WTPA2 and Washdown (and pre-assembled kit lessons in general)

Another "interesting" thing building the pre-assembled units:

13 units are done; 8 were built by an assistant (I think) a couple years ago.  5 were built by me recently and I kept one.

7 of the 8 the units by the assistant (I think) were busted in some way.  Many had broken wiring which I understand as they'd been kicking around un-strain-relieved in a box and whatnot for a couple years.
All mine worked fine.  The assistant was a good guy and he didn't miss a single part location, but he did blow some solder joints and some wire-stripping, and one chip was damaged.  It took at least a half hour per unit to repair the busted ones, and the one with the bad IC was more like two.

One thing I noticed was that the years-old units had really bad flux build up.  Could have been sloppy soldering, could have been the flux aging, or most likely both.  It's possible the solder joints WENT bad over time, I guess.

Anyway, the fluxey boards looked ugly and flux deposits are hard on longevity.  So after repairing them I washed them down with flux remover.

So, tonight, I started sticking them in the enclosures, and doing a final test after assembly.  Even though they had passed all tests a couple days ago, each had "developed" at least one bad tact switch in the last couple days.  It was the washdown.
That's what I get for being tidy.  Anyway, they're repaired now, but it sucked.

Note to the wise: the tact switches on WTPA2 do not appear to be "wash-down safe".  Don't put your WTPA2 in the dishwasher to shine it up.

I know I've been back and forth about the best way to sell stuff like WTPA2, but in the past days one clear lesson I have learned is that assembling kits personally for a premium is not the optimal path forward.


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