Dazaster
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Got my Pi struggling to keep it alive?

Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:22 pm

Hi all,

Got my shiny Pi this morning and when I first opened it i noticed some kind of white substance around the pins and components around the smaller of the black chips. To be honest it looks like a kind of white mould, but me and my work mates just put that down to the way its been made.

Anyway,
I have tried 4 different SD cards with the 3 listed linux distros on each and the device turns off everytime at random points. Some times its during boot and other times its once i get to the desktop and try and load a website or another program. On one of the crashes the device turned off the display but all lights were still on and flashing as if it was operating normally, none of the cables got touched and it was on the command line before you type in startx. After 10 seconds on this one occasion the display came back on but the image seemed corrupt I went to take a picture of it and just as the camera was ready the screen went black again.

Another time i tried forcing audio to HDMI and it just shut off. I'm not entirely convinced this is a distro/ps problem as its completly random when it occurs.

I have tried 2 or 3 different ways of supplying power via a computer which is on and two different power adapters giving out the required volatage and amperage.

Could this problem just mean it is incompatible with my TV I am using?

Anybody else having/had the same problems? Anybody with any resolution for the problem I really want to start developing and toying with my ideas but seeing as it cuts out just after boot more often than not its not happening at the moment.

I did manage to have it running for 10 minutes after login on the command line. I went to type ping bbc.co.uk I got half way through and it cut out.

So i'm also wondering is it my keyboard and mouse the keyboard is wireless.

Sorry about the long first post its just been a really annoying day trying to get it to just stay on, I have been trying for the last 6 hours.

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AndrewS
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Re: Got my Pi struggling to keep it alive?

Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:29 am

Could be any number of problems, see http://elinux.org/R-Pi_Troubleshooting
If you can try a simpler wired keyboard, and the PSU voltage is within spec, and it's still failing, it might be worth sending it back under warranty. Apparently should only take a week or so to get a replacement sent to you.

Dazaster
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Re: Got my Pi struggling to keep it alive?

Thu Jun 21, 2012 8:26 am

I was going to try a wired keyboard whilst at work have no wired keyboards at home at the moment. But apart from that I have gone through all the troubleshooting I can think of and whats shown even done a check on the test points and it shows it in the right range.

How would I even apply to have a replacment sent out? Contact RS but I really doubt it will take a week to turn around and get a replacement sent out

Wolfpaw
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Re: Got my Pi struggling to keep it alive?

Thu Jun 21, 2012 8:30 am

FWIW I use a microsoft wired keyboard, a logitech wired mouse, a class10 SD RAM card from argos and the power supply from my Amazon kindle and it all works really well.

As has been suggested try a wired keyboard and different power supply - if you're still getting problems send it back...

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RaTTuS
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Re: Got my Pi struggling to keep it alive?

Thu Jun 21, 2012 8:37 am

post an image if you can - also try a wired keybaord
or with no keyboard at all
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JoeDaStudd
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Re: Got my Pi struggling to keep it alive?

Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:52 am

Dazaster wrote:I have tried 2 or 3 different ways of supplying power via a computer which is on and two different power adapters giving out the required volatage and amperage.
You won't be able to power the RasPi via your computer with it offers 700ma+ over usb, which very few motherboards offer.
Are you sure the other 2 adapters are 5v and 700ma+?
I've found some cheap adapters will achieve a lot less then they are rated for.

Once your sure the psu is ample try booting with only the hdmi, sd card and power connected.
There are a few, cheap, keyboards and mice which won't work the RasPi or cause issues.

If your using wireless keyboard and mouse its worth using a powered usb hub as they will draw more power then a standard keyboard/mouse.

9/10 any issue is with the peripherals or psu.
The other times it the sd card/software with a very small chance of an actually hardware fault.

Dazaster
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Re: Got my Pi struggling to keep it alive?

Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:35 pm

Tried it with and without any peripherals attached at work too with both wired and wireless keyboard. It nearly worked the first time i turned it on today but then after each boot the time got shorter and shorter to the point where it gets to a different part of the bootup each time and turns off, I have not seen the login prompt the last 6 boots

Tried it with and with out the network plugged in too.

Im attaching the image that I have taken of the whole board to the right you will see that white stuff I mentioned this is how I recieved it.
Image
Link to full scale image -> http://i.imgur.com/6CFWQ.jpg

JoeDaStudd
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Re: Got my Pi struggling to keep it alive?

Thu Jun 21, 2012 2:03 pm

That doesn't look too good.
Looks like something went wrong with either the application or cleaning of the flux.

Personally I'd contact RS with the image attached.

If you wanted to try to remove it yourself (not recommended as RS should offer a replacement) you could try cleaning it with rubbing alcohol and water (alcohol first then water to remove the alcohol).
Depending on the flux type it may (or may not) remove it.

selsinork
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Re: Got my Pi struggling to keep it alive?

Thu Jun 21, 2012 3:05 pm

JoeDaStudd wrote: Looks like something went wrong with either the application or cleaning of the flux.
There's a reason it's called no-clean-flux :)
JoeDaStudd wrote: you could try cleaning it with rubbing alcohol and water (alcohol first then water to remove the alcohol).
I wouldn't, unless you know what you're doing. Random chemicals, especially general tap water, really are not a good idea. Pure Isopropyl alcohol may be ok (it's generally used in the factory for cleaning flux off).

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mahjongg
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Re: Got my Pi struggling to keep it alive?

Thu Jun 21, 2012 3:11 pm

This is what you get when you clean it with flux, then try to remove the flux with tissue paper that contains chalk, the white residue is probably chalk or another non solvent that was released from the paper, and is probably innocuous.
In any case it seems they have tried to manually re-solder the LAN9512 chip, and probably failed.

Dazaster
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Re: Got my Pi struggling to keep it alive?

Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:39 pm

Waiting to hear back from RS Electronics now but could be waiting a while as they only accept emails. This was the photo I took as soon as I took it out the bag and had not even started it up as yet. I'm not even going to attempt to clean it off. I thought the same that it hadn't been completely removed but I am surprised it passed QA with that substance still being there

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TheCrazyInventor
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Re: Got my Pi struggling to keep it alive?

Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:48 pm

In my opinion, that doesn't look like flux residue. It seems to me that the solder paste hasn't molten correctly on that side of the board. It's a miracle the thing even turns on!
"Anything that can possibly go wrong, does" -M

Leo Rest
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Re: Got my Pi struggling to keep it alive?

Thu Jun 21, 2012 7:51 pm

It looks like flux residue to me. Something went badly wrong on the production line. Definatly needs to go back. Interestingly the solder joint quality looks quite good across the board and comprable to the two i have access to. P2 is nomally not soldered apart from pin one so something went wrong there. My guess is that the capacitance of all the flux residue is causing the problem. But it's not your problem so send it back for a swap out and let them try to clean it. Just for interest the silk screen looks more like the Farnell board i have eg the wrong font and badly spaced CE mark vs the RS board which only has a CE label stuck to the bottom side.

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AndrewS
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Re: Got my Pi struggling to keep it alive?

Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:24 am

Leo Rest wrote:Just for interest the silk screen looks more like the Farnell board i have eg the wrong font and badly spaced CE mark vs the RS board which only has a CE label stuck to the bottom side.
There's lots of different silkscreen variations ;) http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewt ... =63&t=5889

selsinork
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Re: Got my Pi struggling to keep it alive?

Fri Jun 22, 2012 8:37 pm

TheCrazyInventor wrote:In my opinion, that doesn't look like flux residue.
I know nobody will believe me, but as someone who has spent the better part of 20 years working in exactly the type of electronics assembly factory that'll be building these, I'm quite confident that's no clean flux residue. Not tissue paper, not chalk, just flux.

Yes it's a lot of flux, to the point I'd wonder if it's a spill. But anyway, the flux residue won't interfere with operation. Always possible that much is hiding some other problem though...

As an aside, pretty much all of the big smt assembly plants moved out of the UK to places like China, Mexico etc over the last 10 years or so. It's where my last job went :(

Leo Rest
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Re: Got my Pi struggling to keep it alive?

Fri Jun 22, 2012 10:52 pm

selsinork wrote:
TheCrazyInventor wrote:In my opinion, that doesn't look like flux residue.
I know nobody will believe me...
I defiantly agree its "no clean flux" but while the residue "shouldn't" cause a problem in itself it is likely to trap moisture which will. Note the dudishous use of quotes!

rmm200
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Re: Got my Pi struggling to keep it alive?

Fri Jun 22, 2012 10:57 pm

With RS and Farnell running different assembly lines in different factories, it would be really nice to know if
certain types of failures relate more to one vendor or the other.
Dom gave a really good breakdown of the acceptance tests the initial 10K units went through.
Some of the failures being seen make it look like this type of testing is no longer being done
by at least one of the vendors.

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Paul Webster
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Re: Got my Pi struggling to keep it alive?

Sat Jun 23, 2012 5:57 am

rmm200 wrote:With RS and Farnell running different assembly lines in different factories
I've seen an earlier post saying they are in different assembly lines but has anyone confirmed that they are in different factories?
If they were in different factories then we wouldn't need to be informed that they are different assembly lines.

Dazaster
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Re: Got my Pi struggling to keep it alive?

Mon Jul 09, 2012 5:57 pm

Well I sent my Pi back to RS last Tuesday and today I received a package out of the blue. It was my replacement Pi this one looks a lot better and also stays on and runs fine.

No idea what went wrong with the other one but obviously slipped past the QA team if there is still currently one for the development process.

Thanks for all your opinions and help, eventually it seems to of been a faulty product :(

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