I bought 200 Raspberry Pi Model B’s and I’m going to fix them


I’m certain some of my followers hang seen my recent social media posts with regards to the 200+ Raspberry Pi Mannequin B’s I purchased on ebay – ought to you could to well presumably also merely hang no longer then apply my twitter for sneak peaks and updates!

I purchased the job lot of Pi’s for merely £61 though there became as soon as a recall – they hang been listed as broken and I feel they’re customer returns. They are all Mannequin B’s with with either 256MB or 512MB of RAM and are in varied stipulations.

The valuable step in repairing these is to diagnose the points, I created some tooling to help with this which I’ll quilt now.

Pi Diagnostics

So how dwell you stir around diagnosing 200+ rotten Raspberry Pi’s? Without reference to how suave I find around this its no longer going to be a rapid process but I needed a thought.

I will be categorising the Pi’s into two categories those who boot and those who’re or appear dreary. The “Tiresome” Pi’s will be revisited at a later date but lets preserve a uncover at how I’ve long past about attempting out these that boot up.

The usage of a low-cost 3.5″ TFT Pi demonstrate and a hacky bash script I even hang created a diagnostic instrument that will take a look at the following:

  • USB Ports
  • Ethernet
  • Showcase Output

This additionally affords me a chance to test the GPIO to an extent because the demonstrate uses the I2C, VCC and GND pins and additionally affords me a chance to evaluate the physical condition of the system.

To this level I am around half of device thru the diagnostics and 59 of the Pi’s boot and work with minor rupture similar to snapped SD card slots or bodily broken USB ports.

10 of the Pi’s are completely working though their is no Ethernet – These is no longer going to be mounted as such though the Ethernet chip and port will be removed reworking the system into a Mannequin A.

A extra 4 devices are completely working though the HDMI port doesn’t work, all 4 of these watch to hang broken traces on the PCB across the HDMI circuitry – I’ll no longer be fixing these though I can find them real to scamper headless.

A extra 40 Pi’s are dreary though some of them are likely merely broken energy provide circuits which must always be straightforward fixes – I’ll revisit these in the near future.

Right here are the last devices that could well also merely aloof be identified:

Over the subsequent few days I’ll diagnose the last devices and add a apply up post that will hang a total rely of Pi’s in the box and a rely of these that I feel are repairable.

Repairing the Pi’s

Even supposing I haven’t executed diagnosing the Pi’s I couldn’t succor but restore just among the more uncomplicated fixes, lets watch at just a few repairs I performed this morning.

Curved GPIO pins

Curved GPIO Pins on one among the broken Pi’s’

How the hell does this occur?! one among the Pi’s had the GPIO pins swashed flat. I will hang replaced the header but as no pins hang been snapped I fastidiously straightened them a metal ruler.

Even as they didn’t attain out supreme it is some distance another time an completely working system.

Broken USB Ports

Okay broken is an understatement! This downhearted Pi has had the ports ripped dazzling off it, fortunately there could be loads dreary Pi’s that could well no longer be fixable so in desire to shopping ingredients I salvaged the USB ports from a dreary Pi.

I then fastidiously unsoldered the remains of the broken port:

Added the salvaged port along with a variety of no-clear flux and soldered it on:

There we’ve it, yet another Pi saved from the scrap pile!

I do know folk are angry to transfer making an strive to search out the board stage repairs but I can guarantee that they’re coming, there are only somewhat a variety of devices to battle thru and I want to find the easy fixes out of the manner first.

I mounted several with broken USB ports and added them to the box of working Pi’s. I will be protecting SD card slot repairs when my AliExpress ingredients method but for now this is all on the repairs.

Right here’s a closing pronounce showing the so-some distance working devices:

What am I going to dwell with 200 Raspberry Pi’s?!

I’m sorry to disappoint but I obtained’t be constructing a cluster or decorating my partitions with them! In actuality I don’t hang a mission planned for these instead they’ll be sold on starting at £4 for a “Mannequin A” and as a lot as £9 for an completely boxed un-repaired Mannequin B. I’m no longer doing this to find a rapid buck I’m doing it for the blog disclose material and the expertise and to with any luck present you guys with some very low-cost Raspberry Pi’s in your projects!

I had somewhat a variety of suggestions to ship the Pi’s to a establishing Country for college students to study IT on and whilst I in point of fact care for that belief the logistics of it and finding any individual honest sufficient at hand them out aren’t straight ahead. Then there could be the problem or 200 Pi’s requiring SD playing cards, Keyboards, Mice and Shows A board on my own merely isn’t sufficient right here and its merely no longer straightforward or straightforward for me to dwell. As a replacement I will be donating the proceeds of the gross sales to the Raspberry Pi Basis and so they’ll get what to dwell with the Money!

I’ll post an update the following day with the outcomes of the diagnostics and a hyperlink where you could to well presumably expend the repaired devices – UK easiest though I’m apprehensive except you is liable to be willing to quilt the transport.

Let me know what you seen of this mammoth process in a statement below and please take into story following this blog for updates.

Edit: 24/01/21
Piece 2 is now out right here.

Piece 3 is now out right here

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