Zero 3W 1GB Manufacturing Error (Burned my hand)

I received a Radxa Zero 3W 1GB no eMMC with an incorrect camera connector component. This is a very serious and urgent quality control issue that Radxa needs to address and recall any affected products, because it prevents use of the camera and causes rapid dangerous overheating when users plug into the connector as the connector suggests.

The correct 22-pin 0.5mm camera connector as documented in the docs and shown in all images of Zero 3W is ‘Top Contact’, meaning that the gold contacts on the FPC cable face away from the board. I received a board with a similar looking but incorrect ‘Bottom Contact’, where the gold contacts face the board (as in Raspberry Pi Zero).
The result is that when the FPC cable from the camera is inserted correctly, no electrical connection is made and thus the camera simply isn’t connected.
If we flip the FPC cable to match the incorrect connector, the (wrong) electrical connections are made. This results in a massive 8+ W energy consumption as soon as any power is supplied and a super-rapid overheating of both the camera and the Zero 3W board. It burned my hand within 2 seconds of plugging in.

I’m using a Raspberry Pi V1.3 compatible OV5647 camera. I have several models, all of which worked perfectly with Raspberry Pi Zero 2W and Radxa Zero 3W 2GB model.

I ordered two Radxa Zero 3W boards, 1GB (no eMMC) and 2GB (16GB eMMC), from Arace on May 25, 2024.

The 2GB board was assembled with the correct components and has been working perfectly. The 1GB board has a different looking camera connector, which turns out to be an incorrect component.

GIF from video of me plugging power into the 1GB model with the camera cable plugged in ‘incorrectly’ to match the wrong connector- I got burned one second after plugging it in. Notice that power goes immediately to 8W (normal operating power is about 2-3W for my application)

I suspect that there was a mistake/ mix-up in the BOM.

In both the official docs and Arace product page, it clearly shows all Zero 3W camera connectors using ‘top contact’, where the gold contacts on the FPC cable face upwards away from the board.

I will be requesting a refund from Arace. I expect Radxa to look into this issue and provide guidance on how I can obtain 1GB models that are free from this defect.

We are investigating this issue. @radxa @Peter.Wang

@tensorturtle I have faced the same issue and managed to solve it and it worked just fine, Alhamdulillah.

The solution was very simple, to remove the black knob completely, then reverse it and use it from backside.

Hi, thank you for the suggestion. It’s interesting that your Radxa Zero 3W unit came with incorrectly installed black tab (knob), but your suggestion was not applicable to my issue. First, my unit’s white camera connector has contacts on only one side, and it’s the opposite side of what is normal (and what you seem to have). I tried your suggestion regardless and the results were the same as before- there was no electrical connection established and actually the black tab doesn’t secure into position if flipped. Thank you for trying to help.

I have received a Zero 3E 1GB version with the same issue. In addition, that board doesn’t boot at all.

@tensorturtle Here are 3 photos from my Dec 2023 ordered Zero 3W 1GB board. I have never used the camera connector on this board. Looks like the correct connector.

flipping your cable is defo no the right solution, that would flip what pin connects to what. you need to use a FPC cable that reverses the direction of the head. so one side connects pins from the bottom and outputs to the top of the cable in the same order.

imo either radax recalls these or makes it a known hw eratta and supplies customers with a fpc cable converter that people can connect their straight csi cables to

for example +