Kiwi and Ethernet Problem? [fixed with Beagle replacement]

edited March 2018 in Problems Now Fixed
Yesterday unhooked the Kiwi to chase some noise I've been looking at for a while. After unhooking and moving a few things around now I can't get it to work again... as in.. won't connect to the network and the lights aren't flashing on the Beagle Ethernet plug.

I have checked the E cables, switched E cables, all good. 

Rebooted the router a few times. Took the E switch out of the equation

Reinstalled the software, more than once, even D/L a new version and burned it to the SD card. 

Took it to work and hooked up to my router and still won't connect or light the Ethernet connection lights. Although the Beagle does have the one LED flashing, one closest to edge of board.

So, my guess is either the software is not loading, which I will try again with a different SD card or when moving yesterday (humid day lower chance of static) I zapped the Beagle. 

Any ideas appreciated. 

Thanks, Rich, WD3C


  • Hi Rich,

    I don't think you will have zapped the Ethernet port, they are quite robust.

    Sometimes I find I have to wait a while for the Ethernet port to spring into life after a power cycle - maybe 5 mins or even longer if I have reloaded the software.

    I'd suggest leaving it connected and running overnight if possible, this has sometimes worked for me when I thought that I'd really messed things up badly. That length of time usually ensures that older routing tables and such like are flushed out of your network.

    The other thing to check is your power supply voltage at the KiWi when it is running. Most of my other problems when it hasn't run or started up properly have nearly always been associated with the power supply not providing enough volts on peak current draw. 


    Martin - G8JNJ

  • jksjks
    edited September 2017
    Have you tried removing the Kiwi board from the Beagle? This does two things: It reduces the total +5V current draw in case there is some problem with your power supply. With the board removed you can check the temperature of the Ethernet PHY chip, the closest little square chip to the RJ45 connector. If it gets too hot to hold your finger on then it's dead. There was a batch of BBGs from Seeed with bad PHYs.

    It's odd that you're only seeing the outer of the 4 LEDs light and none of the others when you try to boot normally. But you were able to successfully re-flash from sd card? So the Beagle itself works at some level (minus the Ethernet). I would like to know if a re-flash and then normal boot works with out the Kiwi board installed. And then what the status of the RJ45 yellow/green lights are with a cable plugged in before the final reboot.

    Be very careful when removing the Kiwi board that you don't bend the PCB too far and break the ball pads of the FPGA. Try rocking the Kiwi PCB a little at a time to get the spring force of the header connectors to release.

  • I played around using the suggestions above and a few ideas of my own. I even installed the Beaglebone software as well and could not get the Beagle to communicate with the router but did it get it connect to the computer via USB this was running the Beagle software not the Kiwisdr software. 

    My guess at this time is the E port is not working, the IC is not hot might be barely warm but not finger burning hot. 

    I ordered a new Beagle from Digi-key which will show up in a few days and I will post what the results are with same when it shows up. 

    John, thanks for the great work on this SDR. I miss mine and it's only been a few days. I listen to mine or others each day while at work.

    I generally in a days time get a fair amount of usage and a number of repeat listeners as well. I'm not sure what the user in California that listens to local Philly MW for hours each day is doing while I'm down. 

  • My guess is this will be the dead Ethernet PHY problem. I don't know where you originally purchased your Kiwi from, or when. But I'd be happy to reimburse you for the replacement Beagle if it cures the problem.

  • John, 

    I sincerely appreciate the offer but that's not necessary. 

    I purchased on Massdrop and it arrived first week of August of this year. I only mention this as the vendor may have a record of boards that went out
    if this is indeed a hardware problem. 

    One thing I did notice. Over the last 10 days or so I started to get "data dumps" not even sure what that means. I would get maybe one per day but the day before I had 10. I was also getting audio underruns on a more frequent basis in the log. I figured this was just a problem with the router needing to be restarted or with the quality and volume of the out going internet bandwidth. 

    Beagle should arrive by Monday of next week and I will post an update.

    Thanks to you and Martin for the help

  • John,

    Replaced the Beagle today and everything seems to be working as it should. 

    Briefly. What is a DATA DUMP? 


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