I tried changing the fuse bits to be sure. I followed the setting on your FAQ page regarding a new chip: avrdude -c usbtiny -p m328p -B 250 -F -U lfuse:w:0xe2:m -U hfuse:w:0xd1:m -U efuse:w:0x06:m
With the short across R4 (I still maintain bad ENET or wrong ENET jack), I was reading 0.1A using a 12V bench power supply. That just puts it over 1.2W which was quite high I thought. When I take out the enet jack and power the entire board now, I get 0.06A x 12V = 0.72W. Still, no MSG on LCD screen.
I’m sending back the completed board tomorrow. Enet jack is de-soldered.
You don’t need to change the fuse bits unless if you are using an MCU that’s purchased separately elsewhere.
Regarding the power consumption: you need to discount the power loss on the switching regulator (about 75% efficiency regardless of the output/input voltage ratio) and the 5V->3.3V linear regulator (effectively 3.3/5 = 66% efficiency). For example, if the input voltage is 12V and current draw is 0.1A, the switching regulator will lose about 12 * 0.1 * 25% = 0.3 Watt, and the linear regulator will lose 12 * 0.1 * 75% * 34% = 0.31Watt. So about 0.61 Watt is wasted just on the voltage conversion.
I just came back from vacation today and received your kit in the mail. Look, when I say ‘check the solder joints’, that’s exactly what I mean: check the solder joints! I flipped the PCB and immediately noticed that one pin of the LCD female header is not soldered at all (the 5th pin from the right). If you don’t believe me, here is a snapshot of your PCB before I did anything to it. After soldering that pin, and replacing the Ethernet jack (yours had a broken pin), everything is working fine now. I will send it back to you on Monday. The good thing is that your soldering quality is overall pretty good, unfortunately that one unsoldered pin took much of your and also my time.