The serial line soldered to my Ben NanoNote for debugging purpose started to behave erratically. I was getting frequent disconnects while in minicom or gdb. It happened before, but last week it got out of hand and I couldn't get anything done by moving the wires a bit like I used to.
It was time to fix the rush job I did when I first soldered the wires to get a serial line output. At that time, two years ago, I had bought a (very) cheap soldering kit off ebay to get the job done -- painful experience, I still remember.
Since I recently upgraded my soldering tools, this was an opportunity to wield the soldering iron again o/.
First, I peeled off the adhesive tape that was holding the wires in place in the Ben battery compartment to inspect the joints. The problem exposed itself: the TX wire joint came off so easily with the adhesive tape that I believe it was broken for some time already.
Anyway, let's clean the pad with some alcohol, apply some flux on it and see how it goes.
This time I put a drop of solder only on the tip of the wire to see if it is easier than working with a tinned pad.
Took me five minutes to set up everything and hey, it works ! Notice how the TXD joint is much more clean and regular than the other two.
Connection to the serial line seems to be reliable now, didn't experienced any disconnect while working with the Ben, yay !
"A bad workman blames his tools" they say, but let's be honest here: to do good work, one must first have good tools ;-).