Did I get a bad board?
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Did I get a bad board?

by balefrost on Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:42 am

So I got my Raspberry Pi in the mail yesterday. It works, but only sorta. It tends to die after being used for a while. All the LEDs go dim except the power LED, and the HDMI signal disappears. When I leave the board bare, it lasts a little longer, but if I put it into the Adafruit case, it dies pretty quickly. Compiling Quake 3 wasn't a problem, but running Quake seems to always kill it (sometimes sooner, sometimes later).

When the board is under load, I also seem to get low voltage readings from the out side of the polyfuse. When running Quake, I've seen voltages as low as 4.55V (while the supply-side is reading 4.98V).

There seem to be other users on the Raspberry Pi forums with similar problems. I'm wondering if there was a bad batch.

I added my information to http://elinux.org/RaspberryPi_Boards#Ha ... Frevisions (I'm currently the last entry - the BS1238 owned by Balefrost).

I don't know what else to try. Somebody suggested sticking it in the oven to improve the solder joints (they said that there were some BGA soldering issues with the Pis). Any thoughts?

----------

Board Version:
BS1238

With extra header P5, missing fuses F1 and F2, and with mounting holes just like BS1233
Weird stability problems. Can build Quake3, and can play it for a little while, but eventually locks up (black screen, loses ethernet link). Putting it in the Adafruit case seems to exacerbate the problem.
Highest temp measured by vcgencmd measure_temp is 53.5C. Last measured temp before lockup was 53.0C
Problem occurs with both the Adafruit power supply as well as my Nexus 7 2A supply.
Tested with at least 3 different Micro-USB cables.
Tested with the 4GB Dane-Elec Class 4 MicroSD card from Adafruit, as well as an 8GB Class 10 SanDisk full-size SD card.


Voltages:

Idle, with HDMI only
  • 5.06V (polyfuse in)
  • 4.82V (polyfuse out)

Idle, with HDMI, keyboard and mouse
  • 5.04V (polyfuse in)
  • 4.77V (polyfuse out)

Running Quake (with HDMI, keyboard, mouse, and network)
  • 4.98V (polyfuse in)
  • 4.55V (polyfuse out)
balefrost
 
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Re: Did I get a bad board?

by adafruit_support_bill on Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:17 am

It tends to die after being used for a while. All the LEDs go dim except the power LED, and the HDMI signal disappears. When I leave the board bare, it lasts a little longer, but if I put it into the Adafruit case, it dies pretty quickly. Compiling Quake 3 wasn't a problem, but running Quake seems to always kill it (sometimes sooner, sometimes later).

How are you powering this board? Sounds like more of a heat and/or power-supply overload problem.
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Re: Did I get a bad board?

by balefrost on Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:10 pm

adafruit_support wrote:How are you powering this board? Sounds like more of a heat and/or power-supply overload problem.


I've tried both the power supply from the Raspberry Pi starter kit as well as my 2A Nexus 7 USB power brick. I've also tried a high-current (1.5A) USB port on my Intel motherboard. I have also tried several USB cables. I get the same results with all. I even tried plugging the USB power brick into my computer's UPS, to try to rule out flaky power from the wall. It still died.

I agree that it seems like a heat-related problem. But the chip's measured temperature never gets super hot. That's why I wonder if the underlying cause is thermal expansion and bad soldering.
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Re: Did I get a bad board?

by adafruit_support_bill on Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:43 am

That pretty much rules out a supply problem. You can contact support@adafruit.com with a link to this thread to arrange for a replacement. But we are out of stock on these at the moment. They just can't build them fast enough to keep up with demand. :(

In the mean-time, you might try posting this over at http://www.raspberrypi.org/ to see if they have any suggestions to keep you running.
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