It was all my own fault. I threw away a month waiting to see if I'd made past the first selection to the top 100 entries.
I wasted a second month on getting reflow soldering working. In a couple evenings, I could have hand soldered enough boards to get debug started, then worked on the reflow in parallel.
So I had only three weeks left for debug, but could have had eleven weeks. Ouch, my bad. Terrible planning.
It turns out, I also don't do my best design and debug work at 1am. Debug was going way slower than it should have.
Here is what I debugged in one of my typical evenings, between 10pm and 2am:
- Reset AT42QT2160 incorrectly
- Forgot to turn on LCD backlight regulator
- Cold solder joint on connector pin for backlight power
The second and third problems were two bugs with the same symptom - the LCD backlight wouldn't come on. So I went round and round with that for a while before I realized there were two bugs I was dealing with.
The good news is I don't need to survive on 3-5 hours of sleep any more. I won't give up on this project, but I'm not going to kill myself working late at night any more. Its just not productive use of my time because I'm so inefficient that late at night.