I accidentally burnt out my Raspberry Pi 3 Model B's 4 USB ports, and I have a touch screen that I cannot currently use because of this. The touch screen plugs into the GPIO pins, but requires a driver for it. I'd like to use the USB sticks, SD to USB adapter and the keyboard and mouse. I'd like to get a NDS emulator on it, but that requires the USB port for a SFC to USB adapter. Sorry if I'm going on too long, but I have two questions: 1. Can I replace the USB ports on it? and 2. Can I use the last 14 GPIO pins (pins 27-40) for USB, and if so, how?

1 Answer 1


Most likely when you burnt out the USB ports, you actually fried the USB circuitry on the LAN9514 combo USB+Ethernet controller. If that is the case, then you won't be able to fix it unless you have another 9514 chip and the equipment necessary to remove and replace surface-mount electronics. (Eek!)

Regarding using GPIO pins as USB, you would need a full USB software stack with the correct drivers. Unfortunately those drivers cannot exist because the Raspberry Pi's GPIO pins are 3.3 volts, and the USB specification requires 5 volts. The amount of current supported by GPIO is also significantly smaller than needed to run USB as well.

So as much as I hate to say this, you may have to go get another Pi to solve this particular problem. I really love your way of approaching this problem by not giving up though! Keep up the creative questioning of how to potentially re-use things that are available to you (like the GPIO ports)!

Take care and good luck!

  • I'll try to plug the Pi into the ethernet on the router. If that doesn't work, oh well, if it does, why does the ethernet work but not USB?
    – Crat Strat
    Dec 27, 2017 at 8:18
  • The ethernet circuitry in the LAN9514 is isolated from the USB circuitry. It also has some overvoltage/overcurrent protection built into it to help with PoE (Power-over-Ethernet) support. My best guess is that when you fried the USB circuitry, the Ethernet circuitry on the same chip remained uneffected because of this built-in protection mechanism.
    – MrChips
    Dec 27, 2017 at 15:06
  • The Ethernet works, but the USB doesn't. So that makes sense. So it does look like I need a new Pi.
    – Crat Strat
    Dec 30, 2017 at 21:58
  • @CratStrat Sorry to hear that. I hope your new Pi solves the problems for you! Keep up the creative thinking!
    – MrChips
    Jan 8, 2018 at 6:27

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