Fixing a Blown Power Supply on a SheevaPlug

Apparently sheevaplug's (especially those produced by globalscale) have a power supply issue (dead sheevaplug, fried sheevaplug, globalscale sucks, replacement sheevaplug power supply, etc.). You can get a replacement power supply from globalscale for $12.95; however, it will cost around $18 shipping and handling for me as I live in the US. This is not acceptable in my book so I decided to fix it myself. Luckily, the sheevaplug is an extremely hackable device with a great community of people to help and provide advice.

As you can read from the above links, all you really need is a 5 volt 3 amp power supply (actually 5v and 2a is enough but 3a is recommended). As stated in the links I grabbed an old USB hub's power supply which I had laying around. My power supply is a 5v 2.6a so I can attest to the fact that < 3a will work.

Signs of Broken Power Supply

Obviously the first sign is your sheevaplug is no longer working/running. In addition, mine was blinking a green light about every 1 to 1.5 seconds in coordination with the green network (cat5) light.

Steps To Fix It

Here's my steps for replacing SheevaPlug's internal Power Supply with a Power Supply from a USB hub:

  • Open up the sheevaplug and cut the wires at the power supply for the cord that connects to the sheevaplug main board
  • Strip back the shield on the two red wires and the two black wires (1/2 of an inch should work)
  • Cut the power supply for your USB hub leaving the cord as long as possible
  • Wire the positive wire from your USB hub to the two red wires on the sheevaplug cable and the negative wire from the USB hub to the two black wires (note: my USB hub power cord did not have negative/positive lines marked so I used an amp meter to find negative vs positive wires, if yours is marked)
  • Feed the new power cord with sheevaplug adapter through the hole in the sheevaplug case where the old plug/cord resided and plug it into the sheevaplug main board

You should now be all set! If you plug in your new power cord you should see (after a few seconds) a blue light on your sheevaplug. If you see no lights, chances are you wired the positive/negative wires wrong, swap them around and try again!

Conclusion

All in all I am happy with my sheevaplug as it ran without an issue for over 1.5 years. The fix, although it takes a bit of hardware work, was not too difficult, plus I learned a bit more about the plug.

Total Cost: $0 (it was a swag USB hub and I didn't use it to begin with)