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April 7, 2012
about 8 years ago
I finally got it working correctly. I removed the 9v supplying the Arduino with another 6v supply. This magically got it going. I now have a single 6v source split externally supplying both the Arduino and the inverter.
I ended up not using my El Escudo with the Vin disconnected from the Arduino, with the 3.3v wired into the Vin, so this was not relevant for my setup.
It's definitely important to be aware of which wire feeding into the "inverter output" is the Gnd coming from the inverter. If you have it reversed, it appears that the inverter won't work.
I would also update the code for the on and off states as outlined in previous messages.
Best of luck with it.
SparkFun, you are back in my good books, though your lack of updated documentation or updated library code really sucks.
I've implemented the code corrections in Jeff Vyduna's message. The sketch now runs correctly when the USB cable is connected. If I try running off of just the 9v power supply mentioned before, the two strands remain lit, dimmer. How can I get this to work without the USB connection?
(sorry, should have hit "reply", but I'm exhausted and exasperated)
I switched from a 3v to a 9v inverter, and increased the voltage to 9v. Now all the strands stay on.
Am I closer?
I've implemented Jeff Vyduna's steps above. Removed the Vin feed from the Arduino, and instead tied the 3.3v feed to Vin on the El Escudo. I've also connected the +v and Gnd to both the Uno and inverter from a single external power supply. Still no luck. Though I am getting a brief blink on all the strands when I power up, which I wasn't getting before. Other than this, I still can't get it to run through the El Blink sketch.
I am so fed up with this thing, you wouldn't believe.
I tested the El Escudo, and somehow got it working a couple of weeks ago. Since then I've built a project revolving around controlled EL wire. I expected to just plug the lines and inverter in and have it working. Wrong. I spent much of lastnight troubleshooting and trying every possible power combination between the inverter and Arduino, (USB, batteries, external power), and two different inverters both powered externally and through the raw voltage. I also tried tying the GND to HVGND, with no success. At one point, early in the evening, I did get the strands working faintly, but only with power to the Arduino from the USB port. By the end of the night I couldn't even get this to happen.
Today I've decided to start from scratch with a second Arduino and second El Escudo. I just want to get the EL Blink sketch working, but again am having no luck. I've scoured the web for info, have reread SparkFun's documentation about 10 times (as it takes a total of 30 seconds to go through), and carefully gone through the comments here. I'm amazed that Sparkfun hasn't thought it necessary to expand and clarify points of documentation as there are plenty of problems encountered in the community, with suggestions that the product is buggy.
My current setup. I'm taking the raw voltage out, to power my 3v inverter. I have the inverter output directly connected to a strand of a meter of EL wire to ensure it's working, which is also connected to the "inverter output". (I have tried removing the external EL strand). I have strands connected to lines A and D and am running the EL Blink sketch. I read a couple of comments about the polarity of the inverter output, and have ensured the gnd is connected to the right wire feeding into the "inverter output" connection. Immediately after I did this, when I powered up the Arduino, line A sputtered illumination for a fraction of a second, then nothing. I've tried feeding 4.5v and 6v into the Arduino from an external power supply. My Arduino is a new UNO. I know that I am overpowering the inverter, but that's the least of my worries right now.
I'm desperate for help. I need to get this working.
Thanks for any assistance!
(Sparkfun really needs to get off their butts and update the library for the El Escudo to Arduino 1.0, or have whoever is responsible for the Library to update it. Linking to code that doesn't work, and hasn't worked for over a year, is not acceptable. It's a simple fix that will take someone a minute to do, and save those with less advanced knowledge hours of unnecessary frustration.)
No public wish lists :(