RS vs Farnell build quality


6 posts
by TankSlappa » Thu Jul 26, 2012 9:48 pm
Hi guys and girls,

Having RPi's from both RS and Farnell I notice some build quality differences between them. I'm not going to say which one is which, because I want your feedback to decide if I've just received a Friday afternoon build, or if one supplier is using a better fab house.

The not quite so good RPi features:
- Composite connector not soldered on square.
- Edge cut of board not as clean

Both boards work fine, and a slightly wonky composite connector can be easily corrected.

So has anyone else got one from each and noticed a difference?
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by AndrewS » Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:12 pm
viewtopic.php?p=117793#p117793 and http://elinux.org/RaspberryPi_Boards

AFAIK we still don't know if each distributor has their own production/assembly lines, or if they're both buying boards (being made in different batches) from the same factory. And this might be 'confidential info' we'll never know?
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by jojopi » Fri Jul 27, 2012 12:17 am
TankSlappa wrote:- Composite connector not soldered on square.
- Edge cut of board not as clean
It is difficult to be sure without pictures, but this sounds like normal cosmetic variations.

The PCB holes for the through-hole connectors cannot be made a tight fit, so they will end up soldered in slightly varying positions. It is not a fault as long as the connector is flush with the board vertically and the pins are not bent.

It is not usually possible to machine cut a board on all sides, because then there would nothing left to hold it by. My RasPis appear to be cut cleanly on the Ethernet/USB side and parts of the other short side, but scored with a V-groove and snapped on both of the long sides. Snapped edges will naturally vary in appearance. Again, it is not a fault unless the board has snapped in the wrong place, so that internal copper layers are revealed.
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by AndrewS » Fri Jul 27, 2012 12:46 am
jojopi wrote:It is not usually possible to machine cut a board on all sides, because then there would nothing left to hold it by. My RasPis appear to be cut cleanly on the Ethernet/USB side and parts of the other short side, but scored with a V-groove and snapped on both of the long sides. Snapped edges will naturally vary in appearance.

Nothing a light rub with sandpaper won't fix, if it's something you're that concerned about :)
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by TankSlappa » Fri Jul 27, 2012 12:56 am
LOL... Bit hard to sandpaper under some of those connectors!

Anyway, yes, the Ethernet/USB edge is machine cut on both boards. The other 3 are scored and snapped. Just one board doesn't seem to be as deeply scored before snapping leaving it a bit rough. Maybe the blade was wearing out.

Anyway, they both work fine, and if the composite connector causes any issues with a case (or just annoys me too much when I look at it) I'll warm out the hot-air rework station and straighten it out :D

I was just curious if anyone else had noticed a lower quality on one source vs the other.

I've got a third board arriving any day now, it will be interesting to compare.
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by aquarat » Sat Jul 28, 2012 10:44 pm
I've got three boards and they all look really good. Two of them came from Farnell and one came from RS.

There's a tiny little "tooth" sticking out on the corner next to the power connector on the board from Farnell, but it's really small; easily smaller than 1mm.
EOF
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