I bought 200+ Raspberry Pi Model B’s and I’m going to fix them! Part 2

Diagnostics Finished!

I’ve finally diagnosed all the Pi’s (sort of). I now have them categorised in 4 groups:

  • Wont boot
  • Working with Damage to USB, SD or GPIO
  • Fully working apart from HDMI
  • Fully working without Ethernet

As they are all diagnosed – apart from the devices that won’t boot, don’t worry I will be coming back to these. I can now give the numbers on how many are working, repaired or repairable.

FaultCountFixedNot fixed
Fully Working67n/an/a
Broken SD card slots30030
Broken USB ports14140
Snapped filter capacitor10100
Won’t Boot80080
No Ethernet12012
No HDMI Output707
A breakdown of the current status of diagnostics and repair

All of the broken USB ports have been repaired using parts from completely dead boards, whilst I plan on repairing the bulk of the 80 boards that won’t boot at least 20 of them are unrepairable due to board fractures or SOC damage. These have been great for parts although sadly the SD card slots are impossible to remove in one piece.

Re-attaching broken filter capacitors


There was also a fair few boards where the filter capacitor was snapped off the board, although the Pi Model B will function just fine without it I decided to solder them back on.

This is an easy repair although I will reiterate – if this has happened to your Pi and you don’t have any surface mount soldering experience it is not worth the risk of soldering it back on as the Pi will work fine without it.

Next Steps

I am currently waiting on parts to arrive, mainly SD card slots to repair the 30 boards where these are damaged, I expect these to take a few weeks to arrive as they are shipped from China.

The 12 boards with out Ethernet will be picked up in my next post where I will remove the failed Ethernet chips and the ethernet ports essentially turning these into model As. I’m waiting on some solder wick to arrive so it will likely be next weekend when I get the chance to complete this.

I’m not sure what to do with the boards that won’t output to HDMI, due to damaged traces they are not reparable although they function fine headless – maybe I will sell them at a very reduced cost.

Board level repairs will likely start early next month with at least one post per week.

How do I buy one?

As I now have 67 fully working boards you can buy them now although I will only be selling them in pairs. I have a good reason for this, let me explain:

Although I have tested the boards boot and each of the ports work I am conscious that these were at one point customer returns. I will be selling each un-repaired fully working board* along side a repaired board* meaning you should receive two working Pi’s although I’m only going to guarantee that one of them will be fully working.

*The fully working boards passed my diagnostics without any repair needed, they are likely fine and I couldn’t find fault with them but I haven’t tested them for a long period of time.

*The repaired board will have had minimum repairs: USB port, SD card slot or GPIO header replacements.

These are listed on Ebay right now for £15 per pair, I have added worldwide shipping but PLEASE contact me if you are outside of the UK so I can get an accurate shipping cost.

The money from will be donated to the Raspberry Pi foundation once the buyer confirms they are happy with the purchase. This obviously doesn’t include the shipping costs.

I will also send proof of the donation to each buyer.

So if you’ve read the above and you’re happy you can buy two here:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Raspberry-pi-model-b-x2/274658053825

Part 3 – starting the board level repairs

7 comments

  1. If you’re still interested in possibly donating fixed boards somewhere, you could check with https://www.hackersforcharity.org/ . They’re an organization teaching computer literacy etc. in Uganda, and are a known quantity with a verifiable history. Seems like their preferred means of contact these days is a Slack channel (linked from their Get Involved page). I would expect that even if they can’t make use of the boards themselves, they could suggest others who can

  2. It does not make sense to donate the money from all of this effort to the Pi Foundation, they are a business. Why would you give money for all of your cost and effort to a business? If you are intent on being charitable I would recommend donating to a local charity that impacts your local community. There are needs for people all around us.

    1. I appreciate your comment although the Raspberry Pi foundation are a non-profit. I have reached out to them to explain I would like the donation to go towards providing Rpi 400’s to children who are currently learning from home that aren’t fortunate enough to have their own computers.

      This is where I have decided that I would like the money to go and unfortunately I can’t please everyone on the internet.

      I hope you understand.

  3. Re: Hackaday article.
    Pi boards all gone from eBay ☺️
    Nevertheless, I quickly browsed Parts 1-3.
    Is the repair script available, and any tips on how to modify it for similar SoCs like Amlogic S905 x/w TV boxes ?

    Great job.

  4. I expect these to take a few weeks to arrive as they are shipped from China. 🙂 I’ll organizing chinese students to join your team, fix and donate more PIs to support Learning at HOME project.

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