hcowan
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:13 pm

Help, or I'm Done!

Sat Jun 14, 2014 2:53 am

Hi,

I love the Raspberry Pi, and would love to use it for a bunch of stuff, but unless someone can help me I think I am done with it.

I got my Pi about 1 year ago and played around with it initially, but only sparingly here and there after that. Last month I decided that I would get serious about it and set up XBMC on it to run on my main TV.

I installed Openelec, got everything setup and started using it. It was fine for a few days, and then I noticed that periodically it would just die. The screen would go blank, and all the lights except the red power LED would go off. I would have to physically turn the power off and on again in order to restart the Pi.

I wasn't too worried initially as I figured it would do this occasionally. But it just got worse and worse over time and eventually got to the point where I couldn't run XBMC for more than 10 minutes without this happening.

So I started doing some research and came up with all the information about inadequate power being supplied, and all the problems associated with it. I figured that was the issue so I went about solving it. I tried a bunch of different power supplies / chargers that I had lying around, but they all had the same effect.

I have quite a selection of power supplies / chargers both branded and not - including Blackberry Playbook, Samsung S4, Apple iPad & iPhone, different amperage - 1A, 1.5A, 2A, different voltage - 5V, 5.25V, etc.... But none of them seemed to solve the problem. Sure, some lasted longer, some shorter, but really, in the end didn`t make much difference.

I then read about the importance of a good USB cable, so I went and bought a number of different cables, including some 24AWG cables, but again, none seemed to make a difference.

I did all the testing between TP1 and TP2 for all the different combinations of cables and chargers, and for the most part, they fell well within the range, and most hovered just under the 5volt standard (ie 4.97, 4.95)

I also tested the F3 Polyfuse and it appears to be functioning properly with almost no loss of voltage at all.

I don`t understand what the problem would be. I am not overclocking, overvolting, etc...... my Pi. I am just using the standard / basic settings. The only things that I have plugged in to the Pi is the Ethernet cable, and a Logitech wireless mouse / keyboard combo dongle, and of course the HDMI cable.

I have tried running the system without the mouse / keyboard plugged in, but that didn't seem to make any difference either.

I finally broke down and figured that even though I have a large selection of cables and chargers, and that I tested the voltage of each combination, that maybe it still wasn't enough. So I ordered a specific Raspberry Pi charger from "Pi Supply". The chargers (I got two of them) finally came in last week so I enthusiastically hooked it up to my Pi and fired it up. It worked fine for awhile, but eventually blanked out.

I have spent a lot of time, and money trying to get this to work, but I just can't see to get it going.

Anyone have any last minute advice or suggestions before I permanently throw in the towel?

Thanks for any help!

jamesh
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 24188
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:41 pm

Re: Help, or I'm Done!

Sat Jun 14, 2014 9:34 am

Have you tried a new SD card? They do have a limited life and will eventually fail.
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
Contrary to popular belief, humorous signatures are allowed. Here's an example...
“I think it’s wrong that only one company makes the game Monopoly.” – Steven Wright

hcowan
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:13 pm

Re: Help, or I'm Done!

Sat Jun 14, 2014 3:09 pm

Hi James,

Thanks for the reply and suggestion. Yes, I have actually tried three different sd-cards, including different brands, all of which appear on the successful RPi hardware list including the Transcend 8GB card.

I have also tried different OS / Images including Openelec, RaspBMC, and Raspbian. All of which crash at some point in time.

I even installed the Quake image and left it on demo play and unplugged everything except the HDMI cable and it still crashed.

I have basically done and tested everything that I can think of, which is why I feel that I am at the end of the rope.

Hugh,

User avatar
FLYFISH TECHNOLOGIES
Posts: 1750
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 7:48 am
Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia
Contact: Website

Re: Help, or I'm Done!

Sat Jun 14, 2014 3:27 pm

Hi Hugh,
hcowan wrote:I have basically done and tested everything that I can think of
Indeed, according to your explanation...
It might be either that RasPi came to its end of life or there is a kind of issue with HDMI (I don't know what it would be, maybe a cable problem where one wire occasionally makes a internal short circuit to connector case or with another wire) ?

To eliminate one of the two listed options you might disconnect HDMI cable and leave RasPi running. Check the LEDs status after few hours...


Best wishes, Ivan Zilic.
Running out of GPIO pins and/or need to read analog values?
Solution: http://www.flyfish-tech.com/FF32

johndough
Posts: 254
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2013 2:00 pm

Re: Help, or I'm Done!

Sun Jun 15, 2014 9:15 am

Hiya

I wonder if the operating system was put onto USB stick or HDD, leaving only the BIOS equivalent on the SD card.

The swap area may be a problem.

This is covered in the forum somewhere.

Also consider a heatsink on the processor, even though it doen't use one. Is the CPU area hotter than you feel it should be?

hcowan
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:13 pm

Re: Help, or I'm Done!

Sun Jun 15, 2014 10:11 pm

Hi Ivan,

Thanks for the reply and suggestion. I have a Quake III image that I run and setup on Spectator / Demo mode to stress test the RPi.

I have run this setup with two different HDMI cables, using two different ports on the TV and I still get the same issue. In fact, I even hooked it up to my old TV using the old RCA video jack (no HDMI at all) and I get the same problem, so I don't think it has anything to do with the HDMI cable or port.

Incidentally, I did run it with the HDMI cable disconnected as well but it didn't make any difference.

I haven't used the Pi enough to warrant it coming to the end of it's life, unless it has a really short-shelf life. That is what I find so puzzling, and frustrating. It worked initially, I have used it minimally, and now it doesn't want to work properly. It would be one thing if it was just dead -- sometimes components just die. But it boots, works for a bit, then decides to die..............

Hugh,

User avatar
FLYFISH TECHNOLOGIES
Posts: 1750
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 7:48 am
Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia
Contact: Website

Re: Help, or I'm Done!

Sun Jun 15, 2014 11:19 pm

Hi Hugh,
hcowan wrote:But it boots, works for a bit, then decides to die
Then the issue is obviously reduced down to RasPi...

If I can speculate a bit, it could be that there is a junction problem and when the problematic component's temperature is increased, its pin gets disconnected.
Boot the RasPi and gently tap a bit to various elements/chips. It could be that tapping will cause a crash.


Best wishes, Ivan Zilic.
Running out of GPIO pins and/or need to read analog values?
Solution: http://www.flyfish-tech.com/FF32

gregor3000
Posts: 114
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2012 12:57 pm

Re: Help, or I'm Done!

Mon Jun 16, 2014 6:10 am

if Pi is under warranty replace it.

there is always an option that components fail. i bought 2 same model motherboards 9 years ago. one stopped working after about 15 months. the other one is still working with no issues at all.

BMS Doug
Posts: 3824
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:42 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Help, or I'm Done!

Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:28 am

FLYFISH TECHNOLOGIES wrote:Hi Hugh,
hcowan wrote:But it boots, works for a bit, then decides to die
Then the issue is obviously reduced down to RasPi...

If I can speculate a bit, it could be that there is a junction problem and when the problematic component's temperature is increased, its pin gets disconnected.
Boot the RasPi and gently tap a bit to various elements/chips. It could be that tapping will cause a crash.


Best wishes, Ivan Zilic.
+1 this seems like a good avenue of investigation.
Doug.
Building Management Systems Engineer.

Return to “Troubleshooting”