Rasberry Pi power off during use


21 posts
by Nelmeco » Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:30 am
I'm using Raspbian and it goes through the boot process and I can sometimes get the desktop environment or the CLI to work for a bit, then I lose video signal and it seems like it just powers off. I get a solid red light on PWR after this happens. I've done some research and somewhat come to the conclusion that its a voltage issue. However, I'd like others opinions as well.

Has anyone else had this issue? Does anyone know what the problem is?

I appreciate any feedback.
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by malakai » Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:16 am
Voltage issue what Powersupply are you using ?v ?ma also type of keybord, mouse, and network adapter
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by obcd » Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:06 am
The best way to figure out is to measure the voltage between the TP1 and TP2 testpoints on the board.
It should be above 4.85V for a stable operation.
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by Jim JKla » Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:19 am
These issues usualy fall into two camps.

The first is RPi psu is not up to snuff for whatever reason be that under rated or incorretly labled or just plain flaky manufacturing.

The second is periferals attached to the USB drawing too much from the USB here we have scenario of the punter using a flashy back lit keyboard when the best option is the cheapest USB wired one you can find.

If you don't fall into the second camp suspect your power supply

If you change to a cheap wired keyboard (leave off the mouse) and it still happens I refer you to the previous line. :D

There is lots of other possibilities but nearly every case reprted here has come down to one of these two.

The ultimate low power is to run headless (see noob bit on wiki) ie. just ethernet cable and power cable and login remote with ssh

http://elinux.org/RPi_A_Method_for_ssh_blind_login
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by rurwin » Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:41 am
I'd add another item to the frequent offenders list: the USB cable. If you can, use a cable that was supplied with a mobile phone for charging. Do not use a cheap USB data cable, especially if it is over a metre long.
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by Nelmeco » Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:12 pm
Ok, I have now tried it with just the power and the ethernet cable. Still a no go. I've used 4 different usb cords (granted they were all android phone cables) and 4 different psu's ( 2 android ones rated at 5v 1A, an apple one rated at 5v 2.1A, and one I bought at Fry's, 5v 2A. Im going to pickup a fuse today so I can actually use my voltmeter and ill check and see what the voltage is across the TP1 and TP2.

Is there a psu that the community recommends? Do I need to make my own? I'll update the thread after I get my voltmeter working.

Thanks again!
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by Lob0426 » Thu Dec 27, 2012 6:11 pm
@rurwin has a good point, cable length. That iPad charger should work with no problems if is not a knockoff. What length are your cables. If you are using 2 meter (6ft) cables you are losing too much voltage through the cable. Try a shorter cable. The very best way to test is the TP1/TP2 test points. You need to see 4.75v or above (but less than 5.25v) for good results.
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by Nelmeco » Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:23 pm
I just got my multimeter. Tested with 4 different psus.

offbrand = 4.6
kindle charger = 4.5
ipod = 4.65
radioshack = 4.75 - 4.8

The radioshack one works the longest. It idles around 4.77, however when i "startx" it powers off much quicker and once I lose video, the voltage goes straight up to 5V.

Do I need a "better" psu?
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by redhawk » Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:28 pm
Is your multimeter digital or analogue??

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by Jim JKla » Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:29 pm
That looks like a Yes. ;)
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by rurwin » Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:29 am
You mention 2 Android chargers, but seem to list them as offbrand. Are these the chargers (and cables) supplied with the phones? Which phones? I've had one offbrand charger go bang during service, and one that never worked to charge my phone. But the ones that were supplied with the phone have always worked well.
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by Nelmeco » Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:36 am
One came with my Samsung Galaxy S3, one with a DroidX.

The Multimeter is digital.

EDIT: Actually I just found the samsung GS3 charger, I'm only reading 4.56 on that one :/
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by rekrezreb » Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:37 am
I was having all kinds of power problems with my Raspberry Pi. Did a little research and found out that you cant provide enough current to the Raspberry Pi through the micro USB connector. When I tried to hook up an external USB hard drive it would lock up. I found a power supply that doesn't use the micro USB connector. It uses the 26 pin connecter and provides up to 3 Amps @ 5 Volts. Wow what a difference, now I am running my external hard drive, keyboard, mouse and USB hub all powered from the USB ports on the Pi. Thanks rpips.com
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by verm71 » Fri Dec 28, 2012 2:55 pm
rekrezreb wrote:I found a power supply that doesn't use the micro USB connector. It uses the 26 pin connecter and provides up to 3 Amps @ 5 Volts. Wow what a difference, now I am running my external hard drive, keyboard, mouse and USB hub all powered from the USB ports on the Pi. Thanks rpips.com

Many people have had success with powering their RPi over GPIO instead of micro USB. Could this also be indicative of a faulty polyfuse?
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by rurwin » Fri Dec 28, 2012 5:24 pm
I've had my RaspPi running for the last five hours on a Galaxy S3 charger, HDMI connected, nothing in the USB, connecting over ssh, some of the time displaying 1080p video.

Try measuring the voltage between TP2 and either side of the F3 fuse (on the underside of the board next to the micro-USB socket).
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by Nelmeco » Fri Dec 28, 2012 9:06 pm
Try measuring the voltage between TP2 and either side of the F3 fuse (on the underside of the board next to the micro-USB socket).


On one side I get around 4.75V, on the other side i get around 5.10V. This was with power and network, nothing else.

This is with the GS3 charger and best cord out of 5 I used.

I have no idea how to solve this.
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by rurwin » Fri Dec 28, 2012 11:47 pm
It looks like an RMA I'm afraid. The F3 fuse should not be dropping 0.35 volts. Either it has been subjected to mistreatment or it is otherwise out of spec, or your board is taking too much current. Either way it's a fault on the board.

Just to check, leave it overnight or for several hours with the power off. Then take out the SD card and connect only power, and measure the voltages again.
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by Nelmeco » Sat Dec 29, 2012 12:04 am
It looks like an RMA I'm afraid.


Well thats unfortunate. It was bought off amazon, so I'm not sure if I can return it. Would replacing a component on the board solve the problem? Either way, I'll see if I can return it. Thanks for the input.
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by dknute » Sat Dec 29, 2012 8:42 am
You can either replace F3 fuse or just get rid of it, in which case you'll loose overcurrent protection but quite frankly it's not that important. Pi, on it's own, should never trip it so just be extra careful as to not cause any shorts and you'll be fine.

By "get rid" I mean you will need to solder a piece of wire in it's place, in fact you don't have to desolder it at all, just solder the wire on top of it. And you can test that solution first as well, short F3 with a wire or a piece of tinfoil, clip it in place and make sure it's making good contact. Then power your Pi and see if it works any better, it should.
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by pluggy » Sat Dec 29, 2012 9:28 am
When you've got a free and easy view of warranties and you can wield a soldering iron, you just short the polyfuse with a bit of wire......

Being in the UK with relatively cheap and easy access to a new Pi helps...... :)
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by Nelmeco » Sat Dec 29, 2012 2:58 pm
Well, it looks like Ill be returning it, I think. If it gets sent back, ill just bypass that one thing and ill update this thread. I really do appreciate all the help yall have given me. Hopefully Ill have a fully functional pi soon!
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