I have a weird problem. I am currently building a BB-8. Therefore, I am using an Arduino Uno. On top, I have stacked an Adafruit Motor Shield v2.3 and, again, on top of this, I have stacked the Sparkfun USB Host Shield. The Arduino is powered by a 9V-Block battery, the motors are powered separately by two 18650 Li-Ion batteries. To control the two Pololu motors, which have a stall current of 1.6 amps each, I use a Xbox 360 wireless controller, where the receiver is connected to the USB Host Shield.

Now to my problem. Every seems to work fine, until i cover everything with a styrofoam hemisphere. Yes, you've read right. If that happens, the controller signals is lost and does not connect again, unless I restart the Arduino. I have uploaded a small video on youtube, where you can see the problem.

I guess, this is a power problem, since this issue does not occur, when I connect the Xbox receiver to my Mac. Has anyone an idea, how to solve this problem?

I already tried another power source. And the USB host shield should give enough power, since the specs are saying, that 500 mA is no problem, and hit is exactly the USB 2.0 spec. The combination of the shield shouldn't be a problem, too. I carefully chose this shields, because the motor shield is just using the pins A4 and A5, the USB host shield is using some of the digital pins, so I think there is no interference.

Thank you for your help.

EDIT I have tested it a bit more now and i think i can reduce the probable reasons. First, i tried some other power supplies, from AA batteries on the VIN pin to external power adaptors. Next, i tried other xbox receivers and controllers. I also tried a playstation 3 controller with a Bluetooth dongle. Nothing solved the problem. I also covered the Arduino with other things than styrofoam, like a garbage can, cardboard and some metal box. This worked, so the problem was only with styrofoam. Now i haven't covered the Arduino, but i slowly got closer. About 20 cm from the Arduino, it stopped working. My clue: static electricity. Do you think this can be a problem? And if yes, how can i solve this?

2 Answers 2


Those 9v batteries are not known for their ability to supply current. Their best uses are long-term powering of low-current standby devices like smoke detectors. I'd first try replacing it with 4 double- or triple-A cells, whatever you can scrounge up for a quick test. My guess is when you cover the robot the Xbox receiver's current demand increases just enough to crash or reset something. A-cells may supply enough more current without the voltage sagging.

  • Thanks for the reply, i heard this before. I will check as soon as possible and give an answer.
    – user19698
    Mar 29, 2016 at 19:32

So, I solved the problem. As is mentioned in my question, the problem was static electricity. I primed the styrofoam sphere with some special primer to make the styrofoam a little more stable and so on. That's it. Luckily I didn't touch the Arduino with the sphere. I think it would have damaged the Arduino.

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