Topic: Old Problem - Blank screen, possibly overheating

So, I got in on one of the first few rounds of Chumby back in October 2007. Obviously, my warranty expired about a year ago.

A couple of months after I got Chumby, it started overheating, and the screen was black. I didn't have any time to deal with it (which is how everything goes when you found a grassroots election campaign - no time for breathing), so I put Chumby away in a box, meaning to get around to it later. Later was today.

When I turn him on, there is a speaker squawk, but the screen stays blank. The screen does warm up, though. I'm not quite sure if it's overheated, or just warm.

I tried Chumby Chat, hoping there was an easy trick to fixing it, or that they'd be able to identify what the likely problem was. But, I was just told "hardware problem" and that it's out of warranty, so I should buy a new one.

I'm actually thinking of buying a new one - getting the email about it today is what prompted me, actually.

But, I'd like to fix this one as well, if I could - I could definitely use two. My friend has a degree in electronics and is always puttering around with stuff in his garage. Since I'm out of warranty, and Chumby isn't usable, I'm going to let him have at it. If he can replace a capacitor or something, that would rock. Or, if it's just dead, perhaps the screen could be used in some other project.

But, I was hoping someone might be able to point us in the direction of where to start looking. Oh, also, I let the magic smoke out. The last time I turned it on, after Chumby Chat, I put a 9V in it, and was trying to mess around, hoping something would happen. When that something turned out to be a poof of smoke, I unplugged it and took the battery out.

Anyway, if there is anyone around who has tinkered with the insides, and might have some insight for me, I'd appreciate it.

Re: Old Problem - Blank screen, possibly overheating

The easiest thing you can do is try to hook up a serial console to it and see if it's outputting anything.  I doubt it is, but it's a good first step.  A TTL <-> RS232 converter hooked up to the debug pins on the upper-right corner of the screen will get you started.  It runs at 38400 bps.

The screen can be expected to get warm, because it's the heat sink for the CPU and wifi cards, so at least /something/ is happening.

The magic smoke does sound a bit troubling, though.

Re: Old Problem - Blank screen, possibly overheating

Thanks for the reply!

After I wrote that, I pulled it apart. The parts with the screen don't have the smoke smell at all. The parts in the back, where the power connects do have a smoke smell, but nothing obvious.

That's about as far as I can get with it - I'm a software person, definitely not hardware. But, I think your comments will be helpful to my friend. I'll pass it along, when I bring him the parts.