Das BlinkenBoard Troubleshooting Guide

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VernGraner
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Das BlinkenBoard Troubleshooting Guide

Post by VernGraner » Wed Oct 21, 2009 10:31 am

I've had a few questions from folks that bought the Das Blinkenboard kit and decided to put together this basic troubleshooting guide to help others that might have run into trouble getting it up and running. If the steps outlined below don't lead to a working Das BlinkenBoard for you, please contact me directly via email at [email protected] :smile:

Lets start with some very basic steps to diagnose the board. Please refer to the assembled board photo and schematic to perform the following steps:
  1. Put a jumper on J6 between pins 2 and 3 i.e. "Load" and "+5" (refer to "Board-Reference.jpg", Reference 1)
  2. Check the orientation of all three chips in their sockets. Make sure the "notch" is toward the top on all chips (refer to "Board-Reference.jpg", Reference 2)
  3. Apply power from a known good source (fresh batteries or a power supply)
  4. Measure the voltage from GND to V+ of the power source. Make sure it is within operating parameters (i.e. no less than 7.5v and no more than about 30v)
  5. Measure the output of the 7805 regulator U3 between GND pin 2, and output pin 3 (refer to Board-Reference.jpg, Reference 3). It should be a steady 5v and the regulator should stay relatively cool i.e. not get "piping hot".
  6. Remove the jumpers from J1, J2, J3 and (if present) J7 (labeled "+5" and "RST").
  7. Using a VOM (or preferably an oscilloscope) to measure the voltage from Pin 13 (PA0) on U1 (the ATTiny microprocessor) and GND. The voltage on this pin should move between 0v and 5v as the chip cycles through its patterns. On an oscilloscope you should see PWM patterns on occasion as some "fade" patterns are run.

    Repeat step 7 for pins 12, 11 & 10. If you DO NOT see changes in voltage levels on these pins, the microcontroller may be damaged. If you DO see changes in signal on these pins, move on to the next step.
  8. Using a VOM (or, again, preferably an oscilloscope) measure the voltage from V+ to pin 18 of U2 (the ULN-2803 Darlington array, refer to the Schematic-8b.jpg). As in step 7, the voltage on this pin should move between 0v and 5v as the chip cycles through its patterns.

    Repeat step 8 above for pins 17 through 10. If you DO NOT see changes in voltage levels on these pins, the ULN-2803a Darlington driver chip may be damaged. If you DO see changes in signal on these pins, move on to step 9.
  9. Check the orientation of the LEDs in J5. Use a VOM to make sure that the LEDs were not inadvertently installed backwards. :shock:
That's about it for basic troubleshooting. Again, please let me know if you're still having trouble with your board as I want to make sure all the kits work! :grin:

Vern
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Vern Graner

soky157
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Re: Das BlinkenBoard Troubleshooting Guide

Post by soky157 » Sun Sep 05, 2010 9:31 pm

Hello Vern,

I just recently purchased and put together my Das Blinkenboard Kit. The red leds are sorta crooked. I would love to know the trick that helps you to solder them straight on the board. The 10 out of alignment holes at the end of the leds are for what for attaching motors etc I assume. But where the wires exactly go? Do you have to remove the leds for this? Lastly, I thought there would be alot more resources on the web for the Blinken but I have only found 4 or 5 of them.

Any help or suggestions to use it correctly and to get the most out this board would be very much appreciated.

Soky157

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