Can Arduino be Repaired
Yes, Arduino can be repaired but it all depends on how badly it has been damaged. In order to find the real problem with the board, one must pay attention to even the smallest details. For example, if we look at the Arduino Uno board it’s not only the board which gets damaged but also, it’s the components which make up the Arduino get the real damage. Arduino is made up of different peripherals that make it run our code. If one or more components get out of order then the Arduino may fail to function.
Some major components of Arduino are:
- Atmega328p: This is the main microcontroller which executes the instruction given in the code.
- Atmega16u2: This microcontroller handles serial communication using the USB interface.
- Voltage regulator: This regulates the incoming power from Vin or DC barrel jack to regulated 5V.
- Power led: Lights up when Arduino is turned on.
- Power pins: Handles the input and output power of Arduino. 5V and 3.3V can be taken as output.
- Oscillator: Two types of oscillators are used one is ceramic and second one is crystal both generate 16MHz of clock signal.
In case if any of the above-mentioned components gets faulty it’s not possible to repair it. All we need is to buy a new component and replace it with the old one. Some SMD components are hard to replace like serial interface microcontrollers so it’s better to buy a new Arduino board. While the main controller Atmega328p comes in two variations one with DIP and one with SMD. If you have a DIP (Dual In-Line Packaged) Arduino board and the main controller is dead then buy a new controller and replace it.
One thing you need to check is either buy a Atmega328p microcontroller with pre-installed bootloader or install a new one once you buy it.
How to Repair Arduino Board
To repair the Arduino board first we must troubleshoot the Arduino board and identify the fault. Once the faulty component is identified it can be replaced but if the damage is done to PCB tracks it’s hard to repair. As Arduino PCB is multilayer with lots of integrated soldering lines.
Here is list of steps one needs to follow in order to repair Arduino board:
Check the Power: Power Arduino board using USB or power supply and check the green light whether it’s turning on or not.
Try Uploading a Test Sketch: Upload a test sketch into an Arduino board. Blink sketch is commonly used for checking whether a microcontroller is working or not. If the sketch does not upload, then there might be an issue with the serial port or main microcontroller.
Check Voltage Regulator Working: Using DMM check output voltage of voltage regulator on 5V and 3.3V pin. If the voltage is more or less than replace the voltage regulator.
Use ICSP if ATmega16U2 Chip is Failed: Arduino has Atmega16u2 chip for serial interface and it’s hard to replace because it’s an SMD component on Arduino however there is an alternative way for communication using the ICSP programming device through the ICSP connector on Arduino board. FTDI cable can also be used for communication.
Replace Failed ATmega328P Chip: The main microcontroller in some boards like Uno is replaceable if it is installed in a socket. A new microcontroller with a pre-installed bootloader can be purchased. Optiboot bootloaders are already included on some chips, so you will be able to save time and effort. Carefully replace the old chip and remember the Pin 1 location to avoid any problem. There is a top notch on the chip which indicates the correct orientation of the microcontroller. Avoid touching the metal pins, since static electricity can cause them to zap.
Arduino boards are designed with so much complexity that it becomes hard for a normal user to repair it. It depends on the level of damage that has been incurred to Arduino boards whether they can be repaired. While some components of Arduino are SMD, which are difficult to repair, there are a few that can be replaced and are readily available at a reasonable cost. It’s recommended to buy a new board if the user has no knowledge of Arduino troubleshooting.