Testing the ArduBat
Resolving Problems...

Since you are here, it is assumed that you have run into a problem with your ArduBat shield. First, carefully examine the top side of your ArduBat circuit board, and compare it to the one shown below. Has the D2 (3) jumper been installed ? Do all the integrated circuits point the right direction ? Do all the resistor color codes appear to match your board ? ( It's OK if the resistors are turned around, installation direction does not matter, just their position on the board ). Are the electrolytic capacitors properly oriented with respect to polarity ?

Solder connections are the number one problem that can afflict any electronics project. Turn your ArduBat board over and use a magnifying glass to look for:
  • Connections that didn't get soldered
  • Solder bridges between pads that shouldn't be connected
  • Soldered pads with too little or too much solder on them

Turn the board back to the top... do the same soldering checks on the connections you made to the header pins ... be especially aware of any bridged connections between the header pins.

Stack your ArduBat shield with the Arduino UNO board, and supply the Arduino power connector with either a 12 volt battery or wall-wart power adapter. Use a volt meter to see that you have 5 volts and 9 volts at the points indicated in the diagram at the left.

To test further, the following conditions must be met ... the ArduBat board must be stacked on the Arduino UNO board : the Arduino must be connected to a PC running the Arduino software with a USB cable : The Arduino must also be powered with a 12 volt battery or wall-wart power supply at its power input connector. With these conditions met, it is assumed that the 5 volt and 9 volt measurements mentioned before have been correctly measured. Compile and load the ABDemo.ino sketch. Open the Arduino serial monitor window on the computer.

Connect the crystal earphone to the monitor output. If you rub your fingers in front of the transducer, do you hear noise in the earphone ? If you do, then the bat detector circuits are working. If not, then again check for 9 volts at the 9 volt test point. If 9 volts is not there, check the VIN header pin ... you should be able to measure 11+ volts at the VIN header post. If these voltages are not present, then the trouble is probably with the battery or wall-wart and it's connection to the Arduino UNO.

When you rub your fingers in front of the transducer, do you see displays come through on the Arduino serial monitor window showing pulse widths and frequency measurements ? If so, then the full function of the ArduBat bat detector circuit is assured. If not, check that the jumper to the digital input pin 2 pad has been installed. ( If you have connected the jumper to digital input 3, then you must alter the ABDemo sketch to reflect that change, and then proceed from there.

When you press and hold the F1 button, does the green LED light ? If not, check that the flat bottom edge of the green LED faces the push button. If it doesn't, it will need to be reinstalled in the correct orientation. The same check goes for the F2 button and the red LED.

If neither button seems to turn on an LED, and the LED's are correctly installed, does the yellow LED flash when you are rubbing your fingers in front of the transducer ? If so, then the problem could be with the push-button circuit. Again, measure that the 5 volts is present at the reference point shown above.

If none of the above has helped you resolve your problem then there may be an actual component failure. Don't hesitate to email me if these troubleshooting routines haven't addressed your particular situation. I will be happy to see if I can help you out. My email address is at the bottom of the page. If you do contact me, I usually ask that you have relatively sharp, close-up, digital pictures of the top and bottom of your ArduBat board that you can email to me.

Tony Messina - Las Vegas, Nevada - email: T-Rex@ix.netcom.com