Two of every kind

Tonight I learned the significance behind having two of every kind of animal in the Noah’s Ark story, but in a different light…

I finally made some time to get back to the Arduino Door unlocker project. Yay! I thought I would start things off by testing out the Servo library and trying to get my servo to turn. Should be pretty simple, I thought.

Earlier this afternoon, I ran by RadioShack to pick up a battery holder and some batteries to power the servo and Arduino, since I was concerned my 5V USB output wouldn’t be enough for the servo. Armed with all the parts I needed, it was time to get down to work!

First I wired everything up to the breadboard, including the 6V battery supply. With everything wired up, I began to write a simple script. The coding part was very straight forward, since all I wanted to do was calibrate my particular servo. But while I was coding, I saw some smoke out of the corner of my eye. Hmm, that’s concerning. The smoke was coming from one of the battery nodes, and it was burning through the plastic holder. I quickly removed one of the batteries. Turns out, the power supply accidentally ungrounded itself when I was coding.

Crisis averted. But the battery holder was no longer functional since the springy part of the battery holder was pretty burnt into the plastic portion. Frown. And that’s when I lamented over the fact that I didn’t buy a spare battery holder…in case something like this happened. It’s nice in life when you have two of every kind of [insert whatever kind of object here], so if something happens, the spare part is available to use.

I thought I would try powering the system from my computer, and thankfully 5V was enough. Yay! So I got back to work, and was able to calibrate the degree to which the servo arm turns. Side Note: Sorry for the poor picture/video quality. I had to use my phone to document everything since my camera memory card is currently non-functional.

Future Directions: Integrate servo code into Door Unlocker code. Solder servo to a circuit board. The rest will have to wait till I’m back in Kilgo and working with my actual door/door lock.

Accidentally burnt a spring in the battery holder
Spring was all squished into the battery holder
Burnt plastic smells yucky

Github code here


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