Polivoks Voicecard troubles - Dead Atmega

So I’ve just finished my Ambika build, I thought everything was well but it turns out that one of my voicecards is not working.

I’ve ran through the following troubleshooting steps and am looking for a little extra advice.

  • Checked the components and orientation against a known working card (with the exception of breaking out a magnifying glass for the ceramic caps).
  • Confirmed jumpers are correctly set
  • Moved faulty board to another location, fault followed the board.
  • Swapped ATMega chip with another.

That final step was a bad mistake. The fault followed the originally faulty chip onto another board and the working chip that went into the faulty board is now also dead.
I’ve re-programmed the faulty chips, they happily take the firmware, but are still faulty on whichever board I put them back in to.

Sometimes the data light will come on upon startup and sometimes it does not, when i assign or un-assign the card to a part the light will not change from it’s original state.

Whilst I wait for some replacement chips to be delivered, does anyone have any wise suggestions on how to further my diagnosis of my faulty card?

I have also tried the firmware update for the faulty voicecards and both chips are showing a “?” instead of their firmware level, installing the Voice$.bin file appears to fail.
Checked voltage on pin7 of the ATMega on the faulty card, it’s reading just under 5V - same as other cards.

Issue resolved.
The headers weren’t making proper contact. I must have been unlucky when moving chips/cards around.

A touch of solder on the pins was enough to thicken them up in order to make proper contact.