Arduino Troubleshooting

Another item I found frustrating was installing the unsigned USB driver. Although some Windows setups will allow you to install it, others will may just block the action with no other options. There is not much info
how to resolve this problem. Checking if the driver is signed or not is a changeable option. Press Start—>MyComputer—>Properties—>Hardware—>DriverSigning set to ‘Warn’ not ‘block’. Then reinstalled the Driver again.

the USB cable to the LB arduino does NOT provide power (go figure). You need to provide power to the arduino via a power bit module

Here is a little unofficial tip. The current Arduino modules have a solder jumper on them that allow you to connect the USB power to the littleBits power line. All it requires is for you to bridge this jumper with some solder. This would allow you to power your Arduino module and a small circuit using the USB port’s power. Not having the Arduino module run off USB power was a conscious choice as it breaks our littleBits pedagogy which says that all circuits need to begin with a blue power module.

If you head to the Arduino modules page:

And, in the image of the module directly above the “d0/rx” is a small pair of unmarked solder pads. Bridge this jumper with solder and you’ll have the USB port power your circuits. Word of warning, you should do this with CAUTION as it may be possible to permanently damage your Arduino module. Your USB port supplies less current than a p1-power module and so you may have trouble using lots of high current modules like the servo, dc motor, cloudbit, etc.

so after soldering the jumper is it “safe” to have both USB power AND a LB power module active at the same time?

Thanks much for the tip. I’m going to wire the pads to a jumper glued to the top of a module. It would provide a quick prototyping with just using led bits, then remove the jumper and add the higher current modules. I would think you still need to power any pink input bits i.e. led bits connected to the arduino module with a blue power bit correct?

Yes it is safe. In fact there is a resettable fuse on the current coming from the USB power so if the draw is too large it’ll temporarily disconnect power, thus protecting your USB port and your circuit.

Yes, you are correct. The bits connected to the inputs of the Arduino will need a power module connected. This helps not with powering the input modules but to provide them with an input signal. In this case, that input signal would be 5V from the power module.

Now you probably see why we didn’t choose to allow power from the USB port to begin with. For beginners, it can get messy explaining why modules with their outputs connects but their inputs disconnected don’t function correctly. However, this is on our radar and we’re hoping to address this in the future.

Thanks a lot, I soldered the jumpers together and it makes prototyping just a bit easier, at least until we need to do something that needs more current. Nice to know the battery can be connected at the same time. Thanks again.

OK, even with the jumpers bridged, you may still need the blue power module – but not because of limited USB current. The ‘push-Button’ module seems to be designed to only work with power flowing through it. Unlike the dimmer it will not take power from the Arduino. This means for projects like , the power module can’t be moved anywhere else or the button can’t be used. As a visual setup, having the power enter the circuit through a switch seems very misleading. It implies you’re cutting power to the Arduino when the button is pressed, however it’s obvious this is not happening.

I honestly think the Button module has a design error, this seems very limiting, or I might be doing something wrong. Regardless the justification above that every circuit needs the blue power module seems to fall flat when we have it entering this circuit using a switch.

So, although the USB jumpers work great for keeping the Arduino board powered and connected to the computer, you may still need both solutions. Without using the jumpers the board turns on/off more frequently messing up the port connection.

I have the Arduino module and I have coded a Sketch that is supposed to flash both LED lights. It does do that but my Windows 8.1 computer will disconnect the module after about 4 seconds then reconnects it. The sketch then never stays on. The Arduino module also only powers up when plugged into a computer. Are these normal? Here’s my Sketch’s code.

// First Arduino Sketch!!!
int ledPin = 1;

void setup()
//initialize pins as outputs
pinMode(ledPin, OUTPUT) ;

void loop()
digitalWrite(ledPin, HIGH) ;
delay(1000) ;
digitalWrite(ledPin, LOW) ;
delay(1000) ;

Hey @ClanScorpia,

Does the computer “disconnect” during the uploading process or does it disconnect after the sketch is uploaded?
Also, the two small LEDs d0/rx & d1/tx illuminates once the power is applied and it is connected to a computer, which doesn’t mean that it isn’t powered on.

After a sketch is uploaded to the Arduino, remove the Micro USB cable first, and then remove the power supply. Test it to see if this holds the program. If not, replace the battery to the power module. Let us know if this helps!

Thanks MR_STEAM,
I did the BLINK Sketch and the Arduino works fine. I think I was just having a newbie moment. Get the littleBits for Christmas. Thanks for the quick reply!

I’ve been playing around with my Arduino and I keep getting the error avrdude: ser_open(): can’t open device “\.\COM5”: The system cannot find the file specified.

avrdude: ser_send(): write error: sorry no info avail

Any specific reason for this? The code I used is down here.

void setup(){
pinMode(5, OUTPUT ) ;
pinMode(A1, INPUT ) ;

void loop(){
digitalWrite(5, HIGH);
delay( (1024 - analogRead(A1)) );
digitalWrite(5, LOW);

Hey @ClanScorpia,

Try deleting all COM devices from the device manager. Also, uninstall the Arduino IDE program and reinstall the latest version.

Thanks @MR_STEAM!
Disabled all the COM devices and uploaded the sketch! That was the blink sketch so I’m gunna try the other one :smiley:

so after soldering the jumper is it “safe” to have both USB power AND a LB power module active at the same time?

I wanted to re-visit this one more time because the Arduino UNO and such have additional circuitry to select between alternate external power sources. Also the following teensy info
describes how one must disconnect two solder pads if one wishes to have both USB and external power (the teensy 2 is a leonardo equivalent like the LB arduino module).

And finally, the LB engineers chose by default to NOT use the USB power.

I don’t have the electrical smarts to know the risks of having two independent 5v sources, so I am seeking further words of comfort.

I have the same problem. I am following the instructions, but still get the "couldn’t find a Leonardo on the selected port. IDE does not allow me to see any available ports… :frowning:

The Arduino BIt is sensitive to the voltage from the power bit. When I use a battery to power the Arduino, the Arduino stops works well before other bits that are connected to it. If possible use a 9v power brick. Try a fresh 9v battery and mark the old one. If you have the USB power bit (one is supplied with the cloud bit) that should work fine.

I find that when the USB cable is removed or there is a power glitch, the COM port seems to cycle through 3 values. The correct one, none, another one that fails the upload. On the Windows IDE, Tools/Port is where I look for the value.

If you have while(! Serial); as part of your setup, the Arduino has to wait till the USB serial port is established. If you are not going to use the Serial port, then you do not need the while(!Serial); code.

I Tried Everything, But My Arduino Is Still Not Working And I Can not Find The Port Because It Does Not Show Up. Help!!! Here Is The Error Message:

Arduino: 1.6.5 (Mac OS X), Board: “Arduino Leonardo”

Sketch uses 4,252 bytes (14%) of program storage space. Maximum is 28,672 bytes.
Global variables use 151 bytes (5%) of dynamic memory, leaving 2,409 bytes for local variables. Maximum is 2,560 bytes. Couldn’t find a Board on the selected port. Check that you have the correct port selected. If it is correct, try pressing the board’s reset button after initiating the upload.
at cc.arduino.packages.uploaders.SerialUploader.waitForUploadPort(
at cc.arduino.packages.uploaders.SerialUploader.uploadUsingPreferences(
Couldn’t find a Board on the selected port. Check that you have the correct port selected. If it is correct, try pressing the board’s reset button after initiating the upload.

This report would have more information with
“Show verbose output during compilation”
enabled in File > Preferences.

I wrote an instructional post on how to reset your Arduino Bit. This applies to any sort of case, even the one where the bit doesen’t show on the IDE as a port.

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Hi!. I was experiencing the same problem a lot of times. I think there are something wrong with the port usage, I don’t know if it is realted with the SO or the IDE. I think this issue must be discussed in a separated topic (the reason why).

I tryed the instructions step by step but some times they don´t fix the problem. I resolve the problem by selecting another free USB port in the computer (if you have one). This operation pushes the SO to assign another COM, so the IDE inmediately recognize it…