Fried Green Arduinos

It was only a matter of time until something blew up. And last night, it was TWO things.

The first one was my own darn fault  – I’ve been playing around with some simple transistor amplifier circuits, and mis-read one of the transistor data sheets. When I hooked it up a 12V power source… BANG!

IMG_0064You can see the TO-220 package there, literally split in half by the power of electricity. Zam zam! Turned out I had grounded the emiter and applied 12V to the base of the transistor. It blew apart in my face in a shower of sparks.

So, I desoldered that transistor and replaced it with a little J110 FET I had a pile of from my last trip to California. While messing around with the supply voltage, I kept switching a clip lead back and forth between 5V coming out of the 5V rail on an arduino an 12V directly from and SLA battery. Unfortunately, at one point, I disconnected the clip from the circuit and ended up connecting the Arduino directly to 12V…


You can’t make radios without breaking a few toys. Thankfully, the Si5351 breakout and the nice LCD screen I had hooked up were unscathed. Another sacrifice to the radio gods.


Update 2/29: I’ve toasted another one! I’ve been using my old Duemilanove to work on a transmitter project, and apparently relying on its little 5V regulator to power an LCD screen, an Si5351 breakout, and provide bias current to the finals was just too much for the little thing….

Santa in September

Santa (UPS) delivered some goodies today! Here’s what was in the mail sack:

Goodies from Ebay & Adafruit
Lots of toys on the desk! All nicely package and bubble wrapped.
  • From Adafruit
  • From KC9ON (3rd Planet Solar)
    • A six-pack of useful 40m Crystals – 7.030, 7.050, 7.055, 7.110, 7.114, and 7.122. A piece of cake to order through ebay, and John shipped them out in no time. Came packaged in a nice mailing envelop with invoice – would gladly order from this source again.