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Lights, camera, inaction! Flash crashes Raspberry Pi 2

Barry Collins
9 Feb 2015
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Unusual bug discovered with the newly launched Raspberry Pi 2

The newly launched Raspberry Pi 2 is suffering from an unusual bug which causes the computer to crash when photographed using a flash. The weird flaw was reported on the Raspberry Pi forums over the weekend, when one early buyer reported that the credit card-sized computer instantly powered down the moment it was exposed to flash photography.

The bug was subsequently confirmed by other users, with one even posting a video of the Pi falling over every time he snapped the mini-computer using the flash on his compact camera.

The clever bods on the Raspberry Pi forum quickly identified the cause of the problem. The Raspberry Pi's U16 SMPS chip - which forms part of the computer's power circuit - is apparently unshielded, unlike on previous models on the mini-computer, increasing its photo sensitivity. The Raspberry Pi owners managed to solve the problem by simply placing some Blu-Tack over the chip in question. 

Raspberry Pi 2 owners who want to take a photo of their new toy in action should note that it only appears to crash when snapped with a Xenon flash - smartphone cameras don't appear to bother the computer. Like small animals, you might also want to keep it indoors during a lightning storm! 

The Raspberry Pi 2 was launched last week. The upgraded components on the computer improve performance by up to six times, according to the Pi's founder, whilst still keeping the price down at around £25. Microsoft announced last week that it plans to give a free copy of Windows 10 to Raspberry Pi 2 owners who sign up for its non-commercial developers programme. 

The device now boasts a 900MHz quad-core processor and 1GB of RAM, which should be just about enough to keep Windows 10 ticking over on the little circuit board. Provided you don't go anywhere near it with a camera, of course. 

 

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