Bricked laptop while using solenoid.

Hello fellow hobbyists,

I'm pretty new to using the arduino, but I decided to create a watering system for a plant using a moisture sensorand an externally powered solenoid valve.

When I programming it, I (stupidly) had the 12v power supply still plugged in and I figured I accidently shorted 12V to the arduino ground and in the process it went through the USB and bricked my laptop. That's my guess anyways.

Anyone have any tips for a beginner so this doesn't happen again...

Poof there goes $1K.

There are many possible reasons for why the laptop was bricked and from what you posted, one can only guess what went wrong.

For the future, research how to connect motors and solenoids to the Arduino. Key points:

You need an external power supply and a transistor or driver module for the motor or solenoid. The grounds must be connected together.

You need voltage spike protection for the motor or solenoid. Unless the driver provides it, use a flyback diode.

Dude.. that sucks...

Mistakes happen, my heart rate always goes up when I am plugging in power lines.. Had many disasters myself but normally it involved some beverage and clumsy hands.

I'll make sure to do some more research next time I hook components up, that was a hard way to learn a lesson. Thought there would be built in protection for this somewhere.

Thanks for the replies.

USB is designed for 5V, why would anyone add protection from 12v if all USB devices use 5V only? (In fact there is anti-static protection, over current (short-circuit) protection).