Core heat - VERY HOT

Is it common for the core to get really hot? I have it powered via USB at the moment and its so hot I can smell it. Of course I unplugged it.

I thought maybe it was because I was using a buck converter, so I tried the USB and the same thing happens.

I’m a bit confused why this is happening all of a sudden.

Definitely shouldn’t be getting hot enough that you can smell it. A few questions for diagnostics:

  • You say “all of a sudden” - how long have you been using the Core? Has it been an issue previously?
  • If you take the Core out of the circuit that it’s designed into right now, does it still get hot?
  • How about if you reprogram it with the factory firmware?
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I actually have similar issue but what is actually heated is usb port itself and voltage regulator beneath. Hot = cant keep finger on it. Chip and CC3000 are “very warm” - can keep finger.

You’re correct, same issue. I thought it was the core heating everything up but I guess you hit it on the head with the correct terminology.

I haven’t reset the chip yet, will play with it today and see what happens. All I know is it happens right now when it’s the only thing on the breadboard whether it’s powered via USB or with the buck converter.

So I reset the core and the usb port still gets super hot, as in can’t touch it hot. I unplugged it, and replugged it and left it plugged in for some time and it got to the point that I couldn’t touch any part of the core…the whole thing was too hot to touch. Any thoughts on why this might be happening?

It could be a faulty regulator. It uses the USB connector as a sort of heat sink to help with cooling, but yours could be faulty in that it works, but something else is wrong and causing it to get too hot. If it was faulty out of the box, you may be able to get a replacement. If so, just send an e-mail to and @Teke or someone else will be able to help get it replaced.

@kennethlimcp and I fried the regulator on one of my Cores during the Maker Faire festivities. It was so hot that I dropped it before it could start cooking my skin! Even low voltage DC can generate a lot of heat in a tiny little space!


How did you end up ruining your core?  My core works in terms of functionality, but gets so darn hot!

@james211, we accidentally run the power barrel jack through the row of header after some jet lag and too much hacking :stuck_out_tongue:

Ha! Well, we all make stupid mistakes, hopefully you had a backup. If you were to follow the thread
You will see what I was playing with. While trying to figure out this mosfet module is when it started to heat up.

I just comes to me mind that some Back EMF might have damaged the core regulator or simply drawing too much current through the USB.

Maybe i’m wrong :wink: Also, be careful of drawing too much via USB. There’s a protection diode which allows only…i think (off my head) 2A of current

When you say Back EMF, can you elaborate on that for me?

Also, with both of my projects I was using the core for I was powering the core via VCC and ground, not USB. I was using a buck converter to reduce the voltage from 12 to 5.

Hello Dustin,

The regulator on the Core will misbehave and heat up if there is too much noise on the input power supply line (buck regulator). Can you try it out with a different USB power supply, say, a phone charger?



I will certainly do so. I have several different types laying around here, I’ll try them all and let you know.

Thanks Dustin! I appreciate it.

Hey @mohit, so I tried four different adapters, an iphone, an ipad, a generic brand, and my girlfriends blackberry charger. All heated up.

Hello Dustin,
It could be that the unit is irreversibly damaged/faulty. We’ll be happy to send you a replacement.
Sorry about the inconvenience!


Not a problem. Your team continues to amaze me. I have a lot of interest in my project so I’m hoping to make you guys some cash. Your hard work and great team deserves a huge high five!


I have also recently had problems with Cores overheating - a couple have actually become ‘dead’. Previously I was using a linear voltage regulator but am now using a Buck PWM converter chopping at 150kHz. with LM2596 device. There is capacitive and inductive filters on the output so I assume the 5V supply is clean.
If you think these Buck converters may be causing overheating, perhaps through power supply harmonics we may have to add additional filters when powering the core.