"Made in China" Raspberry Pi


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by Papa G » Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:51 pm
I just received my third Raspberry Pi from Newark (USA). I immediately noticed that four of the through holes for the new GPIO pinouts were filled with solder. Another obvious difference from previous Pi's was the fact that the RCA video connector was not square to the circuit board and tilted a bit toward the audio connector. More scrutiny revealed that the soldering for many of the through hole components was incomplete. At that point I checked for the "Made in the UK" silkscreen and was surprised to see 'Made in China".
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by jamesh » Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:02 pm
RS make all their boards in China, Farnell make MOST of theirs in the UK, but some in China - basically for markets that are closer to China than the UK to save on shipping.

As to the issues you are seeing, does the board work OK? The GPIO holes being filled has been reported before, but not the incomplete soldering on the through holes - thanks for the report, I''ll pass on the information.

James
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by Papa G » Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:09 pm
jamesh wrote:RS make all their boards in China, Farnell make MOST of theirs in the UK, but some in China - basically for markets that are closer to China than the UK to save on shipping.

As to the issues you are seeing, does the board work OK? The GPIO holes being filled has been reported before, but not the incomplete soldering on the through holes - thanks for the report, I''ll pass on the information.

James

I would have thought the UK was closer to the USA than China. When I was small, my parents told me to stop digging in the yard or I'd end up in China! :D

I haven't powered the board up because I am going to return it if Newark will let me. After using the UK boards, I guess I am spoiled by their obvious better build quality. Another board is due to arrive tomorrow. I wonder where it will have originated?
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by jamesh » Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:22 pm
You may still get Chinese made boards anywhere - demand is so high that Farnell needs more capacity than just the Sony factory.
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by stevhorn5 » Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:05 pm
Papa G wrote:I just received my third Raspberry Pi from Newark (USA). I immediately noticed that four of the through holes for the new GPIO pinouts were filled with solder. Another obvious difference from previous Pi's was the fact that the RCA video connector was not square to the circuit board and tilted a bit toward the audio connector. More scrutiny revealed that the soldering for many of the through hole components was incomplete. At that point I checked for the "Made in the UK" silkscreen and was surprised to see 'Made in China".


Did you see if it boots up?

I'm expecting to receive one from newark tomorrow.
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by Papa G » Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:18 pm
stevhorn5 wrote:
Papa G wrote:I just received my third Raspberry Pi from Newark (USA). I immediately noticed that four of the through holes for the new GPIO pinouts were filled with solder. Another obvious difference from previous Pi's was the fact that the RCA video connector was not square to the circuit board and tilted a bit toward the audio connector. More scrutiny revealed that the soldering for many of the through hole components was incomplete. At that point I checked for the "Made in the UK" silkscreen and was surprised to see 'Made in China".


Did you see if it boots up?

I'm expecting to receive one from newark tomorrow.


I haven't tried it yet. I don't have any reason to expect it won't, I just didn't want to apply power until I decided if I want to keep it or not. It looks like I can see it on eBay at a modest profit if I decide not to keep it. I have another arriving tomorrow as well.

Okay, in mid-post I decided to power it up. It seems to work fine. I logged in via ssh using the USB wireless dongle and SD card from another Pi. I'm just disappointed.
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by cnt » Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:24 pm
I had the same problem with GPIO (you can search for my post). It looks like (as others have reported) that all the Chinese boards from newark (maybe others too) have those same 4 holes filled. Mine does work though, the poly-fuse is questionable (drops half a volt under CPU no load) though.
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by Papa G » Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:40 pm
cnt wrote:I had the same problem with GPIO (you can search for my post). It looks like (as others have reported) that all the Chinese boards from newark (maybe others too) have those same 4 holes filled. Mine does work though, the poly-fuse is questionable (drops half a volt under CPU no load) though.


This one, with a USB wifi dongle as load, drops 0.12 V across the poly-fuse. One of UK manufacture drops 0.08 V under the same conditions. I use the Adafruit 5.25 V power supplies so I don't expect any problems from that.
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by Papa G » Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:29 am
The "Made in China" label is just a little sticker, easily removed, and underneath is silkscreened "Made in the UK".
:D
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by pygmy_giant » Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:02 pm
I used to know a lorry driver with 'made in Ulster' tatooed around his navel.
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by jamesh » Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:36 pm
cnt wrote: It looks like (as others have reported) that all the Chinese boards from newark (maybe others too) have those same 4 holes filled.


Not all by any stretch of the imagination. Some. Remember, many thousands of these boards have been made. That's not to say it should be ignored as a production issue - it hasn't been.
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by Lob0426 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:33 pm
All three of mine had P5 filled, P2/P3 were filled also.
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by Dweeber » Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:34 am
New board from Newark (US) arrived today. Made in China. It is a sticker which I have not looked under (yet)...

I put one of my development SDCards in it, plugged in a Edimax WiFi USB into the top USB port and powered it up headless... Worked out of the box.. been running for several hours now with no issues. Done some common tasks that I do on other RPi I have with no noticible issues. I've not looked at voltage levels but I never have before so I wouldn't have anything to compare.

This is my 4th board (2nd 512MB, the other is an ECN0002 and ECN0003)

I never took closeups of my previous 512MB unit so I can't compare the solder in holes etc... but I took images of the new one below. I didn't notice any components out of alignment though.

http://i.imgur.com/VinSe.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/XCjEy.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/q7HuE.jpg
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by AdelaidePi » Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:24 am
I have just had four of these made in china 512Meg rev 2 boards delivered today to Adelaide Australia from RS Components.

I too have half the pads of P5 filled with solder.

I don’t think the argument that they are fulfilling orders close to china with Chinese devices holds water as mine shipped to Australia from Frankfurt.

They came in pink plastic cases. It has a place to clip in an SD Card and you are also supposed to be able to clip the PI into the lid when the box if fully opened. It would have been neat if that actually worked and if there were a couple of SD card clips on the bottom of the box rather than under the PI its self.

RISC OS detected the 512Meg of RAM reporting about 440M free after booting.

I am a disappointed that they are not ‘made in the uk’ boards, particularly as I have been waiting four and half months for them and I got a Chinese rev 1 board Farnell while I was waiting (that took about a week)

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by ukscone » Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:42 am
AdelaidePi wrote:I have just had four of these made in china 512Meg rev 2 boards delivered today to Adelaide Australia from RS Components.

I too have half the pads of P5 filled with solder.

I don’t think the argument that they are fulfilling orders close to china with Chinese devices holds water as mine shipped to Australia from Frankfurt.


All RS Raspberry Pi's are made in china, only approx 4000/day of the Farnell manufactured Raspberry Pi's are made in wales (at the moment)
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by sim_tcr » Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:16 am
My second pi is made in china. It works well, have been running it continuous for more than two weeks. No Issues.
After going through this forum I noticed that, when I position the china pi horizontal with pi logo appears correct, last three holes in first row next to the GPIO pin are filled with solder. In My UK pi all holes are open.
Also 19 holes near the analogue video connector filled with solder in china pi. In UK pi all are open.
Question is, will this extra solder in china pi cause GPIO functionality to stop?
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by stevhorn5 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:15 pm
My new RPi from Newark / Element 14 is one of the "Made in China" versions with the solder in the holes. When I opened it and saw this I was a little concerned, but it's been running great since I got it on Tuesday so I'm not going to worry about it.

It would be nice if someone from the foundation would address this issue (as in, "Don't worry about it - it's not an issue from a functionality perspective" OR "It's a quality issue that we're investigating").

In any case, mine is working well, so I'm not worried about it.

If you want to see some good pics comparing the UK version with the China version, forum user sim_tcr posted some good pics here:

viewtopic.php?f=63&t=24264
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by lelijkstad » Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:30 pm
Well...after waiting since week # 29, after ordering at , I could not care less, when, if, my pi finally will arrive, it was made on the Moon, or China, or Wales, or whatever other place.

Looking back, the poor thing about ordering at the RS website is thatI have been kept in the dark ever since.

I read somewhere that daily 5000 boards are produced in the Wales Sony plant. Another source told me that it is only 4000.

A little calculation: suppose that indeed 4000 boards are being produced daily. In a week that means that about 20,000 boards get available for shipping. Considering that I have been waiting some twenty weeks already, this implies some 400,000 boards have not been shipped yet. A simple conclusion since I did not get my board yet.

At first I was a bit assured by the "Nov. 9th shipping forecast table" I've found on the RS website. My order should have been processed last week according to that schedule. Understanding that it was just a planning, I still had trust that 'all will be well' .

However, on this forum I found a message from a person about a board with a significant 'higher' order number than mine.

So......the trust is gone.

I repeat...the real bad thing is that with me, at least some other 100,000 persons are kept in the dark.

And...do not forget that the RS company was very willing to accept my order, with additional components as well.

Big bucks involved here.

It is not fair, and certainly not a recommendation for RS.
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by jamesh » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:42 pm
The Wales plant is producing Raspi for Farnell only, so those numbers are not applicable to the RS orders. In addition Farnell also make some boards in China, whilst RS make ALL theirs in China.

Out of interest, have you been charged yet for the Raspi? If not, then the big bucks involved are not that big, as money stays in people accounts until close to receipt time.
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by jamesh » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:43 pm
stevhorn5 wrote:My new RPi from Newark / Element 14 is one of the "Made in China" versions with the solder in the holes. When I opened it and saw this I was a little concerned, but it's been running great since I got it on Tuesday so I'm not going to worry about it.

It would be nice if someone from the foundation would address this issue (as in, "Don't worry about it - it's not an issue from a functionality perspective" OR "It's a quality issue that we're investigating").

In any case, mine is working well, so I'm not worried about it.

If you want to see some good pics comparing the UK version with the China version, forum user sim_tcr posted some good pics here:

viewtopic.php?f=63&t=24264


It's a quality issue that is being investigated, but as you can see, it does not affect functionality (except in a very few cases where people need the holes open).
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by marcelp1 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:55 pm
Just received my second RPi from RS (ordered on 24/08/2012)
and it has been made in China!

There are finger marks on the RPis ethernet and hdmi connector as well :(

Disappointed, if I knew that would be the case, I would have ordered from Farnell
to receive the one made in the UK!
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by stevhorn5 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:32 pm
jamesh wrote:
stevhorn5 wrote:My new RPi from Newark / Element 14 is one of the "Made in China" versions with the solder in the holes. When I opened it and saw this I was a little concerned, but it's been running great since I got it on Tuesday so I'm not going to worry about it.

It would be nice if someone from the foundation would address this issue (as in, "Don't worry about it - it's not an issue from a functionality perspective" OR "It's a quality issue that we're investigating").

In any case, mine is working well, so I'm not worried about it.

If you want to see some good pics comparing the UK version with the China version, forum user sim_tcr posted some good pics here:

viewtopic.php?f=63&t=24264


It's a quality issue that is being investigated, but as you can see, it does not affect functionality (except in a very few cases where people need the holes open).


Thanks for the response jamesh. My RPi has been running stable for 4 days / 24 hours a day, so I'm pleased.

A little research here:

http://www.raspberrypi-spy.co.uk/2012/0 ... /#more-607

suggests that a header can be soldered there, so, if anyone feels so inclined, they can solder out the bits in the holes and solder in the header.
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by jamesh » Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:50 pm
marcelp1 wrote:Just received my second RPi from RS (ordered on 24/08/2012)
and it has been made in China!

There are finger marks on the RPis ethernet and hdmi connector as well :(

Disappointed, if I knew that would be the case, I would have ordered from Farnell
to receive the one made in the UK!


It has been publicised (and mentioned here a lot) that Farnell are the company making most of their Raspi's in the UK, and RS make ALL of theirs in China.
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by plugwash » Sat Dec 08, 2012 5:57 am
stevhorn5 wrote:It would be nice if someone from the foundation would address this issue (as in, "Don't worry about it - it's not an issue from a functionality perspective" OR "It's a quality issue that we're investigating").

I'm not from the foundation but I believe that both are true.

Holes filled with solder are a major annoyance if you want to fit the component later but don't really cause any issues otherwise. AIUI P2 and P3 are not meant for use by end users so it's acceptable for their holes to be filled with solder. OTOH P5 is a connector intended for end user expansion and as such the schematic explitictly states that it's holes are not to be filled. Failure to keep those holes clear of solder is a manufacturing defect.
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by TD-er » Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:35 pm
jamesh wrote:[...]
Out of interest, have you been charged yet for the Raspi? If not, then the big bucks involved are not that big, as money stays in people accounts until close to receipt time.

The name of the person you replied to, looks kinda Dutch to me, and I'm from Holland too.
My credit-card was charged alsmost immediately after ordering and I guess this is normal practice for Dutch credit-card users.
So at RS they have at least my money (and possibly from thousands of others) already for way over 3 months now and no news in the email. It really is about a lot of money.
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