Spark Core Overheats, Possibly Dead?


I’ve been playing around with my Spark Core for a couple of months, just small projects. Recently I tried connecting the Spark Core via I2C to an Arduino board, so I can control the Arduino over WIFI. I had been having trouble getting the Arduino to recognize the Spark Core over I2C, testing both as master/slave. I used the I2C scanner sketch as well as other simple write/read sketches to verify I2C communication, but nothing worked.
A few hours ago, I noticed that the Spark Core LED would keep reverting from the slow white pulsing to a rapid green flashing, and I’d have to reboot to fix it. Eventually the Spark Core kept flashing green continuously. After resetting it, while it tried to connect to my network, the LED started cycling rainbow-esque through tons of colors, going crazy. I touched the CC3000 module and both it and the microcontroller were burning hot. Now, whenever I power up my Spark Core, it starts up correctly and everything (slowly pulsing white LED) but it overheats very soon. I haven’t let it sit long enough to start smoking, but I’m pretty sure once I do, it’s… dead.

I assume there’s nothing I can really do about this other than buying a new one?

Which is heating up?

Is it the regulator? If the core is still showing signs of led activity, it’s probably still ok. :slight_smile:

The actual metal enclosure of the CC3000 module on the top heats up a lot, as well as the microcontroller chip on the bottom (can’t remember the model name). After keeping it plugged in for about 15 minutes yesterday, even the header pins became very hot to touch.

Basically, the entire Spark Core just gets very hot.
Upon initial power-on, it does successfully connect to the cloud, but when I try to upload code the LED turns blue-ish (sorry I’m colorblind) and just blinks erratically.

EDIT: Actually, uploading code does work, I uploaded the simple LED Blink sketch and the blue LED blinks as expected! It just takes a long time, and everything is still overheating. Been using the Spark Core for a couple of months and it’s never gotten this hot before.

Hi @helium,

Hmm, this sounds familiar, I’ll ping @mohit - sounds like maybe that core’s regulator died?


Has there been any root cause conclusion on this matter. I’ve experienced the same issue.

Most likely the capacitor wasn’t large enough and caused some overheating of the regulator when a power supply that not providing a clean output caused some issues.

How can I correct this? Should I use the arduino shield with the spark core? Is the shield defective?