We’re sure you’ve all been waiting on the edge of your seats to see whose project makes it as the first Hackaday Fail of the Week. Wait no longer, it’s [Mobile Will] with his woeful tale about monitoring AC current usage.
He had been working on a microcontroller actuated mains outlet project and wanted an accurate way to measure the AC current being used by the device connected to it. The ADE7753 energy metering IC was perfect for this so he designed the board above and ordered it up from OSH Park. After populating the components he hooked it up to his Arduino for a test run, and poof! Magic blue smoke arose from the board. As you’ve probably guessed — this also fried the Arduino, actually melting the plastic housing of the jumper wire that carried the rampant current. Thanks to the designers of the USB portion of his motherboard he didn’t lose the computer to as the current protection kicked in, requiring a reboot to reset it.
We can’t wait to hear the conversation in the comments. But as this is our first FotW post we’d like to remind you: [Mobile Will] already knows he screwed up, so no ripping on his skills or other non-productive dibble. Let’s keep this conversation productive, like what caused this? He still isn’t completely sure and that would be useful information for designing future iterations. Update: here’s the schematic and board artwork.
We’ve got a bit more to share in this post so keep reading after the break.
There were a ton of submissions, which we’ve filed away for future use. Our plan is to pick one a week (the selection process is pretty arbitrary, sorry!). It was hard to pass up fried circuits for the first post. But fails can include projects that just didn’t turn out like you wanted and much more. What are you waiting for? Write up your fail and send it our way.
We’d also like to mention that there are a couple of niche websites that already specialize in these types of engineering fails. [Daniel] wrote in to tell us about what he calls his “new-ish” site Mistake Engine. Another regular reader whose projects have been featured many times here at Hackaday also chimed in. But [MS3FGX] so frequently writes about his efforts that didn’t make it that he named his own blog DigiFAIL.
That’s it until next Thursday. We’ll see you then!