UPDATE II: During the original build, I apparently over-torqued the display mounting screws to the point that the plastic cracked. I was up until the wee hours of the morning rebuilding it using a black, brushed aluminum project box I saw on one of M3’s Customized Kits pages. I ordered from Fry’s Electronics. While it looks okay in the photo, I probably should have gone with the silver box as the scars from a clumsy fabricator (that’d be me) are pretty evident. It was a bit more difficult than I anticipated to cut the display slot. If I have time, I’ll stop by RadShack, see if they have black grommet material to cover the rough edges in the display slot and the wiring holes.
UPDATE: I received a response from Mike long ago, but didn’t get back to the build until yesterday evening. I rechecked everything and it works perfectly. Dunno what I was doing the first time. <shrug> It’s now together and looks great!
I can’t remember where I first learned about M-Cubed Electronix’s Semiconductor Analyzer, but the moment I visited the website and read what it can do, I ordered immediately. I assembled it late last night, but it failed the test phase. I’m getting ~9v on both sides of the 78L05 voltage regulator instead of ~9v on the near side and ~5v on the far side. A voltage regulator allows the input of a higher voltage, then (in this case) steps it down to a positive five volts. I’m a newbie when it comes to circuit-level electronics and so don’t know much, but I would hope that the guys designing the regulators would have the device cut power completely in the event of failure. Otherwise, it could lead to other damaged components due to over-voltage – or even to fire due to over heating. I’ve emailed Mike at M-Cubed to ask what I should check. I also want to add a power-indicating LED, but I don’t know if it’ll affect the unit. I wouldn’t think so, but I’m asking just in case.