some 2015 grid users have reported a high pitched noise coming from the grid when lots (and lots) of LEDs are lit up. i’ve identified the problem and a simple fix-- the problem is that in these new builds, the type of capacitor was incorrect. two ceramic capacitors were placed by the boardhouse instead of tantalum. we didn’t catch this error during inspection as the grids function perfectly well-- but for the sake of making these grids more perfect, here’s what needs to be done to reduce the potential for high frequency noise:
- obtain 10u and 4.7u 1206 sized tantalum capacitors. e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your address and we can send you one of each. if you’re really in a hurry (particularly if you’re not in the US), part numbers are T491A106K010AT and T491A475K016AT (you can use similarly rated parts, of course).
- remove the two bottom screws of the grid using a 1/16" hex key.
- the capacitors are now visible, see diagram below:
desolder both capacitors. there are a variety of ways to do this, but the easiest perhaps is to add extra solder to both sides, then alternate touching the iron to each side until both are melted, where you can then flick the capacitor aside.
remove the remaining solder with solder wick or by another method of your choice.
solder on the new tantalum capacitors, respecting the correct orientation (make sure the line on the PCB is the same as the line on the capacitor itself. see image below.)
you’re finished. it should look like this:
if you don’t have a soldering iron or are uncomfortable doing this mod, contact email@example.com with your mailing address. we can discuss some options.
lastly-- if you haven’t had an issue with your grid, please don’t feel like this is an obligatory mod. there’s no functional issue with the device and the life of the hardware is by no means compromised.
all grids shipping from us in the future will have this issue corrected. all grids currently stocked at retailers will have the old ceramic capacitors. this is not a big enough deal to merit any sort of recall.
feel free to e-mail us with concerns. firstname.lastname@example.org