Safe to program the Arduino while the Zumo shield is on?

Is it safe to have the Zumo shield’s power switch in the “on” position while the attached Arduino is connected to the computer through the USB cable? It’s sometimes convenient to use the serial console to debug while the Zumo is running its motors.


Having the Zumo shield’s power switch in the “on” position on while your Arduino’s USB is connected to a computer is as safe as having an Arduino’s DC power jack connected while USB is also connected (when the switch is in the on position, the shield just supplies 7.45 V to the Arduino’s VIN pin). Ultimately, you should refer to your Arduino’s documentation to determine if this is safe.

By the way, there is a little-known hardware issue with most Arduino models that makes me hesitant to outright call this “safe”; in some situations, an Arduino has the ability to send power into the USB port. This shouldn’t be an issue with the Zumo shield since the VIN voltage is over 7.4 V, but it is something you should be aware of. You can view this forum post for more information.

- Zeeshan