Having trouble powering motor shield on arduino.
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Having trouble powering motor shield on arduino.

by StruanF on Fri Nov 16, 2012 3:54 pm

Hey, I'm having what seems to be a reasonably simple problem, I can't get my shield to register the power that I'm putting into it. I've got the ext. power hooked up to a DC power supply but the LED just won't light up. Can anyone shed a little light on the problem?

Thanks
-Struan
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Re: Having trouble powering motor shield on arduino.

by adafruit on Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:08 pm

you must place the power jumper - solder that part in and put the jumper on
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Re: Having trouble powering motor shield on arduino.

by adafruit_support_bill on Sat Nov 17, 2012 6:01 am

Check with the power jumper installed as suggested. But it should not be installed when using external power.

What is your external power source? The 9v battery in the photo is not a good power source for motors.
Also, post photos of the solder-side of the board. From the front view, it looks like some of the solder is balled-up around the pin and has not flowed onto the pad. Check this guide for how to fix common soldering problems: http://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-guid ... n-problems
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Re: Having trouble powering motor shield on arduino.

by StruanF on Sat Nov 17, 2012 8:32 am

adafruit_support wrote:Check with the power jumper installed as suggested. But it should not be installed when using external power.

Yeah, I've tried putting in the power jumper in without soldering it but it appears to make no change. Does it need to be soldered?

adafruit_support wrote:What is your external power source? The 9v battery in the photo is not a good power source for motors.

I'm using a 1.5amp regulated DC power supply.

adafruit_support wrote:Also, post photos of the solder-side of the board. From the front view, it looks like some of the solder is balled-up around the pin and has not flowed onto the pad. Check this guide for how to fix common soldering problems: http://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-guid ... n-problems

I didn't actually do the soldering because I'm a little inexperienced with it and need more practice. I do know that the person who was doing it was having some difficulty with the type of solder he was using. It may have been because it was lead free. I also know that one of the pins does occasionally pop out when plugging it into the arduino but surely this doesn't matter as long as the metal connects? Anyway, here's a picture of the underside of the motor board and thanks for all your help adafruit support.
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Re: Having trouble powering motor shield on arduino.

by adafruit_support_bill on Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:07 am

Does it need to be soldered?

All connections should be soldered to work reliably. But I don't think the power jumper is the problem here.

I'm using a 1.5amp regulated DC power supply.

That should be plenty.

Code: Select all | TOGGLE FULL SIZE
having some difficulty with the type of solder he was using. It may have been because it was lead free.

Yes. Lead-free is more difficult to work with.

I also know that one of the pins does occasionally pop out when plugging it into the arduino but surely this doesn't matter as long as the metal connects?

No. Residual flux and oxidation between the surfaces will make the electrical connection unreliable. Looking at the photos, there are several 'cold' joints, and most of the joints show insufficient wetting of the pad. Check this page for some tips on recognizing and fixing these problems. http://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-guid ... n-problems

Lead-free solder works best with a hot iron (400C/750F). Be sure to clean the tip regularly between joints. If it is a low-powered iron (25W or less), it may be necessary to pause a bit between joints to allow the tip to come back up to operating temperature.
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Re: Having trouble powering motor shield on arduino.

by StruanF on Mon Nov 19, 2012 8:15 am

adafruit_support wrote:
Does it need to be soldered?

All connections should be soldered to work reliably. But I don't think the power jumper is the problem here.

I'm using a 1.5amp regulated DC power supply.

That should be plenty.

Code: Select all | TOGGLE FULL SIZE
having some difficulty with the type of solder he was using. It may have been because it was lead free.

Yes. Lead-free is more difficult to work with.

I also know that one of the pins does occasionally pop out when plugging it into the arduino but surely this doesn't matter as long as the metal connects?

No. Residual flux and oxidation between the surfaces will make the electrical connection unreliable. Looking at the photos, there are several 'cold' joints, and most of the joints show insufficient wetting of the pad. Check this page for some tips on recognizing and fixing these problems. http://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-guid ... n-problems

Lead-free solder works best with a hot iron (400C/750F). Be sure to clean the tip regularly between joints. If it is a low-powered iron (25W or less), it may be necessary to pause a bit between joints to allow the tip to come back up to operating temperature.


Hello again, we have significantly improved the quality of the soldering and the LED now lights when we apply the power jumper and plug it into USB. Unfortunately the LED still isn't lighting when we remove the power jumper and apply external power instead. Should we just keep trying to improve the soldering?
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Re: Having trouble powering motor shield on arduino.

by adafruit_support_bill on Mon Nov 19, 2012 8:19 am

It sounds like you are making progress. Re-work any joint that looks suspicious. If you still have problems, post another photo and I'll take a look too.
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