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Author Topic: Attention! Need help tracking down a low power issue.  (Read 9101 times)
nonentity
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« on: August 18, 2009, 09:40:43 am »

Howdy, folks...

We have a few customers reporting a lower than expected voltage range on the ArduiNIX, between 130 and 170. 

What I'd like to ask, is that you report here on the thread what your voltage ranges are, and the power supply you're using.  We've had plenty of reports of it working fine, but I want to track down any kits that aren't working as expected.

Also, if you have an idea what could be causing these results, post it.   This being a relatively new kit, and you folks essentially being our beta testers, the info you give us is invaluable to improving the ArduiNIX.

Thanks much for your time.
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nonentity
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miu
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« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2009, 12:54:40 pm »

Does it matter if I am using the new Duemilanove instead of Diecimila? Anyways, I will test the ArduiNix on Diecimila tonight.

I am using this Wall Adapter Power Supply - 9VDC 650mA from SparkFun.com

http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=298

Many thanks!

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mloebl
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« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2009, 06:26:26 pm »

Wall Wart, 12v 1amp...

Arduinix kit on a Arduino Diecmila

114v - 264v.

-Mike
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nonentity
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« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2009, 07:27:52 pm »

Wall Wart, 12v 1amp...

Arduinix kit on a Arduino Diecmila

114v - 264v.

-Mike

Thanks Mike!  The quick fix might just be to try a beefier wallwart, for those of you who are getting lower power than usual.
Here's the cause of the low power that we can guess...

The parts we order to fill out the arduinix kit all have plus or minus a certain percentage tolerance, therefore, if one kit has a batch of minus percentage parts, say, 5 to 10 percent,  that adds up to 10 to 20 volts drop across 200 volts.

Since our kits we have tested here top out at between 185 to 190, that puts the final output voltage dangerously close to being dropped under the target of 180 volts by the natural plus or minus variance in the components.  C3 and C4 are being tested right now with smaller 22PF caps, to see if we can get 180 volts more or less in the middle of the range adjustible by the trim pot on the unit.

Once we confirm that is the case, anyone reporting a lower than normal output voltage, we will mail you out a free replacement capacitor that takes care of the range.  Or you can use a 12 volt dc wallwart to power the unit as reported by mloebl.
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nonentity
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miu
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« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2009, 11:17:49 pm »

Thanks Mike and Bradley, I used a 12V 300mA wall adapter today and the Nixie Tube is glowing! But it isn't that bright.

Mike's adapter is 1A, right? Is it save for Arduino and ArduiNIX to use that high current? Is there a suggested highest current for Duemilanove?

miu
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mloebl
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« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2009, 07:23:57 am »

Here is the spec sheet for the regulator used by some of the Diecilima and new Duemilanove -
(my old Diecilima, new Duemilanove and new Mega all have this same regulator, but I did read there could be some variance)
http://www.onsemi.com/pub_link/Collateral/MC33269-D.PDF

If I read this correctly, the max output is 800ma.

I suspect adding a heatsink on the regulator could lower some concerns of it melting Wink  But I'm not an expert.

-Mike
« Last Edit: August 21, 2009, 07:25:36 am by mloebl » Logged

nonentity
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« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2009, 07:58:21 am »

Thanks Mike and Bradley, I used a 12V 300mA wall adapter today and the Nixie Tube is glowing! But it isn't that bright.

Mike's adapter is 1A, right? Is it save for Arduino and ArduiNIX to use that high current? Is there a suggested highest current for Duemilanove?

miu

Hey guys,

The ArduiNIX power systems are isolated completely from the Arduino, so in theory, unless there's a MASSIVE instance of frying out the traces on the board, your Arduino is safe from the high voltage on the board.
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nonentity
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lowgravity
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« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2009, 01:57:40 pm »

I'm confident that the problem is that I'm using a 9v battery as a power supply, but for your records, I'm getting 92-140v from my lovely little Arduinix. I don't actually own a proper power source, so that will be the first thing I need to get. It just barely drives a few digits of a single IN-12.
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lowgravity
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« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2009, 04:20:10 pm »

As expected, a proper power supply did the trick.
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