Pirate Radio Volume Down Not Working

I’ve assembled the Pirate Radio, and it works great EXCEPT the volume down button does not work. I found out the hard way that the volume up button works just fine. Any ideas for troubleshooting?

I already checked the soldering and resoldered anything that looked like it might need some more solder.

Is this a fresh sd card

Is there anything attached to the pi possibly using bcm 26

Does the button look correctly attached to the board?

Brand new card.

I only have the contents of the kit assembled so there’s nothing else attached to the pi.

As far I can tell the button looks attached.

Could you post a picture of your soldering- both of the pHAT BEAT and the Pi itself? Assuming you soldered it, and didn’t use a hammer-header, of course!


you need to reflow all of those points: don’t add solder, but hold the tip of your soldering iron next to the bulging solder on every point until it forms a nice cone-like shape around the pin.

… and, yes, although you may want to start with bcm26 I would go through the entire board, as it is it is a miracle it even works at all!

Honestly? Your issue is with aesthetics? My board looks like this because I added extra solder when it didn’t work.

hum, nope, my issue, or rather more accurately, your issue, is with electrical contacts… phys 39 (bcm26) is clearly not making adequate contact on the back of the Pi. That said, feel free to ignore advice to touch up your soldering job.


Nothing to do with aesthetics but any one of your soldered joints could be dry. You should attempt to get a perfect cone around each pin to ensure good connectivity.



I’ll do as suggested and attempt to fix the soldering. However, I did want to clarify my irritation with RogueM’s message. The message would’ve been fine, if it weren’t for the bit of condescension at the end. Was it really necessary to add “it is it is a miracle it even works at all!”?

I’m a beginner. I’m coming here for help. If reasonable suggestions are made, I will attempt to do them. Can you honestly explain why that condescending remark was added? If beginners aren’t welcome, just let me know.

My remark wasn’t intended as condescending, but outlining further potential problems you will face i.e trying to be helpful… even if you touch up bcm26 and get the pHAT BEAT working in all respects, you will likely face further issues when you attempt to use another add-on.

I think you’re missing the point. Look at the language you used. You could’ve just pointed the issue out with the language in your most recent message.

Instead of saying
"… and, yes, although you may want to start with bcm26 I would go through the entire board, as it is it is a miracle it even works at all!“
you could’ve gone with
"You may want to start with bcm26 I would go through the entire board. Even if you touch up bcm26 and get the pHAT BEAT working in all respects, you will likely face further issues when you attempt to use another add-on.”

Instead of giving the impression that I’m an idiot and the soldering is so terrible that you are shocked it worked at all, you instead explain potential future issues that can be cleared up by going through the entire board and making the soldering better. I’m game for constructive criticism, but I don’t want to be made to feel bad for attempting the project in the first place.

I’ll re-solder and report back.

Misunderstandings happen, especially when its just text typed in. Shrug it off and see if you can fix your issue. Let your iron get fully warmed up. Then try to touch the solder pad and the pin with your iron. 2 or 3 seconds should be time enough for all the solder to melt and then flow all on its own around the pin. When you pull your tip away it should form a cone all on its own. Pull the tip away straight up, not to the side. Going to the side risks getting a solder bridge from pin to pin. Do each pin one at a time. Wait a few seconds between fixes so the board can cool down. Or, do every second pin, then go back and do the ones you skipped the first time. Cold soldered joints will have a dull sometimes frosty appearance.

Forgot to mention, clean your tip often so solder doesn’t build up on it.

Reflowing the solder appears to have worked. Thanks!

Good stuff missed your post some how.

Someone just sent me a private message concerning this thread that was really nasty threatening and hostile. I do not feel at all comfortable responding. Is that considered acceptable behavior on this help forum? If not then how do I report it?

I got the same PM and I’m not overly happy about it. It wasn’t directed at me personally so I have no idea why they felt the need to send me a copy? It was all of the above and then some.

Here is what I received in case there are any moderators monitoring. I guess I need to know if what this guy just sent me is acceptable. I read the forum guidelines and I do think his message is in violation. The message is clearly threatening so I will not be responding, but I think someone needs to know about it.

boblovesyou boblovesyou
July 10
No, no. This needs addressing. Get back here @razor762 and apologize.

It’s a legitimate question: people on antidepressants do have self-worth issues, and that was just crazy. Because if it’s not your medication, what’s wrong with you? Just because you’re new to electronics and have never used a soldering iron before, those of us with years/decades of electronics experience have to tolerate your ludicrous overreaction?

From MY perspective, I’m assaulted by some punk kid who thinks Pimoroni owes him something because he bought their kit, or their forum visitors, who are here to both get and give answers because they like and support the company, have to put up with it? No. I can’t speak for Pimoroni but as a fellow electronics user and human being, just NO.

Come back to that thread and either edit your post and/or simply say something like “sorry, I was upset my stuff wasn’t working, I apologize.”

We know this forum is mainly for people who have zero experience in electronics and want to build something fabulous. We LOVE that aspect. The spark. The wide eyes. The churning ideas. That you think people here would attack you, including one who is a staffer?! Do you honestly think that people volunteering their time and effort are just waiting around to make fun of newbies, lurking, waiting for the chance to point and laugh? At completely anonymous people, mind… it’s just exasperating. Or in the speech of our hosts: naff all that for a game of soldiers!

Aesthetics!? Ugh. What a jerk! We… as in all experienced solder slingers colloquially referred to as “We”… WE KNOW what a cold joint looks like. WE KNOW what is going to be a complete bitch to troubleshoot if it’s not fixed. We know what a scorched board and lifted traces look like, but luckily for you these PCBs are built like tanks. (try that blob-y crap on 0.8mil chinese boards!). And, WE VERY WELL KNOW the newbie mentality “hey solder is like tape or glue” or my ultimate favourite “hey if a little solder is good, more is better!”

Of course we laughed - and groaned - at your picture, it was blatantly obvious to everyone what your issue was… but you, with no experience and apparently no social skills… react so viciously to a helpful critique. Nice. Nonetheless it is 100% factual that it is a miracle the board even worked at all. That is not hyperbole but an accurate assessment. And of course doing what you were told, fixed it. Shocking, isn’t it? OK that part is sarcasm, but you sort of earned it. {{Sarcasm Badge}} ;-) I still love you.

Please, razor. Please try to look at the world differently. Your friends and family and everyone around you might be total assholes, but the DIY electronics community is (for the most part) always helpful. Especially to newbies! No one knows you or even cares, but we want your project to succeed. We want ours to succeed too! So take a breath, and if a few minutes thinking doesn’t bring you to this same revelation, find some new friends. Life is short, being unhappy and defensive won’t get you anything.

I didn’t type this to be mean to you. I honestly hope to help you.

rogue & alpha: Sorry. I couldn’t let it go. I wanted to, I really did. But I accidentally read it a 2nd time, and… yea. I don’t care if razor762 is 12 or 76, that behaviour was inappropriate and HE’S the one making ME feel uncomfortable. To the point I typed this! :-) Apologies for wasting your time reading this. Hopefully it was cathartic.

Visit Message or reply to this email to respond.

To unsubscribe from these emails, click here.

Oh and the topic of his message was [Pimoroni Buccaneers] [PM] Razor762: are you on psych medication? (private message)