The mysterious connector

Me: Your alarm line is out, issit?
Guard: Dunno.
Me: Let me check your phone too. Is it working?
Guard: Dunno.

Go inside the office, and talked to the person-in-charge, "Your alarm line is out, issit?"

"Yeah, the (alarm guys) came yesterday during their monthly routine check and told me its out"
"Alarm guys? And in those alarm guys who monitor your alarm 24 hours?"
"And no one knows until they came for a check?"
"Are you sure they're monitoring your alarm 24 hours"

[In this case, if they monitor your alarm 24 hours, any problem, their centre would have called you up after a set period of time if your system does not handshake with their monitoring system. So, in this case, the problem could have been happening since their LAST monthly check.]

And they mystery here is, that the connector blocks
are in a bad shape. This is a sign of water seepage but
the box was sealed shut. What is more worrying is the
plastic parts of the connector are crumbling. See the
green stuff coming out of the wire? It has turned to
copper sulphate, via electrolysis.

And it was so bad that the first four wires were affected
until the metal is gone.

So I had to re-route the cables to other pairs and updated the customer of the situation.

"Your Guard's phone extension is also out, you know."
"Have you tried calling them?"
"Have they tried calling you and complained?"

SOIC to DIL Adaptor Part III

OK, I admit I did a boo-boo here. I should have used the proper pins for the adaptor. This is what happens when you make critical decisions at midnight. The problem was that the legs were too thin and so, when I am not too careful, I would topple it when I insert or removing the chip. And so, this would weaken the legs since I have to gently bend them back again and again.

Knowing these pins are fragile, its a matter of time before they break altogether.
Luckily, I had the rare opportunity to find a nice parking spot, near enough for me to run to the shops to get the proper connectors. "PC Headers", they call it.

This is what happens when you forget to use both
hands to release the IC chip. The adaptor would
topple and bend the legs.

And as you can see, the legs are very very thin and
if I re-bend them too often, it will break. To solder
them again, it would take a lot of hard work since
the legs cannot be soldered in a single piece; you'd
need them in rows since the heat of the soldering
iron would melt the black plastic holding all the legs
together. In short, you would need to redo the whole
circuit board. And so unsolder the green ZIF socket
is also not easy as well. Sigh.

These are the wrong pins (legs) I used on the left
unless I want them on those round IC sockets. So,
I need to use the PC headers on the right.

There. One new circuit board and a ZIF socket
desoldering job later, I can solder the new pins
in. This time, I know for sure, they will last

No more skinny legs!