Raspberry Pi 0W Unresponsive

I have been using my Raspberry Pi 0W for just over 3 months as a watering system using an Open Sprinkler Irrigation board (connected via the GPIO pins). It worked flawlessly until for some reason the Pi has become unresponsive. I tried re flashing the OS (Raspberry Pi OS 32bit Lite) via Balena Etcher multiple times and on multiple micro SD cards. When booting, sometimes the activity light flashes, sometimes it doesn’t. The Pi heats up considerably (very hot to the touch) but remains inactive. After setting up the ssh and wpa supplicant configuration. I thought that it may be a problem with the headless setup. However, when I put the micro SD card into my other Pi (Pi 4 2gb) it works flawlessly, I can ssh into it and it has no connection issues, CLI works perfectly etc. I have been using the Pi 4 as the sprinkler controller in the meantime. (Both Pi’s are located in close proximity of my modem.) I would greatly appreciate any thoughts or suggestions!

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Hi James,
Sounds like a dead pi, but here are some steps that may help out:

  • Have a look over this thread that has a lot of advice on boot issues.
  • Ensure you are using a power supply that can provide 5.1V (not just 5 Volts) at a minimum of 2 Amps
  • Check the Power Connector (both on the Pi and on the lead) in the same way, inspecting for dislodged/damaged pins.

As all RPi boards are electrically tested post-manufacture, in the majority of use cases the uSD is at fault.

I hope that information helps!


Hey James,

What’s the environment like where your Pi lives? Is it outdoors and/or humid? If so, some conformal coating on the 0W wouldn’t go astray (just note that it’d be wise to install a heatsink before doing this as the coating can reduce heat dissipation and make things run hot.

It’s very hard to do network troubleshooting on a headless setup, so it’s super handy to have a micro USB OTG adapter and a mini-HDMI adapter to be able to plug it into a creen and work on it directly.

But under normal use cases (ie. indoors) they should definitely last longer than 3 months - they’ve got a 12-month warranty! If you think this is a warranty issue, definitely shoot us through an email with your order details (just reply to your confirmation email) and we’ll get it sorted ASAP!

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