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Static and Sensor modules

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 11:50 am
by jamesh
Hello all,

Just a quick heads up to remind people that the camera modules on the Raspi Camera board ARE static sensitive. This means you should earth yourself before handling the module (radiator etc). Failure to do so can result in a dead camera module - I have a suspicion (bordering on conviction) that some of the issues seen by people here with non-working devices are down to them being static shocked.

Please be careful when handling the camera module!

James

Re: Static and Sensor modules

Posted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 6:35 am
by theoB610
What are the symptoms? What can you do if you have shocked your camera?

Re: Static and Sensor modules

Posted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 6:43 am
by PiGraham
theoB610 wrote:What are the symptoms? What can you do if you have shocked your camera?
Get a new one.

Re: Static and Sensor modules

Posted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 7:03 am
by theoB610
Seriously? :cry: That's another £25. How do make sure that it is definitely static-ised?
I'm considering buying a webcam instead, it might be a bit more robust.

Re: Static and Sensor modules

Posted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:44 am
by jamesh
theoB610 wrote:Seriously? :cry: That's another £25. How do make sure that it is definitely static-ised?
I'm considering buying a webcam instead, it might be a bit more robust.
For diagnostics, there not much exepct does it not now work when previously it did. Worthwhile trying a new SD card image, just to ensure you haven broken the installed software, but apart from that its difficult to tell.

It may be possible to read some registers in the sensor that might get set if its been shocked (some sensors have this) - I'll try to remember to look on Monday.

Re: Static and Sensor modules

Posted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 1:37 am
by peterpan123
I've got a camera that stopped working. Nobody has given any symptoms above so I just want to check if mine sounds like it's died of static.

When I try to take a photo/video the red light on the camera comes on, and the RPi freezes with a blank line. It happens whether I'm saving the image, or using demo mode.

It had worked fine, the last time I remember it working was doing a video in demo mode. The video that I saw on the monitor cycled through all the video effects. It ran for longer than I expected, I didn't know if I'd mistyped the number of seconds (milliseconds) or if it froze, so I think I stopped it by resetting.

Anyway, since then I did a bunch of network/sharing changes, and the camera hasn't worked since. I've tried undoing what I did, but it still doesn't work. I haven't tried a new SD card install, that's next on my list.

Re: Static and Sensor modules

Posted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:01 am
by peterpan123
I reflashed the card, set it all up again, and exactly the same result. When I try to take a photo or video the red light on the camera turns on, and the RPi freezes.

Off to buy a new camera

Re: Static and Sensor modules

Posted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:24 am
by jamesh
peterpan123 wrote:I reflashed the card, set it all up again, and exactly the same result. When I try to take a photo or video the red light on the camera turns on, and the RPi freezes.

Off to buy a new camera
Always worth reseating all the camera connection, including the connection to the module itself (on the camera PCB)

Re: Static and Sensor modules

Posted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 5:15 pm
by peterpan123
Good point, but I already tried it.

I guess what worries me is that you still need to be super careful about handling it even once it's all plugged in and running.

Re: Static and Sensor modules

Posted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 7:56 pm
by jamesh
peterpan123 wrote:Good point, but I already tried it.

I guess what worries me is that you still need to be super careful about handling it even once it's all plugged in and running.
They don't becomes less sensitive once plugged in....

Re: Static and Sensor modules

Posted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:25 pm
by SnowLeopard
Out of curiosity, how much static would affect the camera board and how would the camera react afterwards?
Would you feel/notice the static shock like when touching a doorknob?
From what I've read, it seems more likely that the camera doesn't work properly due to flaky power supply and/or USB cable rather than fried by electrostatic discharge.

Re: Static and Sensor modules

Posted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:36 pm
by jbeale
FWIW, I also had a camera hang / freeze up on me doing the demo, and continued to not-work after a reboot. But the camera later worked on a different Pi board, so at least in my case, if there was any hardware damage it was not on the camera side. Cable connector also maybe an issue.

There are a few tips at http://elinux.org/Rpi_Camera_Module#Troubleshooting
Camera not working at all

Example error message: "mmal: mmal_vc_component_create: failed to create component 'vc.ril.camera' (1:ENOMEM)"

Make sure the flex cable is inserted the correct way on both ends, and each connector has the locking tab engaged. The RPi + camera draws about 260 mA more current when recording video, than without the camera. The Model B is about 550 mA by itself, so camera use pushes it over 800 mA. Some power supplies, cables, and polyfuses may not maintain 5V onboard at this current load well enough for reliable operation. You can check this with a voltmeter across TP1 and TP2.[11][12]

In some cases, the micro-connector from the camera module to the camera board PCB has been loose. This can be fixed by removing and re-seating the small (tiny!) yellow flex cable connector labelled "P5V04A SUNNY" on the camera board. It makes a click when it is fully seated.[13]

Re: Static and Sensor modules

Posted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:44 pm
by peterpan123
I certainly wasn't aware of any static discharge, nor have I ever noticed any while at my desk. I'd imagine the amount it takes to destroy a static sensitive chip would be way below the threshold of human perception.

I imagined that it was only sensitive to static until it was connected to the board in that once it was connected it was grounded.

Anyway, it's not working now. It's a good lesson in taking care instructions seriously, thankfully not an expensive lesson.

EDIT: I've just seen some more tips come in as I'm typing this (thanks). I'll try them tonight when I get a chance and report back.

Re: Static and Sensor modules

Posted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:19 am
by peterpan123
Thanks for the suggestions. I've tried them all and nothing has worked. There is no error message, it just freezes after I do any raspivid or raspistill command.

A new camera is on the way.

Re: Static and Sensor modules

Posted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 7:43 pm
by rakesh219
Hmmm this read was definitely interesting! I have a camera module on its way and was wondering is there any way of protecting the module from static once it is connected? As I plan to insert my setup inside a wafer roll container w/ a small insert for the camera and w/ the pi in a clear case and an external battery pack!

Re: Static and Sensor modules

Posted: Sat Dec 14, 2013 4:58 am
by aurangzaib
I also have the same issue that raspicam's red light is on but not showing any pic or vid. Red light just keeps turn on until i poweroff raspi

Re: Static and Sensor modules

Posted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 5:47 pm
by dlivingstone
Static could be a problem... but from too many hours reading the threads on these forums there is a genuine lack of consistency.

Some folk with multiple cameras and pis are finding that some pi's dont work with some cameras, and other odd issues that are obviously hard to test if you only have one camera and one pi. Its certainly frustrating spending hours trying to fix something when there is no easy way to tell what the problem is. Are there common or typical errors caused by static? Are there any signs or indications that static isn't the problem, and that the camera isn't dead?

I put my camera in a housing as soon as I opened it because I was aware that static was an issue.
It then worked for one day, and stopped working today. Given it was a Christmas present this was a bit disappointing... In trying to fix it I may well have totally borked it now though. Gutted.
:(

Re: Static and Sensor modules

Posted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 3:15 am
by davespi
My Pi Cam issue was resolved by the post from jbeale, referencing "http://elinux.org/Rpi_Camera_Module#Tro ... :[quote]In some cases, the micro-connector from the camera module to the camera board PCB has been loose. This can be fixed by removing and re-seating the small (tiny!) yellow flex cable connector labelled "P5V04A SUNNY" on the camera board. It makes a click when it is fully seated.
[/quote]That small, yellow square was loose on my camera board. Removing and re-seating it seems to have resolved my intermittent camera issue.

Re: Static and Sensor modules

Posted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 10:05 am
by jamesh
dlivingstone wrote:Static could be a problem... but from too many hours reading the threads on these forums there is a genuine lack of consistency.

Some folk with multiple cameras and pis are finding that some pi's dont work with some cameras, and other odd issues that are obviously hard to test if you only have one camera and one pi. Its certainly frustrating spending hours trying to fix something when there is no easy way to tell what the problem is. Are there common or typical errors caused by static? Are there any signs or indications that static isn't the problem, and that the camera isn't dead?

I put my camera in a housing as soon as I opened it because I was aware that static was an issue.
It then worked for one day, and stopped working today. Given it was a Christmas present this was a bit disappointing... In trying to fix it I may well have totally borked it now though. Gutted.
:(
There is a very recent firmware update that has a fix for camera startups. It's a really odd bug that's only shown up recently, but has been there a long time. Do a sudo rpi-update to see if it fixes the problem.

Re: Static and Sensor modules

Posted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:03 pm
by dlivingstone
Thanks James,

I did manage to get it working again after all... and posted that on another thread. Re-re-seating all of the cables fixed it, but still in the dark as to what went wrong initially (possibly a loose connection on the short 'sunny' cable?). Managed to make a timelapse film on Friday... and will be trying another tomorrow. Sorry for all the grumbles - was pretty frustrating at the time!

Still, will update again anyway, and thanks to all involved in the camera software continued support and development work :D

Re: Static and Sensor modules

Posted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:01 am
by jamesh
It's quite amazing that a fairly fundamental bug in camera startup has only just turned up, tbh we were wondering how raspistill ever managed to work, and yet its been working a year with minimal issues! Hopefully this latest bug fix will sort out some of the so far undiagnosed issues. It quite frustrating, given I've never seen the problem in my testing, which does make it difficult to fix!

So, nowadays if your camera isnt working, the problem solving is basically.

Check connectors (all of them, including the sunny connector!)
Check software (get latest firmware using sudo rpi-update)
Check power supply. (The camera needs an extra 200-250mA over the Raspi base load)

Re: Static and Sensor modules

Posted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:33 am
by rurwin
peterpan123 wrote:I certainly wasn't aware of any static discharge, nor have I ever noticed any while at my desk. I'd imagine the amount it takes to destroy a static sensitive chip would be way below the threshold of human perception.
Just tapping your foot on the floor generates around 100V -- enough to light a neon bulb. Sparks are only generated at voltages over 300V*, and every centimetre of spark is 33,000 volts. I would guess that most static shocks that we notice must be in that 300-3,000 volt area, since the spark occurs within about a millimetre of the object, although I have certainly experienced one in the centimetre arena. Much less than 300V in the right place will kill electronics.
I imagined that it was only sensitive to static until it was connected to the board in that once it was connected it was grounded.
James says not, and he knows best. Also, just connecting it to a RaspPi does not ground it, it just connects it to a bigger circuit-board. Electronics is usually less susceptible when grounded. However RaspPis are often not grounded even when they are connected to a power-supply. Many power-supplies are isolated -- those without earth pins and those with twin core flex for example.

---
* 'Tis right, even if you have seen a 9V battery sparking. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_voltage#Sparks_in_air

Re: Static and Sensor modules

Posted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:41 pm
by g7ruh
rurwin wrote:
peterpan123 wrote:I certainly wasn't aware of any static discharge, nor have I ever noticed any while at my desk. I'd imagine the amount it takes to destroy a static sensitive chip would be way below the threshold of human perception.

Just tapping your foot on the floor generates around 100V -- enough to light a neon bulb.

When I used to fix computers for a living, back in 70's and static sensitive things were somewhat new to all of us! ... I used a neon screwdriver (as used in mains testing) to check for static in a room. We found that a mix of comfort fabric softener and 4-5 parts water when sprayed on the floor / carpet / "antistatic" carpet (only if grounded itself) would cause the static to dissipate and failed (VERY expensive) memory chip replacements had a much longer life. Not sure if today's fabric softener works the same, it seems to. I still use the same screwdriver for static testing, rub foot on floor and ground blade of screwdriver, if the neon strikes, you have static. If it is very bright or prolonged, you have a lot of static.

Roger

Re: Static and Sensor modules

Posted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:27 pm
by NigeH
Hi James and everyone,
Firstly, thanks - a class job you guys are doing keep it up :)

to business (in case any of this is useful!):
Following receipt of camera module today (Element14 box version) I had this problem- red light but module not detected. I followed this thread updated the firmware no change - reseated the cable in the Pi - no change (you can see the indents from the pins to tell if it's aligned ok). Finally removed the camera module from the housing I had fought it into and lo - the said yellow connector is not properly seated on mine either....have been 'fixing' iPods and iPhones recently so recognised the funny rubbery sensation when it properly clicks in. Looks like a manufacturing QA issue from where I'm sitting... or free experience :lol:

so +1 to check the module first

Re: Static and Sensor modules

Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 2:46 pm
by remsiux
So I have the same problem on the camera freezing. I have read multiple treads about this problem and none of the solutions helped to fix it untill I tried my friends Pi. I have used all my hardware like sd card and power supply.

I'm really interested why does this issue occur as the problem seems to be assosiated with the Pi itself. Please note that I had the camera module worked before, just when I tried it after a while it had this freezing phenomena. So my question is can overclocking cause the I2C interface not to work. I had my Pi overclocked to 800 or 850MHz. No one seems to mention this anywhere but maybe this is the couse of it. And no, reseting the clock speed to default doesn't fix it.

sometimes it freezes here

Code: Select all

ROI x 0.000000, y 0.000000, w 1.000000 h 1.000000
Camera component done
Encoder component done
Starting component connection stage
Connecting camera preview port to video render.
Connecting camera stills port to encoder input port
Opening output file imgg.jpg
Enabling encoder output port
Starting capture 0
and sometimes here

Code: Select all

ROI x 0.000000, y 0.000000, w 1.000000 h 1.000000
Camera component done
Encoder component done
Starting component connection stage
Connecting camera preview port to video render.
Connecting camera stills port to encoder input port
Closing down
I'm completelly lost. Looks like I need a new Pi.