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Bluefruit SPI Friend Dead on Power-Up
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Bluefruit SPI Friend Dead on Power-Up

by BeenDunn on Mon Oct 16, 2017 1:20 am

Hello,

We recently bought another order of several Bluefruit SPI Friends to replace another few that stopped working unexpectedly.
Thinking perhaps it was my PCB at fault, I wired two up on a breadboard and have been using them for the last several days with no problems.

However, today when we plugged in our FTDI chip to program the Arduino talking to the BLE chip, one of the two chips died.
The LED does not show or flash, the chip does not appear when scanning for BLE devices, though I've checked voltages and power is supplied.
One died, while the other is working fine. This leads me to believe that perhaps the others that died suffered the same problem, and perhaps it wasn't my PCB after all.

TLDR;

Specs;
- 2 x Bluefruit SPI friend
- 1 x Pro Trinket
- 1 x FTDI Adapter

- Running on 3.3V power rails
- Connected on breadboard
- Powered through USB connected to FTDI chip
- Standard wiring according to Adafruit guide & examples

Single chip dead on power-up, other chip still working fine.
Why has our BLE chip died? Has this happened to others and what can I do to prevent the next one dying?

Thanks very much,
Ben

BeenDunn
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:40 pm

Re: Bluefruit SPI Friend Dead on Power-Up

by BeenDunn on Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:00 am

TESTING UPDATE:

We were able to boot it into DFU mode, so the whole thing isn't fried.
We updated the Firmware successfully, but when following the instructions about recovering the device, we get to step 4 and it doesn't work.
When we connect the DFU to GND for 5 seconds it either does nothing, or powers down, depending on whether you are connected on the app still or not.

Either way, it does not perform a factory reset. We have also tried performing factory reset via AT commands and no luck there either.
So, the upshot is that we can boot it in DFU mode, connect, and update firmware. But something is going wrong from there, and when we power it back up again without DFU pin connected to ground, it will not run at all.

More info;
Product: Adafruit Bluefruit LE SPI Friend
Firmware versions tried: 0.7.7 & 0.7.6
Operating System: macOS Sierra, 10.12.6
Adruino IDE Version: 1.8.3

Thanks,
Ben

BeenDunn
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:40 pm

Re: Bluefruit SPI Friend Dead on Power-Up

by adafruit_support_rick on Thu Nov 02, 2017 9:39 am

Sorry foe the delay in getting back to you.

We really haven't see this sort of thing happening with these modules.

Can you post some pictures of your wiring?

Is it possible for you to run one of the adafruit example sketches and post the serial monitor output?

adafruit_support_rick
 
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Location: Buffalo, NY

Re: Bluefruit SPI Friend Dead on Power-Up

by BeenDunn on Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:33 pm

Hi Rick,

Thanks for the response.

This is the serial output from running the "factoryreset" sketch:
Code: Select all | TOGGLE FULL SIZE
Adafruit Factory Reset Example
------------------------------------------------
Initialising the Bluefruit LE module: OK!
Performing a factory reset:
AT+FACTORYRESET

<- Couldn't factory reset


Here is a pic of the wiring:
IMG_20171204_162544.jpg
IMG_20171204_162544.jpg (661.41 KiB) Viewed 89 times


Thanks!

BeenDunn
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:40 pm

Re: Bluefruit SPI Friend Dead on Power-Up

by adafruit_support_rick on Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:38 pm

Hmmm. Can you try running it off of BUS (i.e., 5V) instead of from 3V?

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Posts: 34871
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:42 am
Location: Buffalo, NY

Re: Bluefruit SPI Friend Dead on Power-Up

by BeenDunn on Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:24 pm

We tried powering using the BUS as instructed with the same result.

We think the problem is unrelated to the power supply or how we power it since pulling DFU to GND on power up activates the BLE in bootloading mode. We know that the BLE still functions in some way however this is the only way to power up the device and without starting it in bootloader mode the BLE doesn't function.

We have tried uploading various versions of the firmware (all of them), none has worked.

In bootloader mode we can connect using the Adafruit Bluefruit App and it seems to work fine. But as soon as we don't use DFU mode, the device doesn't turn on (no LEDs, not detectable).

We have 6 of these devices all with the same issue.

Are there any other tests we can run with the devices?

Thanks,
Ben

BeenDunn
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:40 pm

Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.