I just finished building my Alpha Clock Five White kit, and it powered on fine and displayed Hello World. A few minutes later it shut off, and I couldn’t get it working again. Then it came on again. Now it sometimes works, sometimes not. Not sure if it’s a bad solder joint or bad component somewhere.
Are there any troubleshooting tips? Or areas to check for proper voltage or operation? Or should I refer to the schematic and figure it out myself?
That very much sounds like a soldering issue, but it could also be an issue of a loose component — for example a chip not fully seated in a socket. To start debugging, it would be helpful to try to reason from what the exact behavior is. For example if the display is going off but it’s still keeping time, then it’s probably something in the display drivers, rather than something to do with the power. If it’s fully losing power, then start looking at the power jack, and see if (for example) you can find a point that you can wiggle to cause it to lose power. If you can identify where the problem is coming from, then perhaps there’s something not fully seated, or something that needs to be resoldered.
Also visually check for loose or missing solder joints of course– these are by far the most likely cause of issues like these.
It looks like it might be a bad power supply. The one that shipped with the clock had voltage ranging all over the place, from 1-9V. I replaced it with one of my own and it’s staying on constantly now. So far, at least.