Bricked BeagleV Starlight

Hi! I havent used my beaglev starlight (JH7100) for a while now (almost 6-7 months) when I am trying to boot it up there is no output. The power LED turns on but the ACK LED stays OFF. I tried reflashing the latest OS (GitHub - starfive-tech/Fedora_on_StarFive) on the SD card. But still it is not booting. I tried connecting a USB to TTL converter (this one) but there is no output. After that I tried to recover the bootloader so after building the bootloader, ddrinit and the vic_second_boot.bin. I compiled the [JH71xx-tools] but again there is no output. How can I recover the board. The PWR led is on also the cooling fan is running.
Also almost all of the documentation for beaglev starlight is not available.

Last thing I tried was connecting logic analyzer to the debug port. But there also nothing was detected.
Is my board bricked beyond recovery?


These boards never went into official production. Beagleboard and StarFive had a falling out. If the hardware is actually broken, I’d assume there is no recourse other than repairing it yourself. That’ll not be easy. They went pretty scorched earth and aggressively removed schematics and docs around these models.

You can try sticking a meter on test points and looking for key voltages and clocks.

As I understand the design, it’s not possible to software-brick the unit, only to break it.

Confirm both voltages on RX and TX are about the same when it’s connected to its buddy. Otherwise, you probably have a pin swapped.

You can try getting a JTAG pod onto it and see if you can see CPU life. Honestly, that unit was so hard to bring up JTAG that if the unit is dead, that’s going to be super-frustrating.

I have a feeling that if this board needs component-level repair from the manufacturer, you’re not going to be able to get it. Perhaps a whiz of a component-level repair center can take a peek if you can find at least the schematic for it.

Unless you have great sentimental value for this board, it’s probably best to just replace it with the StarFive R2 board. It has double the cores, runs at 1.5Ghz instead of 1, more ram, etc., but it’s an actual product and the price is a fraction of what you’re going to pay that component-level repair shop.

It stinks to consider that E-waste if that’s really where this story ends.

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