Clicking Sound in my Dragon board 410C

Here is my issue:
Approximately 2 weeks ago my company ordered a brand-new Qualcomm Dragonboard 410c at arrow.com.
As we received the board, everything has been working properly. Android was pre-installed and we were able to get familiar with the default OS.

After that we installed Windows 10 IoT Core to compare both operating systems.
Since we know now, that Windows IoT Core does not qualify for the project, I was about to re-install Android today

I’ve been following the instructions provided in the official manual provided by 96Boards on Github: https://github.com/96boards/documentation/blob/master/consumer/dragonboard/dragonboard410c/guides/AndroidUserGuide_DragonBoard.pdf
The relevant section is chapter 2.2 (Installing Android from Host PC).

In step 2 (Bring the board into fastbot-mode) I followed the given instructions:

  • Ensure the boot switches S6 are all set to 0000
  • Connect the micro-usb cable to the board
  • Press and hold the Vol- button (S4)
  • Connect the power supply to the board

As I was plugging in the 18V power-supply-cable with the button S4 pressed, the board was increasing its temperature rapidly before it began to fume.
I immediately disconnected the power supply.
At that time the Dragonboard was only connected to my computer via micro-usb and to the power supply.

After resting for 1-2 minutes, I tried to reboot the board without pressing the S4-button - the board started to click periodically (1-2)/second.

This is what I’ve tried to get it working again:

  • Boot the board using a keyboard/mouse and an external monitor (board starts clicking-sounds, nothing happens)
  • Try to re-install Windows IoT Core via USB with DragonBoardUpdate Tool (Switch S6 to 1000) -> Computer does not recognize Dragonboard (board starts clicking-sounds, nothing happens)
  • Try different USB-Cables to connect the dragonboard to my computer (Switch S6 to 1000) -> Computer does not recognize Dragonboard (board starts clicking-sounds, nothing happens)
  • Boot Android from SD Card (Switch S6 to 0100) -> nothing happens (I used the instructions provided in chapter 2.1)

I’m pretty disappointed about the situation since the board has barely been used.

Have you located the smoking component? but As you can imageine, It’s not good sign, the PMIC or another vital function is probably dead. You can probe regulated pin 35/37 to check their voltage…

Maybe a hardware issue with your board, since I’ve never heard about such issue. Is it a 18V power-supply supplied with the board?

I presume that by “fume”, you mean “smoke”? When you see smoke, its too late – something was destroyed.

If the part that smoked was a standalone buck regulator, you may be able to salvage the board by replacing the regulator. If the part was the PMIC, then you’re probably going to have to replace the board. While possible to change the PMIC, its far from practical.

The big mistake you made was after the board was smoked. You should have unplugged from the wall side without moving anything and determined what may have been done to cause this. Now that everything has been moved around, its probably impossible to figure out what happened. My guess is that either something got shorted, or the polarity of the power supply was reversed. There is nothing on these boards to protect against reversed voltage.

There are a couple of buck regulators on the bottom of the board labeled U12 and U13. If smoke came from one of those, you may be able to salvage the board. Check the voltage at R108 on the bottom – if you read 3.7V, then U12 is working correctly. Check the voltage at pin 37 on the low speed connector, if you read 5.0V, then U13 is working correctly.

Now here is the neat thing… if it was a power supply problem, then chances are that the first parts to be damaged by it would be those 2 regulators – U12 and U13, because they are the only thing that the supply power connects to. So if you’re lucky and those failed, and you’re lucky and they failed disconnected rather than shorted out, then you may just replace those and be back in business.

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is 18V a typo? were you using a power supply other than the 12V supply included in the DragonBoard kit? 18V is the maximum allowable voltage for the board.

I have confirmed below questions from team

  1. What was the voltage rating of power supply ?
  2. I presume that by “fume”, you mean “smoke”? Have you located the smoking component?

Answers

  1. The Dragonboard manual allows Power Supply in the range of 5V – 18V. In our office, we only had 18V power supply devices, which we used to power the board. In advance we checked the power supply devices for proper working condition.
  2. You are right, the board started to smoke. It seemed like the board got really hot just on the opposite side of the USB-A-outputs. I did attach a picture that shows the damaged board surface due to overheating. This caused the smoke. By the time the board started to smoke, there was no device plugged into USB-A-outputs.

Some power supplies can overshoot the target voltage before settling at the correct point. In some cases for poorly designed power supplies, by a considerable amount. Your 18v supply is at the limit to start with, it if overshot the target, it could have damaged things.

I don’t see any picture attached…?

That doesn’t look like damage to me. Probably just some flux residue on the board that smoke stuck to. If there was enough smoke coming out of that to stick to the flux, there should be something that is obviously burnt somewhere on the board. Can you take a picture of the entire bottom of the board, but far enough to keep the whole thing in focus?

Most power supplues put out much more that their rated voltage when there is no load. The power supply would have been in a ‘no-load’ condition when it was unplugged from the 410c board, and the output voltage could have risen to as much as 24V. When you plugged the board in, the instantaneous voltage would be 20+ Volts. The Power supply circuit on the board can take some abuse for short periods of time, but repeated over voltage conditions WILL cause it to fail eventually.

I would conclude that you have blown up your board, and will need to order a new board. When you order the new board, be sure to order the 12V supply that is available for 96Boards.