Hey everybody! I'm just posting to vent a bit of frustration and get some advice. I have so far managed to burn out 3 Pi zero Ws and only seen a boot screen once. I bought a starter kit from Adafruit, and have been using that power supply, along with a RadioShack portable USB battery that I intend to use for the project. The first pi would never power on via the power port. It worked if I back powered it via the USB port- I could see the NOOBs startup screen but I had no control over it. I went and got an old USB hub so that I could try to get the keyboard connected, and somewhere in there it stopped responding. I plug it into my Windows box and get nothing.
The second pi never made it to the boot screen. It would respond on Windows, but I never got it to video. I put in the same SD card, HDMI, and plugged in the adafruit power supply to the power connector, and got nothing. I took everything out and put it back on the windows machine to test, and nothing.
The latest one I took extra precautions with. I hadn't been very protective of the previous ones, vis a vis static, so I got out my static mat and took alot of care with it. First step, nothing but the windows box- I saw the boot device, all is good. I connected the hub, HDMI, and the battery this time, and got nothing. Back to the windows box- no response.
I'm pretty shocked at this point. I usually don't have these kinds of issues, but after 3 pis I must be doing something terribly wrong! I checked the version of NOOBs they shipped with the card and it seems to be compatible with the Pi Zero W- it would be pretty crummy of them to screw that up. I'm just amazed at how sensitive the hardware seems to be! For all the abuse it seems people give to their pi's, how is it that in under a minute I've managed to kill two of them, with no smoke or anything that would point to a major screw up?
Thanks for any pointers you can give me. I have a fourth one on the way, since I can't return opened stuff I'm just out of luck I guess. I've poured over the new users threads several times now and I can't find any smoking gun for what I've done wrong. The battery is rated to 2.4 amps, but won't supply that unless needed, so that shouldn't be the problem. The SD card did boot one of the pis, and shouldn't outright kill them even if it was totally screwed up, right? The USB hub could be bad; it's a powered hub so maybe it's backpowering the Pi, but given that there's only one USB port on it and you need a keyboard and mouse for the setup, I'm sure other people have connected powered hubs to their Pi's and not destroyed the hardware. This last time I was super careful about static so I really don't think that's what killed it either.
Any ideas on what I'm doing wrong? Thanks so much for any pointers!