key/mon connector issues

Hardware related problems and workarounds

key/mon connector issues

Postby magorian » Thu Dec 26, 2013 5:24 pm

> Are you saying one of the connectors on the Parallella broke? Can you post a picture? We probably have 1000 inserts at this point and > haven't seen a problem, but if there is a problem we need to fix it quickly!
>
> Thanks,
> Andreas

Attached, see lower board. Popped off the solder pads due to a tight uUSB adapter, and no I didn't push hard or misaligned. Note also the upper board uHDMI connector is loose and need to be reseated into the pads periodically, and that adapter wasn't even tight.

Let's face it, the micro connectors are pretty fragile and unrobust compared to the original huge A connectors like the Pi uses, or even the older intermediate C mini size (which a lot of things still use). Totally understandable why you had to use them from a board space perspective (the board is seriously packed, just look at it side to side with a Pi), but there's a cost which is that people will be plugging unknown adapters from Microcenter in for their keyboards and some of them will be tight. You could supply A female- D male adapters that you have tested for being good fits, since people will need them anyway to plug their hubs into, since you haven't made the second uUSB work yet. (The Pi ducks that issue by giving you 2 for key/mouse).

Dan
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Re: key/mon connector issues

Postby magorian » Sat Dec 28, 2013 8:16 pm

FYI, here's a snip from an Adafruit page on their wearable arduino and why they intentionally chose the mini rather than micro connector, showing that the fragility of micros is a known issue:

Mini-B USB connector - We went with the tried and true mini-B USB connector for power and/or USB bootloading. In our experience, Micro-B connectors can rip off the PCB easily, but we have not had that problem with mini B, its much more rugged for DIY electronics.

http://learn.adafruit.com/introducing-gemma/guided-tour

Dan
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Re: key/mon connector issues

Postby ticso » Sun Dec 29, 2013 11:17 am

On the Beaglebone Black they'd used some glue to additionally fixate conntectors.
I assume it is some kind of expoxy based glue, which the'd placed over the big solderpoints.
I'm not a big fan of glueing connectors, but I think in this case it makes sense.
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Re: key/mon connector issues

Postby magorian » Mon Dec 30, 2013 5:07 pm

Anyway, fragility of the uUSB connector aside, the other one doesn't supply power trying several usb key/mons with unpowered usb hubs thru several uUSB adapters. Anybody else having this issue? Between the USBs and the HDMIs both not working, it looks like VNC is the *only* way to access the boards for now.

Dan
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Re: key/mon connector issues

Postby aolofsson » Tue Dec 31, 2013 9:38 pm

Dan,

Thanks for the invaluable feedback!! We have now confirmed that there are issues with the Micro USB (J6) and Micro HDMI (J10) connectors and will be fixing them going forward. It turns out we were being too gentle with the boards...

For the near term builds we will be putting epoxy down on the board to make the connection stronger (ala Beaglebone).

If anyone has a tip/feedback regarding better Micro-USB AB and B receptacle parts and mounting solutions please do let us know.

Feedback regarding the epoxy workaround is appreciated.

Best regards,
Andreas
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Re: key/mon connector issues

Postby tnt » Tue Dec 31, 2013 10:42 pm

Putting plugged vias in the large mechanical pads might help improving their strenght. There is also micro usb with TH mounting on the side purely for mechanical strength (signal contact still being SMD).
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Re: key/mon connector issues

Postby magorian » Thu Jan 02, 2014 12:46 am

Andreas, glad you caught it and will be gluing them as a workaround. I don't like to think of myself as being hard on connectors, but sticky adapters can be.

I assume you've verified that the properly affixed uUSB does work with an adapter to a USB A keyboard with internal unpowered usb hub for the mouse? Because my remaining one doesn't (no light from op mouse), and I don't think it's damaged since I was very careful after the first popped off. Tried 2 different uUSB M to USB A F adapters.

If there's some issue with the hub then you REALLY need to provide two separate working uUSBs for key & mouse.

Thanks.

Dan
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Re: key/mon connector issues

Postby aolofsson » Thu Jan 02, 2014 1:15 am

Dan,
The USB port has been confirmed to work with peripherals hanging off powered and unpowered hubs.

On the off chance that you are referring to the micro USB next to the Ethernet jack please note that it is currently only used as a secondary power source (if you move the jumper on the three pin header to the second position). Note that you will need a USB charger capable of 1.5A to be safe.

Do the devices show up with 'lsusb'?

Andreas
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Re: key/mon connector issues

Postby magorian » Thu Jan 02, 2014 5:05 am

Nada, testing with two working keyboards and 2 uUSB adapters:
linaro-ubuntu-desktop:~> lsusb
linaro-ubuntu-desktop:~>

If you know it works, then this one must be damaged too; hopefully Diana can remedy that soon then. Thanks.

Dan
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Re: key/mon connector issues

Postby dagert » Wed Jan 22, 2014 9:05 pm

I recently received my Parallella board and am having the same problem. Keyboard not recognized, no devices listed under lsusb.
I checked the uUSB port and found that there is no power on the port. Is there a Parallella support process in place yet?
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