goldberg
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2014 5:27 pm
Location: Cambridge, UK

Raspberry Pi A+ USB port bent pins

Fri Nov 14, 2014 10:01 pm

A word of warning to users of the new RPi A+ of a potential problem with the USB port when used with certain USB plugs.

During the setup of my first A+ two days ago, I plugged an Edimax WiFi dongle into the USB port, and found it would not mate correctly. On removing the Edimax I found that all four of the USB pins had bent back into the socket, thus rendering the socket unusable. I had not used any unusual force to insert the Edimax, so was disappointed to have damaged the A+ before even switching it on for the first time.

Examining several of my stock of USB plugs including that on the Edimax, it appears that the insulating element inside the plugs can vary considerably in thickness. The insulator on the Edimax appears to be particularly thick, around 2mm, and the sharp leading edge of the insulator appears to have snagged on the USB socket pins during insertion. Other USB plugs have a much thinner 1 - 1.5mm insulating element inside the plug, and in hindsight would not have caused this problem.

The USB socket on the A+ appears to be of a different design to that on other RPi boards, and may be more vulnerable to this kind of damage.

So my advice is:
- check the thickness of the insulator inside your USB plug or dongle, and avoid using plugs with thick insulator.
- when inserting the plug be gentle, don't force it

ShiftPlusOne
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 5440
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:36 pm
Location: The unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy

Re: Raspberry Pi A+ USB port bent pins

Fri Nov 14, 2014 10:48 pm

Yup, edimax and pihut dongles seem to be the main culprits here.

DavidTheNewf
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2014 9:27 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi A+ USB port bent pins

Mon Nov 24, 2014 9:31 pm

I am now very upset... within 15 seconds of unwrapping my new Raspberry Pi A+ I have a broken Pi!

This is NOT good.

I guess I am out the $50 Canadian this thing cost me... my third Pi and am very UNIMPRESSED!

This is not the fault of the dongle, though... this is a flaw of the Pi.... the pins should not be bending backwards, they should be forced DOWN. Looks like the desire to keep the price down has led to a fatal flow for this unit.

Very unhappy with this right now...

DavidTheNewf
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2014 9:27 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi A+ USB port bent pins

Tue Nov 25, 2014 4:51 am

Well... a little effort later and I am now using my new Raspberry Pi A+. I extracted a USB port from an old phone charger, removed the broken USB port from the RPi, and soldered on the recycled one. I am not good at soldering, but managed to get it done with a bit of patience and effort.

The "new" plug accepts my PiHut WiFi dongle flawlessly.... and I am sure anything else I want to plug in.

Again... I really think the part should be replaced on the devices being built now... this is a very small part that will cause no end of problems.... getting it fixed if the owner is not able will cost more than the RPi... but a different brand of port (maybe a 10 pence piece?) will stop it from happening.

DirkS
Posts: 9691
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:46 pm
Location: Essex, UK

Re: Raspberry Pi A+ USB port bent pins

Tue Nov 25, 2014 11:49 am

DavidTheNewf wrote:Well... a little effort later and I am now using my new Raspberry Pi A+..
So you're not trying to get it replaced?
I had the same problem, got in touch with the supplier and they are going to replace it...

Gr.
Dirk.

DavidTheNewf
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2014 9:27 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi A+ USB port bent pins

Tue Nov 25, 2014 9:45 pm

To be honest, I would have... but considering the low price and the fact that I am in Canada... the shipping costs of sending Raspberry Pis around will end up costing more than the Pi itself.... I decided to just give fixing it a try... and it did work out.

May I ask who your supplier was? I purchased mine through PiHut .... they wrote me back very quickly and with concern for my experience.... pretty good experience... though I did choose to not return the device.

DirkS
Posts: 9691
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:46 pm
Location: Essex, UK

Re: Raspberry Pi A+ USB port bent pins

Tue Nov 25, 2014 10:11 pm

DavidTheNewf wrote:May I ask who your supplier was?
Farnell UK. I opted to have it replaced, but it's on backorder until December (I knew that when I got the option).

Gr.
Dirk.

ElectroBoy
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2014 6:45 am

Re: Raspberry Pi A+ USB port bent pins

Wed Nov 26, 2014 6:50 am

Exact same issue here. Took it out of the box, plugged in USB dongle for keyboard. Dongle did not go in to the port properly. Looked inside the port to see that 3 of 4 pins were bent. Strikes me as a manufacturing issue. A real shame. This was my first pi. Was really looking forward to seeing what it could do.

ShiftPlusOne
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 5440
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:36 pm
Location: The unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy

Re: Raspberry Pi A+ USB port bent pins

Wed Nov 26, 2014 9:25 am

IMHO, it's really best for the people who have this issue to return it so that the manufacturer and distributors know the scope of the issue. I'm sure most people here would find it trivial to replace the part, but you shouldn't have to.

User avatar
Hove
Posts: 1205
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2012 6:55 pm
Location: Cotswolds, UK
Contact: Website

Re: Raspberry Pi A+ USB port bent pins

Wed Nov 26, 2014 9:36 am

It's the single USB socket on the A(+) - I now have a stock of these as I had it fail on one A and one A+ and I don't have time to waste waiting for replacements - but I do see the point of reporting the problem. It is the Edimax nano wifi dongle every time for me.
www.pistuffing.co.uk - Raspberry Pi and other stuffing!

User avatar
Paul Webster
Posts: 772
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 4:49 am
Location: London, UK
Contact: Twitter

Re: Raspberry Pi A+ USB port bent pins

Sat Nov 29, 2014 8:38 am

Are the RPi Foundation team aware of this one?
Not suggesting it is a big problem and clearly the return rate will be a great indicator but if the team behind the device is aware of the small number of reports here (and says so) then people would know that it is likely to be looked into.

User avatar
Hove
Posts: 1205
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2012 6:55 pm
Location: Cotswolds, UK
Contact: Website

Re: Raspberry Pi A+ USB port bent pins

Sat Nov 29, 2014 10:02 am

Just reported to the Foundation now, although it's Farnell / RS who are responsible for component purchase / fabrication.

Out of interest, for those of you who've had this problem, where did you buy your A(+) from?
www.pistuffing.co.uk - Raspberry Pi and other stuffing!

ShiftPlusOne
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 5440
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:36 pm
Location: The unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy

Re: Raspberry Pi A+ USB port bent pins

Sat Nov 29, 2014 4:04 pm

Yes, they're aware.

User avatar
Greg Erskine
Posts: 90
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2012 4:20 am

Re: Raspberry Pi A+ USB port bent pins

Mon Dec 01, 2014 12:03 am

Unfortunately, the first thing I did when my new Raspberry Pi A+ arrived was plug a wifi adaptor into the USB port. Bent both power pins resulting in a short circuit. Wish I had read this thread first. :(
* Raspberry Pi is a trademark of the Raspberry Pi Foundation

elmo7
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2014 3:26 am

Re: Raspberry Pi A+ USB port bent pins

Tue Dec 02, 2014 5:05 am

Well, Hi. First time here on the board. Just received my first Pi, an A+. Too bad I'm just now reading this thread. I checked and pins 1, 3 & 4 are bent. I had inserted an EDi Max as well. It did seem like a snug fit. This is the first time I've ever had a USB port fail like that.

As someone else stated, if only I'd read this first.

Rather than deal w/the hassle to send it back and wait another week, I pulled out the solder iron and swapped the busted USB port for a USB port from a old junk hub.

Fired it up and plugged in my keyboard and all seems well. I'd really rather not have to do that ever again. I'll setup the wifi later and try the edimax again. It slips in fine now.

sbp
Posts: 128
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:54 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi A+ USB port bent pins

Tue Dec 02, 2014 4:59 pm

Hi all.

Unfortunately my A+ is also having this problem now.
Just contacted the Pi Hut: http://thepihut.com/ I hope they will help me getting this fixed.
piCorePlayer webpage: https://sites.google.com/site/picoreplayer/home

ElectroBoy
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2014 6:45 am

Re: Raspberry Pi A+ USB port bent pins

Tue Dec 02, 2014 5:10 pm

I returned my original A+ with the bent pins, and purchased a replacement. Again, the pins on the new A+ were a little on the high side. Managed to gently insert an old USB hub into it without bending the protruding pins. I am leaving the hub plugged in, hoping that the prolonged pressure from above will flatten the pins down enough to plug in more snug USB dongles.

sbp
Posts: 128
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:54 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi A+ USB port bent pins

Wed Dec 03, 2014 6:01 pm

The Pi Hut has responded and I'm sending the defect raspi A+ (USB pins bent) back now.
Hopefully I will have a replacement soon. Then I will carefully attach a USB cable and connect the wifi adaptor to this cable.

What will be done officially in order to correct this issue?

Steen
piCorePlayer webpage: https://sites.google.com/site/picoreplayer/home

jdb
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 1817
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2013 2:37 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi A+ USB port bent pins

Wed Dec 03, 2014 8:22 pm

We are aware of this issue concerning damage to the USB sockets caused by certain brands of plug-sized peripherals, commonly wireless dongles.

I have a selection on order and will do some measurements on them when they arrive.

As a workaround, prior to using the A+ for the first time you can "soften" the impacting edges on the connector by plugging a standard USB cable into the socket on the A+ multiple times. This should cause a slight amount of wear which may lessen the chance of damage to the USB connector when plugging in a problem device.
Rockets are loud.
https://astro-pi.org

drgeoff
Posts: 8975
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:39 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi A+ USB port bent pins

Wed Dec 03, 2014 11:31 pm

There are only 3 possible reasons:

1. The USB sockets on the A+ are out of spec.

2. The USB plugs on some peripherals are out of spec.

3. The USB specs are inadequate or flawed.

So which is it?

cashpipeplusplus
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2014 7:33 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi A+ USB port bent pins

Sun Dec 07, 2014 7:41 pm

I have also been bitten by this problem. The first thing I did was plug in an Edimax dongle. Very disappointed. I'm returning my Pi A+ to Amazon.

I agree with drgeoff. I would also like to know which component is to blame. If this can be corrected in newly-manufactured Pis, I think that would be ideal. How about calling it the A++ so that we can distinguish before buying?

Does the B+ have the same issue? At least the B+ has built-in ethernet. Without the USB port on the A+, I have zero options for connectivity.

MaxK1
Posts: 1043
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:34 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi A+ USB port bent pins

Mon Dec 08, 2014 1:18 pm

Is it just Edimax dongles? (which are the only dongles reported as far as I know) Or are there other dongles out there doing damage? Could it be Edimax bought a s#!+load of out-of-spec usb connectors or did Sony just receive a bad batch? Either way, somebody needs to get the some measurements and lay the blame on the responsible party.
You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike.
When General Failure and Major Disaster get together, Private Parts usually suffers.

ShiftPlusOne
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 5440
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:36 pm
Location: The unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy

Re: Raspberry Pi A+ USB port bent pins

Mon Dec 08, 2014 1:29 pm

I don't think there's a single place to put the blame. Many wifi dongles have the same problem, not just Edimax. At the same time, the pi's usb port should (in my opinion) be durable enough to deal with it.

DirkS
Posts: 9691
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:46 pm
Location: Essex, UK

Re: Raspberry Pi A+ USB port bent pins

Mon Dec 08, 2014 1:30 pm

MaxK1 wrote:Is it just Edimax dongles? (which are the only dongles reported as far as I know) Or are there other dongles out there doing damage? Could it be Edimax bought a s#!+load of out-of-spec usb connectors or did Sony just receive a bad batch? Either way, somebody needs to get the some measurements and lay the blame on the responsible party.
Not just Edimax. See second post. Mine was a Pihut 5370.
Re measurements: see http://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewt ... 8&p=624766 (that's just a couple of posts above yours)

shuckle
Posts: 565
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:49 am
Location: Finland

Re: Raspberry Pi A+ USB port bent pins

Mon Dec 08, 2014 2:51 pm

Just got my A+ and the USB slot indeed is tight and pins are high, but inserting Edimax carefully it worked.
So maybe just a warning message is enough to fix this issue.

Return to “Troubleshooting”