In my previous post Sheevaplug – An ideal home server I described why I loved the sheevaplug, now in this post I’m going to discuss why I now have fallen out of love with it. The main reason is shown in the following photo:
For the past six months I’ve been using the unit for 24/7 IRC using irssi, running an MQTT server and broadcasting to pachube, along with allowing me to ssh tunnel into a secure internet connection when using public wifi. So far so good. However during the middle of last week I noticed my pachube feeds had frozen, I tried to ssh into the device and that failed so being at work at the time I was miffed and couldn’t wait to go home to find out what was wrong.
On examining the unit in person everything looked fine, I rebooted and everything worked fine….but only for ten minutes before the same symptoms occurred again except this time I noticed the usb hub was losing power (usb powered). I tried rebooting once again but this time the unit was dead only flashing network lights and 0W power consumption using my power meter. Deeply annoyed that my sheevaplug may have had the fabled failed power supply described many times on the plugcomputer.org forums.
Since it wasn’t working I took it apart and found the psu was indeed dead and only outputting <0.5v rather than the usual 3v and 5 v. I then proceeded to look inside the PSU and found the large capacitor on the top right bulging suspiciously – as I’m no expect I steered clear of testing the capacitor in question and contacted the supplier NewIT.
NewIT first directed me to contact Grace Wu of Globalscale who is responsible for sheevaplug warranty issues technologies who still has not responded in line with GlobalScales line in bad customer support. If you require customer support she is supposedly the person to vent your anger on, she can be contacted at email@example.com.
I had to point out to NewIT my legal right to have the unit repaired before I was offered this.
This tale serves to highlight some issues that would make me very wary of buying another Globalscale product, first the bad design which caused the problem. second they have never rectified this and new Guruplugs get even hotter and finally the level of customer service I received from Globalscale was none exisitant, if you buy from NewIT then you’re probably ok but buy from Globalscal then you’re on your own!
All in all this makes me sad as the concept is great and while the unit worked I loved it – now I don’t trust it and it’s going to be replaced, probably by something atom based.
/*End of Rant!*/