Spark Photon screen displaying artifacts and stopped updating

I have had a Spark Photon for about 1 month now and have seen a number of issues with the screen. Periodically, the screen shows all white on start up. About 50% of the time, a power cycle of both the Pi and Spark (spark is powered by via USB from the Pi) will resolve this. However, last night after a reboot, the screen started “missing” parts of the display, showing (apparently) random colors instead of what was supposed to be there. This morning, I realized the screen has stopped updating altogether (idle timer is not changing and display incorrectly reports “Beer Constant” mode, should be “Fridge Constant” mode.) Picture attached is from this morning, still showing artifacts in display. Notice the pink square at top right and the missing digit in “room temp”. Spark seems to be working fine otherwise; the Pi script is running and webpage and graph are up to date and reporting temperature fluctuations.

One week ago, when researching the white screen, I ran the script and everything was up to date. Actually, it shipped with the most recent version of firmware.

Also, possibly related, when connecting the micro-usb cable to the Photon, it feels like the entire Photon board moves a little bit top to bottom. Is this expected?

Is this a bad screen or is there something else I can check on my end?

I thought you had to power the BrewPi Spark via a 12 VDC power supply, not exclusively via the USB cable.

According to the store page >

You can power the BrewPi Spark in two ways:

  1. Via the Photon’s micro USB connector
  2. Via the 12V input, for which we sell power supplies here
    Powering via the 12V input is only needed if you want to power 12V devices via the RJ12 sockets, for example for motorized ball valves.

Although, I have considered it just to eliminate the USB cable as a possibility of error. I may order one if I have to order other parts.

Here’s an update. Another forum post had resolved a non-heating issue by resetting advanced settings to default. Since I just added a thermowell to my carboy and had to swap thermometer settings anyway, I went ahead and also reset all the advanced settings to default at the same time. I also removed all thermometer devices from the maintenance panel and re-added them in the new configuration.

After this, the display is updating again (timer is counting up and temp numbers are complete) but it still displays the pink square of random pixels in the top right.

This looks like a bad screen. Send me an e-mail with your address and I’ll ship you a replacement.