I may have been working with my Arduino UNO board improperly, because now it fails to upload sketches (says some programmer is not responding) and when I press the cute little restart button, the green LED doesn't do its blink anymore. I am aware what that means, but what I really wonder is how should I properly care the board. I probably will have no other chances to buy more arduinos so this information follows to be of a great importance.

As an example I would give, is touching the arduino board with bare hands risky, how much shock-tolerant it is, what if I mistake some pins, are there pins that cannot be mistaken, what will happen if I declare a pin as an output, but use it for input and the contrary, is loading a PWM program onto TFT touch screen shield unhealthy and so forth and briefly - how should I properly care the arduino board.


A lot of things can happen to ruin an Arduino board, although so far I made mistakes and none has broken. However, possible causes can be:

  • Electrostatic energy, you can prevent it by buying an ESD mat/wristband, or if you don't want to spend money, touch regularly some 'earth' like the central heating
  • There should not be too much current on a pin ... so don't try to run too many leds or even a motor which is too big from a pin.
  • Watch out with external power supplies
  • Don't forget resistors where needed, because of the previous point
  • Shaking should not matter much, unless you shake so hard that breadboard components are touching each other
  • Running a program for something else (like PWM on touch screen) might be hard to explain ... it can ruin the device connected, and possibly the Arduino too.

Just some tips:

  • Whenever you change some hardware/wiring, remove the power
  • Check very carefully that everything is wired correctly
  • Keep the Arduino on a solid place (don't let the USB cable let it overthrow/fall on the floor)
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  • I didn't mention about breadboards and it becomes a bit unclear for that reason. Otherwise, very accurate advices, thank you. I think this is exactly how I broke my Ardu, PWM on a display shied, it was slowly blinking (dimming) back and forth and around that time, this was the last fortunate moment. – Edenia Jul 19 '17 at 19:53
  • It's very hard to predict what happens when a different device is connected (maybe the VCC pin and GND were on different pins). – Michel Keijzers Jul 19 '17 at 19:58
  • Yes, this particular tft ts display uses almost all pins and there is not hard to predict every possible combination of wrong placement, but it doesn't matter, I can not revive the board, but I can prevent this happening over again.. on the next 3$ board. – Edenia Jul 19 '17 at 20:05
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    Luckily they are very cheap ... better luck next time – Michel Keijzers Jul 19 '17 at 20:09
  • Thanks. Yes, they are affordable. By the way, I was connecting it hundreds of times properly, tested hundreds of programs, but at some point I just got tired, started to be careless and making mistakes. Then it happened. – Edenia Jul 19 '17 at 20:11

it is okay to use for simple experiments directly. But while you choose to opt for a complex tasks read the details about all the components and their wiring techniques. specifically try to check soldering is done correctly or not while connecting the wires to any component or to other wire. wrong soldering may damage your parts and arduino as well. Be careful while using power supply, more when it comes to use multiple sources. read carefully before you do anything. Dont be afraid just be careful.

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What not to do to an Arduino

Don't pour coffee on it, don't sit on it, don't swim with it and definitely don't sleep with it, to name a few.....

Seriously, the key is to recognize what the arduino is not designed for. It has limited current drive, it is not ruggedised, it is not meant to work in harsh climate, etc.

To out in inaccurately, if it is not in an air conditioned environment, don't use it.

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