All-In-One Clock - WiFi kit, No HV or RGB LED's

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1 year 5 months ago #9390 by oaksh
Ok I know I have bitten off more than I can chew. I have never built a nixie tube clock before and I'm having problems with HV and no RGB LED's lighting up. I also do not have any lights on the Arduino when I put power into the clock PCB with the arduino mounted to it. I have tried 5v adapter and a 9v adapter and USB to the Arduino on its own and it powers up with all of them ok. When I put 9v power through the clock PCB, the mosfet thing on the Arduino gets hot?

When I started the build following the youtube vids, I tested after completing the HV but I only got 9v from the 170v test point and 9v from the vin pin on the Arduino.
I did have the Arduino connected to the clock PCB but no software loaded on it. This made me think I needed the code on the Arduino first, Foolishly I continued to build the clock in hope all would be ok when the code was loaded.

I have only just figured out how to load the code and libraries on the Arduino as I've never used one before. I have tested again with the code loaded but I still the same problem.

I'm using a genuine Arduino and have checked all the components are in the right place 5 or 6 times and inspected all my soldering with a video magnifier, and all looks ok.

I have not fitted the tubes yet as I have given myself enough problems. If anyone has any ideas I would be very great-full for your help. Thanks Tony.

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1 year 5 months ago #9393 by Ty_Eeberfest
Are you absolutely sure that the power supply that you are plugging into the clock board is supplying DC (not AC) and the polarity is correct (center of connector positive, shank negative)?? If it weren't for you saying the "mosfet thing" (actually a voltage regulator) on the Uno is getting hot I'd think you weren't getting any power in at all. But the regulator getting hot means you are getting some sort of power in so it becomes a question of whether it is the right sort of power...

Look into it later when the dust is clearing off the crater.
The following user(s) said Thank You: oaksh

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1 year 5 months ago #9394 by oaksh
Thank you Ty_Eeberfest for your prompt reply.

I have checked the power adaptor I used and it was definitely supplying DC to the clock and polarity was correct.
it only had 9vDC 500mA's So I tried a 12v DC 1000mA adaptor, model number AD-1201000DK.

I plugged the 12v adaptor into the clock PCB and all the LEDS instantly illuminated really REALLY BRIGHT!!! unfortunately the little voltage regulator on the Arduino produced a plume of magic smoke at the same time.

So I think my next move is to get another Arduino and also keep looking on here and try to learn what I had done wrong. I also have option 2 just start again from scratch, but I wouldn't learn anything doing that as I cant see anything that I had done wrong with the parts or soldering on this one.
Many thanks again for your help

Tony

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1 year 5 months ago #9405 by Ty_Eeberfest
Hmmm... 12V should have been fine, no release of magic smoke. I've powered these clocks off 12V with no problems at all. Your Uno is probably repairable just by replacing the regulator if you feel like messing with it. I think it's just an OnSemi NCP117 5 volt regulator in a SOT-223 package.

Given that your power supplies checked out okay, all I can really think of is to check for a short on the clock board between VIn and Vcc. I suppose the most likely place for that to happen would be around the header that handles power to & from the Arduino. I'd try these tests with your meter:

With Arduino disconnected(!)...

1) With power OFF, check for continuity between the VIn and Vcc (+5) pins on the power header. Should be no continuity.

2) With power to clock board ON, read voltage between VIn and ground pins on the power header. Should be 9 volts or whatever your power supply actually puts out. This is just to confirm you are getting power at all. Then check voltage between Vcc and ground pins. Should be 0 volts. If you instead read 9 volts it proves there is a short somewhere.

Look into it later when the dust is clearing off the crater.

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1 year 5 months ago #9415 by oaksh
Ok I have disconnected the Arduino for all tests below.

1) With power OFF, there is no continuity between the VIn and (+5) pin on the power header of the clock PCB.
2) With power to clock board ON, the voltage between VIn and ground pins on the power header of the clock is 9v.
3) With power to clock board ON, the voltage between 5v and ground pins. is 0 volts.

Sorry I can't find a Vcc pin could you please give me a clue where it is.

Many thanks
Tony

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1 year 5 months ago #9417 by Ty_Eeberfest
I think you did your tests correctly and we're just having terminology confusion. "Vcc" is the 5 volt circuit, it is certainly possible that the actual pin is marked "+5v" or "5v" or "+5" or even "5v1". I don't have an actual board here to look at and am just going from a schematic.

What I'm calling "Vcc" is on Pin 3 of the 6-pin Power (to Arduino) header - it corresponds to the +5V pin of the Arduino.

What I'm calling "VIn" is on Pin 6 of the 6-pin Power (to Arduino) header - it corresponds to the VIN pin of the Arduino.

When you put power to the clock board, it goes to the Arduino via the Vin pin. A regulator on the Arduino (presumably the one that smoked) reduces Vin (which can be anything from 7.5V to 12V) to regulated 5V. That 5V is returned to the clock board via the Vcc (+5) pin to power various clock board stuff. If VIn and Vcc were shorted it would effectively be stuffing VIn up the output end of the regulator (among other bad things) which would tend to explain the smoke and other issues.

However, your test results seem to shoot down my VIn Vcc short theory. For the moment I am stuck but I intend to give this another look today and see if I can come up with any new ideas.

Look into it later when the dust is clearing off the crater.

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