Static electricity bricked my Pi -- Options?


14 posts
by mestora70 » Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:50 pm
It is 18% relative humidity in Arizona this morning. I was manually changing some advanced settings on Raspbmc config files and when I went to plug my SD card back into my unpowered Pi, I felt a static electrical shock between my finder and the SD card slot. Now when power is applied, the only light that comes on now is the red power light. The SD card still reads fine on my laptop.

I have paid for both video codecs.
I have never done any deliberate overclocking but my warranty bit it set because Raspbmc updated itself from RC4 to RC5 and I unknowingly tried to enable turbo mode with the old non-turbo firmware :(

Am I totally SOL?

Mike
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by alexeames » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:40 pm
I'd put money on it being the card. Try another one
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by mestora70 » Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:17 pm
Already did. It is dead.

Mike
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by mestora70 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:33 am
just to clarify I used badblocks -w on the sc card and it passed and I've since used the same sd card to install RaspBMC on another Pi. The static electricity definitely zapped my Pi.

Mike
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by pygmy_giant » Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:40 am
I live in chilly old England and from what I've read about the climat in Arizona its like the surface of Mars.

Is this sort of affect of humidity on electronic equipment relatively not unheard of there?

I'm sorry for your loss but it seems like a valuable testing experience if it was caused by humidity/temperature/condensation.

Perhaps a case and assisted cooling/ventilation is a must for people in Arizona.
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by mestora70 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 8:11 am
This has nothing to do with condensation. It also has nothing to do with heat. It is quite pleasant right now, even a little chilly. A spark occurred between my hand and the Pi when inserting a SD card and not the Pi is dead.

Mike
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by pluggy » Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:57 am
In damp ol' Britain, the only time we get humidity so low is when it's frosty and it's frozen the damp out of the air. Its the only time I get static shocks. Having an old school metal cased desktop PC and touching it occasionally helps.
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by redhawk » Tue Nov 06, 2012 11:54 am
If you got zapped by touching the SD Card holder then it might have damaged the PI this would depend on the path of the electric flow probably through the SoC and down the HDMI cable.

To rule out other possible causes have you tried booting your PI with another power supply??

Can you measure the voltage at TP1/TP2, what do you get??

If you put an AM radio near your PI (away from TV and other power sources) does it experience excessive static noise??

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by RaTTuS » Tue Nov 06, 2012 12:18 pm
aslo check the RCA output - or with a
hdmi_force_hotplug=1 #Use HDMI mode even if no HDMI monitor is detected

in config
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by mestora70 » Wed Nov 07, 2012 4:40 pm
I am running a second Pi with the same power supply.

I have not checked the composite video out but the activity light never comes on as it does on the other Pi moments after plugging in the power.

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by Ravenous » Wed Nov 07, 2012 5:09 pm
Well if you speak nicely to your supplier, they might be kind enough to give you a replacement. This sort of thing can happen to the best of us after all.

Just the sort of risk we take when handling uncased electronics. I do wonder if the FAQ or the warnings shipped out with the raspis warn of static and earthing yourself before handling bare boards - I'm surprised mishaps don't get mentioned on these forums more often, to be honest.

(Incidentally here in the UK our temperate and watery weather means static isn't that common. I don't think I've ever fried anything myself, in this particular way that is. So excuse scepticism if people don't appear to believe you at first.)
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by mestora70 » Wed Nov 07, 2012 8:28 pm
FYI: It was in a case. I'm going to ground myself every time before touching the pi in the future.

Mike
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by Ravenous » Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:06 am
Well that's completely different - if you had the board in a case (maybe from the same distributor?) and a static charge appears to have killed it, I think you have a right to expect a replacement. I'd argue that the case should have protected it from the static charge.
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by BerryPicker » Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:16 am
mestora70 wrote: I'm going to ground myself every time before touching the pi in the future.


Thanks for the warning. As the analog video output socket protrudes from the case, and has an exposed metal surface, it provides a suitable touch point to equalise any voltage potential differences there may be between your fingers and and the Pi board.
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