Topic: Having a problem with your chumby One?

****** UPDATE******
If they're still in stock, you may be able to purchase a replacement power supply at The Chumby Store
****** UPDATE******

So, you looked at your chumby One today and it was off.  You rebooted it and it started to boot, but then turned off again.  What's going on?

Far and way, the most common failure mode for the chumby One is with the power supply.  This particular supply fails in a peculiar way - if you put it on a voltmeter, it may still show 5V, but if you put it under load (as when you use it with a chumby), it will not be able to hold the required voltage.

As a chumby boots, it turns on various subsystems in sequence, each of which uses just a little more power.  Some supplies will be able to provide enough juice to get through the early stages, but eventually fail.  Some die right after attempting to turn on the display, some when the USB subsystem comes on, or when the network powers up, or most commonly, when the sound system is turned on for the "bloop bloop" chumby startup animation.  Sometimes it will just turn off after some random period of time, or maybe when an alarm fires, and may even reboot itself.

So the question is - what now?

Well, there's no need to throw away the device - it's almost certainly just fine.

(Duane:next statement no longer true, we frequently have stock at thechumbystore.com) Unfortunately, I don't have any extra US power supplies - I have just enough to cover the few remaining devices still under warranty.

I *do* have a bunch of European power supplies, however, the cost and paperwork to ship them to Europe is prohibitive.

So here are the options:

1) If you need a European power supply I can ship it to any US address for the cost of shipping, and you can figure out how to get it to your country - for instance, you might have relatives or friends living or vacationing the US that can carry and/or send it home for you.  Otherwise, look at the following options...

2) You can purchase a third-party replacement power supply.  This "universal" power supply will work just fine.  It's also available for a lower price here, though some users have reported they've received defective supplies from them (though they've been replaced).  There may be other vendors as well - Google is your friend.  There may also be a European version of this supply.  The tip of the current supply is 0.9mm I.D. x 3.2mm O.D. (center positive), but the socket should handle a 0.8mm I.D tip, though it will be more snug.

3) You can find some other 5VDC, 2000mA (2A) power supply and splice on the tip from your current supply.  This is a fairly simple operation, and these supplies are quite common - you can find them at pretty much any consumer electronics retailer, and you might even have some lying around your house from some device you love less than your chumby.  It's very important to make sure it's at least 2000mA - that's key.  The other thing to make sure of it that you wire it up correctly - the positive goes in the center of the connector.  There are some forum posts on the proper way to do this kind of splicing.

If you find other power supplies that work, please add them to this thread so others can benefit from your experience.

There are other possible chumby One failure modes, though much less common:

1) I've seen a very small number of units where the USB subsystem itself has failed, so that it will no longer be able to access the network or even a USB dongle.  That's a fatal failure.

2) The user has turned the brightness down to "off" and the Control Panel dutifully does that every boot - restoring factory setting will usually do the trick.

3) Somehow the mSD card in the device has become corrupt - usually that can be fixed by performing a USB firmware update, but sometimes requires opening up the device, removing the card, reflashing it from a desktop machine, then putting it back in.  In the worst case, the card itself is defective - but you can just replace it.

4) The network card has come loose - that can be fixed by opening the device and reseating it.

If you have other words of wisdom for fixing a troublesome chumby One, please add to this thread.

Re: Having a problem with your chumby One?

Awesome post and I wanted to add that also there are times when the supply will read the correct voltage, even under load, but it still will not boot and that is from too much AC ripple.

95% of the time, if a supply is bad and measures good with no load, it will fall in it's face when you give it a load (plug it into the chumby) due to not being able to supply the needed current.

But please don't let the other 5% gettcha either. I had one that measured 5vDC with or without a load and what I found is a good one has about 10mA of AC ripple and the one I had that would not boot from, measures 115mA of ripple.
Ripple is noise basically and you need to have your meter set on the AC scale to read it.

So if it measures find with the meter on DC with a load, then move the switch on the meter to AC and see what you read....

Thanks again Duane for taking the time to write this post and all your awesome support!

Re: Having a problem with your chumby One?

Thank you Burkhardi. I had not heard about AC ripple being a problem. I will keep it in mind.

Tar, feathers, congress. Some assembly required.

Re: Having a problem with your chumby One?

BoloMKXXVIII wrote:

Thank you Burkhardi. I had not heard about AC ripple being a problem. I will keep it in mind.

Your welcome!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ripple_(electrical)
Also, the symptom I had prior to it totally dying was the alarm would sound, I would dismiss it and the unit would reboot. This went on for about a month. Then one day, the alarm sounded and it would not boot after the glitch and would just get stuck in a reboot loop. Once I unplugged it from the wall and let it sit for a couple hours and cool; when I tried again it was dead to the world and measured fine [5.20vDC] with the meter on DC setting using a Fluke 73 series III (current model is a Fluke 77 and they are about $250) DMM and 115mV on AC.

Re: Having a problem with your chumby One?

Duane wrote:

So, you looked at your chumby One today and it was off.  You rebooted it and it started to boot, but then turned off again.  What's going on?

Far and way, the most common failure mode for the chumby One is with the power supply.
...
So the question is - what now?

Well, there's no need to throw away the device - it's almost certainly just fine.
...
You can purchase a third-party replacement power supply.  This "universal" power supply will work just fine.  It's also available for a lower price here, though some users have reported they've received defective supplies from them (though they've been replaced).  There may be other vendors as well - Google is your friend.  There may also be a European version of this supply.  The tip of the current supply is 0.9mm I.D. x 3.2mm O.D. (center positive), but the socket should handle a 0.8mm I.D tip, though it will be more snug.

This is the most freakishly timely post I have ever run across anywhere. Less than 24 hours after you posted this, it happened to me!

Fortunately, I had an old Chumby Classic to carry me through a busy work week. I just bought the power supply you recommended, and it worked like a charm! My old pal C1 is back in action and my classic is once again in retirement awaiting the next pinch-hitting assignment.

MANY thanks for the post, Duane. I'm not a techie at all, so I would NOT have known to try a new power cord. I might very well have ditched a perfectly good Chumby One were it not for your incredibly timely advice.

Got any stock tips or Super Bowl picks for us! smile

Re: Having a problem with your chumby One?

Please see this thread for one possible solution for this problem.

If you're brave enough to try to actually *repair* the power supply, forum member duharris has created a really nice video here.

Re: Having a problem with your chumby One?

I have a few questions about Duane's European power supplies. Fortunately, I don't need one yet, but this is A: Good to know in the future and B: I may be interested in purchasing one as a backup.  First, do they work in the I3.5? I know the hardware is the same, but I don't know if the power jacks are. Second, are the power supplies still in stock? That's another reason I want one. If they are, they may not be in the future as people's power supplies fail. Third, do they accept 120 volts? I have a converter I got with a Chinese hard drive that is no longer used, so if they work, I don't need to buy a $50 box, as that costs more than the universal power supply you mentioned earlier is on Amazon (Radio Shack seems to have discontinued it). If so, we may be doing some business shortly.

As always, thanks for everything that this community has done to convince me to get a Chumby and help me with my issues.

Re: Having a problem with your chumby One?

The power supplies for the I3.5 and C1 are the same connector.

Neither I nor Insignia have power supplies in stock.

The supplies that come with the device accept 110-240V, 50/60Hz - the only requirement is that it reliably output 5V @2A, with the correct connector.

Re: Having a problem with your chumby One?

Duane wrote:

The power supplies for the I3.5 and C1 are the same connector.

Neither I nor Insignia have power supplies in stock.

The supplies that come with the device accept 110-240V, 50/60Hz - the only requirement is that it reliably output 5V @2A, with the correct connector.

But I thought that you said that you still had European power supplies. Are those sold out?

Re: Having a problem with your chumby One?

No, I have them - they're just too expensive to actually ship to Europe.

Re: Having a problem with your chumby One?

Duane wrote:

No, I have them - they're just too expensive to actually ship to Europe.

But I'm not in Europe. That's why I asked if they worked with power converters. Why would I need a power converter for my own region? Plus, isn't Europe 220 volts, not 120? The only American things with 220 volt plugs are washing machines and air conditioning units, again why I asked about the voltage.

Thanks for your help, though. I do tend to ramble, which is why I may have confused you.

Re: Having a problem with your chumby One?

OK - the power supplies are "European" only in the sense that they come with a set of replaceable non-US plug attachments. fixed

The power supplies themselves are "universal", in that they'll take both 110/120 and 240VAC, and handle both 50/60 Hz.  This is very common for these types of wall warts.

The problem is that you can't plug them into a US outlet, since the prongs are wrong.

Re: Having a problem with your chumby One?

Duane wrote:

The problem is that you can't plug them into a US outlet, since the prongs are wrong.

I think what nathanm is saying is that he has a EU->US adapter (not voltage converter, just physical pin adapter) that he could use with these:

nathanm wrote:

Third, do they accept 120 volts? I have a converter I got with a Chinese hard drive that is no longer used, so if they work, I don't need to buy a $50 box[...]

Re: Having a problem with your chumby One?

OK, if what Nathan has a device that is simply European female->US male, then it should indeed work.

I was assuming "converter" was an electronically active device, not just an adapter.

15 (edited by nathanm 2013-04-03 18:16:20)

Re: Having a problem with your chumby One?

Thanks, Doktor Jones. What you said is correct. I guess I should have been a bit more specific. Well, that's all the help I need. Duane, I may be getting into contact with you shortly.

Re: Having a problem with your chumby One?

Whew, even now you're saving our bacon.  Both our Chumby Ones died within a few days of each other (one being 5mo or so younger than the other) so we thought it had something to do with chumby.com, maybe--they're running zurkware, but maybe there was something it wasn't covering?  Gosh, we had no idea.  Hey...the chumby.com forums are still there....

And check this out, there's a fix!  I borrowed the Insignia's power cord and the chumby booted happily back up again.  They're alive!  The timing was merely coincidental.  All we have to do is replace power cords?  Oh how awesome.  We can do that.

Re: Having a problem with your chumby One?

Would this work with a Chumby One?
http://www.amazon.com/Genuine-Chumby-MP … rds=chumby

Re: Having a problem with your chumby One?

No, that's for the Chumby Classic.  The Chumby One has a much smaller power connector, and requires 5V, 2A.  The Classic had on-board voltage regulation and could take a wide range of supply voltages, with the official adapter @ 12V.

I'm assuming the reason for the removal of the on-board regulation in the C1 and later devices was due to cost and heat. A power supply costs $X per watt regardless of output, so if you just get an adapter that outputs what the device needs in the first place, you don't need on-board regulation and save $$$ on those parts. Also, voltage regulation generates heat, which in the small cases of the Chumbies could shorten the life of the devices.

19 (edited by tjcaruana 2013-06-18 17:32:58)

Re: Having a problem with your chumby One?

Thank you! Since I'm electric illiterate, is there a cord on Amazon that would work for my Chumby One? I believe mine went out this morning.
Like this one?
http://www.amazon.com/2000mA-Regulated- … er+adapter

Re: Having a problem with your chumby One?

Unfortunately, it's really hard to find a supply that would work "out of the box" for your C1.  That particular listing disturbs me because they list the output as "1000mA (2A)"... but 1000mA = 1A, not 2A.  Also, the picture shows a 12V power supply even though they claim it's 5V.

You found the right numbers (5V, 2A)... it's just that the particular listing also has some conflicting information tongue

You may want to look into my adapters here -- they will enable you to use a supply with a much more common connector.  It's a bit pricier, but "future-proofs" your investment because should you find yourself needing another replacement supply down the road, it'll be easy to find and cheap.

Re: Having a problem with your chumby One?

I'm computer/Chumby tech-talk illiterate. I have the original Chumby. Is that a Chumby One? Chumby Classic? I'm okay with no longer having any widgets, except the alarm clock, but all of my radio stations and sleep sounds are gone...as of about a week ago.  The speakers appear to work, since the alram sounds when set. So will someone please tell me: is this the end? i want my Chumby to work again!

22 (edited by demarks51 2013-07-22 11:33:54)

Re: Having a problem with your chumby One?

Cruise the forum and you will learn what is happening. We have less than we once had but more than what we were headed for. There are several options for future uses of the chumby with the unlikely thing that chumby will not have something to do.  As for Chumby history you can go to the chumby wiki to learn the evolution. Prototype...Chumby Classic (soft)...Chumby One (plastic block with volume control added and more)...cousin Infocast 3.5...Then Chumby 8 and Infocast 8 bigboys. Sony Dash has a separate life but similar to Chums. All have some shared similarities but all kinda different from each other. This is probably not the end of Chumby and actually may be the beginning of a second life for this rather unique gadget. There seems to be a small but loyal following which has fueled the hope of a brighter future. Former Chumby employee Duane Maxwell has acquired what is left of Chumby (aka Blue Octy) and has plans to give new life to this critter with the help of some the IT geeks out there that are reluctant to give up. This actually a very interesting story that needs to be sold as Kindle book.

Re: Having a problem with your chumby One?

Amy reports the problem solved itself in another thread.

24 (edited by sky123 2013-08-08 06:03:49)

Re: Having a problem with your chumby One?

For the EU guys i have found a power supply who would fix my problem well.
Ebay Link

Its is a little bit smaller as the original (2,5 mm instat of 3,2 mm) but fits as long as you don't move it.
It seems that Android Tablets uses this adapters :-)