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I have a Raspberry Pi 3 that appears to have been destroyed this morning. I purchased a no-brand USB mains charger suitable for UK use (and CE certified) from eBay, and I am almost certain that was the culprit. It claims to produce up to 3.1A at 5V. It wasn't the cheapest available, either - I purchased it because it looked of reasonable quality!

It seemed to be working OK initially (green and red lights came on) but the HDMI output did not seem to be producing anything. I decided to unplug it and try a different charger, USB cable, HDMI TV socket, and I got one last gasp out of it (a green light) and then nothing since.

Now, if I plug the device into an old charger that used to power the Pi fine, the chips get extraordinarily hot (like, fire-risk hot), so I think it is sadly beyond repair. The central CPU chip gets to a temperature that easily burns fingertip skin. I have tried waiting for it to cool completely and then try again, to no avail.

I have (bravely and foolishly) tried the suspicious charger in a mifi device, and it seems to charge it OK. So, my question is whether there is a way I can test my charger device to see if it is producing electrical output within USB-defined standards? Are RPis known to be sensitive in this regard?

I guessed there was such a thing as a "USB voltage tester", and lo-and-behold, there is. Would that help?

I expect I would be looking for over-voltage, and not under-voltage. Whilst my understanding of electronic physics is fairly lacking, I guess I am not looking for an over-amperage, since devices take as much as they need?

(In the meantime I have learned my lesson: I'll only use official Raspberry Pi supplies in the future).

  • Buy the official 5.1V 2.5A 18Awg cable psu : modmypi.com/raspberry-pi/power-1051/power-supplies-1088/… – CoderMike Oct 10 '17 at 13:37
  • @CoderMike: yep, will do. Any thoughts on how I can check the suspicious charger? If I can show it is producing voltage outside of expected parameters, I can contact the UK Trading Standards body and try to get it taken off sale. (It is very unlikely I can pass the costs of the burnt Pi onto the eBay trader, especially since they can't know if I did something else to cause the failure). – halfer Oct 10 '17 at 13:41
  • If the power supply has a usb socket you could measure the voltage on the usb pins. As your Pi appears to be dead you could try measuring the voltage on the +5V and GND GPIO pins with the problem psu plugged in. – CoderMike Oct 10 '17 at 13:54
  • @CoderMike: ah, thanks. I have a multimeter, so I can test this. That would be here, right? – halfer Oct 10 '17 at 13:59
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    Yes, e.g. pin2 5V, pin6 Gnd pinout.xyz – CoderMike Oct 10 '17 at 14:12

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