Guide - Troubleshooting mintyPi Power Issues

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dryja123
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Guide - Troubleshooting mintyPi Power Issues

Post by dryja123 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:42 pm

Hello All,

I've been seeing the issue come up pretty frequently:
My mintyPi powers on when connected to a usb power source but not when it's supposed to get power from the battery
so I felt it was appropriate to come up with a guide on how to troubleshoot power related issues with the mintyPi.

For starters, you're going to need a decent digital multimeter. If you don't have a multimeter don't bother wasting your time reading this guide because you don't have the proper tools to troubleshoot this issue. Multimeters are pretty cheap, you can pick up a decent one for around $20 at your local tool store. Here's a link to the one that I bought: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Klein-Tools- ... /204367271

To resolve this problem we're going to need to figure out exactly what parts are receiving power. (you're going to need your handy multimeter!)

Checking continuity

You'll need to check to see if you have power and ground continuity from the Pi to the mintyPi PCB. To achieve this, you need to set your multimeter in continuity mode and test your 5v and GND connections like so:
Testing Pi 5v ContinuityShow
With your multimeter in continuity mode, place one test probe on the 5V GPIO port on the Pi and the VCC pad on the mintyPi PCB. If you have solid continuity you should get a solid ring from your multimeter
5V cont. test.jpg
5V cont. test.jpg (1.61 MiB) Viewed 2510 times
Testing Pi GND ContinuityShow
With your multimeter in continuity mode, place one test probe on the GND GPIO port on the Pi and the GND pad on the mintyPi PCB. Once again, if you have solid continuity you should get a solid ring from your multimeter
GND cont. test.jpg
GND cont. test.jpg (1.61 MiB) Viewed 2510 times
Ok, so after checking to see if you have a connection with your 5v and GND test you noticed that one, or both, of your GPIO ports were not generating a ringing noise from your multimeter. If you don't have a reliable connection with both 5v and GND your Pi will never turn on when operating from battery power! You'll need to rework your soldering on the GPIO ports on the Pi and the pads on the mintyPi PCB (only if you're using the battery monitor attachment) and test for continuity again.

Checking voltage

Now you're getting a solid ring from 5v and GND from the Pi to the mintyPi PCB, you'll need to test that you're getting sufficient voltage. To achieve this, you'll need to use your multimeter again (notice something here?) but this time you won't be using it in continuity mode. You'll need to set your multimeter to test for DC voltage.

To test for DC voltage, you'll need to connect the multimeter probes like so:
Testing mintyPi PCB voltageShow
With your multimeter in DC voltage test mode, place the RED multimeter probe on VCC and the BLACK probe on GND
PCB voltage test.jpg
PCB voltage test.jpg (1.61 MiB) Viewed 2510 times
What did you find when you did that? Did you get a voltage reading? If you have good power and ground connections from your battery to charger board and power switch to the mintyPi PCB you should get a reading higher than 3.3v. If you're getting a reading lower than 3.3v your Pi may not have sufficient power to boot and you should probably try charging your battery.... Silly, right? You'd be surprised how many times people try to turn on their mintyPis for the first time and it doesn't come on because the battery is dead.

Now if you're not getting a voltage reading at all, you have some other problems you need to sort out before you can move forward.... You'll need to check that you have your multimeter is in the correct mode to test for DC voltage. You'll need to check that you have a solid soldering connection on all wires leading up to the mintyPi PCB. You can go ahead and test the PCB for voltage again once you've verified that you have good connections,

Now that you've verified that the mintyPi PCB is getting voltage, you isolated the culprit..... The Pi!

Now you'll need to check that you're getting voltage from the mintyPi PCB to the Pi:
Testing voltage from mintyPi PCB to the PiShow
With your multimeter in DC voltage test mode, place the RED multimeter probe on the 5v GPIO port on the Pi and the BLACK probe on GND pad on the mintyPi PCB
Pi voltage test.jpg
Pi voltage test.jpg (1.61 MiB) Viewed 2510 times
If you're not getting a voltage reading from the Pi to the mintyPi PCB you'll need to recheck your 5v and GND connections and test again. If you're getting a voltage reading you should get green activity lights on the Pi. If you're not getting activity lights verify that you have the SD card installed with the proper mintyPi image. If you don't have a properly imaged SD card installed in your Pi and you tried to boot it up you wasted your time...

I hope you found this guide helpful! This was my first guide so I apologize if it was hard to read. If there's anything I missed, or if you have further questions, please feel free to post a comment and I will do my best to help you.

Jake C
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Re: Guide - Troubleshooting mintyPi Power Issues

Post by Jake C » Thu Nov 02, 2017 9:11 am

I wanted to throw this experience on here for anyone having a similar issue. I was having random issues, with the the Mintypi attached, but not assembled into the tin, with the power cutting out. When I screwed the pcb down inside of the tin, it would not turn on at all.

The problem for this was a bit of solder from the power switch lead had bridged to the metal case of the power switch itself. When the pcb was screwed down, it would press the switch against the tin, shorting it to ground. Just something to watch out for.

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