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Serious Problems With USB and Ethernet On the Raspberry Pi

timothy posted about a year ago | from the teething-pains dept.

Bug 202

First time accepted submitter rephlex writes "The USB controller used in the Broadcom BCM2835 (which is the SoC the Raspberry Pi uses) has buggy drivers which have been causing problems for many of its users. In addition to this, the Pi can only supply an unusually low amount of current to its USB devices, just 140 mA approximately, and using a powered hub to sidestep this limit exacerbates the issues caused by the USB drivers. Even Ethernet is affected as the Ethernet controller used on the Raspberry Pi is connected to the SoC via USB. This has resulted in packet loss and even total loss of network connectivity in certain situations. Attempts have been made in the past to fix the buggy USB drivers as there are other devices which use this problematic controller. None of these attempts seem to have achieved very much."

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202 comments

Yawn (-1, Troll)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year ago | (#41116467)

So much changing the world.

Slightly exaggerated I feel (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41116499)

A buggy driver (which can be fixed) is hardly a "serious problem" - give it time, distros and drivers are still progressing on the RasPi

Re:Slightly exaggerated I feel (5, Informative)

SomePgmr (2021234) | about a year ago | (#41116785)

Indeed. And these "buggy drivers" haven't presented me with any problems for USB or ethernet so far.

The amount of current the usb port will supply was supposed to be an issue, but I tried out a wifi dongle without using a powered hub, and no issues.

I'm sure problems exist for some people, and I'm sure they'll iron them out. For my part, I've gotten more than $35 worth of utility out of mine already.

Re:Slightly exaggerated I feel (3)

johnsnails (1715452) | about 2 years ago | (#41117663)

Im also a happy Raspberry Pi owner, havent had any known problems with ethernet or usb, i am using a 2TB USB3 external HD with its own power source. In any case, I would happily fork out another ~$35 for a new and improved one if I had the described problem.

Re:Slightly exaggerated I feel (2)

niftymitch (1625721) | about 2 years ago | (#41119205)

Also a happy Raspberry Pi owner.
I also am posting from my little Pi...
Midori displayed remotely over an ssh connection.

$ uname -ar
Linux raz2 3.1.9+ #272 PREEMPT Tue Aug 7 22:51:44 BST 2012 armv6l GNU/Linux

This little board will address the goals of the designers!
It will not replace a $1200 desktop or quad core laptop.

I have run it powered via the laptop USB and connected
via the laptop ethernet... I have 100% control.
I can break it and reload or edit the SD card to recover.
"apt-get" delivers nearly any package my heart desires.

True parts of it are a work in progress but hey that is what students are for.

I am 100% on board with this little project.

Re:Slightly exaggerated I feel (5, Funny)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 2 years ago | (#41118815)

I'd say the bigger question is this....WTF did you expect out of a $35 device? Seriously? Its $35 fricking bucks people! Sure they could have used more robust and thus less likely to fuck up chips, but it wouldn't be $35 then would it?

It looks like people are buying a $35 device and then bitching when it doesn't run like a $200+ device...well duh, really? Hell its a miracle the damned thing works as good as it does considering the BOM, so if you don't like it? Plenty of $200+ Android devices out there that doesn't have those issues..sheesh, talk about a sense of entitlement, its fricking $35!

Re:Slightly exaggerated I feel (2)

jones_supa (887896) | about 2 years ago | (#41119611)

For an interesting alternative VIA recently released the VAB-800 pico-ITX ARM board [viaembedded.com] .

Re:Slightly exaggerated I feel (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41116827)

Obviously you've never had to deal with Broadcom drivers in Linux before. Broadcom is notorious for their poor driver support in Linux, they usually install just fine, but when you go to put the device they control to use it's sporadic at best. It's gotten to be such a huge headache of repeated failure that I avoid broadcom like the plague.

Re:Slightly exaggerated I feel (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41118441)

Exactly the reason I haven't bought an R-Pi yet.

I pray that something else not broadcom based (Allwinner A10?) can overtake it, but I'm afraid the R-Pi has too much hype and momentum behind it.

Re:Slightly exaggerated I feel (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41119541)

dodgy Broadcom drivers are not something that is exclusive to Linux. They make garbage for all platforms.

Re:Slightly exaggerated I feel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41119071)

It is if it takes year(s) to fix. Using a wifi dongle ( that works fine elsewhere on linux ) would give the RPi and expected uptime of about 20 minutes before it locked solid. These crappy USB drivers where pulled into the kernel very early on, and despite offers of help from upstream, they have not been fixed. And it would appear that their intention is not to interact with upstream at all.

Not at all exaggerated, it's BROADCOM. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41119227)

Broadcom does not publish any information needed to write drivers for their crap, that's why.
They do not develop a lot of the things they churn out, but instead go buy up IP cores and
cobble those together to make their products, the cheaper the better. That's another reason
they can't afford to publish anything out in public without a NDA. Broadcom spends money
on marketing, sales, PR and legal and they wouldn't be anywhere without it.

When I first heard about the Raspberries for $25-35 I wanted one. Then I clicked on the specs,
saw it was Broadcom and that was the end of that. I'm happy to shell out $75-$100 bucks for
something that actually works and is documented.

FIRST POST (5, Funny)

pscottdv (676889) | about a year ago | (#41116517)

Posted from my Raspberry Pi...

Re:FIRST POST (4, Funny)

Howard Beale (92386) | about a year ago | (#41116803)

I've used a Pi, and there's no way for it to respond quick enough on /. for you to post within 6 minutes of the story going live.

Re:FIRST POST (2)

pscottdv (676889) | about a year ago | (#41116825)

Ummmm... Fire Hose? Yeah, that's the ticket!

Re:FIRST POST (1)

Howard Beale (92386) | about a year ago | (#41116845)

And you can respond quickly too? NO WAY you're on a Pi. Lier!!!!

DIE BLASPHEMER! (4, Funny)

CajunArson (465943) | about a year ago | (#41116523)

Though hast profaned the name of the HOLY PI with thine blasphemous use of facts! We cast thee into the deepest pits of Hell amongst the Beagle Board and Panda Board demons!

All praised be THE PI!

Raspberry Pi? More Like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41116821)

Prepay Is brr

This is what happens (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41116527)

When you drill down relentlessly to a specific price point.

Fix for the USB (5, Informative)

Thantik (1207112) | about a year ago | (#41116531)

If you place a 1 ohm resistor in parallel with F1 and F2, you can get the voltage drop and current higher - fixing a lot of the issues with the USB.

Re:Fix for the USB (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | about a year ago | (#41117093)

If you place a 1 ohm resistor in parallel with F1 and F2, you can get the voltage drop and current higher -

My first reaction was that if you put a 1 ohm resistor in parallel with a fuse you should see NO CHANGE in the current, since a fuse has 0 ohms resistance.

Then I read the thing you linked to and found out that they aren't fuses, even though they've been called that. The voltage that comes out of a fuse isn't supposed to sag and cause operational issues, until you reach the current limit of the fuse and then it BLOWS. Zero output.

I hope the rest of the pi isn't as mislabeled as this.

Re:Fix for the USB (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41117361)

Apparently you don't know what a polyfuse is. Nonzero resistance, isn't useless after it blows.

Nor do you know how a regular fuse works, they have greater than 0 ohms resistance. They wouldn't blow, otherwise.

Re:Fix for the USB (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 2 years ago | (#41117657)

What? They have super conducting fuses now?

Re:Fix for the USB (3, Informative)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 2 years ago | (#41118077)

Never learned about significant figures, did we?

Ok, for the hyperpicky insignificant: a fuse should have an extremely low, reasonably constant resistance that will vary only slightly with temperature and not with current or voltage applied. Otherwise it isn't a fuse, it's something else. Thermistor, varistor, etc.

Any reasonably astute techincal person, when trying to replace a defective fuse, will ask two questions: what is the current rating and fast vs. slow blow. If he doesn't have one on hand, he may, in a pinch, replace the fuse with a piece of wire and, other than chancing a circuit meltdown (because fuses usually blow for a reason) might be able to get the circuit back online.

Nobody would ask "what is the resistance of your fuse at 100mA?" Nobody would wonder if the circuit needed a specific resistance (or capacitance or inductance) in that fuse. All three of those parameters should be parasitic at best. (That means small and irrelevant in design, sometimes relevant in practice.)

Re:Fix for the USB (3, Interesting)

artor3 (1344997) | about 2 years ago | (#41118035)

Yes, their "fuses" are technically thermistors, but everyone calls them resettable fuses or PTC fuses or polyfuses. It's not poor labeling.

It is, however, bad BOM selection. It took me thirty seconds on Newark just now to find a resettable fuse with 200 mA limit and just 650 mOhms max initial resistance. Sure, costs two cents more, and it lets through a bit more current. You know what lets through even more current? All the 1 ohm resistors and shorts that people are going to mod into their boards to fix this problem.

Mistakes happen, lord knows I've made enough myself, but did they not test the electrical specs on these boards before sending them out to customers?

Re:Fix for the USB (2)

demonlapin (527802) | about 2 years ago | (#41118359)

You know what lets through even more current? All the 1 ohm resistors and shorts that people are going to mod into their boards to fix this problem.

... but those are unauthorized modifications that break your warranty.

Re:Fix for the USB (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41118509)

Where is the "I'll be careful, I promise" button?

Re:Fix for the USB (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41117827)

Why don't they change the original design? Are they resistant to change?

Hit with USB issues (1)

josath (460165) | about a year ago | (#41116539)

I was hit with the USB issues, can't plug in more than two USB devices without the third one failing. There's some experimental kernel patches that solve the problem for some people, but not everyone. I haven't gotten around to trying them yet.

Dealextreme has the equivalent of these... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41116583)

For 50 dollars, with 512-1 gig of ddr3, multiple usb ports, no ethernet, but 1-3 usb ports, hdmi ports, but no user-accessable gpio.

Why would you not use those for non-prototyping applications, and just get the knockoff development boards for stuff you need GPIO for? They're not any worse price-wise, and while they're all cortex-m3 or below they have a lot more than just a few gpio pins available off them, up to and including canbus support.

But then, maybe I'm missing what was so great about the Raspberry Pi. It must be using the benefits of a Broadcom chip over an ARM reference design. (Although the weak Mali OGL drivers may be a hassle, at least there's current work to remedy that.)

Re:Dealextreme has the equivalent of these... (1)

fewnorms (630720) | about a year ago | (#41116883)

Sounds good in theory for what I need it to do. Got a link to this stuff?
No idea how big this thing is though, the Raspberry Pi is a very attractive size for what it is...

Re:Dealextreme has the equivalent of these... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41117255)

www.dealextreme.com/c/pmp-hdd-media-player-103

The 51-54.50 ones are 512 meg + either 4 or 8 gig of flash
Both claim to be Cortex-A5 @ 1 ghz.

I believe there's a 70-75 dollar equiv that's a 1.5ghz with 1 gig of ddr, but you'd have to go check for yourself. Regardless similiar specs to the pi given that they're both produced in china and given that these ones come with a case.

There's a variety of other larger models with composite/s-video output for those of us with older TVs. Honestly the Pi looked great last year when none of this stuff was available for cheap, but it's looking less and less good now that the chinese have ganged up on the market.

Re:Dealextreme has the equivalent of these... (1)

Goaway (82658) | about 2 years ago | (#41117715)

But then, maybe I'm missing what was so great about the Raspberry Pi.

Well, for one, it's not a Cortex-M3.

Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41116605)

I Just ordered and it arrives Monday.

So fix it. (5, Informative)

dgatwood (11270) | about a year ago | (#41116607)

The data sheet [scribd.com] (in particular p. 203-ish) talks about the workarounds required to work around PHY bugs and other USB hardware. Doesn't look particularly complex.

Re:So fix it. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41116813)

Do you have a link to this document that allows me to view it without javascript?

Re:So fix it. (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about 2 years ago | (#41117529)

No, but you can certainly search for it in Google just like I did....

I believe it's called... (3, Insightful)

Master of Transhuman (597628) | about a year ago | (#41116639)

you get what you pay for...in this case, a $35 tiny little board not designed by a company with QA capabilities... Big surprise it has problems...not.

It's a hacker tool - so hack it until it works.

Re:I believe it's called... (1)

mrmeval (662166) | about a year ago | (#41116749)

The paid for a POS SOC chip that doesn't give all the hardware specifications.

Re:I believe it's called... (2)

kriston (7886) | about 2 years ago | (#41119269)

They have all the specifications, but as their FAQ states, they cannot give it out because Broadcom needs money and a business model for you to make a case to actually get the specifications.

The Raspberry Pi foundation does have the specifications.

Re:I believe it's called... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41116815)

Also,

Diffculty: Broadcom hardware

Re:I believe it's called... (1)

Foxhoundz (2015516) | about a year ago | (#41116835)

It's not a hacker tool, it's a learning tool. RPi was originally ( and still is) geared towards educational institutions where access to affordable computers is limited. So while this might be a minor inconvenience for some people here in the states, it *is* a big problem in places where supplies and the budget are limited.

Re:I believe it's called... (1)

kamapuaa (555446) | about a year ago | (#41116991)

Theoretically it's a learning tool. Realistically, everybody buying it is buying it as a cheap computer to play with.

They could call the Nintendo XL an educational device and that doesn't make it so.

Re:I believe it's called... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41117605)

It's both, it's supposed to be a tool to learn hacking. Thats the goal, to get kids interested in hacking.

Re:I believe it's called... (2)

Yvanhoe (564877) | about 2 years ago | (#41117951)

Everyone knew that it was unlikely to be anything more than a hacking tool before version 2.0

Re:I believe it's called... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41119333)

Yes, educational. They learn not but cheap products.

Re:I believe it's called... (1)

marcansoft (727665) | about 2 years ago | (#41119037)

It's Broadcom. Anyone who expected it to work flawlessly with Linux hasn't been following that company's past.

Sure, it'll mostly-work-with-bugs-and-binblobs-and-old-kernel-versions, just like anything else Broadcom. If people want better than that, they should've used an SoC vendor that is actually friendly to the open source community and publishes real documentation..

The PI was a LIE!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41116675)

They'll fix these problems soon enough. No need for hysteria.

BeagleBone (2)

stevegee58 (1179505) | about a year ago | (#41116707)

Yes, yes I know everyone's just *in love* with their Raspberries. But seriously if you want a power tool, cough up the extra bucks and get a BeagleBone.

Re:BeagleBone (1)

dohzer (867770) | about 2 years ago | (#41117831)

This is exactly what I've done.

I've worked with 8-bit and 32-bit micros in the past (Atmel, STM), but whenever I've tried to get into using Linux on my desktop, I just haven't been motivated enough to learn even the most simplest of terminal operations. But the BB and Ångström are drawing me in!
I'm loving the LCD7 Cape!

What are the best forums and discussion sites for Beagle Bone related development?

Re:BeagleBone (1)

stevegee58 (1179505) | about 2 years ago | (#41117945)

They seem to rely mostly on google groups referenced on the beagleboard.org site.

Re:BeagleBone (1)

Locutus (9039) | about 2 years ago | (#41119369)

the Nexus 7 16G model is only $199 so it'd be cheaper than the beagle bone plus the LCD7 Cape. If you're into hacking on Android but I think there's a Ubuntu kit for it. If you want more then USB, wifi or bluetooth I/O then you'd have to open it up and hack onto the board.

hey, it comes in a nice package too.

LoB

Re:BeagleBone (1)

dohzer (867770) | about 2 years ago | (#41119661)

But where are the GPIO pins on the Nexus?
That's one reason I chose the BB over the Pi.

Re:BeagleBone (1)

kriston (7886) | about 2 years ago | (#41119377)

An important part of the idea was to make it as inexpensive as possible.

BeagleBoard: $89
Raspberry Pi: $35

Quite reliable in my experience (5, Informative)

sehgalanuj (2057492) | about a year ago | (#41116715)

I got the Raspberry Pi while ago and this is the first time I am hearing of this issue. Of course, that is only because I haven't encountered it. So far I am using it extensively on my network without problems and it is even handling the load I throw at it quite gracefully.

It is a home VPN, DNS, Backup, File and Print server. On top of this, it is even the endpoint for my IPv6 tunnel and it runs a routing advertisement daemon to hand out v6 addresses on the network. So far it handles the v6 network load without any slowdown from my old machine that took care of this. I even threw in a USB stick to talk to 6LoWPAN devices I use at home and it works flawlessly with that too. So obviously both my USBs and the Ethernet are used up.

All this for a $35 computer that eats up a whole lot lesser energy than my old solution. Even if I had to solder a resistor to fix a problem that I haven't had, I am not sure what can beat this.

Re:Quite reliable in my experience (2)

tchuladdiass (174342) | about a year ago | (#41117473)

To be fair, I was initially having major problems on the Ethernet and USB ports, but then I switched out the power supply. The one I was using was from my Nokia phone, labeled as 1.5 amp. The one that worked better was the one that came with my Samsung Nexus phone. The problems with the other power supply was that when I boot up, the USB would lock up sometimes if I had both keyboard and mouse, and Ethernet hooked up (along with a bunch of USB errors on the console). None of that with the other power plug.

Re:Quite reliable in my experience (1)

kriston (7886) | about 2 years ago | (#41119407)

Yup, here, too. I don't really know why people are trying to use UNPOWERED USB hubs with this machine and using sub-standard power supplies. I have it hooked up to a USB hub and it is working just fine.

It's open! But with proprietary drivers. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41116747)

I'm still confused as to what the appeal of the Pi is.

They keep touting the damned thing as "open", yet you require binary blobs in the kernel just to get it to boot. The hardware is only "hacker friendly" so long as you're using USB based devices or something that sticks off the GPIO ports, the hardware itself (especially the SoC they're using) is hardly hacker friendly because the entire thing is a proprietary solution that requires proprietary drivers to run.

So can someone please tell me why this platform should be considered "open" at all? It seems to go against everything Linux strives towards. I could see a nice x86 based SoC with a S3 VGA adapter being "open"- all the hardware is well understood and open source drivers exist for everything. The Pi seems to be the exact opposite of that though.

Re:It's open! But with proprietary drivers. (2)

kamapuaa (555446) | about a year ago | (#41117033)

There's no real appeal, except the concept of a tiny $35 computer, that might make a fun toy and in a worst case scenario can be used as a cheap media PC.

If they cost $100, suddenly nobody would care about them.

Re:It's open! But with proprietary drivers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41117173)

Not even very good as a media PC without MPEG-2 HD support.

Just avoid it entirely and get something a little less useless.

Re:It's open! But with proprietary drivers. (3, Informative)

tchuladdiass (174342) | about 2 years ago | (#41117607)

I'm assuming HD refers to hardware decode. That is on the Broadcom chip, it just has to be licensed separately. They have it on their web store for 2.40 pounds. http://www.raspberrypi.com/mpeg-2-license-key/ [raspberrypi.com]

Re:It's open! But with proprietary drivers. (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about 2 years ago | (#41118089)

That's what my Mac Mini is for. Transcoding video is trivial now with a quad i7.

Re:It's open! But with proprietary drivers. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41118361)

Mac Minis go for at least $600, you're better off with a netbook or a mini-ITX gaming PC.

Re:It's open! But with proprietary drivers. (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about 2 years ago | (#41119305)

I'd love to have a mini-ITX with a quad i7! I didn't even think about the possibility but here it is! http://www.amazon.com/Intel-i7-3770S-Bridge-Mini-ITX-Z77ITX-A-E/dp/B0089GQFII [amazon.com] and it's even slightly cheaper than my mini with better specs. Mass transcoding just gets cheaper and cheaper.

Re:It's open! But with proprietary drivers. (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#41117495)

I'm still confused as to what the appeal of the Pi is.

It has David Braben's name on it.

Re:It's open! But with proprietary drivers. (1)

Microlith (54737) | about 2 years ago | (#41118149)

They keep touting the damned thing as "open", yet you require binary blobs in the kernel just to get it to boot.

Really? What blob is that?

I know of the big blob for the GPU, which isn't in the kernel, but maybe you know something I don't.

Re:It's open! But with proprietary drivers. (2)

marcansoft (727665) | about 2 years ago | (#41119063)

The GPU boots the Pi. Without the GPU blob, it won't run anything at all.

The reason for this, reportedly, is that the team responsible for that SoC at Broadcom is officially a GPU team, so in fact the GPU is the main processor, and the ARM core is tacked on to the side. You're basically running a fully proprietary processor and firmware that just so happens to run Linux on an ARM coprocessor.

Re:It's open! But with proprietary drivers. (1)

daver00 (1336845) | about 2 years ago | (#41118891)

For $30 I bought a media streaming device for my lounge room. I've been looking into a dedicated streaming box for a while now and there is nothing on the market which comes close to $30. I don't see how this isn't appealing?

Re:It's open! But with proprietary drivers. (5, Informative)

marcansoft (727665) | about 2 years ago | (#41119131)

For the record, you can get ARM SoCs that are almost entirely open - the TI OMAP series does a pretty decent job, and last I checked they have excellent open documentation. Sure, the PowerVR graphics crap is proprietary, but you don't have to use it - it's purely a coprocessor that renders to a framebuffer. The video output hardware is independent, open, and documented (i.e. the equivalent of an S3 VGA adapter).

Broadcom, though, is pretty much the antithesis of open documentation.

can all be fixed. (2)

xaoslaad (590527) | about a year ago | (#41116761)

You can fix the 140 mA issue with a little solder and two small pieces of wire to bridge the polyfuses. A little google foo can give you the power. If my inept soldering skills can get me through then almost anyone should be able to do the same. The only thing to be mindful of is voltage dips if you plug in high power devices after you're already up and running. And even then there are further mods you can do to prevent that if you're so inclined. Also the buggy driver issues have been fixed for awhile, even in Fedora17 which I think was lagging a bit behind. It is a learning device - be daring and learn a little ;)

Re:can all be fixed. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41117685)

These neckbeards can't solder. They're lucky they can type.

Re:can all be fixed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41117981)

These neckbeards can't solder. They're lucky they can type.

YPPU GOTS THESUE RIGJT!

Re:can all be fixed. (1)

daver00 (1336845) | about 2 years ago | (#41118913)

Can't you just buy a powered USB hub?

Re:can all be fixed. (1)

xaoslaad (590527) | about 2 years ago | (#41119265)

Yes, but, for instance I wanted to use a patriot high speed thumb drive for disk. I didn't want a powered hub just to have a thumb drive work reliably. Seems kind of excessive. Now I just boot off it headless with the thumb drive directly attached with no issue and nothing more than power and ethernet attached. It's a problem with multiple answers - whatever you're comfortable with...

Re:can all be fixed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41119375)

The only thing to be mindful of is voltage dips if you plug in high power devices after you're already up and running.

That's the ONLY thing to be mindful of? There's a reason they have fuses in the first place, to protect hardware. You've just shorted that protection.

Use a better power source and quit complaining (5, Insightful)

adosch (1397357) | about a year ago | (#41116787)

I've had two Raspberry Pi's running side-by-side since June and I did initially experience 'network choke' as described but it was from improperly powering my Pi's. I was using a 5v microUSB adapter but with too low of an amp draw. Pay particular attention to what you're using as a power source would be my first bit of advice.

My second bit is a bit of a rip FTFA. The quote "As I said, the Pi is currently being worked over by a crowd of skilled techno-people" is a bit of a stretch. I'd say maybe20% of Pi users actually have their shit together with enough well-rounded-ness of hardware/EE/development in their background to be productive with the Pi. The other 80% are just trying to use this device as a $35 desktop replacement who want to try and hook up 4 1TB SATA devices to it, followed a long with a board load of "pamper-me" forum posts that will make a self-respective real "geek" nauseated.

Issues like this are seen ALL the time in the 'real hardware engineering world', and they are worked out. Let's not be so quick to judge this device all the time, and see the Pi for what it is: A very easy-to-work-with low cost ARM platform that far beats out the overheard of working with any SBC or emebedded hardware platform that would need JTAG, flash map, kernel/bootloader support to get going ...on your own.

Re:Use a better power source and quit complaining (1)

Skapare (16644) | about a year ago | (#41116965)

Given a lack of other kinds of decent ARM based boards, those of us not interested in hacking the hardware side (and prefer to have working components instead of Broadcom ones) have to use the few boards out there. Personally, I'd like to do software hacking on a well designed "through CPU" multi-port (16 or more) ethernet switch (multiple CPUs to provide many paths and exchange points ... not all ports on one CPU) based on ARM. But it's just not out there (and what pretends to be is just 16 ports into a single x86 PoS).

Let's have some better design choices in the hardware, up front, please.

Re:Use a better power source and quit complaining (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41116967)

I think what you meant to say is 1% hardware enthusiast, 1% bored children with hardware enthusiast parents, 98% people who wanted cheap low-power XBMC devices....

Re:Use a better power source and quit complaining (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41117695)

Keep in mind that it's the pamper-me/majority which help keep the Pi's price point low.

Re:Use a better power source and quit complaining (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41118083)

Keep in mind that it's the pamper-me/majority which help keep the Pi's price point low.

Or drag it down with your nonsense

Re:Use a better power source and quit complaining (1)

edcheevy (1160545) | about 2 years ago | (#41117997)

This. I definitely consider myself on the noob end of the Pi experience spectrum, but it didn't take me long to figure out that all the advice online recommending the use of a solid power supply (> 1A) was *gasp* correct. I started out with a minimum spec power supply when mine first arrived and was experiencing issues. I've since swapped out for beefier power sources and had two Pi's running RaspBMC for a while now, one on ethernet and the other on wifi, with no USB hubs. I don't have a bazillion devices plugged in either, so YMMV.

Sure, the USB wifi dongle was a bitch to get running at first, but for a $35 toy I can velcro to an unused LCD and deliver streaming media throughout the house, I'm happy.

Re:Use a better power source and quit complaining (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41118065)

I power my Raspberry Pi using a micro USB connected to the USB port on the opposite side, you jump start it with an external 5V power supply for a second, and the power just goes round and round indefinitely, powering the PI and what ever other devices I have connected to the unpowered 6 port hub connected to the second port. At the moment it's populated exclusively with USB humping dogs.

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41116791)

Broadcom fucked them real bad then?

Can't get good sound on RPi. Power problems. (4, Informative)

dannycim (442761) | about a year ago | (#41116889)

I bought two Raspberry Pi(es) to use as audio servers and have been disappointed by the sound quality. The on-board audio out's DSP has limited bandwidth so sound is down-sampled to 11 bits. Scratchy. It's not advertised so that was a let-down.

Using a USB AUDIO dongle is no-go either, because of the crappy USB drivers. Stutters non-stop. Here are oscilloscope grabs of two music samples and a 1Khz tone: http://imgur.com/a/rVR99 [imgur.com] The flat parts shouldn't be there. The only way to get good sound now is to use rather expensive USB soundboards or the HDMI output, but extracting line-level audio signals from that isn't a simple or cheap proposition.

The power design should be re-thought. If you power your Pi with exactly 5 volts, the voltage drop in the polyfuses causes early failures if you connect peripherals that have medium current demands. If you're lucky your power adapter might supply a bit more than 5 volts (5.25 is nice) and you might not experience too many problems. Me, I've soldered supply wires to test points T1(vcc) and T2(gnd) and bypassed the fuses completely.

I hope they come up with another revision, add a Low-drop-out regulator (+$2) and figure out the USB naggies.

Until then, caveat emptor.

Re:Can't get good sound on RPi. Power problems. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41117101)

The PI should be using a buck-boost regulator that supplies 5.0V *at the USB connector*. Yes, it adds to the cost, but not having it isn't real savings. It's getting the thing out of spec. And why on Earth don't they have (apparently) have power monitoring implemented, I don't know either. There should be an obvious indication to the user that the input voltage is too low etc.

Re:Can't get good sound on RPi. Power problems. (1)

ultranerdz (1718606) | about 2 years ago | (#41117697)

Forget about buck boost regulators on the rpi. that would increase the cost in 2 to 4 dollars, they should require you to use a regulated +5 VDC power supply that gives *at least* 1A and just wire it up to the USB port. or anything else.

If they don't want to require the use of a regulated power supply, they should just drop in an inexpensive 7805 LDO.

Seems the RPi runs better on RISCOS (2)

DECTerm (1982022) | about a year ago | (#41116935)

I have LESS problems with USB (incl kbd/mse) on Raspberry Pi using RISCOS than Linux... (also the RPi is overclocked to 800Mhz while on RISCOS)

1.0 problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41117057)

just download the 1.1 hardware when it becomes available.

We had our bitcoin article already this week... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41117107)

About fucking time!

Wasn't there a limited release or beta testing???? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41117505)

They had prototypes, didn't they? Didn't they have a limited release while they ramped up production? Wasn't there any time for somebody to actually try to use this wonderful device before the release? Don't get me wrong -- I WANT ONE, or even a dozen.

Re:Wasn't there a limited release or beta testing? (1)

luther349 (645380) | about 2 years ago | (#41118379)

there up for order now if you want one.takes bought 3 weeks. many of the issues is they don't include a wall plug and many people use usb cable or chargers that are to small. you should be providing 1 amp at 5 volts to it. they do sell the correct charger sepret.

Yea no shit (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 2 years ago | (#41118117)

Thanks for letting us know the biggest issue since day one on this thing

Power supply issues are overstated (4, Informative)

rephlex (96882) | about 2 years ago | (#41118517)

I am the submitter of this story. I posted as "lostintime" on the Raspberry Pi forums before I was banned for the post I made in this thread: http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=63&t=15320 [raspberrypi.org]

The power supply issues the Raspberry Pi has are mostly a red herring. The Pi is certainly unusually sensitive to power and can only supply a stupidly low amount of current to USB devices no matter what power supply is used, but these issues have been used as a catch-all to explain away every problem people have been having with USB and Ethernet on the Pi. This has obscured the more pressing issue of buggy drivers which I believe are the root cause of the majority of problems Pi users have been having.

Re:Power supply issues are overstated (1)

monsterlemon (713644) | about 2 years ago | (#41119551)

You're right about the problems with the USB drivers, and the power issues being a smokescreen for that - it's understandable, but frustrating. The current Pis were clearly labelled as for development and quite possibly "not perfected yet" (seen "Octopussy" recently?).

However, being right doesn't make some of what you came up with in that thread helpful or constructive.

No prob for hackers (1)

Animats (122034) | about 2 years ago | (#41119021)

There's nothing wrong with the Raspberry Pi that can't be fixed if you have a digital voltmeter, a scope, an adjustable bench power supply, a surface mount soldering station, and a copy of The Art of Electronics.

If you're not into hardware debugging and are building some kind of "media center", get one of the low-end set-top boxes with an Allwinner A10 Cortex inside. Those will run Linux. They usually come with Google TV/Android installed, but you can flush that and put in something else. They're around $60, for which you get a device in a case and probably a WiFi antenna.

Perhaps if it were used as a desktop (1)

kriston (7886) | about 2 years ago | (#41119221)

Perhaps these problems are evident when it is used as a desktop with keyboards and mice, but for embedded and server applications, I find the Raspberry Pi to work very well.

My only real complaint is that I cannot allocate less than 16 megabytes of memory to VideoCore. I would actually like to reduce that to the bare minimum possible for 80x24 screen at one megabyte or less, so as to allocate the most memory to the processor as possible. I find it interesting that the console is 1600x1200 when much more memory could be saved by keeping it at 640x480.

Honestly I wasn't really sure why they put USB ports on the Pi, much less a DisplayPort connector, but I guess that's just what an embedded developer would have expected but the inclusion of those ports makes this a really fascinating machine.

Not just buggy drivers, but bad HW design too (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41119607)

All the comments I saw when I briefly scanned the links in the article reference power issues and similar. Another huge problem is that the USB controller in the BCM2835 itself is pretty seriously deficient; it offloads a ton of work that's usually done in HW to SW instead, requiring the CPU to be able to handle interrupts at up to 8KHz, the USB frame rate. Apparently, dropping one of those will then cause issues rather than just delaying transfers. Writing good SW for this HW will be extremely hard.

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