I'm new to Raspberry Pi and electronics in general and I've been having trouble with GPIO. I've connected the GPIO pins to the breadboard with a ribbon, but then when I use jumper wires to connect either the 3.3v pin or GND pin to the + or - vertical rails respectively, my Pi crashes and won't turn back on until I unplug the wires. Why does this happen and how do I fix it? I've included a picture of my setup.enter image description here

  • \$\begingroup\$ the "-" on the 3V3 rail side is connected to 3V3 via the green jumper, which means you are shorting the 3V3 rails together.. the inverse is happening with the 5V rail.. \$\endgroup\$
    – Wesley Lee
    Jul 20, 2016 at 4:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ Please read the documentation that's silkscreened onto the GPIO breakout board. You (very incorrectly) assumed that the colors on the breadboard corresponded to the power signals on the breakout board. It is highly advised to pay more attention lest you damage/destroy your equipment. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 20, 2016 at 4:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ @user2943160 well, they would, had OP connected the board on the other side of the breadboard. \$\endgroup\$
    – Passerby
    Jul 20, 2016 at 4:28

1 Answer 1


... ... You're shorting it out. Looks like you have 3.3V tied to Ground with the green wire, and 5V tied to ground with the red wire. Don't do that. That's causing the power supply to overload with dead shorts. I'm surprised you haven't blown a fuse or damaged anything.

Note the top left of the breakout shows 3.3V + and -. It already connects 3.3V and Ground to the long rails. In this case, the blue is +3.3V and the red is 0V/Gnd. You do not need to connect a jumper from there to the other 3.3V point in the middle. It is already connected on the breakout or on the RPi Same for Gnd and 5V on the other side. If you want the opposite, for the positive to be red, disconnect the breakout and flip the bread board around.

  • \$\begingroup\$ About your last sentence: The RPi 1 has a polyfuse directly behind the 5V input and the 3V3 regulator is strong and for sure short circuit resistant. The newer versions use DC-DC converters, but for sure also a polyfuse. BUT the I/Os are not 5V tolerant and are directly connected to the SOC. Connecting 5V to them kills the RPi. \$\endgroup\$
    – sweber
    Jul 20, 2016 at 8:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @sweber I'm (quite obviously) very new to this, so could you explain a little more? Thankfully everything seems to be working fine still, but if I had connected the 5v to ground, would that have damaged it permanently? Or would I have to connect the 5V to the I/O to kill it? \$\endgroup\$
    – yascat
    Jul 20, 2016 at 12:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @yascat: What I wanted to say is that it is unlikely that you damaged anything, because there is a self-resetting fuse. But when you connect 5V to any of the input/output pins, you will definitely destroy the Pi. The pins tolerate 3.3V, only! \$\endgroup\$
    – sweber
    Jul 20, 2016 at 13:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @sweber except a ptc is nor unlimited and every time it trips it's resistance goes up. And not sure how strong the 3.3V reg is. I've been told that it is weak and can't spare much current for extra parts. \$\endgroup\$
    – Passerby
    Jul 20, 2016 at 16:19

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