I have bought a new Rock Pi 4 with a fan/power hat and an SSD and tried to assemble it myself. The result was not very good. I had to disassemble the system several times and reassemble it, and
I think I managed to lose some of the screws and spacers. Also, my card writer was faulty, so I needed to disassemble the system, extract the EMC board, recopy the system image using a new card writer, and then reassemble the system. As a result, there are not enough small parts (screws, bolts, spacers, nuts) as there should be and the system that I have built is not very robust mechanically.
I have some suggestions for Radxa and some advice to anyone else who wants to try the same.
For Radxa :
- please provide better building instructions. Take a look at Ikea’s guides that come with each self assembled table, chairs etc, and try to provide a similar level of instructions. In particular,
- provide a photo of all the parts that come with each board. Label each type of part, by unique name and preferably serial number.
- for each step in the build, indicate which parts are used in that step, including the name and serial number. Show where each part is to be placed in the board. Also show which way up they go.
- provide spare parts for the assembly. This could be a separate product in your reseller’s catalogue (“Spare parts for…”) . This should include everything except the board itself such as screws, spacers, and connectors. This should be relatively cheap to provide.
- provide advice on what to do if there are several components to be built into one system, such as the main Rock Pi board, the fan/power board, an SSD and its associated boards, and a case; in particular, which connectors should be used and the overall order of the build.
For those who are building:
- connect up your new card with its SD card or EMC and test it (at least until it boots) before you even touch any of the spacers, screws etc.
- if you have a case, once you have assembled the system, fit the assembled boards into the case with top and bottom off. Ensure that the HDMI socket comes through the hole in the case, and that all the USB sockets can be used. Only then attach the top and bottom of the case.
- take photos of the initial parts (if Radxa has not put them on the website) and of the various stages of the build so you can remember what to do if you need to dissemble the system and then reassemble it.
Radxa should consider adding the previous points to the assembly documentation.