SheevaPlug - 1 year later

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A little over a year ago I purchased a SheevaPlug Development Kit to replace my aging server with something a bit more eco-friendly. Looking back, that didn't turn out to be as easy as I thought.

The main services that I was running of the plug (DNS,DHCP,NTP,Proxy) have been working just fine. Of course the problems were the little things. Irssi failed to run and for some reason the SD card that I was using would become unaccessible every ~45 days so I had to rethink my storage strategy.
As experimenting with the SD card took a lot of time as I needed to wait for over a month between every attempt, my old server still hasn't been removed. As it turns out, that wasn't such a bad thing.

Then came the day I wanted to upgrade the plug to the new Ubuntu release to see if that would resolve the software issues. That turns out to be impossible as Ubuntu changed the supported ARM versions so the only thing that can run on the plug is Jaunty (9.04) which will stop receiving updates very soon. So I'll have to take the plug offline and re-install using Debian.

This week however, the plug took itself offline, as the power supply had blown up:

(image taken from the forums as I didn't have a camera nearby, but mine looks exactly the same)

As it turns out, this is a very common problem. The sheevaplug forums are filled with pictures like this. The plug will either not power on at all, or the power led will just flash once every second. So many people have encountered this problem that the now have begun selling replacement power supplies. As mine was purchased from the US, which doesn't have the the EU 2yr warranty, I'll have to get a replacement PSU or construct one myself.

So now all services have been restarted on the old server (good old Dual P2, from back in the days when hardware was still reliable) and once I have the plug hooked up to a new power supply, I'll reinstall it using Debian and hopefully be able to move everything over to it. To be on the safe side, I might equip it with some speedholes to cool it down.


What you see in the picture is just burned glue, not a blown up power supply. I don't say there could be nothing wrong with the supply, but you will find a similar sight in many used switching power supplies.
Still the power supply from the sheevaplug is of low quality and should be replaced by another.

That looks actually really cool.

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