escherbach
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Two mechanically broken micro sd cards - Raspberry Pi Zero design fault?

Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:07 am

Hi, I broke a second micro sd card in my Raspberry Pi Zero today in just a couple of months, each time the card snapped after a little force was applied. In each case I was attaching a peripheral to soldered header pins, and I guess it is my fault for not removing the sd card first, but I do wonder if the design could not be modified in the next iteration so that the micro sd card can't be snapped by pressing down on it. In fact I applied a quick fix myself, a small piece of card, just the right thickness, placed under the sd card and stuck in place gives it enough support to prevent easily snapping the card. But a permanent fix would not be so difficult. I know people will say I should use a case if I want more protection, but what do people think about my suggestion that the micro sd card should be given more physical support to prevent accidental snapping when handling the bare pi zero?

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Re: Two mechanically broken micro sd cards - Raspberry Pi Zero design fault?

Sun Oct 29, 2017 1:32 pm

Well any time you are going to handle you pi be it to attach a peripheral or solder the GPIO pins you should just remove the SD card and put it some were safe its common sense and simple to do.

No design changes necessary.
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Re: Two mechanically broken micro sd cards - Raspberry Pi Zero design fault?

Sun Oct 29, 2017 1:43 pm

pcmanbob wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 1:32 pm
Well any time you are going to handle you pi be it to attach a peripheral or solder the GPIO pins you should just remove the SD card and put it some were safe its common sense and simple to do.

No design changes necessary.
I must congratulate you on your well thought out reply. I'm sure the OP really appreciates it. :roll:

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Re: Two mechanically broken micro sd cards - Raspberry Pi Zero design fault?

Sun Oct 29, 2017 3:37 pm

escherbach wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:07 am
...each time the card snapped after a little force was applied...
How much force was "a little"? As a now deceased master machinist once told me...Never use force. Just get a bigger hammer. (For one of the projects he worked on, there were a couple of guys each using a 100-lb sledge. It was a press fitting on a 6 foot diameter pipe.)

escherbach
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Re: Two mechanically broken micro sd cards - Raspberry Pi Zero design fault?

Sun Oct 29, 2017 6:47 pm

W. H. Heydt wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 3:37 pm
escherbach wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:07 am
...each time the card snapped after a little force was applied...
How much force was "a little"? As a now deceased master machinist once told me...Never use force. Just get a bigger hammer. (For one of the projects he worked on, there were a couple of guys each using a 100-lb sledge. It was a press fitting on a 6 foot diameter pipe.)
Not much, I was pushing a small tft display onto the header pins and accidentally moved my fingers away from the corners of the pi zero and pushed down on the edge of the sd card. I never had the problem with the bigger Pi 3 model so did not think to remove the sd card before attaching the display (I did of course remove it while soldering the header pins, the 1st reply above misunderstood me.

The slot for the card either needs to be more indented so none of the edge sticks out, or a little piece of raised flat plastic or metal needs to be placed underneath the edge to give support, otherwise there is ridge of soldered pins which act as an easy point for breaking the sd card.

Aw well, looks like it's not a common problem judging by replies, so not to worry. btw I don't know why the word "mechanically" appears in my title, I'm pretty sure I typed "accidentally"!

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Re: Two mechanically broken micro sd cards - Raspberry Pi Zero design fault?

Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:17 pm

Your thread title says you broke the SD cards but it sounds like you actually broke the Micro SD card holder? One unique thing about the Zero, is the SD card holder is mounted on top (component side) of the PCB. All other Pi's have it on the bottom (solder side) I haven't broken a card holder, yet. I've come close though when removing a Pi from a case and forgetting to take the Micro SD card out first.

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Re: Two mechanically broken micro sd cards - Raspberry Pi Zero design fault?

Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:37 pm

escherbach wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 6:47 pm
... btw I don't know why the word "mechanically" appears in my title, I'm pretty sure I typed "accidentally"!
You can edit the thread title. Been awhile since I did that, but I think the option was called Edit Thread (not title).
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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Re: Two mechanically broken micro sd cards - Raspberry Pi Zero design fault?

Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:16 pm

escherbach wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 6:47 pm
The slot for the card either needs to be more indented so none of the edge sticks out, or a little piece of raised flat plastic or metal needs to be placed underneath the edge to give support, otherwise there is ridge of soldered pins which act as an easy point for breaking the sd card.
Since the Pi0/Pi0W use a friction hold (as opposed to a push-push spring loaded) card holder, there has to be enough of the card sticking out to be able to grip it for removal. This is even a bigger issue for those of us with larger hands...

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Re: Two mechanically broken micro sd cards - Raspberry Pi Zero design fault?

Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:18 pm

alphanumeric wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:17 pm
Your thread title says you broke the SD cards but it sounds like you actually broke the Micro SD card holder? One unique thing about the Zero, is the SD card holder is mounted on top (component side) of the PCB. All other Pi's have it on the bottom (solder side) I haven't broken a card holder, yet. I've come close though when removing a Pi from a case and forgetting to take the Micro SD card out first.
The Pi0/Pi0W have the card holder on top to reduce manufacturing cost (they are *very* cost sensitive devices). If it were on the bottom, it would require a second soldering pass.

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Re: Two mechanically broken micro sd cards - Raspberry Pi Zero design fault?

Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:26 pm

W. H. Heydt wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:18 pm
alphanumeric wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:17 pm
Your thread title says you broke the SD cards but it sounds like you actually broke the Micro SD card holder? One unique thing about the Zero, is the SD card holder is mounted on top (component side) of the PCB. All other Pi's have it on the bottom (solder side) I haven't broken a card holder, yet. I've come close though when removing a Pi from a case and forgetting to take the Micro SD card out first.
The Pi0/Pi0W have the card holder on top to reduce manufacturing cost (they are *very* cost sensitive devices). If it were on the bottom, it would require a second soldering pass.
I know why they did it. It makes perfect sense, just pointing out the difference from other Pi's. ;)
I think its caused a few people to try and put their card in upside down. Or right side up, depending on how you look at it. Pi Zero is label side up

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Re: Two mechanically broken micro sd cards - Raspberry Pi Zero design fault?

Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:31 pm

Ditto to there having to be enough sticking out to get a hold of for removal. I have one 3B In a PIBO case that I have to use forceps to remove the SD card. If the card was flush with the end of the circuit board I would have to take the case apart just to swap cards.

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Re: Two mechanically broken micro sd cards - Raspberry Pi Zero design fault?

Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:14 pm

i added mechanically to your subject line (which incidentally didn't have the word accidentally) to distinguish from electrically damaged cards.
Just to make more clear what you actually meant.

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Re: Two mechanically broken micro sd cards - Raspberry Pi Zero design fault?

Mon Oct 30, 2017 2:28 am

lewmur wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 1:43 pm
pcmanbob wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 1:32 pm
Well any time you are going to handle you pi be it to attach a peripheral or solder the GPIO pins you should just remove the SD card and put it some were safe its common sense and simple to do.

No design changes necessary.
I must congratulate you on your well thought out reply. I'm sure the OP really appreciates it. :roll:
That is the best answer that can be given to the OP. They should be placing the Pi on a flat surface with the MicroSD card removed and should not be using so much force that it is damaging the Pi and the SD card. No changes need to be done to the Pi, the changes are that the user needs to heed instructions in being more careful about how they handle electronic devices.
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Re: Two mechanically broken micro sd cards - Raspberry Pi Zero design fault?

Mon Oct 30, 2017 2:30 am

W. H. Heydt wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 3:37 pm
escherbach wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:07 am
...each time the card snapped after a little force was applied...
How much force was "a little"? As a now deceased master machinist once told me...Never use force. Just get a bigger hammer. (For one of the projects he worked on, there were a couple of guys each using a 100-lb sledge. It was a press fitting on a 6 foot diameter pipe.)
So true. Same way my dad told me and what I was told while in the Navy, when we were helping the Electrician Mates to remove a fan motor housing, which always had very little gap between the flanges of the housing and two pipe ends if it was vertical. Always think smarter not harder.
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Re: Two mechanically broken micro sd cards - Raspberry Pi Zero design fault?

Mon Oct 30, 2017 2:34 am

W. H. Heydt wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:18 pm
alphanumeric wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:17 pm
Your thread title says you broke the SD cards but it sounds like you actually broke the Micro SD card holder? One unique thing about the Zero, is the SD card holder is mounted on top (component side) of the PCB. All other Pi's have it on the bottom (solder side) I haven't broken a card holder, yet. I've come close though when removing a Pi from a case and forgetting to take the Micro SD card out first.
The Pi0/Pi0W have the card holder on top to reduce manufacturing cost (they are *very* cost sensitive devices). If it were on the bottom, it would require a second soldering pass.
Especially since the Zero does not have components on the bottom like the 2 and 3 do.
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Re: Two mechanically broken micro sd cards - Raspberry Pi Zero design fault?

Mon Oct 30, 2017 2:45 am

broe23 wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 2:34 am
W. H. Heydt wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:18 pm
The Pi0/Pi0W have the card holder on top to reduce manufacturing cost (they are *very* cost sensitive devices). If it were on the bottom, it would require a second soldering pass.
Especially since the Zero does not have components on the bottom like the 2 and 3 do.
Same reason. It's also at least part of the reason for choosing microUSB and miniHMDI connectors...no hand soldering and only needs solder on one side, saving the cost of a second soldering pass. It's all part of why those boards are populated the way they are. It's also extremely clever in that it makes it--just barely--possible to sell a computer for $5.

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Re: Two mechanically broken micro sd cards - Raspberry Pi Zero design fault?

Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:35 pm

Since nobody has mentioned it yet - MicroSD cards are not a uniform thickness. Putting some "support"in the card holder, is not possible.

Sounds to me like the OP has a very cheap and thin card.
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Re: Two mechanically broken micro sd cards - Raspberry Pi Zero design fault?

Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:22 am

Well, take your steel-toe boots off the card.

Seriously, its a little fragile. But its a naked circuit board. There's no protection.

I hold the card by the edges and insert gently and straight. If you have hands of steel, use just one fingernail. I say this because if you use too much force, your fingernail will also hurt.
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Re: Two mechanically broken micro sd cards - Raspberry Pi Zero design fault?

Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:12 am

I broke an SD card when working on a Pi3. It projects from the edge, and I applied pressure at an angle, and snapped it in two.

At no point did I think this was a design fault with the Pi3, it was my own stupidity that broke it.

I won't do it again, because I learnt from the experience. What I learnt is remove the SD card from the device when working on it.
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escherbach
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Re: Two mechanically broken micro sd cards - Raspberry Pi Zero design fault?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:09 am

Imperf3kt wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:35 pm
Since nobody has mentioned it yet - MicroSD cards are not a uniform thickness. Putting some "support"in the card holder, is not possible.

Sounds to me like the OP has a very cheap and thin card.
I use the popular sandisk class 1 8gb and 16gb cards - are these cheap and thin compared to other brands?

Anyway, I think the responders to this thread have been a little hostile and defensive of the Pi brand for no logical reason, I'm just posting my simple honest experience. The people saying that the card has to stick out or otherwise they can't remove it have maybe never used a (very common) micro sd to sd adapter card? (There is a raised ridge on the micro sd card to enable easy removal with a finger)

The next Pi Zero needs to get the micro sd card flush with the edge, just like in a micro sd to sd card adapter, it's a bad design fault in the current versions of Raspberry Pi Zeros

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Re: Two mechanically broken micro sd cards - Raspberry Pi Zero design fault?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:24 am

Those Sandisk cards, while good quality, aren't financially worth it to me. I buy the 32GB versions.

Anyway, this is a Pi forum. Any negativity about the Pi automatically ruffles somebody's hair, truth or otherwise.
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Re: Two mechanically broken micro sd cards - Raspberry Pi Zero design fault?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:26 am

escherbach wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:09 am
I use the popular sandisk class 1 8gb and 16gb cards - are these cheap and thin compared to other brands?
Sounds like what I use as well, but I'd hardly call them (or any other microUSB card) robust.
Anyway, I think the responders to this thread have been a little hostile and defensive of the Pi brand for no logical reason, I'm just posting my simple honest experience. The people saying that the card has to stick out or otherwise they can't remove it have maybe never used a (very common) micro sd to sd adapter card? (There is a raised ridge on the micro sd card to enable easy removal with a finger)

The next Pi Zero needs to get the micro sd card flush with the edge, just like in a micro sd to sd card adapter, it's a bad design fault in the current versions of Raspberry Pi Zeros
I have, and have used, adapters. I find getting the cards out to be a pain. I far prefer that the card stick out just a bit. YMMV. As to moving the holder inboard a bit..that may or may not be possible. Space is at an absolute premium on the Pi0 and Pi0W. As an experiment, I fitted a Pi0W with a set of header pins with a shell. I had to carve down part of the shell because otherwise there wasn't room to seat it properly on the PCB--some of the components, including the aforementioned microSD card holder, were too close to the holes for the header for the shell to fit.

So while one could argue either way about the placement of the holder, the engineering and manufacturing constraints may be the determining factor in its placement. It is also possible that the position was chosen because (relative to the board edge) it is the same as the Pi2B, which uses a spring loaded "push-push" holder and one needs enough exposed travel distance to make that work. I don't say this to dispute or belittle your experience, but only to point out that there may be real and practical reasons for the placement. (As an aside...I actually prefer the spring loaded holder, even though I understand why others don't and have had an issue with them myself...in that when the card pops out it is possible not to catch it then there might be a microSD card somewhere on the floor that you can't find.)

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Re: Two mechanically broken micro sd cards - Raspberry Pi Zero design fault?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:47 am

OMG, your intricate analysis of the placement of the micro-sd card is silly, other tech companies have already worked it out, you don't allow the micro sd-card to be placed halfway over a ridge of solder pins for a start.

Sorry, very disappointed with the quality of replies to this, most who broke their micro sd cards probably just gave up with this silly electronics/computing thing, it was a few pounds, who cares? We need much improved quality control and design to make this a world beater

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Re: Two mechanically broken micro sd cards - Raspberry Pi Zero design fault?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 2:18 am

escherbach wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:47 am
We need much improved quality control and design to make this a world beater
17 million Pis have been sold. How many of the second most popular SBC have been sold?

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Re: Two mechanically broken micro sd cards - Raspberry Pi Zero design fault?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 2:22 am

escherbach wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:47 am
OMG, your intricate analysis of the placement of the micro-sd card is silly, other tech companies have already worked it out, you don't allow the micro sd-card to be placed halfway over a ridge of solder pins for a start.
I should show you the Odroid-C1 i have. The microSD card holder placement meets your criteria. It's *terrible*. It's in the middle of the bottom of the board. You can't get at it at all if the board is in a case. The card held in a way that there is space under. Grab the board the wrong way and you *will* break the card. Believe me...no matter how bad you think a given design is, there is someone out there with a worse one.

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