Oops, what did I do?

Hi guys, I'm a total newbie to electronics and microcontrollers but I do have a programming/computer background. I recently decided to pick up electronics as a hobby, so I picked up an arduino and a bunch of components . So far, I'm having a great time fiddling with this stuff.

Anyways, today I ran into a little issue. I set up a circuit that was using a IR remote to trigger a simple transistor switch and drive a dc motor in a remote control car chassis. Anyways, it worked a few times, but then, whenever the transistor triggered the DC motor, the program stopped running and the USB disconnected sound would play, and the power light on arduino would dim. So, I was powering the motor with the 5v on the arduino through USB. Did I simply draw too much current for the arduino to handle? Is the board broken now? All the logic stuff still works, I just can't seem to power anything more than an LED off the arduino's internal power now. Anyways I appreciate any help or feedback I can get, like I said I'm a total noob trying to learn this stuff on my own.


The Arduino can deliver not so much current. Motors etc need separate power supply

YOu can test the Arduino board with a simple blink sketch (on every pin) and a digitalReadWrite test + a serial echo .

Give it a try

The board is fine for logic, I can still run programs and power lower current loads like led's. I was just concerned that I might have damaged something because it was working, and then it wasn't. I'm not sure what changed.

I guess I will just start using a separate power source for the higher current stuff.


Did you a have a diode hooked across the motor, with cathode to +5V source and anode to ground? If not, you may have damaged the transistor, and that is the cause of what sounds like excess current draw.