Vacuum Tube LEDs: Knockoff Arduino Nano USB Connector

The LEDs adorning the 0D3 rectifier tube became unreliable:

0D3 Octal - 25 mm socket - raised LED

0D3 Octal – 25 mm socket – raised LED

After failing to plug in a different USB power supply, a close look at the USB connector showed the problem:

Knockoff Arduino Nano - broken Mini-B connector

Knockoff Arduino Nano – broken Mini-B connector

A bit of needle-nose tweezering extracted the culprit from the power supply’s connector:

Knockoff Arduino Nano - broken Mini-B connector - fragment

Knockoff Arduino Nano – broken Mini-B connector – fragment

I tried applying the world’s smallest dot of epoxy to the fracture, probably slobbered epoxy along the pins while reinserting it, and the Nano still doesn’t light up.

Given that knockoff Nano boards cost a touch over two bucks delivered, it’s not clear transplanting a connector from one of the never-sufficiently-to-be-damned counterfeit FTDI USB adapters makes any sense.


  1. #1 by Vedran on 2017-07-28 - 12:56

    I keep a bag of micro USB connectors for friends who insist on breaking the off their smart phones :)

    • #2 by Ed on 2017-07-28 - 13:49

      Back when connectors were visible to the naked eye, you’d screw ’em into the front panel. Those days are gone, with good riddance, but depending on solder joints seems … hackerish.

  2. #3 by Keith Ward on 2017-07-28 - 21:14

    All of the newer connectors are all quite fragile, although I have never broken one. We need something substantial like a 30 amp twist lock plug; something you can stand on when you can quite reach the top shelf. I repaired a micro usb connector inside of a go-pro a year ago or so and it was pretty challenging to even get all the way to the connector to be able to repair it. Screws that required tweezers to even pick them up. It did require a microscope to even verify the connection that was broken before tacking it back down.

    • #4 by Ed on 2017-07-29 - 08:57

      Connectors for the rest of us!

      I just transplanted the control assembly from my DSC-H5 camera into a new-to-me H5 and, although the operation was a success, it (once again) showed I need sharper fingertips.

    • #5 by Vedran on 2017-07-31 - 11:24

      For some reason, people insist on keeping the cables plugged in when dropping their device in the bag – myself being the culprit once a long time ago in a galaxy not so far away – lessons learned, right?
      Ultimately, it’s a design failure though – if you know people will mistreat it, make it idiot proof(ish). Apple got it right with MagSafe, sadly it didn’t go far beyond their devices