I broke my N2 by wrongly connecting my USB-UART adapter to the UART port

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Tarbz
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I broke my N2 by wrongly connecting my USB-UART adapter to the UART port

Unread post by Tarbz » Sun May 26, 2019 5:05 am

Hi everyone,
I think I broke my N2 by wrongly connecting my USB-UART adapter (not from odroid) to the UART port.
The story:
To avoid to connect my brand new N2 to the HDMI monitor I used a USB-UART adapter I had lying around. I found the pinout of the connector and connected GND,RX and TX, in the mean time I flashed armbian to the SD CARD. I plug the SD Card and powered on the board and it worked as expected, on the serial console I saw all the kernel messages but I couldn't write the username for the login.
So my brilliant mind thought "Well of course it didn't work, I didn't connect the VCC, let's do it", and I connected it. Worst decision of the day.
At first it didn't happen anything, later I rebooted the board and the issues started.
The PWR LED is completely off while the PSU is powered and connected, the ALIVE LED is always off, on the serial console no more messages only something like this "hw id:G12B:BL:6e7c85:7898ac;FEAT:E0F83180:2000;POC:F;RCY:0;EMMC:800;NAND:81;SD?:0;SD:400;USB:8;LOOP:1;EMMC:800;NAND:81;SD?:0;SD:400;USB:8;G12B:BL:6e7c85:7898ac;FEAT:E0F83180:2000;POC:F;RCY:0;EMMC:800;NAND:81;" .
I turned the switch to SPI, just to try, and only the ALIVE led blink, the power LED is still dead.
I finally connect the board to a monitor and when the switch is on MMC it doesn't show anything on the screen but when set on SPI I can see the petitboot menu but I can't interact with it using the keyboard ( Should it work like that right?).
So where is the mistake? Well, there was a reason why I didn't connect the VCC at first, I checked my adapter and the VCC is connected to 5V, so i think i fried the board :oops: .

tl;dr I connected the VCC of the UART port to 5V and I fried the board

I have some questions for you:
  • Do you think the problem I see could be caused by my error?
  • Could I recover it in some way?
Materials:
Board: ODROID-N2 4G
PSU: 12V 1.5A

Thank you for any help you can give me.

PS. This is my first post here, I'm sorry if I broke some rules

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Re: I broke my N2 by wrongly connecting my USB-UART adapter to the UART port

Unread post by BadPritt » Sun May 26, 2019 7:01 am

I'm sorry you've got this issue.
I can't help with this. I hope @odroid or anyone else can.
I also made a simular mistake. I've got a few different UART adapters. But none with the pins in the correct order for Odroid. I had one cable with the correct connector. So I tried to make an "adapter" with jumper wires for the cable with the connector.
I had put the uart on 3.3V. But in my stupidity I didn't notice my cable with the correct connector had the black wire in vcc instead of ground.
What happened was my uart adapter fried.
I just can not understand why every company needs to use different UART pin orders. And why not pins that can have normal jumper wires instead of a proprietary connector.
Pine64, FriendlyElec, Hardkernel. All are different. And I don't even know about the others. Why? They all seems to want the same RPi GPIO pinout. Then why not use a default uart pinout?
Greetings, NicoD

P.S.It's always a bad idea connecting vcc. I'm lucky it didn't cost my N2 instead of the UART adapter.
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Tarbz (Fri May 31, 2019 5:57 am)

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mad_ady
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Re: I broke my N2 by wrongly connecting my USB-UART adapter to the UART port

Unread post by mad_ady » Sun May 26, 2019 6:13 pm

It's bad. Something in your N2 is fried because of the high voltage. RX worked fine (when rx and gnd were connected), because the n2 would send back a 3.3V signal to your adapter which is ok even when it uses 5V. But when you sent 5V via TX, that causes issues.
The gpio pins and uart usually connect directly to the soc without any protection and you've fried some input block on the N2. Not sure what's affected, but you can try to boot:
- via emmc
- via sd
- via spi/petitboot with a usb hdd attached (with an ubuntu image flashed)
See if usb still works by plugging in a usb mouse and see if it still gets power. When this happened on xu4 it would kill usb and network and sometimes hdmi, but the soc would still run.

So - if network still works (difficult to test at this point), but no usb works you could still salvage the n2 by having a custom spi image that boots from tftp/nfs over network. You could run an os/media player and control it either from network or maybe IR, if it's not fried.
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Tarbz (Fri May 31, 2019 5:58 am)

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Re: I broke my N2 by wrongly connecting my USB-UART adapter to the UART port

Unread post by odroid » Tue May 28, 2019 12:19 pm

5Volt on the 3.3Volt power rails could damage the CPU and DCDC converters on the N2 board. That hardware damage couldn't be recovered. Sorry about that.
That UART message means CPU couldn't find any boot media.

Code: Select all

hw id:G12B:BL:6e7c85:7898ac;FEAT:E0F83180:2000;POC:F;RCY:0;EMMC:800;NAND:81;SD?:0;SD:400;USB:8;LOOP:1;EMMC:800;NAND:81;SD?:0;SD:400;USB:8;G12B:BL:6e7c85:7898ac;FEAT:E0F83180:2000;POC:F;RCY:0;EMMC:800;NAND:81;

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Re: I broke my N2 by wrongly connecting my USB-UART adapter to the UART port

Unread post by Tarbz » Fri May 31, 2019 6:06 am

mad_ady wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 6:13 pm
It's bad. Something in your N2 is fried because of the high voltage. RX worked fine (when rx and gnd were connected), because the n2 would send back a 3.3V signal to your adapter which is ok even when it uses 5V. But when you sent 5V via TX, that causes issues.
The gpio pins and uart usually connect directly to the soc without any protection and you've fried some input block on the N2. Not sure what's affected, but you can try to boot:
- via emmc
- via sd
- via spi/petitboot with a usb hdd attached (with an ubuntu image flashed)
See if usb still works by plugging in a usb mouse and see if it still gets power. When this happened on xu4 it would kill usb and network and sometimes hdmi, but the soc would still run.

So - if network still works (difficult to test at this point), but no usb works you could still salvage the n2 by having a custom spi image that boots from tftp/nfs over network. You could run an os/media player and control it either from network or maybe IR, if it's not fried.
I tried all the combination and couldn't make it work anything, thanks for the help.

I knew it could be impossible to recover but I had to check, let's hope to not do the same mistake with the new one I just ordered :mrgreen: .

Thank everyone for the help.

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Re: I broke my N2 by wrongly connecting my USB-UART adapter to the UART port

Unread post by mad_ady » Fri May 31, 2019 2:39 pm

So petitboot started but couldn't see the usb drive?

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Re: I broke my N2 by wrongly connecting my USB-UART adapter to the UART port

Unread post by thomas-teknique » Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:13 am

Tarbz wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 5:05 am
To avoid to connect my brand new N2 to the HDMI monitor I used a USB-UART adapter I had lying around. I found the pinout of the connector and connected GND,RX and TX, in the mean time I flashed armbian to the SD CARD. I plug the SD Card and powered on the board and it worked as expected, on the serial console I saw all the kernel messages but I couldn't write the username for the login.
For future reference, this was probably because you had hardware flow control turned on in your serial console.

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mad_ady
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Re: I broke my N2 by wrongly connecting my USB-UART adapter to the UART port

Unread post by mad_ady » Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:15 pm

How can hardware flow control damage hardware? Also, hardware flow control requires additional wires (RTS/CTS) that the odroid lacks: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Softwar ... ow_control

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Re: I broke my N2 by wrongly connecting my USB-UART adapter to the UART port

Unread post by thomas-teknique » Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:16 am

mad_ady wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:15 pm
How can hardware flow control damage hardware? Also, hardware flow control requires additional wires (RTS/CTS) that the odroid lacks: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Softwar ... ow_control
I was saying the reason they could see the console messages being printed out but couldn't type anything in could have been because they had hardware flow control turned on in Minicom. I know that it requires additional wires, having it turned on in minicom requires those additional wires, which the ODROID lacks, which is why they couldn't enter anything in.

I wasn't saying that having hardware flow control turned on damaged the hardware. Just providing some information as to why they saw that they couldn't write anything, so if someone encounters this in the future they don't try the same thing and blow up the ODROID

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Re: I broke my N2 by wrongly connecting my USB-UART adapter to the UART port

Unread post by mad_ady » Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:06 pm

Sorry for misunderstanding then... :)

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