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Topic: About the article "10 Ways to Destroy an Arduino" (Read 18482 times) previous topic - next topic


The old HCF (halt and catch fire) instruction?
[ I will NOT respond to personal messages, I WILL delete them, use the forum please ]


I think "provide 5V on +5V and ground out Vin" is another way to blow it.


omg, if only every CPU made a special CPU instruction to do what that chip in the video did :O

Mission impossible, this digital recording will self destruct in 5 seconds...

Code: [Select]


How many people would try it and then get help to try and fix it ?


Nov 08, 2012, 01:52 pm Last Edit: Nov 08, 2012, 01:54 pm by MichaelMeissner Reason: 1
The HCF (halt and catch fire) postings reminds me of an incident at my first employer Data General (DG).  About a year or two after I joined DG, the new generation of machines known as the MV/Eclipse were being designed.  Tracy Kidder wrote Soul of a New Machine about the hardware and firmware design teams of the first of these machines (code named Eagle, officially known as MV/8000).

When we started populating the labs with machines for the software groups to port their software to, the lab manager noticed that Field Service (otherwise known as Field Circus) would take out old revision boards when updating the machines, and rather than destroying them, would eventually install them in some other machine.  Evidently these boards would pass the simple minded tests Field Circus used, even if they weren't up to the current revision level.

So the lab manager created what he called a circuit tester.  It had an AC plug on one side, and two wires on the other side.  After using his circuit tester on the old board, it would fail whatever test Field Circus used, and they wouldn't recycle these boards.


Well I tried method 4 on my arduino mega.
It works (the method, not te board)

Coding Badly

Tracy Kidder wrote Soul of a New Machine

That is a very good book.  Highly recommended.

So the lab manager created what he called a circuit tester.

When faced with similar situations, I broke the PCBs in half and claimed they fell on the floor.  ]:)


I realize this is an old thread, but for they guy running a bunch of LEDs... at what current? You can run 100 LEDs off one AVR pin... if the the total current is less than 40mA. Though most 5mm LEDs can be driven to 20-25mA, you can also drive them to 1mA and they'll still be quite visible.


I think maybe my definition of destroy and his definition of destroy are two different things.  I have done several of these things to my Arduino and to my barebones AVR microcontroller circuits, and none of my microcontrollers has been destroyed.  In two of my circuits, I exceed the specs a little bit on purpose, because it was easier for me to build it that way.  My circuits are running happily along, doing their job and being useful.

Grumpy Mike would argue that they have been damaged, but the damage is imperceptible.  He says the only way to detect that it has been damaged is to dismantle the chip and examine it with an electron microscope.  I believe him, even though I have no way to test that assertion.  But if I can't even tell if it is even damaged, I would argue that "destroy" is a rather strong action word.

Maybe it should be "5 ways to destroy and 5 ways to imperceptibly damage an Arduino."


I agree that there's a spectrum between 'stressed', 'damaged', and 'destroyed'. Furthermore, for hobbyists, a certain degree of stress can be tolerated in some situations (i.e., if you're prepared to purchase a replacement microcontroller without complaining to the forum about it).

For commercial products, it's a whole different ballgame. I sure hope that anything *I* pay good money for is well within all specified limits.

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