Swapping Out The CHIP For Something Else?

I’ve seen a separate post concerning a dead CHIP already. Last night I unplugged the CHIP, swapped in a UPS, plugged in the CHIP back in, and found it to be no longer working. I’m questioning whether or not I could swap in a Raspberry Pi Zero as that might seem a bit more durable.

For me to get a replacement CHIP it seems like I’m going to be waiting a bit. I’m just totally gobsmacked that a simple power cycle would cause the two lights to stay lit, the receiver section to never light up, and the CHIP to apparently never fully boot. I’m going to be doing some further debugging today but this just bothers me.

I’m not even in an extreme environment with this unless northeast Ohio weather is now that.

The CHIP is NOT dead if the lights go on.

Try to let it sit for an hour (without any cable) and connect it again. If it still doesen’t boot, you corrupted your filesystem.

In that case, you can follow the guide on the Outernet Website and flash the chip again with the operating system.


I went down the chain to wind up trying to reflash it. I’m on a fairly recent computer running Xubuntu 16.04 with Virtualbox. I keep timing out trying to reflash it as the appliance cannot find it.

Some things to check:
make sure your cpu has virtualization support.
double check that your FEL jumper is correct.
Did you install virtualbox extensions?
Use a usb 2.0 port or a usb 2.0 hub between your chip and usb 3.0 port.

If you cant get it working install WinRAR or 7zip and extract the .vmflasher file.
The extracted files should have a .iso file.
Burn that to a CD. It should work with a flash drive but I haven’t tried it.
Boot from the disk with your chip (with FEL jumper) connected to your PC.

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Checking for the virtualbox extension is important as is the FEL header on the CHIP. One LED on the CHIP should be on the whole time while in fel mode.


Also check if your USB Cable has a data line and not only power. I personally have some cables that don’t allow for any data connection between two devices.

other tips:

  • Connect the CHIP, then start the VM
  • if that doesen’t work, kepp vm running and reconnect CHIP.
  • Check if the CHIP is connected to the vm and not only to the host
  • Try to use no USB hub between the pc and CHIP.


It took a while to get it reflashed but it finally happened tonight. I had to use an extremely recent Windows PC running Windows 10 with VirtualBox.

NIce! so it’s all working again for you?

I also used a win10 pc at the time, but it should also work down to windows 7.
Also the pc i used was not that recent with 5 year old hardware :wink:


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