messypotamia
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That PI2 unboxing: Unmistakable Odor of fried circuitry?

Sun Feb 15, 2015 4:42 pm

Just got my new PI2 (from element14/newark) yesterday, took it out of its static shielding and there was that unmistakable odor of burned circuitry, like a coil or cap or some component fried. Visual inspection so far looks okay though. (After having been an electronics production test tech in the 70's, and an Avionics bench lab tech in the military, I'm definitely familiar with it, and on rare occasion have been the one that caused it!)
I've gotten a few PI B+ so far and this is the first time I got one that smells like it's seen some trouble.
Anyone else experience this? Can anyone tell me the final testing / burn-in these go through prior to sending them to shipping ... does the manufacturing site use burn-in cabinets prior to shipping?
Thanks / mp

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emgi
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Re: That PI2 unboxing: Unmistakable Odor of fried circuitry?

Sun Feb 15, 2015 4:52 pm

If you unpacked it yesterday then you should know by now whether it's a faulty device or not :idea: :?:

/emgi

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Re: That PI2 unboxing: Unmistakable Odor of fried circuitry?

Sun Feb 15, 2015 6:12 pm

The boards are electrically tested before they are packaged, in a funky machine with lots of conveyors and actuators.
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messypotamia
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Re: That PI2 unboxing: Unmistakable Odor of fried circuitry?

Mon Feb 16, 2015 10:54 pm

emgi wrote:If you unpacked it yesterday then you should know by now whether it's a faulty device or not :idea: :?:

/emgi
I didn't get to powering it up until the next day, and anyway, my questions pertained to if anyone else had noticed this or if they knew of burn-in procedures where these were manufactured. Your comment wasn't helpful.

messypotamia
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Re: That PI2 unboxing: Unmistakable Odor of fried circuitry?

Mon Feb 16, 2015 11:00 pm

jamesh wrote:The boards are electrically tested before they are packaged, in a funky machine with lots of conveyors and actuators.
Thanks. I take your reply as meaning that they are not put in a "burn-in" cabinet (or bench) for final qc.
I was thinking this was in proximity to one that 'fried' as visual inspect yielded nothing suspicious; next day I tested it and it seems fine. Still it's unusual to have that odor of fried circuit board so prominent on something that just arrives as a new product.
//mp

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Re: That PI2 unboxing: Unmistakable Odor of fried circuitry?

Tue Feb 17, 2015 2:42 am

OOI was it a UK made or china made board?

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Re: That PI2 unboxing: Unmistakable Odor of fried circuitry?

Tue Feb 17, 2015 9:04 am

If I recall my electronic manufacturing days, the flow solder obviously contains a lot of heat energy.
The smells from there was distinct, mixture of flux, very hot components and cleaning solvent. Some of that could have been bagged along with the Pi.

Fried components had a variety of smell, transformer windings and armatures smelt different from burnt resistors. And electrolytic capacitors that were reverse mounted had a very weird smell. Packaged chips also had their own smell similar to resistors, but we learned to tell the difference. Most fun were tantalum beads and the mini firework displays that they could make, mostly done deliberately by bored test engineers.
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Re: That PI2 unboxing: Unmistakable Odor of fried circuitry?

Tue Mar 10, 2015 8:05 am

I received my Pi 2 yesterday and even though it works just fine it smells strongly burned. This smell was before I even switched it on.

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Re: That PI2 unboxing: Unmistakable Odor of fried circuitry?

Wed May 13, 2015 10:49 pm

Same here, I got mine a week ago and looks like the Pi 2 works fine (at least for now) but the smell is like it got fried by over voltage.

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Re: That PI2 unboxing: Unmistakable Odor of fried circuitry?

Wed May 13, 2015 11:42 pm

you are smelling the soldering process.

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Re: That PI2 unboxing: Unmistakable Odor of fried circuitry?

Wed May 13, 2015 11:49 pm

I think your pi is fine. What exactly does burned components smell like? . I love my pi 2B and inspected it and it is from China and I know that the pis are made with equal quality. So why did one person ask if the pi 2B was in China or the UK?
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Re: That PI2 unboxing: Unmistakable Odor of fried circuitry?

Thu May 14, 2015 5:58 am

rpiswag wrote:What exactly does burned components smell like? *snip
"Like" is the wrong word here. What do bananas smell like? They smell like bananas.
Burnt circuits or burnt solder mask, or a fried ICs have a unique smell. Burned PCB or the plastics can have a very nasty lingering smell.
One that i am too familiar with, back from my days of salvaging through hole headers/components by melting the solder on the back side with a little butane torch.
My RPi needs a fan, heat will leech into the battery, so people saying I don't need a fan, don't understand how Li-Po batteries are affected by high temps. Cool pi = cool battery.
I would very much so like to see a Pi2/Pi3 Zero, power and size.

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Re: That PI2 unboxing: Unmistakable Odor of fried circuitry?

Thu May 14, 2015 7:06 am

They all smell like that when you first take them out of the bag. They've been through wave solder at 250 centrigrade.

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Re: That PI2 unboxing: Unmistakable Odor of fried circuitry?

Thu May 14, 2015 7:16 am

messypotamia wrote:Just got my new PI2 (from element14/newark) yesterday, took it out of its static shielding and there was that unmistakable odor of burned circuitry, like a coil or cap or some component fried.
That is actually the unmistakable odor of solder 'reflow' or wave soldering tank. Its a very hot process. The odor is NOT electrical burn-in. You are really dating yourself. Its been a long long time ago in a galaxy far far away since I've smelled 'burned' components do to EI through R... :roll:
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Re: That PI2 unboxing: Unmistakable Odor of fried circuitry?

Thu May 14, 2015 7:36 am

messypotamia wrote:
jamesh wrote:The boards are electrically tested before they are packaged, in a funky machine with lots of conveyors and actuators.
Thanks. I take your reply as meaning that they are not put in a "burn-in" cabinet (or bench) for final qc.
I was thinking this was in proximity to one that 'fried' as visual inspect yielded nothing suspicious; next day I tested it and it seems fine. Still it's unusual to have that odor of fried circuit board so prominent on something that just arrives as a new product.
//mp
Since this thread has reactiveated, I'll try to answer this.

There is no 'burn in period' in the factory, I don't think that sort of procedure is used at all in volume manufacturing nowadays - there simply isn't time. The boards go in to a machine, various actuators connect them up, a load of tests are run, and the passes are boxed up. (failure rate is incredibly low btw).

When you are making many thousands per day, there is no time to spend any more time on testing.
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Re: That PI2 unboxing: Unmistakable Odor of fried circuitry?

Thu May 14, 2015 10:20 am

Is the manufacturing process the same for the 2Bs in China and the UK? Does one place or factory do more tests than the other?Are there any other differences besides that some pi 2Bs are made in China and others in the UK?
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Re: That PI2 unboxing: Unmistakable Odor of fried circuitry?

Thu May 14, 2015 10:32 am

I received a parcel from cpc farnell on Tuesday which included a PI 2 and a few bits n bobs and I noticed the inside of the box reeks & the parts contained inside all faintly smell similar.

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Re: That PI2 unboxing: Unmistakable Odor of fried circuitry?

Thu May 14, 2015 10:41 am

rpiswag wrote:Is the manufacturing process the same for the 2Bs in China and the UK? Does one place or factory do more tests than the other?Are there any other differences besides that some pi 2Bs are made in China and others in the UK?
Interesting question. I don't know for sure, but I think the testing done is the same or at least at a similar level between the two sites.
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Re: That PI2 unboxing: Unmistakable Odor of fried circuitry?

Thu May 14, 2015 12:52 pm

jamesh wrote:
rpiswag wrote:Is the manufacturing process the same for the 2Bs in China and the UK? Does one place or factory do more tests than the other?Are there any other differences besides that some pi 2Bs are made in China and others in the UK?
Interesting question. I don't know for sure, but I think the testing done is the same or at least at a similar level between the two sites.
The b+(s) and the 2B(s) I received from Newark have "Made in P.R.C" (which I assumed means People's Republic of China) written on the boxes, as do the boards themselves on one end near the power connector. The boards and the boxes had a faint odor of the manufacturing process (they smelled like new electronics) when first opened but that 'new smell' has long since dissipated. The boards were all clean and I have experienced no failures; although my first noobs SD card (came with the first b+) needed to be re-imaged. None of them have that distinctive pcb electrical hot smell one of us old farts usually associates with power P=EI=heat and, frankly, things are barely 'warm' inside (and I have all of my boards enclosed in the white translucent case(s)). I initially thought I might place tiny fans in each case, but that has been completely unnecessary (and my boards are 'on' 24x7x365 baby).
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Re: That PI2 unboxing: Unmistakable Odor of fried circuitry?

Thu May 14, 2015 6:13 pm

did you try to return it?
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Re: That PI2 unboxing: Unmistakable Odor of fried circuitry?

Thu May 14, 2015 7:10 pm

solar3000 wrote:did you try to return it?
Why would you return boards that are working fine?
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Re: That PI2 unboxing: Unmistakable Odor of fried circuitry?

Thu May 14, 2015 8:08 pm

I just received two new RPi 2B boards. Yes they smelled like they were burnt. But both worked just fine.

All of the latest RasPi boards seem to have this burnt smell.

Basically they just do not get much time between production to boxing them up. The smell just does not have time to go away I guess.
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Re: That PI2 unboxing: Unmistakable Odor of fried circuitry?

Thu May 14, 2015 11:57 pm

jamesh wrote:
solar3000 wrote:did you try to return it?
Why would you return boards that are working fine?
he said it smells funny.
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Re: That PI2 unboxing: Unmistakable Odor of fried circuitry?

Fri May 15, 2015 6:12 am

solar3000 wrote:
jamesh wrote:
solar3000 wrote:did you try to return it?
Why would you return boards that are working fine?
he said it smells funny.
Is that a valid reason to want to return it?

Anyway, we have already established that the smell is normal. All brand new boards will smell like they have been heated up a bit, because, well, they have been heated up a bit ;)

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Re: That PI2 unboxing: Unmistakable Odor of fried circuitry?

Fri May 15, 2015 8:42 am

solar3000 wrote:
jamesh wrote:
solar3000 wrote:did you try to return it?
Why would you return boards that are working fine?
he said it smells funny.
I smell funny, I don't feel I need to be returned.
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