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 Resources and Links
  3. DrawBot, the Adventure Begins
  4. DrawBots for the slow learner
  5. DrawBot - Parts Ordered!!!
  6. DrawBot - The Breakdown
  7. DrawBot - Parts Shipped!!!
  8. DrawBot - What would you draw?
  9. DrawBot - The Plan!
  10. DrawBot - The Hacks
  11. DrawBot - Giant Unicorn?
  12. DrawBot - The Delivery, Part II
  13. DrawBot – The Delivery, Part III
  14. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part I
  15. DrawBot – The Software, Part I (and an existential conversation)
  16. DrawBot – The Delivery, Part IV
  17. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part II
  18. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part III
  19. DrawBot – Design Considerations
  20. DrawBot – Halp!!! No - seriously, a little help?
  21. DrawBot – The Face Palm
  22. DrawBot – The Delivery, Part V
  23. DrawBot – The Silver Lining of Failure
  24. DrawBot – The Delivery, Part VI
  25. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part V
  26. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part VI
  27. DrawBot – Printed Parts
  28. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part VII
  29. DrawBot – The Operation, Part I
  30. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part VIII
  31. DrawBot – The Breakdown, Part II
  32. DrawBot – Printing!
  33. DrawBot – Printing, Part II
  34. DrawBot – Why are you crying?
  35. DrawBot – Calibration
  36. DrawBot – How to Recover from a Stalled Print!
  37. DrawBot – Drawing Success(ish)!!!
  38. DrawBot – Pen Selection, Part II
  39. DrawBot – Onwards and Upwards!
  40. DrawBot – Another Successful(ish) Drawing!, and an Update
  41. Restarting a Stalled DrawBot Drawing
  42. Speedier DrawBot Drawings
  43. Two new DrawBot links! And an update!
  44. Another Drawing Robot!!!
  45. DrawBot Practice Tip: A Watched Pot
  46. The biggest inkjet printer ever
  47. Why do DrawBots draw on walls?
  48. Maze Code + Polargraph?
  49. All New Polargraph on the way!!!
  50. Ideas for improving my DrawBot
  51. DrawBot Aesthetic Re-Design Ideas
  52. The Eagle Has Landed
  53. Every Body Needs a Skull
  54. This project is not going to overengineer itself
  55. Overengineered Stepper Motor Mounts, Filament Guides
  56. Overengineered Bolt Endcaps, Case Holder
  57. Sourcing DrawBot Parts
  58. DrawBot - A Tour!
  59. DrawBot - A Preview
  60. Arduino Powered Drawing Robot Poll
  61. Building an Arduino Drawing Robot - On The Cheap
  62. DrawBot - Printed Parts Tour
  63. Unidentified Foam Object
  64. Arduino Powered Drawing Robot - Take 2 (Or 3)
  65. DrawBot, now ACTUALLY wall mounted!
  66. Drawing Robot Pen Holders, Calligraphy Pens, and Thought Experiments
  67. Ideal Qualities in a Drawing Robot Pen Holder
  68. Enough talk! Finally a pen holder!
  69. DrawBot Pen Holder Post Mortem
  70. To Maker Faire!!!
  71. Skipping! How could I forget the skipping?!
  72. PlotterBot at Maker Faire Bay Area 2013!
  73. 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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