequences and did not manage to get it work. Too bad…