30x Bus Pirate v4 build workshop

Posted on Monday, April 30th, 2012 in BP v4, builds by DP

Sdixon organized a group build of Bus Pirate v4 PCBs:

Yesterday we held our group build and it was a great success. About 25 people built a total of around 30 Bus Pirate V4c. All but one of them worked! The one that didn’t work resisted some pretty determined troubleshooting and rework so we are assuming there was an etch error in the PCB. We will probably do some more troubleshooting on that one just to satisfy our curiosity on what went wrong with it. But given that at least half the participants had no SMD experience, I think our success rate is pretty impressive.

We did two sessions of about 13 people each and got through the entire build, rework, program and test cycle for everyone in about 3 hours per session. I wasn’t quite sure that would be enough time but, with some careful planning and setup, we managed it.

Thanks for your support. We had a lot of fun building the BP.

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This entry was posted on Monday, April 30th, 2012 at 12:00 pm and is filed under BP v4, builds. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

6 Responses to “30x Bus Pirate v4 build workshop”

  1. Jay Wilkinson says:

    I spent a while troubleshooting mine and in every case there was a pin that looked soldered that wasn’t. Poking different areas with a stick (wood or plastic) while watching the LEDs or running the selftests can reveal this.

    • Sjaak says:

      When i suspect this I reflux the IC and use some hotair to reflow the solder. Most of the time this sorts out problems like this.

      • ScottD says:

        We did reflow the board with hot air rework, as well as do a close visual inspection under a stereo microscope, checked the voltages, checked the USB signal continuity, retouched a number of suspect pins, and even replaced the PIC and the clock components. But we never got the board to respond to programming or show up on USB. We didn’t have a scope there so we couldn’t do any more troubleshooting at the time. I haven’t checked to see if the person building that board has done any further diagnosis.
        It would have been faster just to junk that board and build another one but we got sucked into trying to figure out what went wrong and fix it.

      • Sjaak says:

        I guess trying to fix has a higher educational value then try to assemble the next board :)

        It sounds like a broken pic or short in the pcb.

  2. ScottD says:

    I keep meaning to write up a more detailed post about the build party but haven’t gotten around to it yet. There were four of us involved in the planning and running of the build. We put a fairly large amount of effort into planning the event, particularly with respect to how to kit up the SMD parts and organize the build process with close to 30 people attending.
    Pictures and video are available at
    Thanks again to Ian for his enthusiasm for the build and for sending Dangerous Prototype stickers for everyone who participated!

  3. KLausenner says:

    I believe there is a bug in bus pirate v4, UART (transparent bridge) it does not work in a bidirectional manner, trbalha only sending data but not receiving. The firmware version I have is v6.1 r1676

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