segunda-feira, dezembro 10, 2012

How to fix a broken SD card slot on your raspberry pi

You would Pi too if it happened to you Frown

Just as I was finishing up my last blog post, the review of Adafruit Pi Cobbler, my foot snagged on a network cable and hoiked my Pi onto the floor. It landed on the SD card and the feeble card slot took no prisoners.

Boohoo – I broke my Pi Frown

The card slot broke as it was predestined to do, the moment anyone looked at it harshly or in the wrong tone of voice. This Pi, my friend since 15th May 2012, is accustomed to living in a beautiful Yoctopuce case, but was temporarily naked for interfacing. It only agreed to the nudity because it was considered essential to the plot.

So, naked and broken and on the floor, the mighty Pi had fallen from grace. At least it was in a shutdown state, as I’d disconnected it all to do the photos.

We can make this problem go away

There were two ways to fix the problem. Both of them involved my Visa card. One costs about 30 pounds and the other costs not very much at all. So I chose the cheaper option…

Use your credit card to make your problems go away Smile

So, how do you do this?

As an aeromodeller, I have supplies of fixit stuff. In this case the required kit is…

  • An old credit card (or similar)

  • Gorilla glue (epoxy would do)

  • Bamboo skewer

  • Piece of paper

  • Craft knife

  • Decent scissors

  • Marker pen

Use the knife to score some lines along the edge of the card slot. This gives the glue a “key”. Gorilla glue is excellent at sticking plastics, but it works better when the surfaces are not polished smooth.

Keying the plastic to help the glue stick well

Locate the area of your card that you wish to use, hold it against the slot and mark one side. Cut to size. Do the same for the other side. Remember the old carpenter’s saying “Measure twice, cut once.”

Measure twice, cut once

Scuff up the inside of the credit card repair patch to form a key for the glue.

Looks as if they were made for each other

Squirt some glue onto a post-it or similar and use this as a palette.

The sticky bit

Use the skewer to smear on a thin coat of Gorilla glue and then scrape most of it off. That stuff expands and if it gets inside the slot you will have trouble putting the SD card in.

Only put glue in the places marked in red…

Where to put your glue. Only on the red bits.

Whatever you do, don’t put any near the copper spring contact.

Once you’ve done that, put the repair patch in place and squeeze tight. Leave it alone for at least two hours (full strength in 24 hours).

The finished article

If you felt you needed to, you could add a load of hot glue on the outside for extra strength. I won’t do that unless it proves absolutely necessary because it will look awful. Smile

One more thing

This repair didn’t quite press the SD card firmly enough onto the springy contacts, so it was necessary to wedge in a little strip of thin plastic (more credit card material) between the repair and the SD card. It needs to be pushed in just enough to make contact, but not so much that you break your repair – otherwise you’ll need to visit the ugly hot-glue monster.

Don’t go dropping your Pi again or we’ll send the NSPiCC* round to sort you out!

(In the UK, the NSPCC is the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children).


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