Friday, February 22, 2013

Death of an Arduino

Well I said I would tell you about killing my Arduino. So here is the long and short of it.

I decided one night that I had a bit of free time that I would take a break from reading about string theory to mess around with my Arduino. Well looking back at this, this was probably a poor choice.

As I was plugging in the USB cable, the cable that powers the Arduino (from the 8.4V battery) fell over onto the board. The switch was turned off meaning that rather than the switch being connected to the nice insulated cable, it was connected to the open pin. I'm pretty sure I never insulated that tab because.. well because I'm rather stupid.

So, the tab touches the grounded USB socket (the negative wire was not switched). Big spark. Magic smoke escapes. I cried. Nasty smell in my room for an hour or two.

That's how it met its end. Frankly, I'm surprised it survived this long. With all the wires going every which way and me carrying it around and such, it lived a good life. And to be fair, it actually is still working. The last sketch I had on it still runs. Its just the USB to serial chip that is burnt out.

Maybe someday I will look into doing something with it. In the meantime I ordered a new one. I'm certainly glad that I didn't fry a $50 "real" Arduino. Say what you want about buying from China, but if it weren't for the cheap parts from China I would not be doing the stuff I am doing. Granted, I'm not forging any new ground in a research field, but this is part of my education. One day I hope to be a productive, tax-paying (novel idea) citizen. Maybe then I will buy "real" Arduinos.

HobbyKing was out of stock so I ordered one from a US seller on Ebay. $21 shipped. It said genuine, made in Italy, Arduino Mega 2560 R3. I have no doubt that they were lying. If you want a picture of it I'll probably post one when I swap it out on my robot. For now I'm doing some other stuff with my LCD shield and such. It seemed neglected.

Well that's how it happened. Its my fault. I wired the the switch such that there was an open tab and then didn't insulate it (or maybe it just fell off. Either way, my fault). Oh well. Stuff happens. I hope it never happens to you, but if it does, persevere. Find a good friend to talk to. You can find closure.

More on this subject, I referenced this article several times when I was first doing stuff with the Arduino. They are trying to sell their own product, but who can blame them. Its a good read. Interesting stuff on how to kill an Arduino.

Well that's all I have for now. I feel bad for not having any pictures so I found this nice picture to add some color. Its the logo for FIRST Robotics, a program I did in high school. The next few weeks will be pretty exciting in that realm so if you have time, do a quick Google search. Include Ultimate Ascent in the search. Now I'm getting off topic.

See you soon,

No comments:

Post a Comment