Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
FP Zero won't turn on
#1
So I'm brand new at this and the Freeplay Zero is my first build. I did some practice soldering for fun on a few kits, but overall it was...an adventure to solder the GPIO header onto the board. Anyway. I've been following the build guide + a few youtube videos, got to the point where I plugged in the ribbon cable, soldered the raspberry pi zero w, attached it, plugged it in, and...nothing.

When I plug the USB cable into the Freeplay Zero, it turns green (the light on the back). I've also plugged the battery (the perfect fit one) in at some point and the same light's blue (charging). I've found when I plug in the USB cord, the power light on the front flashes red and then disappears - like the battery is super dead and it's only barely able to pull together enough energy for that. So I'm not entirely sure what's going on.

I've attached a couple pictures of the raspberry pi zero because I'm guessing that's where the problem is. I managed somehow I think to solder it a bit crooked (you can see a tiny bit of space between the header and the board on the right side?). Logic dictates that's where the problem is, but I don't know enough to be sure.

OH I have the microSD card in there. Downloaded the file from Drive, the one that ends in like, 2002 or something (Retropie 4.4 on the change log). Used balenaEtcher to burn it to the SD, the boot part shows up on the PC when the microSD card is inserted.

I haven't had a chance to hook the Pi Zero W up to a monitor/test it that way. I mostly inherited a bunch of stuff when my Dad died so the more I do the more I realize I'm missing, and a screen not already hooked up to a raspberry pi of some sort is one of those.

Please let me know if there's any other info you need! I have another Raspberry Pi Zero W coming in a week or so, and I really would like to make this project work. I'm just really lost and not sure how to move forward.


Attached Files Thumbnail(s)
       
Reply
#2
Hey Nohika!

First, if you haven't already, check through all the pertinent stuff at
http://freeplaytech.com/troubleshooting

As you already have suspected, the solder on your Pi doesn't look great.  I would definitely suspect that it's likely at fault.  There could be other things going on, though.  If you can connect the Pi to HDMI without hooking the Pi to the Freeplay Zero main board, then we can make sure the Pi and the SD card are functioning properly.  If you can't, then I feel like we'd want to focus on gettin the soldering fixed up.

The good news is that it's very fixable.  There's a pretty good/extensive guide here that'd I'd recommend that you check out.
https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-guid...g?view=all

This PDF guide from Seeed Studio is also pretty good.  "13 Common PCB Soldering Problems to Avoid"

.pdf   13 Common PCB Soldering Problems to Avoid | Seeed Studio Blog - SMALL.pdf (Size: 606.87 KB / Downloads: 0)

Based on your photo:
- Make sure your iron is hot enough (400C give or take a bit)
- Get a wet sponge (or paper towel or whatever) and clean the tip of your iron (when fully hot) after each solder joint
- Make sure the solder wicks down into the joint (into the PCB hole).  If the solder is like a ball/mushroom on top of the pin/board, it's not wicking.

Let us know what you find out or if you have some luck re-doing the solder.
Card Fighters' Clash 2 English Translation ( http://cfc2english.blogspot.com/ )
Neo Geo Pocket Flash Cart and Linker Project ( http://www.flashmasta.com/ )
Avatar art thanks to Trev-Mun ( http://trevmun.deviantart.com/ )
Reply
#3
(08-21-2019, 11:32 AM)nohika Wrote: I've attached a couple pictures of the raspberry pi zero because I'm guessing that's where the problem is. I managed somehow I think to solder it a bit crooked (you can see a tiny bit of space between the header and the board on the right side?). Logic dictates that's where the problem is, but I don't know enough to be sure.

Hey there! 

If I may add my 2 cents here.

Based on the pictures that you have provided, it would seem to me that there might be a couple of problems with the quality of solder work as you have suspected. I can spot many cold solder joints, etc.

Some suggestions:

  1. Make sure that your soldering tip is reaching between 360 and 390 degrees Celsius. This is my favorite range, and has worked excellent for me.
  2. Use flux. This will make sure that the solder sticks and flows perfectly between the pin and the hole.
  3. Depending on the condition of your solder tip, you might need to clean it and recondition it. An oxide surface will not allow the solder to melt at the proper temperature because it acts as an insulation, and also an oxide surface will not make your solder "wet", the solder will not stick to your tip, so you get really bad soldering work. Heat up your solder, and clean it using a brass wool, make sure that all the oxide gets cleaned. You might also use ultra fine sand paper if the oxide it too stubborn (but let it cook before you touch the tip), fine enough to remove it with some work, and fine enough not to damage the tip or leave marks. Then you would need to heat your tip to 250 degree Celsius and reflow your tip with solder. This creates the protective layer. Let it cool. Then crank to 360 to 390 to work. Make sure to clean as often as possible your tip while working, don't let the tip have an oxide layer. A brass wool it not the same as the kitchen steel wool, steel will destroy your tip.
I use a professional Hakko soldering station, so I am well experienced in cleaning, reconditioning and take care of those expensive tips.

The solder work on your board needs to be reworked. 
Even if you get a new board, don't attempt anything on it after you have gotten enough practice with the old one. 
At last resort, you can buy a board with presoldered headers or get those solderless headers that you hammer in.

Here is some useful info: Soldering ProblemsWeller Guide, Digikey Guide.

Hoping this helps!

Quick edit: The crocked header is not a problem that will cause you to have connection failure. This will cause an inappropriate misalignment between the boards and the case, where other components can make the problem bigger. But not a connection failure.
Reply
#4
Thanks, both of you. Smile

@Flavor, I tried plugging it into the TV (HDMI) and all that happened was it got hot. The TV definitely recognized something was there, because it actually let me select the HDMI slot I plugged into, but nothing booted. There's a decent chance I fried it I think (at least according to the internet). Whoops. Thank you so much for the links! I think between them and some practice I should be better for round two. At least I'm only out 10$ and time (theoretically).

@luisito, Would it be worth desoldering the joints to re-solder them for practice? (if the board actually did fry itself) I got some desoldering braid and some flux and want to learn how to use it.

Is there a way to get like, a board to practice on and just solder and solder for fun? (So to speak) I've tried googling but I don't know if I know the right terminology.

(I did also get an email today that the Zeros w Headers are back in stock so I did get one of those to make my life easier. But, I still want to learn how to do this.)
Reply
#5
If it got hot, I would suspect maybe a bridge that is connecting 2 (or more) pins.

To practice, maybe I would try to get a plated perf board something like this (https://www.ebay.com/itm/1pc-Double-side...Sw8bpajL6F) but there are plenty of others out there.

Get some header pins and get a couple female sockets (or a breadboard). It's helpful to plug the pins into a socket/breadboard before soldering. Then they won't drift around when they get hot.

I've had good luck with this seller:
https://www.ebay.com/str/MDFLY?_trksid=p2047675.l2563

And he will combine shipping if you ask. Here are some items to check out.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/2x20-POS-2-0mm-...7701!US!-1

https://www.ebay.com/sch/m.html?_odkw=&_...d&_sacat=0

https://www.ebay.com/sch/m.html?_odkw=2x...0&_sacat=0
Card Fighters' Clash 2 English Translation ( http://cfc2english.blogspot.com/ )
Neo Geo Pocket Flash Cart and Linker Project ( http://www.flashmasta.com/ )
Avatar art thanks to Trev-Mun ( http://trevmun.deviantart.com/ )
Reply
#6
(08-23-2019, 06:15 AM)nohika Wrote: @luisito, Would it be worth desoldering the joints to re-solder them for practice? (if the board actually did fry itself) I got some desoldering braid and some flux and want to learn how to use it.

Is there a way to get like, a board to practice on and just solder and solder for fun? (So to speak) I've tried googling but I don't know if I know the right terminology.

(I did also get an email today that the Zeros w Headers are back in stock so I did get one of those to make my life easier. But, I still want to learn how to do this.)

If you got a few spare change to spend, then I would recommend to get a couple of prototype pcbs and a few 40 pin headers. And just practice soldering the headers into the pcbs. Both parts are inexpensive at aliexpress for example.

Definitely worth to reuse your pi 0, even if it is just for the sole purpose of learning. From your pictures, inly the soldering needs improvement, so the board should still work.

But before you practice, make sure your equipment is working properly. Like I mention before, your soldering iron may not be clean or not reaching proper temperature.  Big Grin

Good luck and have fun! Tongue
Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)