Connection problem with modules

I’ve done exactly that with the velcro shoes! A fingernail between the shoe, and the edges of the two bits splits 'em apart with a single flick, but ya have to know it’s there, … Right!?

Isopropyl alcohol is very useful for cleaning electronics - it’s great for removing flux, or other organic/oily residue. But I try to keep it as a last resort, especially where glue, paint or plastic products are involved. Alcohol is slightly acidic (although isopropyl is less corrosive than methanol by far), and you never know what surface reactions happen even if the substance is not soluble in alcohol. Certain thin polymer films, such as styrene and urethane, may become prone to cracking after alcohol cleaning. Also it’s flammable and requires ventilation.

When I do use solvents, I apply it to a q-tip and daub it on, then flip the swab over and remove it.

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Hello, where having a very similar problem.

We have tried everthing suggested - cleaning the contacts, supergluing any loose ones etc. The symptoms are various - but clearly entail poor conectivity. This however does not appear to be just confined to the direct 3 point connections on littlebit modules. Is there a problem with oxidisation within or between conncections in the modules ? Are the tiny sprung connecting points loosing there spring and therefore not connecting? This seems to be system wide and very troubllesome - all it takes is one in operative connection, particularly with the synth kit, and the whole construction does not work. We have had our little bits for a couple of years now and this problem is rendering them all but useless…

Hi Redmond,

I’m sorry to hear you’re having trouble. I would love to have our support team get a look at your Bits. Can you please send some photos of the connectors to support@littlebits.cc?

Best,

Katie

We haven’t tried to us our Library since the end of last school year. I have an afterschool circuit class today and I will have them give them a go. First we’ll wipe them off, then white eraser them and see if they work. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Aloha,
Matthew

THANK YOU!! The white eraser suggestion has reduced my frustration tremendously. The kids get excited using littleBits, but when the final design doesn’t work, due to unreliable connections, the whole mood changes during a workshop! I have now worked cleaning of the littleBits into the project of the day… #happykids #troubleshootingskills :blush:

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I have a connectivity problem with the pins being recessed on the left connector of a bit. Is anyone aware of a technique to restore these to their normal sticking-out state?

Hi there! Please send us a photo of this to support@littlebits.com and we’ll take a look for you.

Here’s my semi-broken i35 next to a w18 in good pin condition for comparison:

They are probably dirty with finger grease, etc. Take a swab (like a q-tip) and wet it with alcohol, rub it on the connectors, then press on them with a fingernail to wiggle them around. You may need to repeat this a coupe times.

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In this case they are recessed and simply do not make physical contact.

I just took another broken bit as a donor, de-soldered both connectors and re-soldered the good one onto the good i35. A simple solder pump was ineffective for me, some good quality braid more-or-less did the job. The 5v is straightforward, the signal pin needs care to avoid a nearby component, the ground is very hard due to requiring a LOT of heat - there must be a copper plane on the pcb dissipating it. I made a real mess and also melted the connectors a little. With all the wiggling I was lucky not to mess-up the donor connector. To my great surprise, I now have one working i35 module!

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Hi @kjw, thanks for posting these, however we do need an email at support@littlebits.com to get the replacement request started. Let us know if you’re still having trouble.

My class was frustrated just like yours yesterday. I hadn’t used LittleBits in a few months. Last time I used it, some things were not working smoothly, but I figured it was because of batteries. I brought in a lot of batteries yesterday, but it didn’t help. Now I’m working with an eraser, sorting out units, figuring out which just need contact cleaning and which have actual problems, sometimes due to an end connector being loose. It’s going to take a while to sort it all out.