I recently attached a servo to my Arduino for the first time. I ended up needing a 470uF capacitor wired like this tutorial shows because my servo was freaking out and causing my laptop to throw "power surge" warnings (I have my Arduino connected to my laptop via USB).
Although I'm glad I got this working, this leaves me with several concerns.
- Why was a capacitor necessary to "stabilize" my Arduino? In other words, why was it the solution to my Arduino being able to properly power my servo?
- In that tutorial I linked above, there is a Fritzing diagram of the circuit with the capacitor. Can I assume this is a capacitor wired in parallel with the servo? Why parallel and not series?
- What's so special about a 470uF capacitor (vs., say, 100uF)? I just used a 470uF because thats what the tutorial said to use, but what math could this number have been based on? In other words, how might I have arrived at this number myself?
- I've heard capacitors can be extremely dangerous to work with, after all they store power. I'm now afraid to even touch the capacitor on my breadboard! How can I tell if its safe to remove the capacitor (even after I've disconnected the Arduino from its power source)? I have a multimeter but I'm not sure what setting/range I could set it to.