gdouglas
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2019 4:33 pm

High percentage of Ethernet Failures - Pi 3B

Fri Apr 05, 2019 4:51 pm

I'm beginning to wonder if there's a serious issue with the Ethernet part on the 3B.

I have 8 - 3B units and of those 8, 3 of them have experienced Ethernet hardware failure. All are relatively new units (<1 year old). One died the day I received it.

While the kernel still sees the part -- and the drivers load, Ethernet link and communication always fails -- and in fact the Link LED on the pi illuminates regardless of the presence of a cable or link partner. Eth0 comes up and gets an avahi autoconf IP address.

Yes -- I've tried different OS images (I'm using the latest Raspian lite in general), cables, switches, config tweaks etc, and even hard locking switch ports to all of the various speed/duplex combinations. The symptom is always the same.

I'm looking to understand why this is happening in such high number. The USB ports all still work just fine.

Is there a process by which I can send these units back for analysis -- and/or is there any documentation regarding how or why the part (and I suspect specifically the Ethernet PHY's analog side) might fail?

Is there a known design problem / errata that might explain my experience?

Thanks in advance!

pcmanbob
Posts: 5892
Joined: Fri May 31, 2013 9:28 pm
Location: Mansfield UK

Re: High percentage of Ethernet Failures - Pi 3B

Fri Apr 05, 2019 6:07 pm

Hi.

I think if this was a common issue then with the millions of pi3B's that have been sold we would have seen a lot of people coming to the forum for help and a lot of suppliers complaining due to the number of returns.

First I would look at the network you are connecting them to ( assuming they are all connected to one network ) to see if there is something like a bad switch or a switch with poe turned on, that could be causing these failures.
We want information… information… information........................no information no help
The use of crystal balls & mind reading are not supported

gdouglas
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2019 4:33 pm

Re: High percentage of Ethernet Failures - Pi 3B

Fri Apr 05, 2019 7:54 pm

I agree with your response -- but i've 'been there done that' with cables etc!

Everything's been checked -- and in fact I quarantined my original switch just in case -- and changed over to another but it still happens.

FYI: in addition to the units I have, a partner has another, larger number of pi 3B's (out of an order of about 100pcs) that exhibit the same symptoms. Completely different network.

FYI2: Our process is:

1) Enable USB boot on the pi with a stripped down image (Sadly the 3B doesn't come with USB boot enabled)
2) Netboot the pi with a blank SD card
3) Have the pi image itself (using dd) from an imaged stored on NFS.

The units usually break between 1 and 2.

I'm mostly looking for guidance on what, from a hardware perspective, could kill the Phy in such a manner -- and could this somehow be a side-effect of enabling network booting/power/etc.

User avatar
mahjongg
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
Posts: 11731
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:19 am
Location: South Holland, The Netherlands

Re: High percentage of Ethernet Failures - Pi 3B

Sat Apr 06, 2019 12:24 pm

copy sent to moderators.

dobova86
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 5:32 pm

Re: High percentage of Ethernet Failures - Pi 3B

Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:18 am

I read somewhere, that microchip lan951x chip production has changed recently for some weakness in the industrial model due to temperature. I can’t remind where I got the news, but this was not related to Pi.

gdouglas
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2019 4:33 pm

Re: High percentage of Ethernet Failures - Pi 3B

Mon Apr 08, 2019 4:42 pm

Thanks for the lan951x info. I'll look into errata. All help is greatly appreciated.

jamesh
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 22053
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:41 pm

Re: High percentage of Ethernet Failures - Pi 3B

Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:10 am

Hi gdouglas,

we would be interested in getting one or two of your defective boards back for testing, as this is not a problem we have seen before.

Can you send an email to [email protected], FAO JamesH, and we can organise something over email rather than on here.

Thanks

James
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
Contrary to popular belief, humorous signatures are allowed. Here's an example...
"My grief counseller just died, luckily, he was so good, I didn't care."

gdouglas
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2019 4:33 pm

Re: High percentage of Ethernet Failures - Pi 3B

Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:58 pm

Thanks JamesH -- email sent.

jamesh
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 22053
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:41 pm

Re: High percentage of Ethernet Failures - Pi 3B

Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:45 pm

gdouglas wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:58 pm
Thanks JamesH -- email sent.
I've got a few days off over Easter, so don't expect a reply until next week!
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
Contrary to popular belief, humorous signatures are allowed. Here's an example...
"My grief counseller just died, luckily, he was so good, I didn't care."

gdouglas
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2019 4:33 pm

Re: High percentage of Ethernet Failures - Pi 3B

Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:36 pm

Thanks for letting me know -- and enjoy your time off.

Reply when you can. I have devices ready to send.

gdouglas
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2019 4:33 pm

Re: High percentage of Ethernet Failures - Pi 3B

Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:07 pm

Hi James -- hope you had a good Easter break!

I haven't seen a reply from you via email. I re-sent a message this morning.


Thanks.

jamesh
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 22053
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:41 pm

Re: High percentage of Ethernet Failures - Pi 3B

Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:36 pm

gdouglas wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:07 pm
Hi James -- hope you had a good Easter break!

I haven't seen a reply from you via email. I re-sent a message this morning.


Thanks.
Hmm, nothing made it to me first go , I'll see what happens with the one this morning. Make sure you address it FAO James Hughes
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
Contrary to popular belief, humorous signatures are allowed. Here's an example...
"My grief counseller just died, luckily, he was so good, I didn't care."

gdouglas
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2019 4:33 pm

Re: High percentage of Ethernet Failures - Pi 3B

Fri May 03, 2019 5:54 pm

Hi again James -- I sent the emails again ( a couple of different ways) to [email protected] -- did you receive them?

Is there some other way we can connect?

Thanks~!

BespokeTech
Posts: 40
Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:14 pm

Re: High percentage of Ethernet Failures - Pi 3B

Thu May 09, 2019 3:59 pm

gdouglas wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 4:51 pm
I'm beginning to wonder if there's a serious issue with the Ethernet part on the 3B.

I have 8 - 3B units and of those 8, 3 of them have experienced Ethernet hardware failure. All are relatively new units (<1 year old). One died the day I received it.

While the kernel still sees the part -- and the drivers load, Ethernet link and communication always fails -- and in fact the Link LED on the pi illuminates regardless of the presence of a cable or link partner. Eth0 comes up and gets an avahi autoconf IP address.

Yes -- I've tried different OS images (I'm using the latest Raspian lite in general), cables, switches, config tweaks etc, and even hard locking switch ports to all of the various speed/duplex combinations. The symptom is always the same.

I'm looking to understand why this is happening in such high number. The USB ports all still work just fine.

Is there a process by which I can send these units back for analysis -- and/or is there any documentation regarding how or why the part (and I suspect specifically the Ethernet PHY's analog side) might fail?

Is there a known design problem / errata that might explain my experience?

Thanks in advance!
Hi,

Any PoE come into play here? I note you mention that you have tried different switches cables etc, but presumably that was after each one had died! Did the 3 faulty pi's all die when plugged into the same switch hardware? If so I would be interested to know the make/model of network switch used.

jamesh
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 22053
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:41 pm

Re: High percentage of Ethernet Failures - Pi 3B

Thu May 09, 2019 4:01 pm

gdouglas wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 5:54 pm
Hi again James -- I sent the emails again ( a couple of different ways) to [email protected] -- did you receive them?

Is there some other way we can connect?

Thanks~!
[email protected] is the appropratie way, I'll ask around to see what's happened to them.
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
Contrary to popular belief, humorous signatures are allowed. Here's an example...
"My grief counseller just died, luckily, he was so good, I didn't care."

Return to “Advanced users”