[N2+] All 4 USB ports not working - yet another new case

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paulcrawford
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[N2+] All 4 USB ports not working - yet another new case

Post by paulcrawford »

I seem to have gotten the same issue as many others. My N2+ is a 2006 production run and has been working essentially 24/7 since last August. This morning suddenly the USB ports are not working.

This is a photo of the board. There does not seem to be any obvious damage to Q1 or Q2.
IMG_1116.jpeg
IMG_1116.jpeg (1.71 MiB) Viewed 384 times
I have checked both the 5.0V rail and 3.3V rail and both are fine. Ethernet is working so I can ssh in. The N2+ runs headless so I cannot comment on the HDMI port.

The lsusb results are below. They are identical whether or not there is a USB device plugged into the board

Code: Select all

$ lsusb
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0003 Linux Foundation 3.0 root hub
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
$ lsusb -t
/:  Bus 02.Port 1: Dev 1, Class=root_hub, Driver=xhci-hcd/1p, 5000M
/:  Bus 01.Port 1: Dev 1, Class=root_hub, Driver=xhci-hcd/2p, 480M
I have already ordered another N2+ about four weeks ago from CorpShadow in Canada (just to have a spare, not because of this issue) but of course right now they are out of stock pending the delivery of the new February production run.

As with the other people with the same issue, is there something that can be done to repair the board?

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Re: [N2+] All 4 USB ports not working - yet another new case

Post by odroid »

I think the hub controller IC GL3253 could be damaged since two essential voltage sources are fine.
Can you check VBUS 5V rail on the USB 3.0 ports with a DMM?
Which USB devices had connected to the N2+?

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Re: [N2+] All 4 USB ports not working - yet another new case

Post by paulcrawford »

The voltage on the USB ports is about 200mV on three of them and about 10mV on top port of the pair without the QC label.

There were three devices normally connected: two WaveShare USB to RS485 converters with an FTDI chip and a USBTiny chip programmer all via a powered USB hub. They were connected directly before.

Is it possible to repair or replace the GL3253 chip or does the whole SBC need to be replaced?

Other than the USB ports everything I need to work is fine, but I do need the USB ports to collect data on the RS485 network.

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Re: [N2+] All 4 USB ports not working - yet another new case

Post by odroid »

If USB host ports VBUS have no 5Volt output, the hub controller IC or load switch ICs could be broken.
If you ship the board to us, we will try replacing the components.

BTW, since you don't use any USB 3.0 super-speed devices, an OTG-to-Host cable or OTG-to-hub adapter could be a quick&dirty workaround.
https://www.amazon.com/StarTech-com-5in ... 00B4GGW5Q/
https://www.amazon.com/MakerSpot-Access ... B01JL837X8
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paulcrawford (Wed Mar 03, 2021 8:07 pm)

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Re: [N2+] All 4 USB ports not working - yet another new case

Post by paulcrawford »

@odroid

I did get an OTG adapter and it is working perfectly with a 4 port USB 2.0 travel hub (Belkin F4U029) for my three USB 2.0 devices.

Although it is a quick and dirty solution it does do the job so there is probably no need to have the repair done.

I did notice that others with the same issue were offered an RMA. I would go that route once I get my new spare N2+ from CorpShadow, but only if it would help HardKernel to determine what the issue with the 4 USB 3.0 ports. In other words, I cannot send my present N2+ back right now since it is being used and is completely functional for my use case with the OTG port for USB 2.0, but once I get my spare I could return it to CorpShadow under an RMA if you want to inspect it.

Do you have any updates on when CorpShadow might be receiving their latest shipment of N2+ machines? BTW I only need the 2Gb model for my use case.

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Re: [N2+] All 4 USB ports not working - yet another new case

Post by odroid »

There seems to be 3-4 RMAs almost every month while we've shipped a few thousands of N2+ boards every month.
But we still couldn't figure out clearly what breaks the USB circuitry yet. :(
We just added a couple of protection components to the board from early this year. We need a few more months to confirm if there is any improvement or not.

The next N2+ 2GB model production batch will be ready to ship 2~3 weeks later.
Since we haven't accepted any preorder, distributors probably need 4~5 weeks to start selling the next batch.
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paulcrawford (Fri Mar 05, 2021 12:08 pm)

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Re: [N2+] All 4 USB ports not working - yet another new case

Post by Lost Dog »

odroid wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 11:01 am
There seems to be 3-4 RMAs almost every month while we've shipped a few thousands of N2+ boards every month.
But we still couldn't figure out clearly what breaks the USB circuitry yet. :(
We just added a couple of protection components to the board from early this year. We need a few more months to confirm if there is any improvement or not.

The next N2+ 2GB model production batch will be ready to ship 2~3 weeks later.
Since we haven't accepted any preorder, distributors probably need 4~5 weeks to start selling the next batch.
Are most the failures on the 2GB version or also the 4GB? I've been planning to pick up the 4GB once it's back in stock but with so many failures being seen I'm thinking of looking at other options. My C2 has been flawless for several years which is why I've been looking at the N2+ for a Kodi frontend.

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Re: [N2+] All 4 USB ports not working - yet another new case

Post by odroid »

The failure rate are very similar between 2G and 4G models.

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Re: [N2+] All 4 USB ports not working - yet another new case

Post by cbreak »

Hi @paulcrawford

Could you take a photo for your N2+ connected with OTG adapter + Hub + USB devices?
Does the solution require an external 5V power adapter? Thank you.

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Re: [N2+] All 4 USB ports not working - yet another new case

Post by paulcrawford »

Hi @cbreak

Here are the photos:
This shows the back of the N2+ where the micro USB end of the OTG cable connects:
IMG_1122.jpeg
IMG_1122.jpeg (60.09 KiB) Viewed 222 times
This shows the female USB connection of the OTG cable connecting to the output of the USB hub:
IMG_1123.jpeg
IMG_1123.jpeg (32.94 KiB) Viewed 222 times
This shows the 7 port USB 2.0 Belkin hub with the three USB devices connected (the left connection is the 5VDC input power):
IMG_1124.jpeg
IMG_1124.jpeg (32.14 KiB) Viewed 222 times
This shows the AC to 5VDC adapter for power to the hub:
IMG_1125.jpeg
IMG_1125.jpeg (24.84 KiB) Viewed 222 times
This shows the originally connected 4 port unpowered travel hub (one port on it turned out to be faulty so I switched to the powered hub above):
IMG_1126.jpeg
IMG_1126.jpeg (18.42 KiB) Viewed 222 times
Although I am now using a 5V power adapter, the unpowered hub did work on two of the three connections I made to it. I suspect that moving the one device from the faulty port to the fourth port would have probably worked but I had the power hub sitting around so I used it rather than fiddling with the unpowered hub.
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cbreak (Fri Mar 12, 2021 10:25 am)

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Re: [N2+] All 4 USB ports not working - yet another new case

Post by cbreak »

@paulcrawford

Thank you very much. :)

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