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Cheap WS2812 LEDs: Test Fixture Failure 2

A second WS2812 RGB LED in the test fixture failed:

WS2812 LED - test fixture failure 2

WS2812 LED – test fixture failure 2

The red pixel in the second row from the top sends pinball panic to the six downstream LEDs (left and upward). Of course, it’s not consistently bad and sometimes behaves perfectly. The dark row below it contains perfectly good LEDs: they’re in a dark-blue part of the cycle.

The first WS2812 failed after about a week. This one lasted 7 weeks = 50-ish days.

The encapsulation seal went bad on this one and, for whatever it’s worth, the remainder still pass the Sharpie test. Perhaps the LEDs fail only after heat (or time-at-temperature) breaks the seal. Assuming, equally of course, the seal left the factory in good order, which seems a completely unwarranted assumption.

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  1. #1 by RCPete on 2017-04-12 - 21:19

    Rather off topic, but I have a question on USB hard drives. I found the WD Passport drives I have use a Virtual CD rom that holds the unlocker. I went through the WD site and used their software, but the version I have (Ultra 2Tb) has the VCD hard coded with no way to disable it. [Sigh] Not clear if the USB Essentials drives will handle Linux; Western Digital seems to be unenthusiastic about supporting anything other than Windows or Mac.

    Seagate might be OK, though the reviews on the 2T drives are bi-modal; either people really like them, or (20% or so) think it’s junk/unreliable. The higher densities o(4Tb) offered through Costco seem to be worse, with lots of early failures.

    So, what’s working for you?

    • #2 by Ed on 2017-04-13 - 07:51

      Haven’t bought a USB drive in a long, long time. IIRC, the most recent ones were the physically and logically tiny 32 GB doodads I used for backup devices.

      On the whole, they seem more durable than MicroSD cards, but that’s not saying much.

      • #3 by RCPete on 2017-04-13 - 09:13

        OK, more research needed. I thought the WD Passports might do the job, but as it is, the remaining Windows laptop now has two backup drives. (I’ve seen some workarounds, usually a dual-boot, but noooooo!) With MS using customers as beta testers for updates, that laptop will get banned from the internet soon.

  2. #4 by Vedran on 2017-04-13 - 10:09

    I bought a few 3.5″ 4TB essentials a few years back, when they were still equipped with the Hitachi drives inside. Since I was after the drives themselves (better price point then bare drive) I ditched the enclosures and USB interface and put them straight into my media server. I did notice however that the WD USB3 controller was doing something that made them unreadable when plugged in the regular SATA port. My point is, you could loose the WD interface and go for OEM USB3 controller if all else fails.

    As for reliability factor, these things tend to work in cycles – they all have bad series. With that in mind, definitely do your own research on current models and then deploy some serious backup. Back when I was looking then Samsung was really good but they sold their HDD division to Seagate and quality quickly plummeted. Hitachi was second best but went through the similar deal with WD as a buyer and I think their models just disappeared. WD and Seagate were both excellent at loosing your data, but they seem to be the only options these days.

    • #5 by RCPete on 2017-04-13 - 22:51

      I’m going to try the WD passport for backup. A bit of searchengine-fu found a listing for wdpassport-utils on Github, and with the addition of a tiny python library for scsi-generic commands, It Just Works. The virtual-cd is baked into the WD controller, but the utils offer full functionality, as best as I can tell.

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