How to deal with a shorted LED Driver

Hello all! Apologies in advance if this is an unnecessary or less applicable problem/topic, this is my first non-comment post here.

My FTC team set up LEDs on our postseason robot a few days ago to display for a week of outreach events, using the REV Blinkin Driver and a 12 Volt strip. We learned that it took up a lot of battery relative to our prior battery consumption, and decided yesterday to add another battery that solely powered the Driver, while it received information from the PWM cable to the control hub. All was fine and well today until I tried plugging the battery into the driver too quickly, to which I realized a moment too late that the red was connected to the black and vice versa because we forgot to add a secondary cable between the two. I would presume it shorted, because I heard a small pop from the Driver and it didn’t light up after we restored its original connection.
I am a programmer on our team (my first year on this team, second in FTC), and have little wiring knowledge and no circuitry knowledge. This was our only driver, so I’d like to be able to salvage it if I can, with applicable information about the issue beforehand. I’m pretty sure it shorted from this, but could someone please elucidate to me what happened in the red-black connection and how (if so) one could fix this?

Unfortunately, there’s a solid chance the Blinkin is ruined. If you have it powered and an LED strip connected, you should be able to get the LEDs to come on by following the instructions – try selecting between the two types of LED strips it supports. If this doesn’t work, may as well open it up and post some pictures here…

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Actually, it is possible that the LEDs are blown out but that the Blinkin survived. Before I opened up the Blinkin for educational purposes, I would try replacing the LED strip.

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It was just the Blinkin attached, we didn’t have the LEDs connected to the Blinkin at that time. The status lights and 12V/5V lights no longer come on when attached to power.
I’ll probably take a look at the board in a few hours(hopefully) when I can get to to the driver again, thank you!

I am currently with the driver — both sides of the board

LEDs can typically handle reverse voltage (but still worth trying). :slight_smile:

I don’t see anything visible, but it’s likely that at least one of the components is damaged internally.

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Contact REV and ask if the Blinkin is typically permanently damaged by reverse voltage.

Based on past experience, if the “pop” was not very loud, it is likely that the damage will not be visible.

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Alright. I took another look at the driver and I think I found something, this dark gray box seems to have a hole in it and the back panel on the same side has a gray mark aligning with it. I’m not sure what the object is for or what it would be reparable with, though.

It says “5431 T 5 9 2 A”

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It’s likely this (or a similar) part: This would typically be used to take the 12V power input and convert it to 5V.

It’s not repairable, and replacing it would be tricky (and not guaranteed to make things work again).

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Yes. It looks like the “magic smoke” that makes the chip work has escaped through the hole in it so it can no longer function.

Unfortunately, only the original manufacturer has the equipment necessary to insert the magic smoke :wink:

Thanks everyone for the information! Might try to look for team to team offers if it becomes necessary.