I bought 200+ Raspberry Pi Model B’s and I’m going to fix them! Part 5

Introduction

Back in Part 4 I continued the repairs and donated the money from the first batch of the repaired Pis to the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

In this post I will be covering what the money went towards and go over the current repair status.

I’ve confirmed that your donation has been allocated to Pi Drop. It should fund approximately three deployments of Pi 400+monitor+webcam to disadvantaged young people in the UK. Thanks again for the donation (and for putting more Pi 1 units back in the field).

Eben Upton – Founder Raspberry Pi Foundation

The money donated so far has funded three computers for disadvantaged young people that require a computer to learn from home. Whilst this might not seem like a lot from selling 27 Raspberry Pi 1’s please keep in mind this includes a Raspberry Pi 400 or a Raspberry Pi 4 with keyboard, mouse, monitor and SD card.

In terms of continuing the repairs and donations I have a goal in my head that I would like to meet and I will be listing a further 30 repaired Model B’s for sale today!

I will also be listing 10 “Model A’s” – More about these below.

Salvaging dead Pis by removing components

I came across a fair amount of Pis with dead Ethernet and/or dead USB ports. This issue was caused by a failed Ethernet IC.

Eben Upton did offer to see if they had any spare Ethernet IC’s for the Pi 1. I could have used them to restore full functionality to these devices however I had already started converting them to Model As and the chance of spare IC’s for such an old device laying around seemed slim.

 was thinking perhaps we might have some 9512 chips lying around, but it’s been so long since we transitioned to 9514 that we almost certainly don’t.

Eben Upton – Founder Raspberry Pi Foundation

Instead I removed the Ethernet IC and associated circuitry – More of this can be seen in Part 3.

I have completed 10 of these so far and they will also be listed for sale today!

These devices are almost identical to the original Model A with the missing Ethernet port, IC and top USB port.

Some of these boards might have residual flux left over from the repairs although I have cleaned them up as best as I can!

They also have a mixture of 256MB and 512MB of RAM meaning some of them are an upgrade over the original model A!

Replacing damaged SD card slots

I already went over this in part 4 however I’m further along with the repairs. 30 of these have been repaired in total so far and I also re-enforced the slots with a small amount of Epoxy Resin to stop them being snapped from the board.

Repaired Pi’s with new upgraded SD card slots.

Please keep in mind when purchasing these – Not all of the Pi’s listed for sale today will include a new SD card slot. Some of the Pis literally had the SD card slots ripped off damaging the pads and a small amount of the devices have had trace wires added to the board to repair the missing pads. These are small and almost unnoticeable but please keep this in mind!

Conclusion

These devices are now listed for sale – as with the last batch the Model Bs will be sold in pairs with one device having been repaired previously and the other working but not repaired. Although both devices have been tested and proved to work I will only guarantee one of the Pis.

Model Bs x2 for £15: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Raspberry-pi-model-b-x2/274673808835

Model As x1 for £7: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Raspberry-pi-model-A/274673810787

All money raised from these will be donated to the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

If you have any thoughts on this please let me know below!

11 comments

  1. Are you sure it’s the ethernet controller itself that’s killing it rather than any of the other components associated with the interface (that are probably easier to replace?)

    1. Definitely the controller! In most cases neither Ethernet or USB work but in some of the devices they have appeared completely dead down to an internal short to ground caused by the dead chip.

      I did even swap the IC’s around on a few boards when I was initially diagnosing these to confirm it was the controller itself.

        1. It would be cool to see. I have a pretty good theory though which has happened to me in the past. In the UK most telephone wires are above ground and most internet providers when this device was new were ADSL or ADSL+. It’s fairly common when we get lightning for routers and any devices directly attached via Ethernet to be killed.

          It’s happened to me on a desktop PC before and I’m fairly sure that’s what will have killed these.

          1. Oh yes, very nice. The thing about the surge protectors making the problem worse differentialyl is fun.

  2. Thank you for your donation to the PiDrop program. I’m one of many members of staff that work with these families, providing technical support so that kids can keep learning. It’s very much appreciated.

    1. Thanks Mark! It’s amazing what you guys do for these families. Especially in such a time of need. Thanks for your comment and work with the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

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