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Topic: 3 things I wish I knew going in to Arduino (Read 2696 times) previous topic - next topic

biocow

Good day all.

So I've been hanging around these parts for a few months now and I thought I'd just share a few thoughts and comments with you.

First I love learning new things, researching and solving problems so this isn't a big deal for me, but it seems that a lot of people come here with the same 3 problems.

1) Not hooking up motors correctly
2) Not realizing certain pins do certain things
3) Not knowing how to recover from the dreaded "Flashing 13"

// ****************** START RAMBLING *****************
// ************* (Feel free to skip down a bit) *************

The first is by far the worst and I can understand why. People get started and they want to see things happen. Once you get over playing with LEDs the next obvious thing to do is grab a motor or servo, jam the leads into your Arduino and try and make it move. I did it. It actually worked fine. (Low powered one.) But I didn't know I was probably damaging my board.

Next one I'm still learning. I haven't played with PWM yet, but I know there are only certain pins that it works on. Same with an interrupt which I just used for the first time this morning. But the biggest shocker was pins 0 and 1. I figured the pins are labeled 0 - 13 so I had 14 pins to work with. Then I discovered the serial monitor. A wonderful tool for debugging and everything was working fine. But as my project progressed and I needed just one more pin I decided to use pin 0 cause it was open and close to where I needed to jump to. Boy did I think I was going crazy. Of course a little searching and reading explained it all.

Last and probably least because it seems to not happen often is locking up your board. I did this and was pissed. I had no idea what was wrong or where to start. And since it is not a common problem it was difficult to find the answer. 4 hours of solid searching and following this thread to that thread to that other one finally lead me to a detailed description of how to hold reset, plug in, upload and time when you release reset. I was so relieved when it sprang to life. I thought I was out $35.

// *************** END RAMBLING *********************

So I guess what I'm trying to say is has anyone noticed some very common problems and thought about making an FAQ with them that stays at the top of the forum?

Thanks for reading unless you TL/DRed it.

retrolefty

#1
Dec 01, 2010, 02:36 am Last Edit: Dec 01, 2010, 02:39 am by retrolefty Reason: 1
Two comments:


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3) Not knowing how to recover from the dreaded "Flashing 13"


I have around 4 or 5 Arduino type boards or standalone processors that I have been using for around two years. I have never seen the "dreaded flashing 13". I don't know if it might be just something seen with the new uno or mega2560 boards that use the newer bootloader program or not?

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But the biggest shocker was pins 0 and 1


As far as pins 0&1, you are free to use them if you are not also wishing to use serial commands. Pin 0 will act like it has a external 1k ohm pullup resistor (coming from the usb converter chip) but other then that they can be used. However to download sketches you may have to disconnect any external circuitry you add to pins 0 & 1 temporarily. Bottom line is if you really need to use all the pins then there is a way to do it.


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I figured the pins are labeled 0 - 13 so I had 14 pins to work with.


By the way you are aware that the six analog input pins can also be used as digital input or output pins?

Lefty

Coding Badly


I've served on several juries.  In all cases, the first person to speak the word "foreman" was chosen to be the foreman.  It goes something like this... Juror #1, "Would anyone like to be the foreman?"  Juror #8, "I think we have a volunteer!"  Juror #3, "Yeah.  You'll make a great foreman."  Juror #11, "So, get us started."  Juror #1, "Ugh."

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So I guess what I'm trying to say is has anyone noticed some very common problems

Yes.  AVRDUDE errors.

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and thought about making an FAQ with them that stays at the top of the forum?

An excellent idea.  I think we have a volunteer!

Do you have an interest in getting us started?  Do you have the time?  (My suspicion is a leader + editor would go a long way)

I believe mowcius started a FAQ.  Do you and he get along?

cmiyc

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An excellent idea.  I think we have a volunteer!

Codibg Badly, I think you'd make a great FAQ!
Capacitor Expert By Day, Enginerd by night.  ||  Personal Blog: www.baldengineer.com  || Electronics Tutorials for Beginners:  www.addohms.com

biocow

#4
Dec 01, 2010, 05:49 am Last Edit: Dec 01, 2010, 05:50 am by biocow Reason: 1
Jus a quick reply from my phone...

Yes know 0 - 1 are only if using serial. But didn't know they conflict until now.

Yes know analog work as digital. That was my workaround.

Yes would like to help out. I think my nobody-ness might actually help.

linelope


Coding Badly

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Codibg Badly, I think you'd make a great FAQ!

:)  Thanks for the encouragement!

I have time to contribute a few items but, unfortunately, anything more will get me in hot water with my employer.   :'(

AlphaBeta

Does this forum even support stickies? I've been wanting a sticky for some time Forum Etiquette.

I'd be glad to help out.

Coding Badly

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Does this forum even support stickies?

No.  But ideally it would be in the Playground.  A thread has a tendency to collect unrelated posts from newbies.

mowcius

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I believe mowcius started a FAQ.  Do you and he get along?

Hmm, well I kinda wrote a few things down.

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No.  But ideally it would be in the Playground.  A thread has a tendency to collect unrelated posts from newbies.

Well yes but it could be a locked sticky  ;)

biocow

#10
Dec 01, 2010, 01:51 pm Last Edit: Dec 01, 2010, 05:04 pm by biocow Reason: 1
Yes, after I posted this I read something from Mellis saying not all upload problems can be lumped together. I'm just working off my experience and I guess those are popping out at me since it happened to me.

I suppose I'd now swap #3 for "When in need of help, ask. But be sure to include:" and provide a template...

A general explanation of your project ant what you plan to accomplish with a fair amount of details.

Bad: I want to build a robot. Help!

Good: I want to build a toy replica (6 - 12 inches) of Marvin the paranoid android that can move around my desk on wheels without falling off the edge and maybe move it's arms and say funny phrases.

A quick summary of your skills.

Bad: (Nothing)

Good: I'm an expert model maker so the body isn't a big deal but I need help with the frame and motors and making it talk. I've never soldered before but I have done a little programing in the past.

Finally, if you've actually started your project include the following info...

Operating system and version
Arduino board model
Copy and paste ALL the code you're using. (Not just where you *think* your problem is)
A schematic (if possible)
Pictures or video (if possible)
A good explanation of your problem

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