Freeduino leds

Hey all,
i recently assembled my freeduino, and i thought i did it wrong because the leds didn’t work at all.

now it seems to be not completely wrong after all:
i can upload programs !! like for example the one where led 13 is blinking.

The program seems to run correctly because when i check it with a multimeter it changes from 0 to 5 v. but the led isn’t blinking at all?!
ok, so you might say: the led is just bad/broken
But it would be strange if 4 out of 4 leds didn’t work right ?

anyone tips,suggestions,ideas of the possible problem. ???

Did you put them all the correct way round?

Mowcius

I'm quite sure of that yes. but let's say i did put them on wrong, would the rest of the freeduino still work ? i thought that suchs things could cause peak voltages to completely ruin the rest ? or am i completely wrong with this ?

I'm quite sure of that yes. but let's say i did put them on wrong, would the rest of the freeduino still work ? i thought that suchs things could cause peak voltages to completely ruin the rest ? or am i completely wrong with this ?

Having not looked at the Freeduino's schematics, I can't say for sure. But I think I can reasonably guess that it would cause no problems.

Most of the time, the LED is attached with a resistor to ground, and power does not run through it to other systems. Reverse current/voltage on an LED at reasonable levels will do nothing, as LEDs are very similar to other types of diodes.

ok, thanks.... but now the leds won't work anymore right ? so i mean desolder and solder them back on the right way is too late already ?

there is no other way to somehow test using a multimeter if the leds are upside down? or is there?

if they were switched around then no current passed in them, they should be like new

If too much current was passed then they would burn out

ok, thanks i'll hope this is the problem because it's only resoldering 4 leds.

it's prob. the leds because the rest seems to function all right (although i really checked the outline of the leds before soldering)

The only really foolproof way to check LEDs is to look inside them. Outlines can be mistaken, and leads can be any length. If you can see inside (sometimes you can't), the smaller part (the post) is connected to positive, and the larger part (anvil) is connected to the negative side.

the smaller part (the post) is connected to positive

Almost always true, but alas, not quite always. There are a couple of odd LEDs where things are the other way around, and LEDs with multiple chips (bi-color or tri-color) and a common anode or cathode will most likely have the "common" signal be the larger "anvil" part.

When in doubt, I use a small coin cell (2016 or 2032) to test the LED.

It sounds like you may have put the LEDs in consistently backward. For freeduino, they should all have the cathode (usually the flat side) toward the top of the board. If they are in backward, it won't affect the rest of the board - they're only indicators and aren't necessary for actual operation (you can leave them out to save money, if you start with a bare board!) Also, since they're nicely current-limited, you PROBABLY haven't damaged the LEDs either. And the risk of damaging the board as a whole by reversing the LEDs is probably minimal too.

You CAN test your board without removing the LEDs first. Assuming that the LEDs have a flat side, and that they're all installed with the flat side pointing the same direction, you can get a good hint by testing only one of the LEDs, and the most easily accessible is the pin13 led. If you remove the Atmega chip (and leave the Freeduino otherwise unpowered), the pin13 LED will have one side connected to pin13, and the other side connected to GND (immediately adjacent to pin13 on the connector!) Use a small 3V battery and a couple wires. If the LED is backwards, it will light when the + side of the battery is connected to GND and the - side is connected to pin 13. Like in the picture here:

Thanks for the help (especially the picture) !

i've tried the battery'trick' right away, and all leds work when i connect + to the "smaller part" and - to the "bigger part"

however when i connect the battery to the GND and pin13 it doesn't work at all ?! (i've tried several times alternating + / - to GND/pin13 but it won't work)

There are a couple of odd LEDs where things are the other way around

Hmmm never knew that :O!

LEDs with multiple chips (bi-color or tri-color) and a common anode or cathode will most likely have the "common" signal be the larger "anvil" part

Good point. I guess I was mostly referring to one-color LEDs.