Saturday, July 8, 2017

Damaged board

And now a story from Lamella, the Lame Day of Lameness.

The Sparkfun Fio V3 is an Arduino breakout board that has built-in connections for an XBee wireless module, and can charge a single cell LiPo battery automatically through the USB port. Nifty, eh?

Well so where's to buy a LiPo? It's really expensive to get them shipped, because LiPo, and fire, and stuff like that.

So I went instead to Aero Micro, in Sunnyvale, the well-loved hobby shop. There I had the folks find me a LiPo battery with the correct JST connector on it. They made me buy it before I was allowed to connect it to anything, which turned out to be a wise precaution....

Perry (the well-known proprietor) plugged it into my board, and there was an immediate loud pop. A sliver of something flew off the board and hit Perry in the forehead, alarmingly close to his eye. :( And the magic smoke was released from the board, never to return.

On subsequent investigation, it turns out the JST connector on the battery, while compatible mechanically, was wired with the opposite polarity to what was on the Fio V3 board.

Electronic parts are replaceable, but I'm really scared that Perry could have gotten hurt in this stupid misadventure. I'll have to be careful myself when wiring up new and interesting power electronics together.

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