jabeck
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Pi is too fragile

Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:12 pm

Ok I'm about to give up on the Raspberry pi because I'm now about to buy my third one. The first one, the camera stopped working, completely. Doesn't matter if I plug a brand new camera into it. The second one, the power connector came loose and now can barely keep any power. You only have to breath on it and it shuts off. Keep in mind I never dropped it, and I only ever plugged it in like maybe four or five times, it's been sitting doing timelapse.

Anyone else have similar things happen? Why in the world should I buy another one? Convince me otherwise.

Heater
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Re: Pi is too fragile

Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:56 pm

Nope. I have had many Pi since they were first launched.

They just work.

One Pi system failed after many months because the SD card died. With a new SD it was working again.

I have a few Pi working in harsh environments where it would be hard to get to them if they failed. After more than a year they are still working.

What on Earth are you doing to kill them?

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alexeames
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Re: Pi is too fragile

Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:04 pm

jabeck wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:12 pm
Anyone else have similar things happen? Why in the world should I buy another one? Convince me otherwise.
I have about 30+ Raspberry Pis. The only times they've ever failed on me have been...
  • SD card slot failed on Pi1 when I dropped it
  • SPI ports died when I shorted them to 12V when a metal screwdriver slipped
  • ethernet chip died
  • several instances of cheapo crap SD cards corrupting after as much as 18 months of continuous use
Apart from one faulty ethernet chip, I've never experienced a failure that was "the Pi's fault"

But I'm not trying to convince you of anything. A person convinced against their will is of the same opinion still. :D
Alex Eames RasPi.TV, RasP.iO

W. H. Heydt
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Re: Pi is too fragile

Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:08 am

Of all the Pis I've gotten (30+? Certainly more than 20.), I've had one failure. It wouldn't boot and when I tested it with a DMM it was getting less than 4v on the board from a known good (i.e. other Pis booted just fine from it) PSU. The vendor promptly offered an RMA and ask if I wanted my money back or a replacement Pi. I asked for the replacement. That was 6 years ago.

I can't say that I "baby" my Pis, but I don't treat them with unnecessary roughness. Sure, abusing any piece of equipment will cause failures, but my experience is that Pis are reasonably robust for what they are, and are certainly tougher than anyone could reasonably expect given their cost.

This thread causes me to think back to the write up about one of the very early high altitude balloon (HAB) runs done with a Pi. Nothing was done to protect the Pi on its way down after the balloon burst. Despite that, the Pi survived and still worked. How many other types of computer have you had that will still work after being dropped 40,000 feet?

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Re: Pi is too fragile

Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:39 am

Please try to avoid all the conspiracy theories.

As to the OP, I have never heard of a broken power connector before, although I have heard of occasional camera camera connector breakage, due to continual insertion, they are not hugely robust.
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Heater
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Re: Pi is too fragile

Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:09 am

Conspiracy hat off.

I don't handle my Pi with any particular care. No more so that any other PCB. They get shoved into bags and pockets recklessly on occasion. I have one failed Pi here. Not that any connector broke. It just stopped booting one day and I notice some chip on it gets crazy hot, I forget which.

I don't buy the "too fragile" suggestion. As far as I can tell a Pi is a lot more rugged than an iPhone.

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bensimmo
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Re: Pi is too fragile

Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:27 am

jamesh wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:39 am
Please try to avoid all the conspiracy theories.

As to the OP, I have never heard of a broken power connector before, although I have heard of occasional camera camera connector breakage, due to continual insertion, they are not hugely robust.
My original PiZero (the first ones) uUSB power socket died shortly after use, it doesn't look broken it is just fragile to use. A slight knock if it happened to power would rest it or it wouldn't turn on.
And yes definitely the boards connector.

The Zero's (later ones) camera connector is fragile and is known to break. There is already a topic on that from the very start.

The A+ main USB connector is fragile, the 'conntact pins inside' would bend back easily
No other Pi had that problem (that I've used)
Again a few threads on that.
I had to remove and solder a new one on.

The 3B has a fragile(ish) WiFi antenna, I knocked mine of and I've seen a few other knocked off. Fixed with the 3B+ though.
BUT these are open board devices, what do you expect from a largeish cuboid stick at two ends on the end of a board.

Oh and the 40pin connectors have never managed to improve over the many many years of them being used, for IDE to the Pi GPIO, from bending when getting the IDE ribbon cables or HATs off :lol:


Personally I think it's quite a testament to how many do not actually break, given the harsh environment of people manhandling them ;-)

mfa298
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Re: Pi is too fragile

Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:38 am

W. H. Heydt wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:08 am
This thread causes me to think back to the write up about one of the very early high altitude balloon (HAB) runs done with a Pi. Nothing was done to protect the Pi on its way down after the balloon burst. Despite that, the Pi survived and still worked. How many other types of computer have you had that will still work after being dropped 40,000 feet?
There should have been a parachute so it probably came down around 5m/s as it came in to land. That's probably not much different to dropping it off a table in your home. It was probably also in something like a polystyrene box. On the first few flights I think the main issue was overheating due to the linear regulator on the first Pis.

---

As for breaking Pi's I think I've got two broken ones.
One I watered whilst it was on (it was sat next to a plant on the windowsill)
Another the ethernet and USB stopped working (original Pi1 so possibly an issue with the xtal)

For the OP maybe supply some images (upload on a site like imgur) of how they're broken, and contact the supplier to get them replaced if it's a fault with those specific boards.

hippy
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Re: Pi is too fragile

Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:10 am

jabeck wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:12 pm
The second one, the power connector came loose and now can barely keep any power. You only have to breath on it and it shuts off.
It might be worth checking it's not the cable which is the problem. I have a device (not a Pi) where I thought its micro-USB connector had worn out from repeated insertions, would fail in a similar way. Turned out to be the cable itself. Not sure if that's connector damage or damage to the wiring in the plug.

Some cable plugs do have larger securing lugs for the socket than others and they can eventually make other cable connections less reliable.

Those who are quick to jump at labelling the OP as some sort of troll might like to reflect on how they would feel if their genuine complaints were treated the same way. Yes yours have always worked, millions of others have worked, but that doesn't mean the OP hasn't had the experiences described.

It's this kind of micro-bullying and aggression which has some people saying this forum is toxic and that's not good for anyone.

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Re: Pi is too fragile

Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:26 pm

OK, gone through and cleaned the thread of non-related postings. Please try to keep it civil - if you think a posting is trolling, report it, don't comment on it.
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Re: Pi is too fragile

Fri Jun 22, 2018 4:53 pm

mfa298 wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:38 am
W. H. Heydt wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:08 am
This thread causes me to think back to the write up about one of the very early high altitude balloon (HAB) runs done with a Pi. Nothing was done to protect the Pi on its way down after the balloon burst. Despite that, the Pi survived and still worked. How many other types of computer have you had that will still work after being dropped 40,000 feet?
There should have been a parachute so it probably came down around 5m/s as it came in to land. That's probably not much different to dropping it off a table in your home. It was probably also in something like a polystyrene box. On the first few flights I think the main issue was overheating due to the linear regulator on the first Pis.
There was no parachute. That's part of why the people that launched it were surprised that it still worked when they found it after it came down. And it was a *very* early Pi. The HAB flight was done before most people could even get their hands on a Pi. On the other hand, it probably landed pretty softly as the terminal velocity of a freely falling Pi is likely to be fairly low.

Here https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/pi-in-the-sky/ is the earliest blog post I can find quickly.

mfa298
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Re: Pi is too fragile

Fri Jun 22, 2018 5:05 pm

W. H. Heydt wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 4:53 pm
mfa298 wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:38 am
There should have been a parachute so it probably came down around 5m/s as it came in to land. That's probably not much different to dropping it off a table in your home. It was probably also in something like a polystyrene box. On the first few flights I think the main issue was overheating due to the linear regulator on the first Pis.
There was no parachute. That's part of why the people that launched it were surprised that it still worked when they found it after it came down. And it was a *very* early Pi. The HAB flight was done before most people could even get their hands on a Pi. On the other hand, it probably landed pretty softly as the terminal velocity of a freely falling Pi is likely to be fairly low.

Here https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/pi-in-the-sky/ is the earliest blog post I can find quickly.
I'm well aware of that flight and to quote from Dave's blog (linked from the article)
The entire train of parachute and 3 payloads weighed 1kg (same as my very first payload) and from the balloon to the lowest payload it was around 60 metres in length!
(emphasis mine)

Having a parachute is part of the CAA requirements.

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mahjongg
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Re: Pi is too fragile

Fri Jun 22, 2018 5:33 pm

Note that on raspberry PI Zero's, all soldering is done only on the top, in a reflow oven, that is also true for the micro-USB connectors, they are surface mount ONLY, so yes its more difficult to solder them mechanically strong that way. Normally these connectors have metal pins protruding into the PCB, that are reflow soldered, which gives a very sturdy connection, but not on a zero.

I have observed that in somewhat later zero's they seem to use solder holes in the PCB, and a lot more solder paste to mitigate this vulnerability.

Also, unfortunately all FPC connectors, as used for the camera, are somewhat weak, mechanically, especially those mounted horizontally in surface mount technology.

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