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Author Topic: Is my sheevaplug dead ???  (Read 89863 times)
recursix
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« on: February 11, 2010, 02:49:56 PM »

Hi my sheevaplug suddenly stopped working. I think that I somehow messed up the file system. I would like to reinstall it but, I can't communicate with the serial communication.

Everything I tried doesn't bring up /dev/ttyUSB0 (Ubuntu 9.10, 2.6.31-19-generic, x86_64)
Code:
modprobe ftdi_sio vendor=0x9e88 product=0x9e8f

Code:
$ cat /etc/udev/rules.d/85-sheevaplug.rules
# udev configuration for sheeva plug
ACTION=="add", DRIVER!="?*", SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ATTRS{idVendor}=="9e88", ATTRS{idProduct}=="9e8f", RUN+="/sbin/modprobe ftdi_sio vendor=0x9e88 product=0x9e8f"

Also when powering up the sheevaplug, the only thing I get, is the green led quickly blinking once per second (in synchronization with the rj45 leds). Does this mean it is dead ??

Can I have any hope ??


Edit:
The power supply is dead. Changing it for a good 5V 3A switching power supply solves the problem (~15$). 2A should do the trick but I suggest a 3A to avoid all problems.

« Last Edit: March 10, 2010, 06:09:44 AM by recursix » Logged

cjm
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« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2010, 03:30:48 PM »

You can use the SheevaPlug Installer to reflash the box via the JTAG interface, even when the flash is completely screwed up. See http://plugcomputer.org/plugwiki/index.php/SheevaPlug_Installer for details.

BTW, the instructions in the README.txt are a bit outdated; following the instructions in the Wiki (which are simpler) should work. Most importantly, the "installer" directory in the tarball downloaded from the page seems to be complete while README.txt seems to imply you have to copy bits and pieces into it. I believe I did not modify anything in it but can't quite recall now.

Furthermore, I did not have to follow the "important notes for newer plugs" despite the fact I just got mine a few weeks ago. The only thing I did was inserting the MAC address as described in README.txt.
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pancho
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« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2010, 12:49:37 AM »

Hi, recursix.

Have you tried to press the reset button?  I am not sure if it has any effect different from unplugging and replugging the whole SheevaPlug.  Can't hurt, though.

Regarding the USB port, what does the kernel say when you plug in the connector?  (the output of 'dmesg').

You could try also booting a debian-live system, to see if that one catches the usb connection right.
(http://debian-live.alioth.debian.org), to discard that ubuntu is somehow failing to detect it.

We understand your pain, buddy.

Best of luck,

pancho.
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recursix
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« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2010, 07:52:44 AM »

First, thanks for your replies Smiley

Second... I think my power supply is dead :S
(see attached picture). There seems to be melted stuff all over the place... Is this normal ? ? ?
I can't figure out which component melted and how could it spread like this. I wish I could find a picture of the power supply on the web...
I also measured the voltage with a multimeter and only got something really unstable, oscillating between 0V and 3V.

Trying to reinstall via the sheevaplug installer gave me this :
Code:
...
uboot/uboot-env/fw_setenv recover3 usb start\; fatload usb 0 0x00800000 uImage\; fatload usb 0 0x01100000 initrd

 ****   Burning uboot and environment variables ... This will take few minutes ...
openocd/openocd: error while loading shared libraries: libftdi.so.1: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
 ****   openocd FAILED
 ****   Is the mini USB cable connected?
 ****   Try powering down, then replugging the Sheevaplug

what ever I tried, I can't get the serial communication.

So ... here is my advice. Don't plug too many unpowered usb devices on the sheevaplug Wink

I'll try to change the power supply ... any advices ?


* P1030492.JPG (310.16 KB, 1114x819 - viewed 9145 times.)
« Last Edit: February 12, 2010, 08:14:33 AM by recursix » Logged

chafos
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« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2010, 04:23:35 PM »

Exact same thing has happened to mine too! Day after I connected a new external HDD to USB port - a coincidence? I don't think so either... Time to find a new +5V power supply I guess.
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pancho
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« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2010, 12:51:41 AM »

Hi, recursix.

The line:
openocd/openocd: error while loading shared libraries: libftdi.so.1: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

suggest that you have to install the missing library:
$ sudo aptitude install libftdi1

Hope that it helps.

Good luck with the PSU!

Happy hacking,

pancho.
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superpat
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« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2010, 04:44:04 AM »

Hi,

I just opened my PS,  it looks like yours minus the brown gunge everywhere.

It looks like someone was a bit generous with some brown elastomer to hold the components down!

I don't think the caps blew, the electrolyte is nearly clear, and the pressure domes of the caps in your picture haven't bulged

In mine there are a few small dabs of cream colored adhesive, holding the big components down.

What is your ac mains input voltage to the Sheevaplug?   
What is the ambient temperature where the plug is sited?
Is your mains stable, or do you house lights flicker?  (Over ground or underground supply)?
 
Its no good trying to get that Plug working with that supply. Its bu****ed. If you cannot return the sheevaplug, then get a 5V 2A dc wall wart from Ebay and wire that into the red and black wires to the plug pcb.

cheers

Patrick


Edit,  Looking at the picture again, I realise I cannot see the pressure relief dome on the smaller cap to the left. If it has bulged and split it would account for the pile of crud from the top of the cap up over the yellow rectangular componet in the top left corner, and the rest could be splash back. Its still a funny colour and consistancy for electolyte though.

Also if the cap blew, you should have heard it big time! ( unless the sheevaplug was running unattended!

P

 


« Last Edit: February 13, 2010, 04:49:08 AM by superpat » Logged

recursix
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« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2010, 06:38:26 AM »

Again, thanks for your support. It helps me accept the death of my plug ...

@pancho
Quote
$ sudo aptitude install libftdi1

Good point! I did that. But it still complains about the missing library. My guess is that it is searching for this library on the plug.
Code:
$ locate libftdi.so
/usr/lib/libftdi.so.1

$ sudo php ./runme.php nand
...
 ****   Burning uboot and environment variables ... This will take few minutes ...
openocd/openocd: error while loading shared libraries: libftdi.so.1: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
 ****   openocd FAILED
 ****   Is the mini USB cable connected?
 ****   Try powering down, then replugging the Sheevaplug

Also, plugging and unplugging the mini USB doesn't bring up any message in dmesg.

@superpat
I think you are right. The brown stuff is probably elastomer to hold the components down. However it looks pretty much cooked Wink But I don't understand, you are saying you do or you don't have any elastomer on yours ? In any cases, the power supply still gives me an unstable 3v and putting a load of 10 ohm on it will clamp the output to 0v.

According to my 120v ac, it is pretty much stable and the ambient temperature is room (~23 C). I did piled the plug with my modem, router and external hard drive once. The temperature of this beautiful electronic pyramid climbed relatively high (~60 C). But, this was several months ago and since, I don't pile them anymore. It think that the power supply failure is more related to the USB power overload.

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superpat
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« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2010, 07:13:33 AM »

Hi,

Re the gunge on your power supply components.  I am sure that it is leaked electolyte (brown) from more modern caps than I am used to, in the past aluminium foil caps had almost clear electrolyte, we used to call it sal ammoniac years ago.

I haven't got a camera handy, so it has to be a description.

The only elastomer on mine are very small bright yellow blobs, about pea size, holding down the big capacitor in the centre, and another blob between the alloy heatsink and the small capacitor next to it about 1 inch from the right hand end of the heat sink.

I can see the pcb on your power supply is discoloured to the right of the big Cap. Mine is a light fawn colour all over.

Googling around.... I am absolutely certain one or more of the caps in your power supply has sicked up its electrolyte.  I Googled around and found lots of pictures of BROWN electrolyte. (This appears to be the norm nowadys, not the watery stuff I was more used to seeing when I designed this stuff)!

Here is a URL of an article about bad caps and pictures of the exact brown crap thats in your Power supply:-

www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=195

I tried to find a spec for the brand of caps in my power supply, yalecon RX, but Googling did not find anything, which worries me a lot. The use of electrolytics in switching power supplies is a very hard application, and  "cheapo" caps will not survive for very long.  The parameter that screws up the capacitor is the capability of the cap to accept an "ac ripple" component on the dc waveform. This heats the electrolyte, and it expands, and bursts the cap!  Read the articles about it.

If it is just the caps blown, you may be lucky and changing the caps may fix it, but I don't like the discolored pcb, something else may be blown

FINALLY   A WARNING..... THIS IS AN UNSHIELDED MAINS POWER SUPPLY. THE VOLTAGES ACROSS THE PRIMARY CAPACITOR ARE NORMALLY  SEVERAL HUNDRED VOLTS  AND IF YOU GROUND IT THROUGH YOURSELF THE RESULTS MAY BE FATAL TO YOU!  EVEN WHEN THE POWER SUPPLY IS UNPLUGGED FROM THE MAINS.   TAKE CARE AT ALL TIMES IF YOU ARE WORKING ON A MAINS SWITCHER POWER SUPPLY WITH THE LID OFF!

regards

Patrick

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recursix
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« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2010, 08:57:49 AM »

Cheesy

Thanks superpat for that quick and enlightening reply.
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restamp
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« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2010, 09:41:44 AM »

I think my power supply is dead :S
(see attached picture). There seems to be melted stuff all over the place... Is this normal ? ? ?
I can't figure out which component melted and how could it spread like this.
It's either glue or something that has failed catastrophically.  If it is not glue, it almost looks as if the culprit may have been located above the one that you photographed, venting violently downward and outward in a V-shaped pattern.  When your Plug is reassembled, what component is located over what would be the lower left hand side of the board in the picture you took?

What is the consistency of the gunk?  Is it hard (like hardened glue) or can it be wiped off?  If it's hard, it may well just be excess glue from the manufacturing process, and the fact that it is darkened in places indicates the components have gotten fairly hot.

Without any other explanation, I might well buy into your theory that an excessive load on the USB port caused the supply to overheat.  Good luck with your diagnosis and repair.  It would be nice we could order a PS replacement, wouldn't it?
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digitlman
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« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2010, 12:33:36 PM »

Well, I am almost in the same boat.

Last week, my USB HDD stopped working, making clicking noises.  I RMA'd the drive, and yesterday I was all ready to rebuild my plug.  When I got home, however, the plug was off.  Now it will not power on.  Tried the normal multiple known-working outlets, the power cord vs the spade adapter.  I submitted an RMA to Globalscale, but they told me the warranty is only for 30 days!  How the f**k did I miss this info?   A device that sells for over $100, and they only stand by their product for 30 days?  I'm going to guess the Sheeva killed the USB drive with power fluctuations or something like that.

While I await to see if they make any exceptions, I am not going to open the device up, as this would ruin any chance of help from GST.

I am very sad.  I loved my plug, and it looks like if I have to buy a replacement, I still have to deal with a craptastic 30 day warranty.

Thoughts?
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recursix
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« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2010, 01:03:53 PM »

I'm trying to communicate with Globalscale for a RMA but they are just not responding. Seriously, this one month warranty is really a scam !!!

In Quebec (Canada), I could use the "legal warranty" which states that a product should last a "reasonable" amount of time (generally, at least one year). However, since, it is a U.S. product, I don't know if I can use this. Is there something similar in the U.S.

I mean isn't there anything we can do to just get a replacement Huh

I'd like to buy the guruplug (sheevaplug2) but what's the point if it won't even last a year
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dotEvan
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« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2010, 04:13:20 PM »

I have the same problem with my plug as well, though I'm only getting the top green LED to blink every second, rather than both the LED and ETH lights. It does look like one of the caps has bulged on mine.  The first pic is in the same orientation for comparison to recursix's pic, and the second is a side-on view of the capacitor with the bulge.




It definitely seems like the power supply is the culprit. It also seems like it's something that could be easily swapped out if GlobalScale was willing to sell that component. Granted, a failed cap in a power supply should probably be covered by a warranty under a year -- this 30 day warranty is quite bogus. Then again, I just want to get my plug back up and running ASAP.

Any thoughts on whether to approach GlobalScale (even though recursix has not had much luck) or is there possibly another solution available keeping in mind that I'm not skilled in soldering and don't particularly have a death wish? Tongue
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pancho
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« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2010, 11:50:45 PM »

Hi there!

@pancho
Quote
$ sudo aptitude install libftdi1

Good point! I did that. But it still complains about the missing library. My guess is that it is searching for this library on the plug.
$ locate libftdi.so
/usr/lib/libftdi.so.1

$ sudo php ./runme.php nand
...
 ****   Burning uboot and environment variables ... This will take few minutes ...
openocd/openocd: error while loading shared libraries: libftdi.so.1: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
 ****   openocd FAILED
 ****   Is the mini USB cable connected?
 ****   Try powering down, then replugging the Sheevaplug

Try this:

$locate libftdi.so.1
/usr/lib/libftdi.so.1
/usr/lib/libftdi.so.1.17.0
$ ldd uboot/openocd/openocd
   linux-gate.so.1 =>  (0xf771b000)
   libdl.so.2 => /lib32/libdl.so.2 (0xf7700000)
   libftdi.so.1 => not found
   libusb-0.1.so.4 => /lib32/libusb-0.1.so.4 (0xf76f7000)
   libc.so.6 => /lib32/libc.so.6 (0xf75b3000)
   /lib/ld-linux.so.2 (0xf771c000)

The problem is that you (and me, and lots of users) are using an amd64 flavor of debian, and the opencd that is bundled with sheevaplug-installer-1.0 is built and linked against the i386 version.

For that to work you could edit 'runme.php' and change the path to use the debian-provided openocd, which you can install with:
Code:
$ sudo aptitude install openocd

To edit runme.php:

Code:
$ perl -i -p -e 's,\$openocd_cmd= "openocd/openocd";,\$openocd_cmd= "/usr/bin/openocd";,' runme.php

I know that since your SheevaPlug is in critical condition (won't say dead... yet) this is a bit pointless right now.  But let's hope for the best (or a replacement GuruPlug, at least).

Best of luck.

Cheers,
« Last Edit: February 23, 2010, 02:57:07 AM by pancho » Logged

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