Bad Quality of Materials

I have bought some days ago the Rock Pi 4b with some additional equipment. But I am not happy with the delivery and the quality of each product:

  1. There is no sketch how you have to mount all single parts together with all these different srews. It take some time to find out the right way - not a good product outlet.

  2. No remark that you have to connect the ribbon for extension board first to the small single piece of it. Learning by doing!

  3. During this process the black bracket to close the ribbon to the single part of extension board break already, so I couldn’t use this extension board.

  4. Then I wanted to bring in the Rock Pi 4b including the heatsink into the metal housing, but it not fit there, not at the back (USB and Ethernet outlets) nor at the side (Power and HDMI) - see small videos.

  5. Due to the fact that the power cable has no switch you have to put it in/out many times with the result that the soldered socket get loose and not work properly at all. New soldering brought no success, so that I can throw away the board.

  6. In summary I can say that the SCB is not usable for me. On my complain by eMail nobody answered yet. Not good company.

On 06.09.19 the power input socket broke away from board, so that it is not usable anymore.

Maybe this can help:
How to assemble the RockPi 4 onto the heatsink and fit it into the case.


Attaching extender board.

Radxa should put it in the forum since some people won’t know to look there.

Thank you for reply, but as you can see my housing look different.

Radxa should put it in the forum since some people won’t know to look there.

Radxa officially did not make any cases. If you check the item description page of the case, you will find the guide link is there:

https://shop.allnetchina.cn/collections/new-products/products/ecopi-pro-lp-aluminum-housing-for-rock-pi-4
https://shop.allnetchina.cn/collections/new-products/products/ecopi-pro-hp-aluminum-housing-for-rock-pi-4

I am sorry for your experience. Tom Cubie, the founder of Radxa here.

I think I figured out where the issue is. I am sorry that I am not the product manager of this case. The most misleading part is, you should push the board to the edge to let the connector goes into the holes for fixture and connector alignment. This important point is missing, I think the guide should make it clear.

Can you tell me how do you manage to pull off the type C connector?

Hi Tom, this case is a wrong construction or it has changed the outfit by galvanise.
You will not get the board in to fit all holes around. I can send it to you.

The C connector is not very well soldered to the board. Due to the missing on/off switch in the cable I had to connect/unconnect the power cable several times instead doing this on the other side of the cable at the electric socket. But now too late, the board is useless now.

I think you should improve some things like:

  • better assembling instruction by photos incl. extension board
  • the ribbon connection for NVme is very primitive, not state of the art, not even fit the housing
  • you should deliver better housings
  • deliver the power cable with an integrated on/off switch to eliminate forces to the connector

kind regards

Eberhard Stephan

@KhunEbi

in general people have no clue why they buy rpi or rock, for most it is just cool and a playground for something to break. Kids break their toys always. It looks to me that you are also (like 99% users of this forum) one of people who bought it as a toy.

As a parent, I would maybe react in changing your toy to some more robust, like this: https://www.hystou.com/

As last, I am sorry for your broken board. In most countries there are some shops where you can let them solder whatever you need, most people are not aware that when their $ 2000 Samsung TV breaks (as planned :slight_smile: ) right after warranty is over, most such repairs cost few dollars and those chips/soldering parts are cheap.

No I didn’t bought it as a toy. I have planned to build up an NAS.
I looked long time to find the right SBC for me. Rock Pi 4b was the best choice for me regarding technical equipment and power.
Thanks to give me the advise to look for a more robust computer; I have indeed one of those you recommend.
But you have to accept the weaknesses of this device as I have described in detail.
I think you cannot solder the socket again, because as I can see several very thin wires come out and go into the board. But when you have a recommendation where or who can do I will appreciate that.

I had this same issue. The black ribbon cable bracket broke in half trying to close it. Not happy about this, and had to re-order the mount-kit

@KhunEbi
I think your choice was very good but sadly your habits how to deal/work with HW are not perfect, I still do not understand how those extenders broke, you pointed to the right point in saying that you should have disconnected USB on other side, that would have saved you headache, next time you know better.

I do accept the weakness, but at the same time, I do think that “expectations” were to high. I am more than happy to have ribbon with Extender (even if some call it primitive) as it is still X times faster than EMMC/Sd and exactly this makes big difference to other boards, RaspeberryPi4 as example is NOT USABLE for me and it is to expensive for what it can’t do, fixing and buying all together will cost me more than one Hystou device. So far about device choice.

One good example would be to compare M2 NVMe USB cases for those disks, ONE costs in EU already around € 50 which is more expensive than rockpi4a with extender board. In this case, it is cheaper and better for me to buy RockPi4 and use it as example for ability to format/reformat my M2 disks. Especially for reformatting M2 NVMe rock pi is for me better choice as long as I do not require it mobile with my notebook but for that I still can use cheap M2.SATA disks.

Just tell RADXA that you will pay € 150 instead of € 100 for your rock and they will be able to sell you better quality, as for me, I would not buy a rock for € 150 as there are better and faster devices for that price but current rock’s price is good (its kinda more expensive than Raspberry Pi4, hope it will change with time)

As for casing, I did not require it, I used my old PC case and built in 8 rock pi 4a/4b. They are quite busy now :slight_smile:

As for question where to solder, if you are from EU, there is ton of places where you can go and they should be able solder (hopefully usb-c too).

As far as I know, many bigger shops like Conrad do it directly in their shops, just ask for it.

Found out that you seem to be from german speaking country, @KhunEbi , here is a list, you can ask any of them: https://www.mikrocontroller.net/articles/Lokale_Elektroniklieferanten

As I said, check local one where you can repair TV’s etc…, if they cant, they will probably be able to tell you where is closest that you can. Hope it helps.

It is nice to talk with you, even when you have no name.
When I read all your comments to this topic I have the impression you could be a good sales man for Radxa.
My k.o. criteria to buy was also to have an NVme connector on board instead of an USB solution.

But what it helps when things (materials) give up early on their way to be used by nonchild fingers.
As result from buying a package valued about 120 USD only a few things remain usable:

  • power supply
  • emmc Module incl. SD Card holder
  • several srews and srew driver
    All other items will go in the bin.

Concerning soldering my experience here in Thailand was that the people i have asked said it’s impossible.

Now a new game starts, I will try my luck soon with an Raspberry Pi 4b.
Hopefully I will have more success. The power cable has already an on/off switch innately and documentations are more detailed for beginners.

Have a good time …

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thx for a compliment and wish you a pleasant evening, I am not in any way involved with radxa.

Thailand is really close to radxa, I guess sending it from Thailand is not as expensive as from europe, can’t RADXA repair/exchange you this board for free?

@hipboi I am suggesting and suggesting, you already post in this forum who you are and we need much better customer relationship. I think this user would be good example to start with, repair his board for free or replace it by new/used but working one please

I think one of the key pieces of this puzzle is, AS TOM MENTIONED, the metal box you were trying to install it in, was not made by Radxa. If you feel that use of the box mislead you, you would probably be best advised to take it up with whoever made it or whoever you bought it from.

Now moving forward from here…
First of all, while your picture of the damaged USB-C socket is the absolute worst quality picture I’ve ever seen, it is clear that there are some pads that have been lifted. It is therefore impossible for those pins to be reattached. Now, the nice thing is that that doesn’t mean that the board is useless. It can be repaired. At least to some extent. I don’t know if all the pins required for power supply have been broken off, but I can tell you that your ability to supply it with power has not been broken.

Get yourself a 12V 3A power supply.
If you look right behind the place where the USB socket broke off, there are two components;

  1. 16 pin IC – that is your USB-PD control chip.
  2. Right beside it, a resistor that appears (from your crappy photo) to say “000” on it.

That resistor is what you’re looking for.
You can apply positive 12V on EITHER SIDE OF IT – though preferably on the side closer to the broken off USB socket. You can apply your negative wire to ANY part of the ground plane, which includes the foot mounting holes from the broken off USB socket.

Now obviously doing that, you will lose the actual USB DATA connection. However looking over the damage itself, it looks like the corresponding pads have not actually been damaged. You can see the two traces that come down and shoot off to the right – those are the data pins, and they run to the 6-pin IC immediately right of the socket you broke off. You should be able to hook back in there, since the pads are much bigger. Something like this would be a suitable wire for tapping in to it;

I would however, suggest that you clean everything up before you try powering it on. You made a big mess with your soldering equipment. It is abundantly clear that you are not skilled at handling small pitch pins.

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Yes, but casing is actually not a problem, it is broken USB socket which makes rock unusable and which should not break that easy. Your suggestion is very good but I think he should not do more damage than it already has, he should better let it do by somebody who is more experiencied in those tasks and best would be if he sends it to radxa.

Radxa is not a repair facility. There is nothing they can do to fix it. In fact, in all likelihood, whoever was hired to do the physical manufacturing shipped it directly to the vendor (i.e. allnet) rather than anybody at radxa. You know how circuit board manufacturing and assembly works, don’t you? Someone engineers and designs the board, and sends the specifications to a pcb printer and assembler, who does the actual manufacturing, often even on a different continent.

Which really means that the only option is to either fix it himself, or hire someone to fix it for him. Either will likely need to take the approach I’ve suggested.

And as far as making things worse, hard to make something worse than useless. Chances are that he’s really restricted to the choice of TRY to fix it, or trash it.

I’m not sure what you mean by the case not being the problem. My interpretation is that forced attempts to install the board in the case that it doesn’t fit in were potentially related to weakening the USB socket such that simply inserting the wire was enough to break it off.

I never said they are repair facility but if their board is malfunctioned, which in fact is, as speaker, usb etc… are quite easy to break which is not expected, question arises “Is rock pi market ready?”. Yes I do know how manufacturing/assembly works as well as logististics and product distribution. All that comes with a lot of paper stuff, normally, if you have a problem with a product, you send it to the one who sold you this board or to the company who created this product. If this company is unable to repair (example is like you say no ability) then a company should offer either a new cheaper board or replace the device.

I think good example would be HDD, manufacturer never repairs them as it would cost much, much more than to replace it by a new/used one.

I even did not look at the waranty and if there is any for rock pi4, probably you did not read it too as we both have same problem that we would fix our problems by ourself, but most customers are either not skilled for it or have no proper equipment. Do it yourself means also in most cases that the waranty is gone (if there is any).

So far, yes, it is nice to play with it and before trashing he should either use it or gift it to somebody who actually would have use of it, you would be probably good example :).

As for casing, my interpretation is probably the same which the case manufacturer would say, USB-C broke due to user’s wrong usage, has nothing to do with the case itself. User even says he was always switching it off by disconnecting USB-C on rock side instead of the other side. This is btw something that came to my head as soon as I got my first rock “Never disconnect from USB-C as it might break poorly soldered USB-C”, I even marked all cables so that I really disconnect in case of reassemble.

Same goes for other parts, like SD card slot, press it harder and it breaks. All those things are probably not going to happen to you but it happens as you see to everybody who is not very experienced. On RADXA’s side they clearly can see potential in improvement:

  1. better manufacturing quality
  2. better customer relationship

both are clearly to be pain points of radxa

I agree and do notice an unfortunately high tendency for parts to break off of it.
A good portion of that is, I’m sure, ROHS. Bloody pain in the nutsack when your solder doesn’t stick properly to your components (which is the only way you can have a part break off without also ripping the pad off the board).

can’t RADXA repair/exchange you this board for free?

The situation is, @KhunEbi did not directly buy from us. We are the board manufacturer, which is right but we don’t sell directly to users. We wholesale to distributors such as Allnet and Seeedstudio, they help us managing the retail and RMA.

@KhunEbi

We offer two options for you:

a. Allnet fully refund to you, just through whatever broken away.
b. We send you replace parts and get what you have working.

Please send an email to support@radxa.com, and we will follow it up.

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