knikkhilraj
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Pi won't boot up at a client's location, works fine at my house.

Fri Apr 16, 2021 10:22 pm

I have a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B hooked up to a custom-made Extension Circuit board that sits on top of the Pi using the 40 pins header. I have the Pi connected to a 5V 5A SMPS in the enclosure box. The power supply module is also powering a 7-inch display and a small cooling fan.

The whole setup works fine when I have it with me at my house, everything starts and I am able to work with the enclosure. But as soon as I install the box at a clients site, the Pi doesn't even turn on and the display says "No Signal", while troubleshooting at the site, as soon as I remove the extension board and power cycle the main power, the Pi starts and I can see the desktop in the display.

When initially I installed the 2 boxes at the site, it was working, but when I left the site, after around 1 day both the boxes had stopped working and both of them had the same behavior of removing the extension board and the Pi will startup.

What is strange to me is that the whole setup works fine when I power it ON at my house, but it stops working at the client's site and after removing the extension board, the Pi starts at the client's location.

Any insight into why this could be happening would be very useful. Happy to share any further details if required.

Thanks

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davidcoton
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Re: Pi won't boot up at a client's location, works fine at my house.

Sat Apr 17, 2021 8:26 am

So:
  1. What is different between the two locations?
  2. What is connected to the Pi, is it the same item (not just same type)?
  3. Is the incoming mains to the PSU at the same voltage?
  4. Are the environmental conditions similar?
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neilgl
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Re: Pi won't boot up at a client's location, works fine at my house.

Sat Apr 17, 2021 9:30 am

Yes, the key seems to be the custom made extension board - what is on it, what is it doing?

knikkhilraj
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Re: Pi won't boot up at a client's location, works fine at my house.

Sat Apr 17, 2021 5:39 pm

davidcoton wrote:
Sat Apr 17, 2021 8:26 am
So:
  1. What is different between the two locations?
  2. What is connected to the Pi, is it the same item (not just same type)?
  3. Is the incoming mains to the PSU at the same voltage?
  4. Are the environmental conditions similar?
Hello David,

*1. There isn't much difference between the 2 locations. I can't even think of a difference. Apart from the power source.
*2. The same item and the same system that I install at the client's site. Not even a different one.
*3. At both places, the box is connected to the wall outlet, then the onboard SMPS converts it to 5V.
*4. Yes, the environmental conditions are similar.

I am wondering if 2 different wall outlets in the US can have different voltage supplies, but even if that is the case, the onboard SMPS should take care of that.

knikkhilraj
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Re: Pi won't boot up at a client's location, works fine at my house.

Sat Apr 17, 2021 5:41 pm

neilgl wrote:
Sat Apr 17, 2021 9:30 am
Yes, the key seems to be the custom made extension board - what is on it, what is it doing?
The extension board houses 2 ADS1115 analog to digital converter that converts the analog signal to digital signal for the pi and then Pi reads the data through the I2C interface. It is a fairly simple extension board.

Can it be something related to the surge of power required at startup ? but the whole system starts when it is at my house.

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B.Goode
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Re: Pi won't boot up at a client's location, works fine at my house.

Sat Apr 17, 2021 5:48 pm

knikkhilraj wrote:
Sat Apr 17, 2021 5:41 pm
neilgl wrote:
Sat Apr 17, 2021 9:30 am
Yes, the key seems to be the custom made extension board - what is on it, what is it doing?
The extension board houses 2 ADS1115 analog to digital converter that converts the analog signal to digital signal for the pi and then Pi reads the data through the I2C interface. It is a fairly simple extension board.

Can it be something related to the surge of power required at startup ? but the whole system starts when it is at my house.


Wild guess... Maybe some electrical/magnetic/radio 'noise' in the foreign environment that is being picked up by your board and injected into the RPi? Might be 'airborne' interference, not 'mains-borne'?

knikkhilraj
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Re: Pi won't boot up at a client's location, works fine at my house.

Sat Apr 17, 2021 6:00 pm

B. Goode,

I have no experience in that area, any idea how I can check that?
Or if there is a way I can prevent that from happening, I can look into it.

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Roken
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Re: Pi won't boot up at a client's location, works fine at my house.

Sat Apr 17, 2021 6:10 pm

knikkhilraj wrote:
Sat Apr 17, 2021 5:39 pm
I am wondering if 2 different wall outlets in the US can have different voltage supplies, but even if that is the case, the onboard SMPS should take care of that.
I heard recently (can't remember where) that US power may be 110-120V OR 230-240V. Since I can't remember where I heard this, I can't verify (I'm in the UK), but maybe worth checking.
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B.Goode
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Re: Pi won't boot up at a client's location, works fine at my house.

Sat Apr 17, 2021 6:11 pm

knikkhilraj wrote:
Sat Apr 17, 2021 6:00 pm
B. Goode,

I have no experience in that area, any idea how I can check that?
Or if there is a way I can prevent that from happening, I can look into it.

Sorry. no idea.

Just trying to be logical.

The RPi boards themselves (standalone) seem to run in the new environment. The RPi boards with your add-ons fail. Apparently your add-ons are reacting badly to their new environment. (Do you see the same behaviour with/without the external cabling in the new location that is presumably connecting to the ADC circuits?)

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thagrol
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Re: Pi won't boot up at a client's location, works fine at my house.

Sat Apr 17, 2021 7:28 pm

Do you have anything plugged into the Pi's USB ports? If so is it the same USB device(s) at both sites?

Some USB devices that incorrectly supply 5v to the USB host can prevent the 4B's pmic from coming up. Not sure if there is a similar impact if you end up supplying 5v/3,3v via the GPIO headers.
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All advice given is based on my experience. it worked for me, it may not work for you.
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HawaiianPi
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Re: Pi won't boot up at a client's location, works fine at my house.

Sat Apr 17, 2021 8:21 pm

knikkhilraj wrote:
Sat Apr 17, 2021 5:39 pm
I am wondering if 2 different wall outlets in the US can have different voltage supplies,
Yes, I've run into problems due to that in the past, but not with a Pi (long time ago, and it was audio equipment as I recall).

knikkhilraj wrote:
Sat Apr 17, 2021 5:39 pm
... but even if that is the case, the onboard SMPS should take care of that.
Seems logical, but there are edge cases where that might not be true. How well does your SMPS filter noise?

B.Goode wrote:
Sat Apr 17, 2021 5:48 pm
Wild guess... Maybe some electrical/magnetic/radio 'noise' in the foreign environment that is being picked up by your board and injected into the RPi? Might be 'airborne' interference, not 'mains-borne'?
This seems like a more likely scenario. Either the board itself is picking up interference, or attached cabling is acting as an antenna and injecting noise (or both). Or the mains supply is noisy and your SMPS is not filtering it out.

I assume you are using some wires to connect the board to other equipment, so try it with just the board on the Pi (not connected to anything else). If that helps then either get shielded cables or try to shorten the wiring as much as possible (or both).

If it doesn't help then you may need a UPS or Surge Protector that filters noise (or perhaps an isolation transformer).
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davidcoton
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Re: Pi won't boot up at a client's location, works fine at my house.

Sat Apr 17, 2021 9:33 pm

thagrol wrote:
Sat Apr 17, 2021 7:28 pm
Do you have anything plugged into the Pi's USB ports? If so is it the same USB device(s) at both sites?

Some USB devices that incorrectly supply 5v to the USB host can prevent the 4B's pmic from coming up. Not sure if there is a similar impact if you end up supplying 5v/3,3v via the GPIO headers.
This. Are ALL the peripherals (USB devices, monitor, etc) moved with the Pi? If not, start there.
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alphanumeric
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Re: Pi won't boot up at a client's location, works fine at my house.

Sun Apr 18, 2021 12:04 pm

Here In Canada (and as far as I know also in the US) the standard wall outlet is 120V 60Hz. Its 3 prog with a Hot (120V from the fuse panel) neutral return to the fuse panel (and grounded at the fuse panel), and the third ground terminal that goes to earth ground at the fuse panel. 2 phase 120-0-120 does feed the house giving you 240 volts for electric stoves and the electric cloths dryer. Those are special 240 outlets.
All that being said, it is possible to wire up the 120 wall outlet incorrectly. Swapping the hot and neutral wires is a common mistake by do it your selfers. And it will mess with some electrical gear. In Canada the Hot is a black wire that comes from the fuse or circuit breaker in the panel. It's the live 120v. The return wire is white and the ground is green. On the wall outlet the neutral contact is often silver color and the Hot is copper or brass color.
I have an outlet checker in my tool box to verify everything is as it should be. I have on occasion found some questionable wiring in my house. Mine is similar to this.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Commercial- ... 10103851

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davidcoton
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Re: Pi won't boot up at a client's location, works fine at my house.

Sun Apr 18, 2021 4:11 pm

alphanumeric wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 12:04 pm
Here In Canada (and as far as I know also in the US) the standard wall outlet is 120V 60Hz. Its 3 prog with a Hot (120V from the fuse panel) neutral return to the fuse panel (and grounded at the fuse panel), and the third ground terminal that goes to earth ground at the fuse panel. 2 phase 120-0-120 does feed the house giving you 240 volts for electric stoves and the electric cloths dryer. Those are special 240 outlets.
[pedant]
Forgive me if I'm wrong, being a mere British electrician. But the 240V supply is derived from phase and anti-phase -- not from a 3-phase supply (the voltage across two phases of a 3-phase supply at 120V per phase would be ~212V, if my maths is still working).

It doesn't matter much, you don't want 120V across your body, and you certainly don't want either 212V or 240V. (Been there, done that, got the T-shirt.) Don't try, it can kill.
[/pedant]
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alphanumeric
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Re: Pi won't boot up at a client's location, works fine at my house.

Sun Apr 18, 2021 4:52 pm

I may have mucked up the terminology a bit re the reference to 2 phase. Suffice it to say the transformer on the pole sends 240 volts to the house, which is two 120V feeds and a common ground. It's a transformer with a center taped 240 secondary winding. If the premise is wired correctly half the house is on one 120V line and the other half is on the other 120v line. Anything that needs 240V makes use of both. My fuse box has two columns of fuses, 1 column is on one feed and the other on the other feed. The 240 v circuits bridge the two lines.

Anyway, getting more on topic, if the outlet is miss wired at one location, maybe its causing an issue? Can't hurt to rule it out as it should be an easy fix.

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Re: Pi won't boot up at a client's location, works fine at my house.

Sun Apr 18, 2021 6:42 pm

davidcoton wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 4:11 pm
alphanumeric wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 12:04 pm
Here In Canada (and as far as I know also in the US) the standard wall outlet is 120V 60Hz. Its 3 prog with a Hot (120V from the fuse panel) neutral return to the fuse panel (and grounded at the fuse panel), and the third ground terminal that goes to earth ground at the fuse panel. 2 phase 120-0-120 does feed the house giving you 240 volts for electric stoves and the electric cloths dryer. Those are special 240 outlets.
[pedant]
Forgive me if I'm wrong, being a mere British electrician. But the 240V supply is derived from phase and anti-phase -- not from a 3-phase supply (the voltage across two phases of a 3-phase supply at 120V per phase would be ~212V, if my maths is still working).

It doesn't matter much, you don't want 120V across your body, and you certainly don't want either 212V or 240V. (Been there, done that, got the T-shirt.) Don't try, it can kill.
[/pedant]
[anecdote]
Being well in to my sixth decade I may not RC but, according to my father at the time (steam, later diesel-electric, locomotive engine driver and part-time electrician) the house (and other houses on the same street) I was born in had two electric meters, one for the "mains plugs" the other for the "lights" and separate fuses etc. from different "phases" of the supply. The main consequence of this was that, during winter "power cuts" we always had some electricity, partially because one "phase" fed the pumps for the water reservoir about half-a-mile "up the hill". (I've also got a "T-shirt" as a former laser physicist working with pulsed power supplies upto 200kV (and, relatively, lower voltage fast, <1nS rise time, trigger units))
[/anecdote]
Trev. :shock:
Still running Raspbian Jessie or Stretch on some older Pi's (an A, B1, 2xB2, B+, P2B, 3xP0, P0W, 2xP3A+, P3B+, P3B, B+, and a A+) but Buster on the P4B's & P400. See: https://www.cpmspectrepi.uk/raspberry_pi/raspiidx.htm

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Re: Pi won't boot up at a client's location, works fine at my house.

Fri Apr 23, 2021 11:39 am

FTrevorGowen wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 6:42 pm
...I've also got a "T-shirt" as a former laser physicist working with pulsed power supplies up to 200kV
Yup, those laser power supplies really pack a wallop (worked with some big lasers myself)!

Been there, done that, threw the T-shirt away because it had a big hole burned in it... Image
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Re: Pi won't boot up at a client's location, works fine at my house.

Fri Apr 23, 2021 12:58 pm

Could you provide more info about the client location? Is it another residence, a business, a manufacturing site with large inductive loads, etc?

US standard for residences is 15A 120 V, 3 prong receptacles. They may also have 20A 120 V 3 prong T-Slot receptacles. Also have 240V for dryers and electric stoves. However, this would not be used for a 120 V circuit without "innovative" and very likely non code compliant wiring. If this is going to an older residence, then all bets are off as you can run into all sorts of odd and evil things, knob and tube, ungrounded receptacles, floating grounds, reversed hot and return, etc. As suggested, these can easily be checked with an inexpensive tester.

If the entire unit is being moved (Pi, extension board, P/S) then external power and external environmental factors are a likely culprit.

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