S2 and S5: Fit or no fit?


14 posts
by treczoks » Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:28 am
According to the wiki, S2 and S5 are "possibly no fit":


S2: DSI interface. 15-pin surface mounted flat flex connector (possibly no-fit)
S5: MIPI CSI-2 interface. 15-pin surface mounted flat flex connector (possibly no-fit).


What is the current status of these connectors? I'd like to have them from the start, as they are not easy to retro-fit, especially right next to that fat connector.

Yours, Christian
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by BertM » Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:26 pm
Bumping this - I would definitely prefer to know this before buying one.

Also, do you have any information on the flat flex connectors you are using? (manufacturer, type)
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by rpt » Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:30 pm
I'm almost certain I read they are no-fit. It would make sense to keep the cost down.

Hopefully someone can give a definitive answer.
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by jamesh » Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:59 pm
Pretty sure no fit – at the moment to use those ports would require either a camera (CSI-2) or a LCD display (DSI) neither of which are currently available from the foundation. Any old camera or any old LCD won't 'just work' even if they have CSI or DSI interface.
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by BertM » Wed Feb 08, 2012 5:22 pm
Assuming the (unpopulated) solder pads will still be on the RPi: can you provide any information about the pinout of those pads? There doesn't seem to be an industry standard for DSI connections, so you will most likely have invented your own.

Also, any information on the software part of CSI / DSI would be welcome: would these function using the stock firmware / drivers, or would they require specific adaptations of the binary blobs?
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by jamesh » Wed Feb 08, 2012 7:58 pm
CSI and DSI connect straight to the GPU, so need drivers on the GPU side. If/When we sell cameras/LCD's they will be provided with a binary blob that supports them.

I expect cameras and LCD will require daughter boards to adapt then to the correct pinout. They always do!
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by jojopi » Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:16 pm
JamesH said:


Pretty sure no fit – at the moment to use those ports would require either a camera (CSI-2) or a LCD display (DSI) neither of which are currently available from the foundation.


They might as well never be available if the production 'Pi is sold with bare 1mm-pitch surface pads.  Surely if the Foundation plan to sell cameras in future then they must at least populate the flex socket?  It is not like the GPIO header where you can reasonably expect everyone to solder it themselves.
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by jamesh » Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:36 pm
Good point. I had a beta in my hand  this morning and didn't check. They might have been there.
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by BertM » Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:45 pm
JamesH said:


CSI and DSI connect straight to the GPU, so need drivers on the GPU side. If/When we sell cameras/LCD's they will be provided with a binary blob that supports them.


Ok. Sad to hear a binary blob will be needed, but many thanks for the info.


I expect cameras and LCD will require daughter boards to adapt then to the correct pinout. They always do!


I anticipated that, yes. One will somehow have to provide the LCD / camera with the correct voltages to operate and match the pinouts. For the last step, the pinout of the DSI / CSI-2 sockets would be required information.

More DIY related, the cheap and ubiquitous iPhone 3/4G screens seem to use DSI, and driving them should not be too difficult (electrically speaking). Still, I can surely understand if there is no time or interest on the side of the Foundation to provide a working binary blob until they offer LCDs themselves.

Even though, the solution in this thread may be a very good one.
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by meltwater » Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:52 am
I think it is probably a case of producing a product which meets the first objectives.

Extra's like screens will come with time, I expect no details have been released on the pin outs since they could change or the binary blob is not finalised.  Often the lack of info is to avoid people spending money on something which if there is a change, means it won't work (and obviously up-setting people).

As for fitting of the connectors, if they are then great, if not I'm sure I can find a use for the old one if I can't get some fitted, and get a new one when they are.
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by BertM » Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:48 pm
Just FYI: both connectors are fit. See the schematics for pinouts.
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by mahjongg » Sat Apr 21, 2012 12:29 am
Yes, the latest pictures show the LCD and camera connectors fitted, I also read a discussion that said they would be fitted. In the future the foundation is planning to develop an LCD, and a camera for the R-PI, and there must be connectors on the board when that happens.

The connectors connect to "flexible PCB cables", which are paper thin "ribbons", connecting "edge connector style". So they have to especially designed, as part of the LCD and Display modules.
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by rew » Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:42 am
To start experimenting, I've examined ordering a few ribbon cables of ebay. They are sold for about $12 a piece.

When pressed an ebay seller I found was willing to go as low as $5 a piece when I would order 5 in one go....

No pressure needed: for just a little over $2 Farnell will deliver 18-pin ribbon cables with your 'pi. You'll just have to use a paper cutter to cut off the extra 3 pins/cables. I'll order the cables with my next Farnell order.
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by BertM » Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:22 am
You can also buy those FFC/FPC/ZIF cables from Digikey, number HF15U-02-ND (replace 02 with 04/05/06/08/10/12/18 for cables with this length in inches). They are 15 conductor flat cables, starting at $3.15 unit price for 2 inch.

Accompanying connectors can be bought from Farnell for 0,82 euro each of from Digikey for $0,82 each. Digikey does also stock a (cheaper) through-hole version for those not-so-SMD-enthousiastic for $0,60 each, however that one is not a "zero insertion force" model so it might not be suitable for (un)plugging too often.

@rew: keep us updated about your efforts to get the camera working. Do you already have a RPi?
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