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Anton2k
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Location: Glasgow, Scotland.

Pi Zero - WiFi Hardware Missing

Thu May 03, 2018 12:20 am

Hey,

After battling to remove a LED hat and stobborn header from my pi zero, with the crappiest 30w soldering iron know to man, i managed to break of a couple of parts mounted (i think) to the WiFi antenna? I plugged the pi back in after de-soldering / shoogling the board only to discover my WiFi was at 1 bar instead of full bars, it also failed to connect the first time I booted, i knew something was up. I done some research to find the WiFi related hardware on the Pi zero, sure enough when I compared images online this is what I got, you can see, I have 2 thingy mi bobs missing, at a hunch I would say they are some kind of resistors, un-sure though!

Original and working
Image


Mine, barley working!
Image


Now I could go a throw this pi in the bin, or re purpose it for some offline project! but there is the fun in that! Instead I want to try and fix it! so if anyone knows where I can find these 2 missing thingy ma bobs to purchases please reply! pretty sure I should be able to solder them back on! not before purchasing a better iron of course!

Thanks,
-Anton

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rpdom
Posts: 14757
Joined: Sun May 06, 2012 5:17 am
Location: Chelmsford, Essex, UK

Re: Pi Zero - WiFi Hardware Missing

Thu May 03, 2018 4:58 am

Anton2k wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 12:20 am
Now I could go a throw this pi in the bin, or re purpose it for some offline project! but there is the fun in that! Instead I want to try and fix it! so if anyone knows where I can find these 2 missing thingy ma bobs to purchases please reply! pretty sure I should be able to solder them back on! not before purchasing a better iron of course!
There's nowhere left to solder them on to. The circuit board copper tracks are gone, as well as the parts.

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Anton2k
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Location: Glasgow, Scotland.

Re: Pi Zero - WiFi Hardware Missing

Thu May 03, 2018 10:17 am

I'm sure that a couple of spots of soldier should do the job? I get that you need track for the solder to take to but I can see the track at the right of the image and i'm sure I could expose the one to the left. I could then solder the components on to them and bridge the 2 components them self's with a blob of solder?

Is their a detailed board schematic or something like that where I can find out what these 2 missing parts are?

Thanks,
Anton

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HawaiianPi
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Location: Aloha, Oregon USA

Re: Pi Zero - WiFi Hardware Missing

Thu May 03, 2018 9:51 pm

Anton2k wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 12:20 am
Hey,

After battling to remove a LED hat and stobborn header from my pi zero, with the crappiest 30w soldering iron know to man, i managed to break of a couple of parts mounted (i think) to the WiFi antenna?
Why did you need to remove the GPIO header? Wasn't the HAT just plugged in?

And considering that the damaged parts are on the opposite side of the board from the GPIO header, I think there is more to blame than a dodgy soldering iron.

As far as I know, there are no schematics or parts lists for the Pi Zero models. So unless one of the kind and helpful RPF/RPT engineers who frequent the forum wishes to chime in, you are SOL (assuming they are even allowed to divulge such info, which they may not be due to NDA).
My mind is like a browser. 27 tabs are open, 9 aren't responding,
lots of pop-ups...and where is that annoying music coming from?

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Anton2k
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Location: Glasgow, Scotland.

Re: Pi Zero - WiFi Hardware Missing

Thu May 03, 2018 11:09 pm

HawaiianPi wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 9:51 pm
Anton2k wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 12:20 am
Hey,

After battling to remove a LED hat and stobborn header from my pi zero, with the crappiest 30w soldering iron know to man, i managed to break of a couple of parts mounted (i think) to the WiFi antenna?
Why did you need to remove the GPIO header? Wasn't the HAT just plugged in?

And considering that the damaged parts are on the opposite side of the board from the GPIO header, I think there is more to blame than a dodgy soldering iron.

As far as I know, there are no schematics or parts lists for the Pi Zero models. So unless one of the kind and helpful RPF/RPT engineers who frequent the forum wishes to chime in, you are SOL (assuming they are even allowed to divulge such info, which they may not be due to NDA).
Thank for the reply,

It's a Pi zero w not a Pi zero wh, I had to solder the header to it my self when I first got it. Yea I think it was me shoogling the board that cause these part to come loose, gripped to hard and shoogled to hard probably! Lesson learned I guess! Yea I think the only way I am going to know what part they are if someone from the foundation tells me. Even at that they may be custom, I might not be able to get my hands on the actual parts. The zero w is cheap enough to buy, would just hate to see it going to waste.

Thanks,
-Anton

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Imperf3kt
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Location: Australia

Re: Pi Zero - WiFi Hardware Missing

Thu May 03, 2018 11:56 pm

They look to me like resistors, but they also could be capacitors.

I have a dead Pi0W v1.3 and can look better later.
Does anybody know a way to measure resistance with a multimeter? I could check like that.
55:55:44:44:4C
52:4C:52:42:41

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Gavinmc42
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Re: Pi Zero - WiFi Hardware Missing

Fri May 04, 2018 12:11 am

Those parts look like NPO small value Pico Farad capacitors.
Probably in the range 1-10pF?
As they are part of the RF antenna design you could potentially de-tune it.

You could get stick on copper foil tape cut to exactly the same size as the ripped off PCB tracks.
Use low melting point solder 138C and a very much better soldering iron.

Expect to spend lots of time doing this if you have not done it before.
Or just use it like a normal Zero without WiFi and buy a Zero WH.
I'm dancing on Rainbows.
Raspberries are not Apples or Oranges

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Anton2k
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:34 pm
Location: Glasgow, Scotland.

Re: Pi Zero - WiFi Hardware Missing

Tue Jun 25, 2019 1:47 pm

Just thought I would update this post and link back to this article.

To summarize there is a pad on the back of the Pi Zero W that allows you to mount an external antenna. There is also a jumper that allows you to switch between the internal antenna and this external antenna.

Before
Image
Image



After
Image
Image

Hope this helps anyone in the same position as me.

Thanks for all the replies!
-Anton

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rpdom
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Joined: Sun May 06, 2012 5:17 am
Location: Chelmsford, Essex, UK

Re: Pi Zero - WiFi Hardware Missing

Tue Jun 25, 2019 1:51 pm

Whilst that is true, it breaks the certification for the Pi, making it illegal to use. The pads are only there for testing purposes when it was getting its radio certification done.

The likely hood of getting caught is very low though. ;)

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bensimmo
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Location: East Yorkshire

Re: Pi Zero - WiFi Hardware Missing

Tue Jun 25, 2019 2:05 pm

Did the PiZeroW WiFi still work with the two white bits missing, surprisingly my Pi3B with the old ceramic antenna still have reasonable Wifi with it missing (I have two fallen of now) Much prefer the new design.

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Anton2k
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:34 pm
Location: Glasgow, Scotland.

Re: Pi Zero - WiFi Hardware Missing

Tue Jun 25, 2019 3:27 pm

Yea, I do still get some kind of signal but it's weak, going to do this mod to mine to get the strength back, I mean for testing purposes... :roll:

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