Saturday, October 9, 2010

It has been a little while, but I am still doing my nerd thing

It has been a bit since my last post, but since the school year has begun and a new season of ANTM has begun, I found myself with some time on my hands.

First off, scavenging around my garage I found a little wooden box that is the perfect size for my power window motors, a scooter battery, and my electronics.  With a little help from a dremel and a coping saw, Boom! One robot chasis.

Things were looking great, until I decided to play with the motors and hooking them straight to the battery to see how fast this thing would move.  Once I had my fun, I plugged it into the high current motor controller and Poof! Instantly I recognized the smell.  Although, it lasted for less than a second, and despite the polarized connector on the board, the battery had been connected with reverse polarity.

Here you can see the damage

Several traces got toasted.  I think the rest of the board may be okay, so perhaps with a little luck and some large globs of solder, my prototype will still work.  Unfortunately, the Xbee I had plugged in at the time seems quite dead.  Amazingly, the Arduino and Xbee shield surviving the incident.

Version 1.1 will include an N-Channel FET for reverse polarity protection, as well as some other minor changes.

I am also working on version 2.0, which will improve on both load capacities and in allowable voltages, as well as add some desired functionality.


  1. Hi. I have some questions about your shield but dont know how to contact you. If you have a moment for a short discussion could you send me an email ( with your return email address? I have been trying to contact you through Blogger but am not sure if that is working. Thanks in advance - Steve.

  2. Looking forward to it.

    * a way to reverse the motor direction.

    * use 24vdc motors

  3. Currently it can reverse motor direction. The sketch is just pretty simple...

    My goal is to get it working up to 50V for v2.0 and be able to work with two brushed or one brushless. We will see...

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.