Arduino problem

I had one Arduino that wasn’t working. Michael of krazatchu noticed that it had some sort of mechanical damage. I just put it under my camera in macro mode and this tells the story a little better. It’s pretty clear that this thing wasn’t a new Arduino. I’m just boxing it up to send back to China right now…

We noticed this at a ModLab meetup.

Aug 22 update: I sent a note to the provider (kent_power) with a picture (a link to this blog post). He did not answer. So after some days I decided to open an ebay dispute (for the first time in hundreds of item purchases). The ebay system said to start a paypal dispute and that failing to invoke the ebay insurance that I have on the item. I just received my response to my paypal raised issue:

My initial complaint:

Hi, The item you sent was not new which is what was expected. If you look at the picture at you will see that there is considerable wear on the reset button and the chip has some dents in it. Also the circuit board is disconnected to the lower left of the reset button. I would not have noticed but the arduino quit while we were trying it in the lab. I sent you a message in ebay with the pictures but you have not replied so I am trying to get this resolved.


wong kam chuen has declined your request for a $17.00 USD refund to settle
this dispute and has posted a new message in the Resolution Center.

new. no Used,you sent to me.

I answered:

Did you have a look at the pictures in the link I sent? It’s clearly quite warn. All I’ve done is install it in a breadboard and connect a few wires to it. I would not have noticed the wear on the device but because it wasn’t working some people in the lab looked at it and said it was in rough shape.
I took some pictures of it on macro with my good camara and realized that it had a lot of wear on it too.
I can return it if you provide an address. But I’d like for you to send me another or refund the money.

I guess I need to escalate it to a dispute in Paypal.

Nuts paypal is acting up. When I try to raise it to a claim it says “That action is not valid, please try again”. The details I’m trying to enter are:

If you have a look at the pictures of the product you can see that it has a lot of wear. I have only tested the product on a breadboard so far. The seller is not acknowledging my complaint or moving towards resolving this.

I guess I’ll have to try again later.

Nuts, I just tried it again and when I went to the resolution center in Paypal, it said I didn’t have any open cases.

This is not very pleasing.

Oh crap, I just got this message from Paypal:

Hello Darcy Whyte,

This email confirms that your dispute with wong kam chuen is now closed.

Either you have reached a resolution with the seller or the dispute has
been open for more than 20 days.

Thank you,


Please do not reply to this email. This mailbox is not monitored and you
will not receive a response. For assistance, log in to your PayPal account
and click the Help link in the top right corner of any PayPal page.

Clearly a system failure because I was trying to elevate my complaint to a paypal claim and the system failed and closed my bloody complaint.

Solar Power


I think solar power is interesting and I’d like to include it in some of my kinetic sculpture projects.

While at Princess Auto the other day I took a look at some of their offerings in solar and wind power.

The picture on one of the boxes really cracked me up for some reason. It’s a picture of a guy on his roof installing a solar panel. With all this talk about risks of nuclear power and alleged risk (Fukushima anxiety for example) I kept imagining the guy falling off the roof.

There’s just something inherently funny about a guy installing a solar panel on his roof and then falling off. Perhaps I’m just crazy standing in the solar powered isle and laughing like a fool.

I did pick up this cool 12V battery charger based on solar power. In the other pictures you can also see the miniature pager motor with attached solar panel that I got for experiment as well.