View Full Version : Top 10 Mistakes by beginners

07-27-2010, 06:47 PM
Hi guys i thought it would be good if i make a slideshow displaying the top 10 mistakes so that 90% of our queries are automatically answered by it , please add to the list and we will choose top 10 ...

1. 9V battries for running Motors ( Wrong Batteries )
2. USB to serial and then a cheap serial programmer
3. Not Reading the Datasheet ( this is the absolute source no matter what anyone says )
4. Trying to take giant leaps without knowing how to crawl

please add to the list

07-27-2010, 08:44 PM
MY contribution :

5. Giving up even before starting.Not searching before asking. Too lazy/unmotivated/arrogant to do any groundwork/homework. E.g. just look at their language, they are too lazy/"busy" to even write words like What, please etc.. :/
6. Trying to save money at all the wrong places.e.g.Trying to make programmers that cost ONLY Rs.300/- and wasting months on troubleshooting them and then buying a Rs. 18k/- cellphone instead.. (thats probably vikas's point 2.)
7. Forgetting the basics and looking for very advanced answers for their novice questions. This comes from the illusion of knowing it all!!!

The biggest mistake an average novice does is to think that any circuit diagram from the internet and code without the knowledge of its working or the information of the components involved will take just a matter of weeks to materialize into an actual working project without any problems. And that is the main reason why they panic when the deadline approaches and they have no clue what went wrong where.

07-28-2010, 11:04 AM
:: Using stepper motors for Robotic arms
:: Using ungeared motos directly to drive wheels
:: Connecting motos directly to micro pins
:: Buying 32 bit boards (because they are the 'in' thing) and using them to make basic line followers
:: Believing that they will learn everything in robotics after a 2 day workshop
:: Believing that Robotics is all about programming
:: Buying stuff even before deciding what robot to make - like - "I want to learn how to make robots.. which Programmer should I buy?? "

07-28-2010, 01:07 PM
@allbits: Fantastic points

07-28-2010, 04:03 PM
Drawing inspiration from "3 Idiots".

07-28-2010, 06:18 PM
Believing toy making is THE cutting edge in robotics.
Just running after workshops for certification with IIT labels
Believeing lessons from experts are only way of doing things and not experimenting out of legue
Not using Breadboards for trouble shooting.
Thinking textbook concepts will work out of the box.

07-28-2010, 06:52 PM
fantastic point Mohit.

07-29-2010, 10:04 AM
To the movie list i might add -
October Sky

07-30-2010, 01:03 AM
Writing uC programs FIRST- even without making a Robot.....
then search for 'how to Program'
then search for a PC with serial port..
Then connecting the motors DIRECTLY to the Micro port pins...
& then open a single line thread in the Forum in SMS lingo - without any details about anything...
and give details one by one- from the 10th post onwards ( after everyone loses their sleep and some hair and someone finally blows a fuse and gets really mad)

07-30-2010, 01:19 AM
To the movie list i might add -

actually I got crazy about robotics after watching this move wayback in 1990s.

My addition to the pitfalls
1) poor soldering skills
2) asking for ready to use code and circuit over RI forums


07-30-2010, 09:37 AM
Strangely, nobody is mentioning 'Robocop'. Loved that movie. Still watch the reruns... But this is getting OT, sorry.

07-30-2010, 10:29 PM
The most basic mistake mistake is that they forget basics.
Not using motor drivers instead 2 way joysticks.
Not using quality tools(cheap irons and wires).
Using cheap toy motors.
Not planning the robot.
I'll add on..........

07-30-2010, 10:31 PM
And yes mohit robocop........I used to watch when i was small.

08-11-2010, 01:52 PM
I would like to make a quick point, rather a suggestion:

All beginners, whenever you are on a technical website, or reading a tutorial and you come across a term that you dont know, instead of jumping to conclusions and deducing a meaning, google for that term.
type the term itself or "What is " the term in google and follow each link on the first page till you are dead sure of what that term is. At times, this will lead to a nested scenario, i.e., while looking for the meaning
for a certain term, you will come across another term that you dont know, dont give up, write those terms down and google for each of them.

Forums are for helping people but it doesnt mean that other members will do the basic job of googling and explaining glossary for you. The most important aspect that a beginner has to work upon is the will to learn.
People at any technical forum will only help you when you get stuck at something that you werent able to find a way out of, because its challenging for the member too. But if you go around asking about something
which is provided at the first link of a basic google search, you will definitely be ignored.

And hey, knowing a few cool terms always add to the geek coolness factor, doesnt it?

08-11-2010, 07:58 PM
Hi all,
I wish to add a few more points to the list
3) Asking the question which micro controller to beging with 8051/AVR/PIC? ( many a times this results is a bellgrant debate on this forum as every one has his/her favourite controller!!!!)
4) Not planning the code on paper first and begning to write the code in one go!!!! Yes draw a flow chart or a pseudo code has to be written(especially when one is a beginer)!!!!
5) Not documenting the code(and forgetting after a month what it was meant to do)/not drawing circuit diagram/or taking pictures. This helps in a stubble way (at least it did to me as it helps me orghanize better)

08-11-2010, 08:42 PM
My professor once told me, the main reason why a trained average engineer would have more success rate compared to an untrained genius in our field is the ability to document. So I whole heartedly agree with asimov's last point. Documentation is one of the key points to success.

08-13-2010, 01:35 AM
HI All,
Just point the mistake is not a solution and we have to give some remidies as well!!!!
Since many people have limited knowledge related to electronics the following URL is good fopr getting online tutorials from the best of the institutes(ofcorse what could it be other than IITs)


These are online material nicely presented , hope people like it.


08-13-2010, 11:02 AM
Believing toy making is THE cutting edge in robotics.
Just running after workshops for certification with IIT labels
Believeing lessons from experts are only way of doing things and not experimenting out of legue
Not using Breadboards for trouble shooting.
Thinking textbook concepts will work out of the box.

ha ha .... shashank u surely seem to have attended one of the TRI workshops.....havent you....??? their standars are falling....

08-13-2010, 11:05 AM
And yes mohit robocop........I used to watch when i was small.

he he dude......"wen u were small....." han so ure all grown up now haan

08-13-2010, 11:27 AM
ha ha .... shashank u surely seem to have attended one of the TRI workshops.....havent you....??? their standars are falling....
nopes i never attended any of robotics workshop or class by anyone. I had browse there course material though.

02-01-2011, 11:19 AM
What ever be the reasons docel's post takes the cake
what a language ! i admire it! the way he put forward some seemingly complex things in a simple manner

Srry but had to read it twice to get to the inherent joke.

02-01-2011, 04:49 PM
why is using 9v batteries for running motors in the list of top 10 mistakes by beginners ?..
can anyone explain..


02-01-2011, 10:13 PM
The 9V battery mentioned in first post is the "rectangle 9V" battery, which doesnt have enough current capacity. its also called PP3 battery.
The cannot supply the levels of current required by a geared motor we genrally use/find.
Newbies simply see the voltage rating of a motor - 6V to 12V, and say ah! ill use this 9V battery. (and that too the cheap chinese ones which are only good for an LED if that at all.0

02-01-2011, 10:15 PM
one could add details to not reading datasheet or not following the schematic on web in detail because they think they "know the basics well"

- not using bypass caps on MCU power supply, because it seems dumb that you will have so many 0.1uF caps in parallel on the 5V rail
- using a "close enough" value on crystal of the MCU, (which is sometimes too far, even if they know how to read the capacitor value) and results in no start or intermittent start of MCU
- using a wall adapter to power the circuit and motors (usually the variable voltage wall adapter rated at 100mA) , if not the 9V pp3 battery
- twisting wires, un-taped as a kam-chalau solution and never getting back to making the joint reliable and insulated. ( we have all done this and then learned the hard-way.)

02-11-2011, 01:21 PM
** Planing ...planing and planing(Analysis paralysis) before even programing first MCU.
** Wasting huge time for searching 'lowest cost vendors'
** Trying to cover many lapses at once without a hands-on experience on every lapse.
** Not going thoroughly on RI(or any other forum) and then posting stupid general questions.

These are the things done by me when i started.

07-18-2011, 08:07 PM
A big common mistake

Not tieing diff parts(modules) of circuit to common ground rail.
would result in errant strange behavior

07-18-2011, 11:38 PM
lolman and ralf, let's keep the posts relevant and not opinionated in any manner.


09-24-2011, 07:49 AM
1. Powering on the dremel or other speed control drills without ensuring they are set to zero speed.
2. Drilling things without ensuring that they are held in stable position
3. Keeping plastic objects near/behind the stand containing a hot soldering iron.
4. Using high voltages on a solderless breadboard.

09-24-2011, 09:41 AM
-making lose wire connections and the bot stops without and break thier heads to find out the mistake.
-trying the most complex codes.
-most believe that robot refers only to a humanoid and assume its impossible for them to make one.

03-21-2012, 10:07 PM
Nice to see the post... truth unvieled ;)

06-16-2012, 02:10 PM
Thanks Vikas for adding the movie name October Sky in this thread. Its an awesome inspirational movie.... :)

07-14-2012, 02:27 PM
sir,will u please help me with my post..i have tried 2 websites.i m not getting real answers.i expect to find my answer here .http://www.roboticsindia.com/showthread.php/4179-Guidance-for-further-projects-in-Robotics?p=22152#post22152

07-14-2012, 02:28 PM
here as in on this website. and all u people seem really talented and innovative

07-17-2012, 02:25 PM
thinking bottom-up

10-29-2012, 06:59 AM
Yeah sometimes it really hard to avoid those simple mistakes beginners like me to create.

11-19-2012, 06:15 PM
hey I want to open a new forum but I cudnt find how... can anyone help me???

11-19-2012, 11:38 PM
Dont worry you will get used to it. its in beginning you find all these stuff a little bit odd.

here are the steps

1) goto http://www.roboticsindia.com/forum.php
2) Choose the appropriate topic that your question belongs to.
- for example i have a question regarding Motors and Mechanical Design then i click on it.
3) in the top left corner you will find this button labelled "+ Post New Thread" click on it.
4) fill all the necessary stuff in it. which includes a title and a you polite question. make sure you give a full detailed description about your question with illustrations if any(links, images, drawings, etc) so that its understood by one who is gonna answer for it.
5) wait patiently for some one to answer for it. if you dont get any reply for very very long time you can try contacting some members who you think may answer your question using messages.

thats all folks

04-03-2013, 07:49 PM
Hello, I just joined this forum. Although I am primarily an analogue electronics guy, I guess "basic mistakes" do not differentiate between analogue/digital :)

Beginners are beginners because they make mistakes (as do the no-so-beginners). My take for beginners would be that, instead of looking for mistakes they make, enlist what is required in order to learn and have a greater success rate...
1. Soldering - this might sound stupid but great circuit theory needs great soldering skills. Bad solder = Bad circuit. And this can take insanely long to debug if the conditions are right (or wrong!).

2. Datasheets - yes reading and understanding datasheets is most important. Things that look good in internet projects simply blow up when built practically - and this can be traced down to a simple case of derating. What worked for the publisher of the internet article might not work simply because his/her ckt was meant to work in a nice cool 25 deg C weather whereas here 35+ deg C is the norm. The internet project probably does not mention this, but the datasheet does - in the device's derating and SOA curves.

3. For switching or RF circuits, attention should be paid to the trace or wire length and this gets more important as the frequency increases. There is risk of unwanted radiated RFI/EMI, but also that the ckt will simply not work as intended. Wire/trace length directly affects its inductance and inductance will cause unwanted attenuation. It can also act as an antenna if the conditions are right. Things like ground plane, shortest route to ground, ground loops etc. take special significance here.

07-06-2013, 11:51 AM
Using faulty sensor or low quality sensor

06-13-2016, 09:19 PM
Clever tips, thx!

08-13-2016, 01:22 PM
Excellent points. Thanks for sharing.