First of all, one way or another, it’s going to work, so settle down. If you landed on this page, you have a great opportunity to learn some skills that you otherwise wouldn’t have learned. The more troubleshooting you have under your belt, the more confidence you’ll have to take on bigger projects. Building a project successfully means that you can follow directions and luck was on your side. Troubleshooting and repair skills are super powers.

Thousands of CHA/Vs are out roaming around now, and I’ve helped with many, many successful repairs and fixes, either via email, video chat, or in person. The #1 problem is cold solder joints. After reflowing the joints, the CHA/V is magically fixed. This guide is a great resource for evaluating your soldering:

Also though, if you email me some pics of your boards, I’m happy to take a look and point out suspicious joints. Pictures should be of both sides of all boards, in focus, well lit, and the highest resolution you can get (so I can zoom in).

Some quick trouble spots if you are supremely confident about the soldering:


  • Did you remove the jumpers from the ISP header? They should not be there after building. That header is only for connecting a programmer.
  • Do you have jumpers on the filter/attenuator headers? VGA4EVA will work without them, but you won’t get a background color. Those headers connect the RGB pins on the ATMEGA328 chip to the VGA connector. No jumpers = no path from the chip to the VGA output.
  • 1 in 100 boards has a fried 16mhz crystal. You might think that’s the problem with yours, but I’ll bet you there’s a cold solder joint somewhere. Send me some pics before you go replacing it.
  • Connect the V sync jack to an amplified speaker. If you can hear a 60hz square wave tone, your chip is programmed correctly, and power is most likely functioning correctly. It’s something silly probably. Send me pics and we’ll figure it out.


  • Double check the pin-headers, especially the pins/sockets that connect the two boards. Solder issues there are almost always the problem.