monthos
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Re: How long does the pi last?

Fri Feb 03, 2012 4:09 pm

Grumpyoldgit said:


I would imagine that the first things to go would be the connectors. With just a bare board and constant pulling, I suspect it won't be long before someone manages to yank something off the board. A properly designed casing will cushion this sort of wear and tear. Has anyone mentioned death by pet yet? As soon as I sit down at the computer the cat insists on walking all over the keyboard and generally getting in the way.


This reminds me of the original xbox, but that was a design problem not a manufacturing issue. The original power supply did not protect against the force of disconnecting/reconnecting the power cord, and it was a large problem causing some fires. Microsoft responded by replacing the cord with one with a breaker built in...

The real problem was without any support built into the connector it was causing arcing between the connector to the power supply board itself. When I opened up all four of my family's they all had visible damage(despite the console working) including burn marks on the board itself.

This is just more food for thought...

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ArborealSeer
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Re: How long does the pi last?

Fri Feb 03, 2012 4:11 pm

None take. I was just backing up the thing about the reliablity of BGA with the real-world example.

One of the problems with all the laptop manfacturers was that there was inadequate cooling. Long before they acknowleged the problem they snuck out bios updates to make everyones fans spin to aid cooling!

With RPi being 'naked', and not having other hot components there won't be such problems unless people run them at temps high enough to make the solder melt.

Also, (bear with me as i'm not an electrically knowledgable  person) I imagine the power used is very different as the RPi's SOC is from a mobile phone background vs the chipset on a laptop having pretty much a desktop background.
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Re: How long does the pi last?

Fri Feb 03, 2012 4:35 pm

Abishur said:


If it makes you feel better/brings you some relief, the components were very carefully chosen.  The r-pi is by no means a cheap Chinese build (no offense), I remember towards the beginning they were saying that Gert or Jamesh had been very obsessive when it came to the quality of the components.  I forget the exact time frame they expected on the r-pi so don't hold me to this, but I *believe* it was over 5 years.


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Re: How long does the pi last?

Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:16 pm

I still have a Sinclair ZX which I bought as a kit when they were introduced (forgotten now - around 1980?), and it still works OK. It spent years as a controller for a thermostat, then was used to teach some kids BASIC. It is still in original condition, and I have never repaired anything on it.

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Re: How long does the pi last?

Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:02 pm

With most electronics, if it lasts through the first 30 days, it will give a full life rating of service.

This is of course barring a swimming lesson or a drink of juice or soft drink. Since it has no case I would also advise against dragging your feet on the carpet while it is in your bare hand. Of course most computers are damaged by the keyboard being filled with liquid. If spilling juice on the RasPi doesn"t do it in, the dog licking the juice off probably will!

There is also the odd chance the the dog or cat will take offense at the time your are spending with your new RasPi. Dog or Cat urine is very caustic so don"t forget to feed the animals before a long session.
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Re: How long does the pi last?

Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:43 pm

It will be retired to stronger hardware before it breaks in most cases.  I would be willing to bet that in cases where failures are experienced it will be with external components.  Like the PSU, SD, USB Sticks, ect and not the unit itself.  You may see mecanical failure from people plugging and unplugging but who knows.

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Re: How long does the pi last?

Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:24 am

Out of curiosity, exactly how does keeping electric devices on constantly increase its lifespan?

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Re: How long does the pi last?

Sat Feb 04, 2012 2:12 am

keoh said:


Out of curiosity, exactly how does keeping electric devices on constantly increase its lifespan?


There's numerous reasons why leaving appliances on enhances their life. From the top of my head I can think of:

-Constant "on" reduces temperature swings (as it constantly heats itself)

-For the same reason, being on reduces chances of moisture damage

-Similar to how a car battery protects the chassis from corrosion

-I guess "switching on" is very stressful for electronics, computers can use as much as 3~4 times their regular power usage during boot up. PSUs are rated for ridiculous ratings like 500W in lots of computers just for boot up. Compare this to a light-bulb which decreases in lifespan the more often you switch it off (what a paradox)

-Being handled by humans (the switching on/off) puts mechanical stress on lots of components. More often than not switches are only held in place by their solder. Our hands also provide moisture and especially conductive electrolytes (sweat) to our electronic appliances.

Now the above don't count for all electronic components. Harddrives average in lifespan around 3 years before they start writing lots of bad sectors. Don't quote me on this because I'm not sure if it's true; but presumably magnetism is not a permanent feature of material, it lessens over time. So whether or not your harddrive is on doesn't make much difference to its lifespan. What does make a difference for harddrives are temperature swings. Though, most consumer computer cases are designed really badly, often letting hdds heat up beyond 50°C. The posts above me described how modern SD-cards (and most flash memory) physically degrade ( it oxidises) when written to it. So, right now, there are no storage media which can be written to indefinitely.

As much as I need to think of all those terminals in the Fallout universe, all still working after hundreds of years; it's just not possible in a regular setting. You'd need to create an operating system that handles 99,999% of its tasks in read-only mode and written so well it does not damage its own integrity over a long period of time. That is, until we develop a storage medium which does not degrade and does not rely on magnetism.

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Re: How long does the pi last?

Sat Feb 04, 2012 2:50 am

adding my 2p: I'd expect a well-treated, mostly-left-alone Raspi to last a couple of decades, or at least ten years.

Other than that, in normal use, the deaths will be as such (in order of likelihood):

1. Accident. being stood on, something snapping off while being carried in a bag, whatever. (0 days to whenever)
2. Misadventure. A modding attempt gone wrong. (0 days to 3 months)
3. Not looking after it. This is slightly different to 'Accident', in that it happens slowly. This is like 'something snapping off while being carried in a bag', except you noticed it, and you could have made a case for it, but you couldn't be bothered.(6 mths - 2 yrs)

4. Wear and tear. You were nice to it, but sometimes, something's gotta give. HDMI ports can only take so many plugs and unplugs... and the same goes for SD slots, RCA jacks, and micro-usb power-leads... Luckily, this is a mechanical thing, and fixable... (1/2/3/5yrs, depending...)

5. Component failure. I have only experienced one case of 'component failure' in my life - the infamous mid/late 1990s motherboard capacitor problem. Nevertheless, those sorts of components go before chips do. (20+ years, depending...)

...anyway, there's my lopinions...
note: I may or may not know what I'm talking about...

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Re: How long does the pi last?

Sat Feb 04, 2012 7:15 am

How long does the Pi last?   Extra long since it has been taking herbal male enhancements for men.

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Re: How long does the pi last?

Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:21 pm

Power cycling and heating issues generally have an effect on socketed chips. In any circuit board sockets are the weakest link.

I have several calculators and similar devices from the 80s that are still functional, most are HPs. I have a couple of Tandy/RS Model 100s that also still work. I also have hand built amateur radio equipment that I personally built that are 20+ years old that are still functional. Equipment that is stored in an air conditioned environment and kept out of sun light and florescent light (UV) should last a very long time.

I expect the R Pi will last well through generations of young programmers.

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PS. I still have a Commodore 64 hanging around in the closet. I'll have to pull it out and give it a go. (I'm not sure I still have a TV that it will plug into. I may have to fabricate an adapter.)
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Re: How long does the pi last?

Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:24 pm

I remember someone posting here about leaving the R-Pi outside in the Alaskan winter to act as a weather recording device. I wonder how the R-Pi would handle in sub-zero temps? As long as its kept dry, I bet it would do fine.

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Re: How long does the pi last?

Sun Feb 05, 2012 9:16 am

If there is no wind the raspi might henerate enough heat to run, if it gets windy, might chill the cpu right out.

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Re: How long does the pi last?

Sun Feb 05, 2012 12:35 pm

dh04000 said:


I remember someone posting here about leaving the R-Pi outside in the Alaskan winter to act as a weather recording device. I wonder how the R-Pi would handle in sub-zero temps? As long as its kept dry, I bet it would do fine.



There recently was a thread about temperatures. BCM2835 is not the problem. It is specd. for -40..85. The LAN chip is 0..70.

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Re: How long does the pi last?

Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:57 am

I've ran mine at -10C for an hour during a test i was using TEC Cooling to test something, i would post a video but i fried the TEC plates and the thermometer (doing something else) but not the Pi,

Might get some new gear and try again 6 hours stress test?

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Re: How long does the pi last?

Wed Nov 07, 2012 5:30 pm

Hidden deep in the fine print of the Broadcom chipset spec sheet is a statement that it will spontaneously combust after 764 days.
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Re: How long does the pi last?

Wed Nov 07, 2012 7:34 pm

There are plenty of systems built with good old 1980s processors and other chips that are still running well. Think traffic light controllers in many parts of the civilized world (I have recently heard that in the USA they are only just up grading traffic light controllers from clockwork and relay mechanisms).

If the Pi cannot keep up with that I would be very disappointed. Storage devices like SD cards will hopefully fail first.
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Re: How long does the pi last?

Wed Nov 07, 2012 10:29 pm

Can't remember whether I posted this before but I have a 35 year old Binatone Mk IV that still runs
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Re: How long does the pi last?

Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:44 pm

The most commonly reported fault in these columns seems to be a broken SD card slot. Strictly speaking this is probably damage rather than component failure, but it renders the Pi inoperable nonetheless. I don't suppose they fail spontaneously, but if a Pi is dropped with a card in the slot, or any pressure is put on the card while plugging/unplugging the power connector (it doesn't take much - they're very fragile) a non-functioning Pi is the likely result.

Unless this component is upgraded before the Pi finds its way into schools, I envisage school lab techs having drawers full of Pi's with broken card slots.

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Re: How long does the pi last?

Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:53 am

exartemarte wrote: Unless this component is upgraded before the Pi finds its way into schools, I envisage school lab techs having drawers full of Pi's with broken card slots.
...which would create an opportunity for a electronics class in which slightly older students learn how to do soldering and electronic repair fixing them.

(Yeah...I'd like to see a better card slot...but I'm not holding my breath waiting for it.)

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Re: How long does the pi last?

Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:58 am

Jessie wrote:How long does the Pi last?   Extra long since it has been taking herbal male enhancements for men.
So what were trying to say here is, the pi is going to outlast you, and that's what everyone wants isn't it ? :lol:

(ps, I run my pi very hard, no doubt they will outlast us all) :twisted:

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