caiman
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2013 2:19 pm
Location: Kansas City

Should I return my Pi? GPIO pins sit crooked.

Fri Oct 25, 2013 5:56 pm

I got my Pi two days ago and love it so far. I ordered from Newark/element14. But one of the first things I noticed was that the GPIO pins aren't fully seated on the board. The right end touches the board, but the left end is raised about 2 millimeters above the board. All the connectors are soldered, but I'm still worried about the functionality of the GPIOs. I don't have any way to test it yet, but at some point I plan to use the GPIOs. Should I play it safe and exchange it, or am I worrying needlessly?

User avatar
Davespice
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
Posts: 1662
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:06 pm
Location: The Netherlands
Contact: Twitter

Re: Should I return my Pi? GPIO pins sit crooked.

Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:12 pm

Can you post a picture? Try and get it in focus so that we can see it properly. Then someone will give you a verdict.

StephanB
Posts: 27
Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2013 5:05 pm
Location: UK

Re: Should I return my Pi? GPIO pins sit crooked.

Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:27 pm

I have used element14 loads of times for various items and can say their returns process is very easy and smooth. I purchased several Raspberry PIs but never seen this before. It probably works just fine but if it bothers you why not return it and get one you are happy with. If you do not do it now it will probably always concern you. Every time you have a software issue to do with IO at the back of your mind you will wonder if it’s the connector or not. With raised pins it may not fit a tight fitting PI box. I would say RMA time but agreed a focused photo would help.

hal8000
Posts: 187
Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2013 5:22 pm

Re: Should I return my Pi? GPIO pins sit crooked.

Fri Oct 25, 2013 7:00 pm

How was your Pi packaged when it was delivered to you?

Mine came from Amazon in a cardboard box. The Pi was packaged in its own
pink (raspberry) plastic case with RS logo embedded into the case. The pcb
was sealed inside an electrically conductive ESP bag.

It sounds as though your Pi has been delivered without adequate packing and
protection.

gordon77
Posts: 4111
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 3:12 pm

Re: Should I return my Pi? GPIO pins sit crooked.

Fri Oct 25, 2013 7:05 pm

Sounds more like the pins weren't fully inserted at manufacture, but a photo would show that.

User avatar
redhawk
Posts: 3465
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:13 pm
Location: ::1

Re: Should I return my Pi? GPIO pins sit crooked.

Fri Oct 25, 2013 7:24 pm

I got my Pi two days ago and love it so far. I ordered from Newark/element14. But one of the first things I noticed was that the GPIO pins aren't fully seated on the board.
Someone obviously didn't push this fully into the board before soldering.
The right end touches the board, but the left end is raised about 2 millimeters above the board. All the connectors are soldered, but I'm still worried about the functionality of the GPIOs.
As long as the pins are all soldered and not bent right over (but all pins cocked in the same direction) then I won't worry this shouldn't affect GPIO functionality.
It maybe possible to push the black plastic surrounding the pins down using a small flat screw driver or blunt implement.

As for returns / RMA that's really up to you but some photographic evidence would be helpful to illustrate the problem.

Richard S.

caiman
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2013 2:19 pm
Location: Kansas City

Re: Should I return my Pi? GPIO pins sit crooked.

Fri Oct 25, 2013 8:16 pm

Thanks guys, I'll post some photos a little later this evening.

I'm very confident it's a manufacturing flaw and not shipping damage.

User avatar
mahjongg
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
Posts: 12117
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:19 am
Location: South Holland, The Netherlands

Re: Should I return my Pi? GPIO pins sit crooked.

Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:26 pm

might be a manufacturing error, but if all pins are actually soldered it is only a cosmetical problem without any practical implications (unless you want to hook it up with a daughterboard, and it won't fit). you are still entitled to send it back off course.

boyoh
Posts: 1314
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2012 3:30 pm
Location: Selby. North Yorkshire .UK

Re: Should I return my Pi? GPIO pins sit crooked.

Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:27 pm

My advice is return the Pi, a problem might
Arise when you try to plug in a 26pin ribbon
Cable, some push down pressure is needed,
This might push the pins off the printed
Circuit board, Don't push it down with
A screw driver
BoyOh ( Selby, North Yorkshire.UK)
Some Times Right Some Times Wrong

neilf
Posts: 72
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:14 am

Re: Should I return my Pi? GPIO pins sit crooked.

Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:31 pm

Well, I wouldn't want to keep it either.
Once you get that board in a case, you'll find it's hard enough trying to wiggle a plug or leads onto the pins when they're truly vertical. But if the pins are misaligned, you might not even be able to get a 26-pin IDC plug to fit through the case aperture and mate with the pins - there's usually very little clearance around the plug.

Not worth taking a chance on it I'd say.

caiman
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2013 2:19 pm
Location: Kansas City

Re: Should I return my Pi? GPIO pins sit crooked.

Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:45 pm

Here are some pics:

Image

Image

Image

And here it is inside the case from AdaFruit. With how much the left end of the GPIOs stick up, getting a GPIO cable through the slit might pose a problem:
Image

User avatar
mahjongg
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
Posts: 12117
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:19 am
Location: South Holland, The Netherlands

Re: Should I return my Pi? GPIO pins sit crooked.

Sat Oct 26, 2013 10:01 am

not really, i think it will be fine. but its your decision.

User avatar
Burngate
Posts: 5967
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:34 pm
Location: Berkshire UK Tralfamadore
Contact: Website

Re: Should I return my Pi? GPIO pins sit crooked.

Sat Oct 26, 2013 10:27 am

From the first pic. it would seem that enough of the left-hand end pins are through the board to make a solid connection, so there won't be any electrical problems.
However from the last pic. I would be unhappy about putting a ribbon cable on it in the case. Just not enough room left - the case will stress the ribbon, and therefore the IDC connections.

If it were me, I'd be applying an iron and straightening it up*, but then I'm a cowboy. RMA it.

* or cutting the case with a stanley knife

User avatar
jojopi
Posts: 3079
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:38 pm

Re: Should I return my Pi? GPIO pins sit crooked.

Sat Oct 26, 2013 10:33 am

boyoh wrote:Arise when you try to plug in a 26pin ribbon
Cable, some push down pressure is needed,
This might push the pins off the printed
Circuit board, Don't push it down with
A screw driver
With a single-sided or home-made board, there would be a real concern that pressure on an improperly seated connector could crack the tracks or lift the pads on the underside. But the Pi has a high-quality multi-layer PCB with plated-through holes, and the solder has flowed right through to the top-side. Mechanically the pins are held in place very soundly, much more so than if they depended on the friction-fit plastic spacer being flush on a single-layer PCB.

Of course, it is an obvious manufacturing defect and the OP is entitled to return it. By the same token, there is no need to return it unless or until it causes a problem with a particular connector or case. It will not get worse or better by itself, so it will always be an obvious manufacturing defect for warranty purposes.

I would tend to keep it (without modification).

User avatar
Mortimer
Posts: 923
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 3:57 pm

Re: Should I return my Pi? GPIO pins sit crooked.

Sat Oct 26, 2013 10:54 am

I'm perfectly happy using a soldering iron and would fix that in a few minutes. If you are not happy or experienced with an iron I would be surprised if Element14 didn't just replace it if asked.
--------------
The purpose of a little toe is to ensure you keep your furniture in the right place.

pjc123
Posts: 913
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:37 pm
Contact: Website

Re: Should I return my Pi? GPIO pins sit crooked.

Sat Oct 26, 2013 11:26 am

ednl wrote:Wow, actually amazing that this passed quality control. Yes, it might be fine electrically but I say definitely exchange it, you never know what you might want to do with it later; something which isn't possible now with the awkward geometry of the pins.
+1 about the quality control. No way I would keep that board. You don't know what long term stress the bowing of the connector is going to cause in relation to the circuit board and/or a 26 pin header connector you may use with the board.
My Raspberry Pi Project Page:
https://www.flaminghellmet.com/launch/

User avatar
mahjongg
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
Posts: 12117
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:19 am
Location: South Holland, The Netherlands

Re: Should I return my Pi? GPIO pins sit crooked.

Sat Oct 26, 2013 11:49 am

there will be no more "bowing" than normal, except of course if you try to force it to become horizontal, obviously.

the slight angle does not prevent a normal header connector to fit, and the 1 to 1.5 mm more height on the left side should fit into most cases.
I only foresee one potential problem, and that is when you press fit a small daughterboard (arduino shell style) on top that has a female header connecter soldered to the underside of the daughterboard. It will tend to slant upward with the same angle, but as it angles away from the connectors on the board, even that might not be a serious issue.

pjc123
Posts: 913
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:37 pm
Contact: Website

Re: Should I return my Pi? GPIO pins sit crooked.

Sat Oct 26, 2013 12:00 pm

mahjongg wrote:there will be no more "bowing" than normal, except of course if you try to force it to become horizontal, obviously.

the slight angle does not prevent a normal header connector to fit, and the 1 to 1.5 mm more height on the left side should fit into most cases.
I only foresee one potential problem, and that is when you press fit a small daughterboard (arduino shell style) on top that has a female header connecter soldered to the underside of the daughterboard. It will tend to slant upward with the same angle, but as it angles away from the connectors on the board, even that might not be a serious issue.
Well looking at the first picture it appears as if the connector is bowed, not just tilted, although it is a little hard to tell. I still wouldn't accept a brand new product with such poor workmanship regardless, and is this the only problem with the board?
My Raspberry Pi Project Page:
https://www.flaminghellmet.com/launch/

User avatar
mahjongg
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
Posts: 12117
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:19 am
Location: South Holland, The Netherlands

Re: Should I return my Pi? GPIO pins sit crooked.

Sat Oct 26, 2013 12:49 pm

it seems that during wave soldering the header was either pushed up by the solder, or (less likely) the board was bumped and while that happened the solder solidified. That, or while placing the header the header somehow wasn't falling in all the way, or during transportation to the wave solder machine incidentally a finger was placed under the header and pushed it up a little, and it didn't fall back to its original position. obviously the header isn't really "bent" in such situations. the chance that real force was put on the header to really "bend" it is very slim. Even if the plastic of the header may have been soft during soldering. I don't notice any bending of the header in the photo to a degree that would be troublesome.
I know this because I have been wave soldering boards myself, so I do know why such things can happen. If this happened to a board I soldered I would rework it to fix it though, but just for the looks of it, not for technical reasons.

I'm simply trying to be realistic here, by not hyping up a minor assembly fluke. IMHO this is a very minor issue, and I myself would not return it, but that just my choice, if you are uncomfortable with it, why hesitate to send it back?

User avatar
pluggy
Posts: 3635
Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 3:52 pm
Location: Barnoldswick, Lancashire,UK
Contact: Website

Re: Should I return my Pi? GPIO pins sit crooked.

Sat Oct 26, 2013 1:18 pm

I'm with mahjongg, I'd live with it (or butcher it myself with a soldering iron) , but if you don't like it, RMA it.
Don't judge Linux by the Pi.......
I must not tread on too many sacred cows......

boyoh
Posts: 1314
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2012 3:30 pm
Location: Selby. North Yorkshire .UK

Re: Should I return my Pi? GPIO pins sit crooked.

Sat Oct 26, 2013 3:25 pm

jojopi wrote:
boyoh wrote:Arise when you try to plug in a 26pin ribbon
Cable, some push down pressure is needed,
This might push the pins off the printed
Circuit board, Don't push it down with
A screw driver
With a single-sided or home-made board, there would be a real concern that pressure on an improperly seated connector could crack the tracks or lift the pads on the underside. But the Pi has a high-quality multi-layer PCB with plated-through holes, and the solder has flowed right through to the top-side. Mechanically the pins are held in place very soundly, much more so than if they depended on the friction-fit plastic spacer being flush on a single-layer PCB.

Of course, it is an obvious manufacturing defect and the OP is entitled to return it. By the same token, there is no need to return it unless or until it causes a problem with a particular connector or case. It will not get worse or better by itself, so it will always be an obvious manufacturing defect for warranty purposes.

I would tend to keep it (without modification).
I'm not doubting the conductivity of the pins
Yes they look well soldered,.It is the mechanical
Stress they might receive when plugging and
Un-plugging the ribbon cable.

One way out is to mix some hard setting
Plastic compound and fill the gap
BoyOh ( Selby, North Yorkshire.UK)
Some Times Right Some Times Wrong

caiman
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2013 2:19 pm
Location: Kansas City

Re: Should I return my Pi? GPIO pins sit crooked.

Sat Oct 26, 2013 3:41 pm

pjc123 wrote:Well looking at the first picture it appears as if the connector is bowed, not just tilted, although it is a little hard to tell. I still wouldn't accept a brand new product with such poor workmanship regardless, and is this the only problem with the board?
I don't believe the connector is bowed. Just tilted. And yes, this is the only problem I've found with my Pi.
mahjongg wrote: if you are uncomfortable with it, why hesitate to send it back?
No major hesitation, mostly just the hassle. But I think you guys have convinced me to go ahead and exchange it. Even if it never causes an electrical problem or any other kind of issue, it still bugs me. I guess that's reason enough to get it replaced.

Does element14 provide prepaid mailing labels, or will I have to eat the shipping cost?

boyoh
Posts: 1314
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2012 3:30 pm
Location: Selby. North Yorkshire .UK

Re: Should I return my Pi? GPIO pins sit crooked.

Sat Oct 26, 2013 6:44 pm

caiman wrote:Here are some pics:

Image

Image

Image

And here it is inside the case from AdaFruit. With how much the left end of the GPIOs stick up, getting a GPIO cable through the slit might pose a problem:
Image
The photo showing is a very clear photo
Of the problem. It might a good idea to
Send a copy to the supplier .You might
Be lucky and they send you a replacement
They will only scrap it , as it would cost more
For a technician to repair it.
(Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained )
Best.Of luck

If you decide to keep it, Mix some
Hard setting Plastic compound
And fill the gap this will take any
Push down pressure

Regards BoyOh
BoyOh ( Selby, North Yorkshire.UK)
Some Times Right Some Times Wrong

caiman
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2013 2:19 pm
Location: Kansas City

Re: Should I return my Pi? GPIO pins sit crooked.

Sat Oct 26, 2013 6:53 pm

boyoh wrote: The photo showing is a very clear photo
Of the problem. It might a good idea to
Send a copy to the supplier .You might
Be lucky and they send you a replacement
They will only scrap it , as it would cost more
For a technician to repair it.
(Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained )
Best.Of luck
Regards BoyOh
Hey, that's a great idea! I'm going to try asking them to just send me a replacement.

boyoh
Posts: 1314
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2012 3:30 pm
Location: Selby. North Yorkshire .UK

Re: Should I return my Pi? GPIO pins sit crooked.

Sun Oct 27, 2013 10:42 am

caiman wrote:
boyoh wrote: The photo showing is a very clear photo
Of the problem. It might a good idea to
Send a copy to the supplier .You might
Be lucky and they send you a replacement
They will only scrap it , as it would cost more
For a technician to repair it.
(Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained )
Best.Of luck
Regards BoyOh
If the supplier replaces the faulty Pi
Let use know. You might end up with
Two Pi's , If they let you keep the faulty
Pi. Do as I suggested fill the gap with
Hard setting plastic compound.
DO not try to re-solder the pin's
If you try to do that all the pin's must
Be heated at the same time, to do
That you will need a de-soldering bit
This will put to much heat on the other
Componants.

Regards BoyOh

Hey, that's a great idea! I'm going to try asking them to just send me a replacement.
BoyOh ( Selby, North Yorkshire.UK)
Some Times Right Some Times Wrong

Return to “Troubleshooting”