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Warranty and mean time to failure

Posted: Fri Dec 27, 2019 12:40 pm
by kmrp
Hi,
Is there any information on or experience with extended warranties and mean time to failure for use of Raspberry Pi in classrooms? The standard warranty seems to be one year, but hardware in computer classrooms can often be run for much longer than this.
Thanks

Re: Warranty and mean time to failure

Posted: Sat Dec 28, 2019 12:09 am
by DougieLawson
If that info exists it will be confidential to the Raspberry Pi Foundation (RPF).

There's no hardware maker in the world that publishes MTBF data, they'd go out of business in a week if they did that.

The normal failure modes for Raspberry Pis are:
1. SDCard trashed
2. GPIO abuse
3. Over voltage on a power supply

All three of those are outside the control of the RPF.

Re: Warranty and mean time to failure

Posted: Sat Dec 28, 2019 2:50 am
by ejolson
kmrp wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 12:40 pm
Hi,
Is there any information on or experience with extended warranties and mean time to failure for use of Raspberry Pi in classrooms? The standard warranty seems to be one year, but hardware in computer classrooms can often be run for much longer than this.
Thanks
The warranty for the magic boat in the Great Underground Empire reads
Frobozz Magic Boat Company wrote: Warranty:
This boat is guaranteed against all defects in parts and workmanship for a period of 76 milliseconds from date of purchase or until first used, whichever comes first.
https://www.thezorklibrary.com/history/ ... _boat.html

When doing physical computing with GPIO, the Pi is very similar: One mistake and it's game over. On the other hand, if you do not start connecting wires to this and that GPIO pin, the Pi is likely to last indefinitely (or until some kid tries physical computing with a paperclip).

Unless your school has a policy that requires all IT equipment in use to be under warranty, I think the Pi is reliable enough when used properly without.

Re: Warranty and mean time to failure

Posted: Sat Dec 28, 2019 1:28 pm
by hippy
MTBF rates are often quoted for individual components by hardware manufacturers, are used to promote their products over others, but it's rare to see MTBF rates for an assembly of parts, probably because it's such an effort to calculate them.

It's also difficult to derate them to how a particular product may be being used so they become rather meaningless in themselves, only applicable to constant environments such as data centres.

A Pi should last decades if well treated, but can be destroyed on day one if something bad is done to it. It might even arrive DOA if it's faced some adversity during delivery.

As to warranty; that's whatever the legislation says it is in the UK, whatever has been agreed with the seller. If a school or other educational establishment it is likely different to what it would be for other consumers but your IT department should be able to advise you.

If you were just wondering how long a Pi would last in a classroom that would depend on how well the students and staff treat them, what is being done with them.

Re: Warranty and mean time to failure

Posted: Sat Dec 28, 2019 6:17 pm
by incognitum
hippy wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 1:28 pm
As to warranty; that's whatever the legislation says it is in the UK, whatever has been agreed with the seller.
If a school or other educational establishment it is likely different to what it would be for other consumers but your IT department should be able to advise you.
Also be aware that sometimes it is actually better NOT to agree anything with the seller. :)

E.g. in my country: if you did not agree otherwise, the default would be that you will get the same legal warranty consumers have, even though you ordered as company or school.

So here it is usually better to buy from sellers that sell mostly to consumers (as in that case they are unlikely to have separate terms and conditions for business orders), and do not mention any warranty.
Than it is to buy from major distributors that try to LIMIT your warranty to 12 months.