DrawBot – Halp!!! No – seriously, a little help?

Okay, I’m stuck.  I don’ t know what I’m doing wrong or what I need to do next.  So, I’m calling upon John Abella, Sandy Noble, and Kongorilla for your help.  :)

Here’s where I am:

  • The burning!
    • At last attempt, I hooked up some small steppers to the Adafruit motor shield, put the shield on my Arduino Uno, hooked up the USB cable and the 9v power adapter.
    • I heard a small pop and smelled warm electronics.1
  • After the burning
    • I can upload and run the Arduino basic blink sketch.  I can alter this to change the blinking pattern.
    • I can upload and run the Arduino sketches to operate a microservo.  I can alter this to change the microservo’s behavior.
    • I can upload the Adafruit sketches for steppers – but I can’t make the steppers move.
    • I can upload the Polargraph sketch – but I can’t make the steppers do anything.

Now, I’ve got tons of questions for you:

  1. Did I ruin my Arduino?  I can still run the blink and microservo sketches.
  2. Did I ruin my motor shield?  How can I tell if it is operational?  When I connect the power to the Arduino and have the little jumper in place, the green LED is lit up.
  3. What am I doing wrong?
  4. What should I try next?
  5. How should I diagnose a problem?
Posts in the DrawBot Adventure Series
  1. Wanna make a DrawBot?
  2. DrawBot, the Adventure Begins
  3. DrawBots for the slow learner
  4. DrawBot - Parts Ordered!!!
  5. DrawBot - The Breakdown
  6. DrawBot - What would you draw?
  7. DrawBot - The Plan!
  8. DrawBot - The Hacks
  9. DrawBot - The Delivery?
  10. DrawBot - The Delivery, Part II
  11. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part I
  12. DrawBot – The Software, Part I (and an existential conversation)
  13. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part II
  14. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part III
  15. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part IV
  16. DrawBot – Design Considerations
  17. DrawBot – Halp!!! No - seriously, a little help?
  18. DrawBot – The Face Palm
  19. DrawBot – The Delivery, Part V
  20. DrawBot – The Silver Lining of Failure
  21. DrawBot – The Delivery, Part VI
  22. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part V
  23. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part VI
  24. DrawBot – Printed Parts
  25. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part VII
  26. DrawBot – The Operation, Part I
  27. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part VIII
  28. DrawBot – The Breakdown, Part II
  29. DrawBot – Printing!
  30. DrawBot – Printing, Part II
  31. DrawBot – Calibration
  32. DrawBot – How to Recover from a Stalled Print!
  33. DrawBot – Drawing Success(ish)!!!
  34. DrawBot – Pen Selection, Part II
  35. DrawBot – Onwards and Upwards!
  36. Restarting a Stalled DrawBot Drawing
  37. TSP FTW!
  38. Speedier DrawBot Drawings
  39. Two new DrawBot links! And an update!
  40. Another Drawing Robot!!!
  41. DrawBot Practice Tip: A Watched Pot
  42. The biggest inkjet printer ever
  43. Why do DrawBots draw on walls?
  44. All New Polargraph on the way!!!
  45. Ideas for improving my DrawBot
  46. DrawBot Aesthetic Re-Design Ideas
  47. Every Body Needs a Skull
  48. Overengineered Spools
  49. Overengineered Stepper Motor Mounts, Filament Guides
  50. Overengineered Bolt Endcaps, Case Holder
  51. Sourcing DrawBot Parts
  52. DrawBot - A Tour!
  53. DrawBot - A Preview
  54. Arduino Powered Drawing Robot Poll
  55. Building an Arduino Drawing Robot - On The Cheap
  56. DrawBot - Printed Parts Tour
  57. Unidentified Foam Object
  58. Arduino Powered Drawing Robot - Take 2 (Or 3)
  59. DrawBot, now ACTUALLY wall mounted!
  60. A Study of Drawing Robot Pen Holders and Design Considerations
  61. Drawing Robot Pen Holders, Calligraphy Pens, and Thought Experiments
  62. Ideal Qualities in a Drawing Robot Pen Holder
  63. Enough talk! Finally a pen holder!
  64. DrawBot Pen Holder Post Mortem
  65. To Maker Faire!!!
  66. Skipping! How could I forget the skipping?!
  67. PlotterBot at Maker Faire Bay Area 2013!
  68. PlotterBot.com - a new site dedicated to drawing robots
  1. Now I’ve got a cold and couldn’t smell anything if I wanted []

2 Responses to “DrawBot – Halp!!! No – seriously, a little help?”

  1. whosawhatsis says:

    Sounds like you fried a chip on the shield. It’s probably the L293D motor drivers, perhaps your motors draw too much current? You can replace them with pin-compatible SN754410 ICs that can handle more current, or you can use piggybacked pairs of L293Ds for to split the current draw. Heatsinks couldn’t hurt either.

    Did you calculate the current draw for your stepper motors based on voltage and phase resistance to make sure the driver ICs could handle the current?

  2. kongorilla says:

    1+ for what whosawhatsis said, but looking at the motors you got, current should be fine for the L293Ds that are stock.

    To be clear, (and to refresh my memory how things should be set up, smart people please correct me), on the shield, you had the power jumper off when this happened, so the arduino was powered by usb, and the 9v adapter was wired to the shield. And, very importantly, you had the polarity of the the adapter connection correct? (You knew which wire was positive and which negative and attached them to the shield appropriately?)

    You had the ICs oriented correctly in their sockets (notch up, dot down)?

    You checked (with a magnifying glass) for any shorts that could easily happen when soldering the sockets to the shield?

    That’s all I can think of now, without seeing what you’ve got.

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