Smoking Arduino Board.

Hey everyone,

I’ve been forced to seek help as I am continually destroying every arduino board I attempt this on. I can’t for the life of me figure out what I am doing wrong. I’m hoping I can find a solution here.

I am trying to get the “Audectra” LED system working. Here is a link to the program and I have followed the guide exactly: http://www.audectra.com/

I will attach the illustration provided by Audectra, which is very simple to follow, and I have done it exact. However, when I wired everything up, then plugged in the USB, the Ardunio Board ( 2560 to be precise) started to go up in smoke.

The image I have provided is an Arduino board off ebay, as I started to buy cheaper versions to trial and error, as these were starting to become very expensive mistakes. Here is the board that I’ve been disposing of regularly:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/SainSmart-Mega2560-R3-Board-ATmega2560-16AU-ATMEGA16U2-USB-Cable-for-Arduino-/271187169712?hash=item3f2403d1b0:g:hLYAAOSwD0lUfDev

I think the issue may be the RGB LED Amplifier, as this is the only thing different I have used other than what was suggested on Audectra. Here is the amplifier I purchased:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/DC12V-RGB-Signal-Amplifier-Repeater-Controller-For-LED-Strip-Lights-3528-5050-F5-/301905384371?hash=item464af693b3:g:k-8AAOSwHxVW8Lnx

I will attach the wiring diagram for this RGB LED Amplifier also. You will note that I have circled an LED strip, this is because I did not include this particular LED Strip in the electrical arrangement. Do you think this was my mistake?

I would appreciate any advice you can give me. I’m afraid I am at a wits end with this.

Thank you all for taking the time to read.

How many LEDs on your strip? if there's more than say 15, then you're probably pulling more current through the Arduino than its meant to supply. That's why the Audectra module provides separate supply input connections.

keep the green 0V lines tied together, but add a new, separate +V supply to the LED controller - which can handle the current needed for x number of LEDs.

Keep in mind the Audectra module has a limit as well - so don't exceed that- whatever it is.

Your RGB LED Amplifier Repeater is not the same as there using and will not work as you have it wired The Amplifer is made to hook the chains of led strips. you hook it's input off the led strip not a arduino. You need one like they used. That thing is drawing more power then the arduino can source. These show what it was made for |500x286 |500x330

You should attach pictures of your actual wiring scheme. Show as much detail as you can. It's possible you made a mistake we can spot.

He made a mistake all right he's sinking 12 volts on the pins he is using to drive his amp. He needs something like this. |500x194

I can see that the OP uses a repeater / amp it takes 12v or 24v and repeats it to power additional lights. these repeaters are used to add more lights to an existing run where the power supply cannot power all the lights desired.

the site linked uses an amp that takes in pwm/ttl signals and then controls the lights from that point. the e-bay device does not say it can take in 5v TTL or PWM, and it may only be able to work the output voltage to be equal to the input voltage.

the so-called data sheet is of little help on this one.

it looks like you need an LED controller, not a repeater/amp, or as others posted, a way to change the Arduino signal into a 12V signal.

thanks for posting the pics of the MEGA with the side blown out. usually epic fails are not so dramatic.
and welcome to the club. we are always taking new members to those who know first hand what ‘magic smoke’ is and why electronical things work on magic smoke as long as you don’t let it out.

rgb repeater.pdf (616 KB)

be80be has the right idea... or in fact, as soon as you add the FETs, you can toss out the 'repeater'! :) You may need to drive the FETs inverted to get the correct on/off relationship, but that's one line of code.

jame_wards: Hey everyone,

I've been forced to seek help as I am continually destroying every arduino board I attempt this on. I can't for the life of me figure out what I am doing wrong. I'm hoping I can find a solution here.

Start by not doing what didn't work.

I am trying to get the "Audectra" LED system working. Here is a link to the program and I have followed the guide exactly: http://www.audectra.com/

Is this how you wired it up? |500x211

There is nada there to limit current drawn from the 2560.

I looked at the AudectraSetupwithRGBAmplifier.png you posted and then went to the Audectra site and looked at the DIY guide page where I found the Real Schematic.

The DIY support page.

|457x500

Notice the resistors and transistors?

3 Resistors (in my case 10 kΩ) 3 NPN Transistors (BC547B for my setup)

|500x355

I looked at the AudectraSetupwithRGBAmplifier.png you posted and then went to the Audectra site and looked at the DIY guide page where I found the Real Schematic.

In fact, both diagrams are on that site.

lastchancename: be80be has the right idea... or in fact, as soon as you add the FETs, you can toss out the 'repeater'! :) You may need to drive the FETs inverted to get the correct on/off relationship, but that's one line of code.

not entirely correct. The amp / repeater is a constant current source.

aarg: In fact, both diagrams are on that site.

It may be that the DIY is for driving the led strip directly?

I just don't trust the direct no resistors connect to the device after reading the original post. It's current than burns things up.

The problem here is the op got the wrong thing and to make this work with what he has he needs to do as I showed if he wants to keep his uno or buy the right one.

There are one’s that you just pwm from your uno. But he so picked a repeater that his problem it is trying to sink 12 volts on the uno pins And that poped his uno.

Now he could drive his led’s of 3 transistors but for led strips it’s better to use a led driver because it drives the current needed for the leds up to it’s rated output.

Yes current is what got the uno and 12 volts made it pop a nice hole in it lol.

be80be: The problem here is the op got the wrong thing and to make this work with what he has he needs to do as I showed if he wants to keep his uno or buy the right one.

There are one's that you just pwm from your uno. But he so picked a repeater that his problem it is trying to sink 12 volts on the uno pins And that poped his uno.

Now he could drive his led's of 3 transistors but for led strips it's better to use a led driver because it drives the current needed for the leds up to it's rated output.

Yes current is what got the uno and 12 volts made it pop a nice hole in it lol.

He hasn't popped an Uno. He's popped Mega's.

You can't get 12V out of an Arduino pin. You sink current not voltage. It would take negative voltage relative to Arduino ground to get any 12V potential between a pin and external whatever. I could only guess about that being what happened and have no real reason to suspect it.... yet. If you do then why besides "it could be"?

You can supply 12V current through transistors though for > 1 Amp (or .5A IMO), FETs should be used. My 5 meter led strip needs 12V 3A total to power the built-in circuitry and leds according to the documentation, I don't guess about that.

If you try to draw more than 40mA from an Arduino pin or much over 25mA for long it will smoke the AVR. If you try to draw more than 200mA (depending on the board) or 200mA for long through an Arduino it will smoke the board. Run at 3.3V or 5V, it's the current that matters.

It don't matter if it's UNO or Mega on it they both don't have any 12 volt tolerant pins . Next the repeater amp has 4 input pins R,B,G and positive that mean's that it's at 12 volts Now the fact that it sinking power that's at 12 volts is important because the UNO or a Mega can only sink 40 mA a pin for a max of something like 200 mA But 40 mA at 12 needs bigger resistor then at 5 volts. If the op had used 300 ohm resistors on his pwm pins not hooked the positive to his board and supplied it from the amps power supply and tied the grounds He still have working boards be they UNO or Mega.

Hey everyone, Sorry of the delayed reply!

I am amazed by all the replies, I’ll do my best to answer accordingly. Here is a diagram I made in photoshop of the exact way I wired everything up.

What do you guys think?

Thanks.

be80be: Your RGB LED Amplifier Repeater is not the same as there using and will not work as you have it wired The Amplifer is made to hook the chains of led strips. you hook it's input off the led strip not a arduino. You need one like they used. That thing is drawing more power then the arduino can source. These show what it was made for |500x286 |500x330

Be80Be,

These are my thoughts exactly, I knew this would have been the issue, so the main issue would have been not putting an LED strip between the Arduino 2560 and the PWM Input on the RGB Amplifier? Is there another way to solve this problem without putting an LED strip in that specific location, as this is for a commercial product prototype, and an LED Strip situated there would not be a very efficient design choice given the circumstances of it's location.

All of your thoughts are much appreciated, friend.

be80be: The problem here is the op got the wrong thing and to make this work with what he has he needs to do as I showed if he wants to keep his uno or buy the right one.

There are one's that you just pwm from your uno. But he so picked a repeater that his problem it is trying to sink 12 volts on the uno pins And that poped his uno.

Now he could drive his led's of 3 transistors but for led strips it's better to use a led driver because it drives the current needed for the leds up to it's rated output.

Yes current is what got the uno and 12 volts made it pop a nice hole in it lol.

Right again, be80be. I chose that one originally as it seemed to be the most user-friendly option for clients to plug in themselves with the speaker terminal inputs and a more visually appealing design, some of those amplifiers are quite ugly. Of course, I was under the impression it claimed to do the same thing as what I wanted it to do, I read somewhere it "Accepted PWM modulation or input signals", so that was good enough for me I thought.

I have since bought a couple of more options and they are on the way, here they are:

Option 1: http://www.ebay.com/itm/321498008885?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

Option 2: http://www.ebay.com/itm/380584749556?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

Option 3: http://www.ebay.com/itm/301069713294?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

Are any of these any different to what I originally purchased? Wired up in the same manor will it just burn out my next 2560 again? Will any of these accept a direct feed from the Arduino 2560 MEGA and straight into the RGB Amplifier Inputs? If not, what should I actually be searching for on Ebay? (Ebay is the best option, China ALWAYS has free international shipping to New Zealand. I didn't get the Audectra recommended amplifier because the shipping cost was my right kidney). What should I be searching for instead if my current terminology and key words are yielding the wrong products for my intended application?

jame_wards: Be80Be,

These are my thoughts exactly, I knew this would have been the issue, so the main issue would have been not putting an LED strip between the Arduino 2560 and the PWM Input on the RGB Amplifier? Is there another way to solve this problem without putting an LED strip in that specific location, as this is for a commercial product prototype, and an LED Strip situated there would not be a very efficient design choice given the circumstances of it's location.

All of your thoughts are much appreciated, friend.

you are missing the fundamental data. the first strip has a CONTROLLER that feeds it 12 to 24 volts. all you have is a REPEATER. what comes in is what goes out. your Arduino can only source 5 volts. what you have to do is find or make a 5 to to 12 volt amp.

if you buy a dozen pro-min's it will not hurt so much when you burn them out. please post photos of them after they pop. I have not seen a mini that popped like that mega did.

then buy that driver that is on the site you linked. like it or not, he found a driver that can accept TTL signals. the ONLY possible way to have a direct connection.

you could make up an interface board with some transistors or FET's, but that eliminates your desire for a direct connection.

dave-in-nj:
you are missing the fundamental data.
the first strip has a CONTROLLER that feeds it 12 to 24 volts.
all you have is a REPEATER. what comes in is what goes out.
your Arduino can only source 5 volts.
what you have to do is find or make a 5 to to 12 volt amp.

So the LED strip would serve this purpose? It has a CONTROLLER within it? Then how does the original audectra wiring diagram I originally posted work without said LED Strip in that particular location? What makes that RGB Amplifier they used different to the one I’m using? What should I be searching for instead on ebay?

Thanks!