Home Forums Sparkfun MP3 Shield Library Support Forum Sound isn't working :(


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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHFhCajoiCg <—- I made it public now.

    And yes, you’re right. Those pins are missing from the Arduino BT. I’ve tried every which way possible to give power to the shield both through the header pins that go into the shield and Arduino and I’ve also tried directly giving power to the Arduino with the shield attached. Nothing has turned on the Red LED. Do you think I just have a defective shield?


    I just supplied voltage to the arduino directly and measured the voltage on the shield and it is 4.9 V. So the shield is getting power, and simply not turning on. There isn’t some secret switch on this thing is there? lol. Or do I simply have a broken shield



    After watching the video it basically it should be working or at least the led.

    I am concerned that your headers are not soldered in to the shield. Which may cause these symptoms. It is hard to tell from the video.
    Regardless connecting 5v to the shields gnd and 5v pins should light up the led.
    Not sure what sfe’s return policy is.
    The clicking you heard is an indication the vs1053 chip was getting some power. Even though there was no led.

    So not sure what where the problem is.
    You may want to volt meter various points on the shield to see what is going on. Such as the 3v and 1.8v. I suspect the 3v is below 3v.


    I am concerned that your headers are not soldered in to the shield. Which may cause these symptoms.

    Judging by this earlier post:

    Do i actually need to solder the headers onto the chip itself? I figured since the header polls are touching the circular metal rims of the mp3 player shield, the shield would still get electricity.

    He did not solder the pinheaders to the shield. Yes, you need to solder the pinheaders to the shield.

    Sorry, I’m trying to play catchup on the forum posts.


    I’m no expert at Arduino or electronics by any means, but I know this thing should be lighting up when I apply a voltage to it, even if only a flicker. Maybe the LED is broken and the chip isn’t. I don’t know. Right now even before I load the file, just giving power to the shield and Arduino, I am hearing what sounds like “cellphone interference.” Its the high pitched, almost AOL start up sound, pretty faint, but audible. Sounds exactly like interference. What does this mean? I know soldering will make the whole design more stable and everything, but I highly doubt it is absolutely required just to give the thing power. I mean, like i said, the LED should at least flicker. I used the voltmeter at various points and the shield is definitely getting power to the Vin PIN and the 5V PIN. However, the 3.3V PIN is one of the ones that are hanging off to the side because Arduino only has 4 pins for the 6 pin header that attaches that shield to the Arduino. I don’t think this is a problem, but just to be sure, I tried to independently power the shield (by itself) using every combination possible: Vin, 5v, and 3.3V, along with the 2 ground pins.


     I highly doubt it is absolutely required just to give the thing power

    Well, you are highly wrong. Not only is it absolutely required, by trying to run the shield with unsoldered headers may have already damaged your shield. Loose headers create brownouts and very high frequency noise across data and power lines. One or both of those symptoms may have damaged the sensitive MP3 Decoder.  Both symptoms are nearly impossible to see with a regular volt meter.

    Before Michael or I can help you any further, solder the pin headers (all of them) to the shield and report the results. I’m not trying to be mean, but you are asking us to help you get your car moving even though it has no tires on it.


    Okay, I just ordered a new shield (just in case I damaged it or it was previously broken) and this time I am going to solder it the way they show on the sparkfun website. I’ll come back in 2 days and post about it once I am done setting it up and let you know if it is working. Thanks


    Bill, you were absolutely right about the soldering. Michael, you solved a problem before I knew I had one as far as the jumper wire and the file pins, because I tested it without the jumper wire and it was making a strange sound. Now everything is working, thank you guys.

    The only problem is, sometimes the volume is reallly quiet and other times its really loud. Why is this? Is there a way to keep the volume always high or to change the volume. It seems like when I hit the reset button it gets louder or something. I’m not sure if there is a correlation though.


    It is good that it works. As for the volume the example sketch there are commands to change it, otherwise it should be constant. With respect to what is being played. There is even a SineWave Test Tone command in the example menu, that will output a constant tone hertz.


    Glad you got it working.

    There are whole off branch professions of engineers who specialize in electrical contacts. It may defy logic as a beginner, but you’ll learn that just because pins look like they are touching, doesn’t mean electricity can get through. Soldering creates a chemical bond between two metals and guarantees a good connection.


    That reminds me of Sealing Voltage. Back when I designed ISDN modems we had to initially blast the connection of the RJ45 with a particular current/curve as to invoke the chemical bond of sealing the connection. Not the same thing as Arcing to clean, but seal. As pressure contact was not sufficient to get the proper termination for long haul cables.

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