Member Since: August 22, 2011

Country: United States



Engineer by day, bboy by night.


Worm Tank Crew

Blowup Kingz


Delta Chi Fraternity Inc.


Electrical & Computer Engineering, Dec. 2011

College of Engineering and Applied Science

University of Colorado at Boulder





  • ——————– Tech Support Tips/Troubleshooting/Common Issues ——————–

    Reprogramming the LilyMini ProtoSnap?

    Currently, there is no method of programming the SAMD11 through the Arduino IDE. The GitHub repository indicates that it is still a work in progress and the “Reprogramming instructions [are] coming soon”. However, the note was added on 1/1/2017. There is no expected release date yet.

    You could reprogram the LilyPad LilyMini ProtoSnap if you have a Atmel-ICE AVR programmer and a way to connect to the programming pins. However, it will not be easy. The example code linked in the GitHub repository is in .hex and binary [ [https://github.com/sparkfun/LilyPad_LilyMini_ProtoSnap/tree/master/Firmware(https://github.com/sparkfun/LilyPad_LilyMini_ProtoSnap/tree/master/Firmware) ]. This ISP programmer adapter [ https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11591 ] will help to access the 2x3 pins on the back of the LilyPad LilyMini ProtoSnap just like any other LilyPad Arduino microcontroller. However, the pins are not the standard ICSP pins. You would need to connect the 2x3 pins based on the ARM programmer’s SWD interface [ http://www.atmel.com/webdoc/jtagice3/jtagice3.using_ocd_physical_swd.html ].

  • ——————– Tech Support Tips/Troubleshooting/Common Issues ——————–


    The GPS receiver uses a a serial UART. Page 3 shows the pinouts and specs [ http://cdn.sparkfun.com/datasheets/GPS/EM506_um.pdf ]. Here’s a hookup with an Arduino => https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B0jwgLkjMWzDMmwyM29CbDRkQ0U&authuser=0 . Try using a blank sketch so tha tthe Atmega328P does not interefere with the serial from the GPS just like the “Serial Debugging: Arduino-Compatible board” example [ https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/pcduino-hookup-guide#serial-debugging ].

  • MyoWare Reading at Max or Not Responding to a Muscle Group?

    Adjusting Gain w/ Potentiometer

    The potentiometer adjusts the gain as stated on page 7 of the user manual – https://cdn.sparkfun.com/assets/learn_tutorials/4/9/1/MyoWareDatasheet.pdf :

    "...Using a a Phillips screwdriver, turn the potentiometer counterclockwise to increase the output gain; turn the potentiometer clockwise to reduce the gain."

    If the gain is too high, the MyoWare might not show a significant change in the “SIG” output when a muscle flexes. As a result, the high output would cause the SIG LED to stay ON or all LED bars on the MyoWare LED Shield to turn ON. Try turning the gain down with a precision screw driver. The gain does not affect the “RAW” output signal.

    Floating Reference or Electrode Pins

    If the black reference electrode cable is not fully connected to your body, this can leave the sensor floating and cause the sensor to constantly output a high sensor value. Make sure to follow the note on page 7 for the Ref pin:

    "Connect this to the reference electrode. The reference electrode should be placed on a separate section of the body, such as the bony portion of the elbow or a nonadjacent muscle."

    Incorrect Placement of Sensor on Muscle Group

    Make sure that you placed the biomedical sensor pads to the muscle group correctly. The MyoWare’s embedded electrode connectors are great for small muscle groups if placed on your bicep [ pg 4 and 5 - https://cdn.sparkfun.com/assets/learn_tutorials/4/9/1/MyoWareDatasheet.pdf ]. Below are some images of the MyoWare and LED Bar Graph when my bicep is relaxed:

    Bicep Relaxed

    partially flexed:

    Bicep Partially Flexed


    Bicep Flexed

    However, if you place the MyoWare Muscle Sensor on a larger muscle group incorrectly, it will not read or respond to the muscle group. This might be due to the the mid muscle electrode pin not being placed in the middle of the muscle group. I had problems using the embedded electrode connectors when placing it on a certain part of my right forearm (I believe that I placed it on my “flexor digitorum”). If you look close at the images when my bicep was flexed, there were sensor pads also near my elbow. I was not able to read the muscle group when the sensor pads were placed at that location.

    For certain muscle groups, you might need the MyoWare Cable Shield [ https://www.sparkfun.com/products/13687 and Sensor Cable - Electrode Pads (3 connector) [ https://www.sparkfun.com/products/12970 ] for bigger muscle groups as stated briefly on page 7 of the user manual. For my forearm, I was able to measure it when increasing the distance between the sensor pads using the sensor cable:

    Forearm w/ Sensor Cable

    Loose Myoware Board

    If the MyoWare is loose and not secured, the sensor will amplify the movements when the sensor pads are stretched. According to Brian (the designer of the MyoWare muscle sensor), this is a motion artifact and it is not a genuine signal from the muscle group. The SIG led on the MyoWare and the LED Bar Graph might be partially or fully on. Try securing the MyoWare with some fabric or tape when attached to your body. Also, make sure to adjust the gain to calibrate the sensor. Below are some images showing the

    Slightly Streteched

    Fully Streteched

    Laptop Battery

    If you are connecting an Arduino and debugging with the Serial library, it is suggested to have a USB isolation circuit with the MyoWare to prevent noise in the inputs and the possibility of shock when connected to a power grid (i.e. a computer power supply connected to a wall outlet). If you do not have a USB isolation circuit, try using a laptop in battery mode and make sure that you are not connecting the laptop to a wall outlet.

  • ——————– Tech Support Tips/Troubleshooting/Common Issues ——————–

    Watch Out for Shorts When Stacking Edison Blocks

    There can be a potential short if you use the base block with the battery block. The micro-USB connector on the base block can cause a short with the LiPo battery terminals if it is long enough. Try adding some electrical tape to prevent a short. There is a note under the tutorial: “ Using the Battery Block with the Base Block” [ https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/sparkfun-blocks-for-intel-edison—battery-block#using-the-battery-block ].


    Measuring with a caliper, the Intel Edison Battery Block.The overall dimensions are:

    width = 30.88mm (w/ the power switch sticking out it’s about 31.65mm)

    length = 45.22mm

    height = 10.74mm

    Example Project

    For an example of integrating the Edison battery block in a project, try looking here => [ http://www.instructables.com/id/Smart-Helmet-Intel-Edison-Sparkfun-9DOF/ ].

  • I am not sure if you have resolved the issue but did you try adjusting the gain? Try looking at my troubleshooting comment here => https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/myoware-muscle-sensor-kit/discuss#comment-58dd3817f3b1a87e608b4568 .

  • ——————– Tech Support Tips/Troubleshooting/Common Issues ——————–

    Current Draw When PowerCell Enabled and Disabled

    Using a multimeter, I noticed that the board would pull about ~7.73mA to ~7.32mA of current with a LiPo battery attached and no load. This is normal because the booster circuit is pulling power to boost the voltage to the output pins. There is also, the enable (EN) pin that you can ground in order to turn the circuit off. The TPS61200 IC will still pull about ~0.42mA.

    Default Charge Rate and Safely Charging a LiPo Battery

    The default charge rate is set to 500mA. If you are interested, here is more information about safely charging LiPo batteries [ https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/lipo-usb-charger-hookup-guide#setting-the-charge-current ]. The LiPoly charger uses the same charge IC and application circuit.

  • ——————– Tech Support Tips/Troubleshooting/Common Issues ——————–

    Additional ArduBlock Resources

  • ——————– Tech Support Tips/Troubleshooting/Common Issues ——————–

    ArduBlock Resources

  • ——————– Tech Support Tips/Troubleshooting/Common Issues ——————–

    Windows Image on Intel Galileo?

    The Edison tutorials indicate that it usually uses a Yockto-build Linux image [ https://software.intel.com/en-us/get-started-galileo-windows-step1 ]. This might be a better question to check or post in the Intel Galileo forums [ https://communities.intel.com/community/makers/content ]. When briefly looking at an old forum thread [ https://communities.intel.com/thread/49216 ], it did not appear that it was possible to run Windows on the Galileo at the time.

    However, it appears that there might be some hack and work around with the IoT Developer Program to get Windows image on the Intel Galileo 2:

    I am not sure how stable it is since a Yocto-build Linux image is usually used for the Inte Galileo and Intel Galileo 2. There might be limited support when using the Windows image.

  • ——————– Tech Support Tips/Troubleshooting/Common Issues ——————–

    According to Pete#41:Boost Regulators - MC34063A [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aU1hTj6YE2Q&feature=youtu.be&t=5m47s ]