Flash Your (Non)Functional Butterfly Labs Bitforce SC Jalapeno With a Raspberry Pi and Don’t RMA it

Bitforce Jalapeno
Bitforce Jalapeno

Hello again. I’ve recently received 2 Bitforce SC Jalapenos in my mail. One of them worked, the other didn’t. I tried every configuration, cable, etc… it just refused to work (if you have the same problem read to the end, my solution involves the fan).

I received a RMA ticket from Butterfly Labs but didn’t want to send it back, so I tried to repair it myself by flashing it (WARNING: this will void your warranty).

Since a have a Raspberry Pi and don’t have a Avr Dragon flasher, I followed this tutorial:

The bin image I used was downloaded from here:

Well, it didn’t matter which image I chose it always failed with a “verification error” message, at different flash memory addresses. With that behaviour I arrived at the conclusion that the board must have a faulty power regulator so I

  • Disconnected the external power and used another jumper to connect the “pin 1” from the Pi to the “pin 4” on the Jalapeno JTAG. This gives the interface a 3.3V tension from the Pi.

I tried again to flash it with this new jumper connected (no external power) and the flashing worked!!! 🙂

I tried the new firmware and the cube now works. Even more, at 8GH/s it’s faster than the other one.

BUT, I had disconnected everything and was testing the board with just the cooler. As soon as I plugged the fan again (power it off when doing this) it didn’t work again. So now my conclusion is, either the power regulator or the fan is/are faulty.

I now have it out of the box in a cool spot and it works just fine, though very hot. 😉

No RMA needed! 😀 😀 😀


BFGMiner Jalapeno @8GH/s
BFGMiner Jalapeno @8GH/s


I actually closed the cube now and it’s working. I forgot to tell you: I was in a hurry one morning and connected the fan without powering down the unit. I actually blew a capacitor but it still works so far. 😀 So flash away and don’t RMA.

One thought on “Flash Your (Non)Functional Butterfly Labs Bitforce SC Jalapeno With a Raspberry Pi and Don’t RMA it”

  1. Dangerous stuff, playing captain Flash with your Jalapeno and blowing stuff up.
    But it seem it all worked out for the best, so keep those dwarfs mining bitcoin like there’s no tomorrow.

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