Recycling(or Fixing) Odroids

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Recycling(or Fixing) Odroids

Post by crazyquark »

Hi all,
I have a somewhat weird request; I have 2 defunct Odroids:
- An Odroid-HC1 which died a horrible death due to water damage and which I clumsily tried to fix only to further destroy(I dislodged a tiny resistor and lost it..)
- A Odroid-C2 that no longer boots, I suspect a defect somewhere in the I/O part of the chip - I tried multiple distros, including the official one, the first symptom was the network being disconnected, it would recover for a while and then die again(ethernet that is), after flashing a few OSes it started to not even get to the kernel boot. Maybe heat damage, I don't know... this is recent, happened this past days.

I would like, if possible, to send these back to Hardkernel where they might get some love either by being repaired or properly recycled. Is that possible?
I will pay for shipping.

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Re: Recycling(or Fixing) Odroids

Post by L67GS »

Have you considered donating them to your local technical school for use in their electronics class?

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Re: Recycling(or Fixing) Odroids

Post by mad_ady »

They might be of interest to somebody that has repair skills and more time than money... Hard to say who that demographic is... I used to be part of it, except I lack repair skills and now, time :(
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Re: Recycling(or Fixing) Odroids

Post by mctom »

Hi! Glad to help you fixing that, or accept a donation. :) I watch auction sites every day in search for SBCs to fix, or at least salvage parts from. I just hate throwing stuff away. Too bad most broken SBCs on the market are Raspberry Pis.

About HC1, the water damage could have destroyed many things, but with a little luck it might be just a power supply malfunction. Don't worry about the missing resistor, that is not a problem at all with open source hardware :)
What kind of fix did you attempt on it?
In the worst case, well, an organ donor surely won't hurt. :)

The problem with C2 sounds familiar. I got a few XU4s for repair that acted weirdly and were deemed broken. It turned out that - most probably - an Android distribution working on them has written garbage to LAN controller at some point and LAN stopped working forever. I "fixed" that by gaining access through a USB-ethernet dongle and issuing one command. Can't remember what that was, but I explained the process on this forum somewhere.
How do you know it doesn't boot anymore? Nothing on HDMI output, or something else?
If it indeed stopped booting and the problem has gradually progressed in its severity, that's probably not the heat issue. All SoCs and CPUs these days are hard to overheat anyway, throttling is a reliable way of keeping CPUs safe.
Hard to tell. I always begin the diagnose with checking all voltages or seeking hot elements. That is usually enough to find a fault, and without it it's very hard to speculate.
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Re: Recycling(or Fixing) Odroids

Post by odroid »

Due to the high labor cost of engineers, the cost of debugging/repairing hardware is much higher than buying a new board.

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Re: Recycling(or Fixing) Odroids

Post by crazyquark »

mctom wrote:
Thu May 20, 2021 4:37 am
Hi! Glad to help you fixing that, or accept a donation. :) I watch auction sites every day in search for SBCs to fix, or at least salvage parts from. I just hate throwing stuff away. Too bad most broken SBCs on the market are Raspberry Pis.

About HC1, the water damage could have destroyed many things, but with a little luck it might be just a power supply malfunction. Don't worry about the missing resistor, that is not a problem at all with open source hardware :)
What kind of fix did you attempt on it?
In the worst case, well, an organ donor surely won't hurt. :)

The problem with C2 sounds familiar. I got a few XU4s for repair that acted weirdly and were deemed broken. It turned out that - most probably - an Android distribution working on them has written garbage to LAN controller at some point and LAN stopped working forever. I "fixed" that by gaining access through a USB-ethernet dongle and issuing one command. Can't remember what that was, but I explained the process on this forum somewhere.
How do you know it doesn't boot anymore? Nothing on HDMI output, or something else?
If it indeed stopped booting and the problem has gradually progressed in its severity, that's probably not the heat issue. All SoCs and CPUs these days are hard to overheat anyway, throttling is a reliable way of keeping CPUs safe.
Hard to tell. I always begin the diagnose with checking all voltages or seeking hot elements. That is usually enough to find a fault, and without it it's very hard to speculate.
Hi,
Hey, sounds great!
I'll PM you.

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Re: Recycling(or Fixing) Odroids

Post by crazyquark »

mad_ady wrote:
Thu May 20, 2021 1:28 am
They might be of interest to somebody that has repair skills and more time than money... Hard to say who that demographic is... I used to be part of it, except I lack repair skills and now, time :(
That's my story as well, I mean I can solder some stuff and I built some simple PCBs but micro-soldering or debugging.... no way.

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Re: Recycling(or Fixing) Odroids

Post by crazyquark »

odroid wrote:
Thu May 20, 2021 10:02 am
Due to the high labor cost of engineers, the cost of debugging/repairing hardware is much higher than buying a new board.
Sad to hear. Maybe with the chip shortages we will be more open to repairing, who knows.

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Re: Recycling(or Fixing) Odroids

Post by mctom »

Easy, buddy. I agree that fixing these Odroids is not feasible in terms of costs, as @odroid pointed out. I am engineer in cheaper country than Korea and still it doesn't make much sense cost-wise.
Fixing stuff is my hobby and rarely pays off even if I sell some fixed boards. I also like to share my knowledge and avoid throwing things away, both of which are deeply rooted in my beliefs for a better future of the planet :)
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Re: Recycling(or Fixing) Odroids

Post by mctom »

First of all, I'd like to cast full sized Kudos at @crazyquark for doing the right thing with his malfunctioning computers. Thanks, buddy, I'll do my best!
I got a parcel with both computers and although I will have more time for this in the following days, I couldn't help the temptation to tinker with C2 real quick.

The symptoms of C2 are as follows:
- After turning the power on, it draws about 100-120mA for about 5 seconds, then it falls back to 80mA indefinitely, until the next power cycle.
- It appears to do the same with and without SD card (and eMMC module, but It doesn't contain a valid image for this unit).
- All voltages from the vast number of regulators seems to be fine
- The red LED is solid on, the other one never turns on
- Amber led on Ethernet port flashes regularly for the most part, but sometimes does irregular, short flashes, as if something was disrupting its normal work

I tried to remove the heatsink to get a better look at the board, but it seems to be fixed using a two-sided adhesive tape. Any tips how to remove that without the chips? I've seen broken Pis with a memory chip ripped off along with a heatsink.
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Re: Recycling(or Fixing) Odroids

Post by mctom »

Taking a closer look at the broken C2...

I managed to take off its heatsink gently. Taped?
The marks on the tape show that it had contact with shorter edges of RAM chips and edges of SOC - there was an air bubble trapped over SOC, I think.

It seems to draw exactly 100mA of current @ 5V. Previously reported 120mA->80mA is valid only when the Ethernet cable is plugged in.
There's nothing on the UART output.

Now onto Scope-poking:

Power rails:
- VDDIO_AO3V3 = 3.25V
- VDDIO_AO1V8 = 1.78V
- DDR3_1V5 = 1.47V
- VDD_EE = 1.00V (SOC expects 1V Typ., Buck divider set to 1.1V +- a tiny bit, depending what VDDEE_PWM does)
- VDDEE_PWM ~1V, appears to be floating
- VCCK = 1.03V (SOC expects 1V Typ.) (VCCK_CON = 3.25V, VCCK_PWM = 1.03V, appears floating)
- VCC1V8 = 1.8V
- TF_IO = 3.25V (Selected by TF_3V3N_1V8_EN = 0.45V <- That's an odd value for logical low)
- TFLASH_VDD = 3.25V (TFLASH_VDD_EN = 3.25V)
- Q4 is on and conducting: VCC3V3 = 3.25V
All voltages seem to be correct, but all input signals are floating - they come from the CPU, right?

LAN:
- X1 (LAN crystal) works, 25MHz

USB:
- X2 (USB crystal) doesn't work, although there is 3V3 on XTAL2 output
- HUB_AVDD = 3.3V
- PSELF = 1 (Self powered)
- PGANG = 1 (Gang mode selected, Currently suspended)
- OVCUR1 = 1 (Active Low)
- RESET# = 1 (Active Low)
It appears that USB is simply in Suspend Mode.

SOC:
- X3 (SOC base clock) doesn't work, no voltages whatsoever -> doesn't even try
- U22 (Reset controller?): Input - 3.25V, output - 2.79V.
Output goes to SOC's RESET_N. It may be off 3V3, because it's externally pulled up, and internally pulled down.
Shorting it up or down doesn't do anything.

HDMI:
Q2: On and conducting (HDMI_CEC)
Q6: On and conducting (HDMITX_AVDD33)

Whoa that was a lot of poking.
I guess we may safely conclude that the CPU is misbehaving - It has all power supplies it needs, but doesn't do as little as generate its own base clock or drive any GPIOs.
If the "air bubble" theory is correct, SoC may have rapidly changed its temperature with varying load and cracked a lead-free BGA ball underneath it.
Sadly, all my experiences with reballing were complete disasters :lol: , so what I'm gonna do is reflow it with generous flux bath.
IF it works, a bigger heatsink should protect it from future failures.
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Re: Recycling(or Fixing) Odroids

Post by mad_ady »

What a nice post mortem eulogy. Time to bring the xray scope I guess...

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Re: Recycling(or Fixing) Odroids

Post by mctom »

I don't see anything wrong with that. Even if I won't be able to fix them, at least I'll provide some data for others who wish to try fixing their units.
Also I've learned a lot by studying that computer and its schematic. That's important in my trade!

Now, onto the HC1...
crazyquark wrote:
Wed May 19, 2021 4:00 pm
- An Odroid-HC1 which died a horrible death due to water damage and which I clumsily tried to fix only to further destroy(I dislodged a tiny resistor and lost it..)
I'm not sure where are the traces of repairs and a missing component, but if I had to guess it was somewhere around here..
PMIC_bottom.jpg
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@crazyquark, could you elaborate on your attempt to fix this board?

The difficulty with HC1 is that the components are not identifiable with silkscreen, it calls for deeper understanding of the board before I even attempt to poke it with the scope...
Anyway, both Exynos and PMIC seem to be glued into the PCB with some sort of dark matter (?), so probably replacing either of these will be out of question.

The baseline situation is: The board draws 2mA and red LED glows on it.
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Re: Recycling(or Fixing) Odroids

Post by crazyquark »

Hey! Thank you again for doing this. Well, what happened there(on the HC1) is I tried to clean it with isopropyl alcohol... vigorously(this was after the water incident) and knocked off a component... or two. I think you can see in the picture the solder pads where the resistor(?) used to be. The red LED worked even before my attempts at cleaning it but nothing would happen, there was nothing on the serial console upon powering it up so I can probably assume the CPU would not get proper power... maybe?

About the C2: I think I mentioned this before, at first it was just the network that would misbehave, I would lose connectivity but the serial console showed the device was still running it just did not have an IP address anymore.

After trying multiple OSes(on both eMMC and sd card) it started to fail booting. The serial console did most of the time get stuck at doing something with the RAM, like setting voltages or frequency? I really did not understand what was going on but the randomness of the behavior made me thing it was some heat issue that made it unpredictable. It is not completely dead it just no longer reaches the point where it boots the kernel.

I did not mess with the cooling on the C2, it was stock.

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Re: Recycling(or Fixing) Odroids

Post by mctom »

crazyquark wrote:
Fri Jun 04, 2021 4:49 am
Well, what happened there(on the HC1) is I tried to clean it with isopropyl alcohol... vigorously(this was after the water incident) and knocked off a component... or two. I think you can see in the picture the solder pads where the resistor(?) used to be.
Are you sure you did knock off any components?
Sometimes there are just pads left for a component that is not supposed to be fitted in the final product.
You can see on the schematic some components are expected to be absent.
scrn-2021-06-03-22-14-42.png
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Anyway, I'll compare the board with some photos online. I imagine this is going to be hard to find any photos of the bottom side of the board. Any help would be appreciated.

Right now the board consumes so little power it surely doesn't do anything more than powering the LED. I fear the omnipotent chip with multiple Buck converters might be dead - I can't think of a reason why, though.
Water has quite a significant resistance and doesn't do hard short-circuits. Instead, it lowers the resistance of resistors (by connecting additional resistance in parallel), which might for example change the output voltage of voltage converter. This voltage converter, however, has no resistor dividers to provide feedback.
Another problem is corrosion that may cause additional problems, but you did the right thing and cleaned the board with alcohol.
I'll look into it and report back.
crazyquark wrote:
Fri Jun 04, 2021 4:49 am
About the C2: I think I mentioned this before, at first it was just the network that would misbehave, I would lose connectivity but the serial console showed the device was still running it just did not have an IP address anymore.
I was hoping to see anything in the serial console like you said, but the unit is dead. I suspect it had some troubles generating steady clock, and thus the network connection was unstable. Right now, the board has no problems whatsoever, except the SOC doesn't generate clock. I'm thinking about injecting an external clock into it, and see what happens.
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Re: Recycling(or Fixing) Odroids

Post by mctom »

OK that wasn't too hard to find photos:
viewtopic.php?t=27919
And indeed one capacitor is missing. :)
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Re: Recycling(or Fixing) Odroids

Post by crazyquark »

mctom wrote:
Fri Jun 04, 2021 5:39 am
OK that wasn't too hard to find photos:
viewtopic.php?t=27919
And indeed one capacitor is missing. :)
Nice! You found it. Even with that component restored it will probably still not do anything interesting.

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Re: Recycling(or Fixing) Odroids

Post by mctom »

The tricky part is to find out its original value. :D I think I'll just guess its capacity and voltage rating.
Sure, lack of this capacitor shouldn't render the whole board dead.

I haven't poked around this board just yet, but my initial guesses are that either power management IC doesn't get any power (optimistic scenario), or that it does nothing even supplied with correct voltages (a death sentence).
That IC also has some reset signal inputs, so maybe it's just held in reset state? Too many questions, but one answer is clear that PMIC does nothing for now.

Oh, and I read that both PMIC and SoC are glued with epoxy to enhance reliability, so replacing them is out of question really :D
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Re: Recycling(or Fixing) Odroids

Post by mctom »

Okay, back to pokin' :)

So basically the reason why HC1 drew so few current was that I used poor power supply cable :oops: Never use dodgy $0.33 cables with crocodile clips for stuff like that :D
I saw power supply voltage dips down to 4V, no wonder it didn't want to run at all.

Now, with a proper cable, HC1 seems to draw 200mA for about 1 second, then it drops back to 0. During this short period, green LED glows as well. Red "PWR" LED is on all the time.

The green one must be an "ACT" LED, despite the schematic says it should be red. :)

With SD card with Armbian on board, the current draw went up to 400mA, and slowly climbing (about 1mA per 2 seconds). This could be associated with components heat-up, as I don't have any heatsink on Exynos right now.
With Ethernet plugged in, extra 50mA is being drawn.

All crystal oscillators seem to work, except the one that can be seen on the photo above - it does nothing, and I still think it's an RTC crystal working at 2^16 Hz.

Exynos is getting hot alright, and the fact that SD card changes anything means this SBC is not in the worst shape at all.

I mounted the board back onto its heatsink to prevent Exynos from reaching its boiling point.
I let it run for a few minutes to see if anything happens, but not really. Out of peculiarities let's observe just a few:

With SD card and Ethernet cable plugged in:
- "Alive" LED is always off
- "PWR" and "ACT" (?) LEDs are always on
- Current draw swings around 440-460mA
- Exynos appears to be the major heat dissipator (definitely hotter than PMIC)
- There's no output on UART console port. It might be broken, because I learned my mistake AFTER I connected a 3V3 USB-RS232 cable to it (Exynos-based boards have 1V8 GPIO levels). Not sure if that was fatal in any way.
- 5V SATA supply is off,
- RTC XTAL doesn't do anything
- There ale many different voltages around the board. I've seen 3V3 and 0.9V for sure, so PMIC generally works. I poked many Exynos caps and all sem to have reasonable voltages on them.
- The missing capacitor seems to have been connected to 3V3, but this voltage looks flat as a table without it - I don't think this causes any troubles at this point.

-What I believe is VDDQ_MMC2 initially stays at voltage level of about 2.7V, but after a second or so it jumps up to 3V3 and stays there. It seems to be a voltage regulated by Exynos directly. It is used only to pull up SD card data and CMD lines, so it surely did no harm.
- If I'm correct, VDD_SD_2V8 behaves exactly the same as VDDQ_MMC2
- Nevertheless, data transfer can be seen on data lines of SD card, for a split second after turining on power supply. Hmm, maybe the image is bad?

(TBC)

Many thanks for help goes to Mr Knox. :)
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Re: Recycling(or Fixing) Odroids

Post by mad_ady »

- There's no output on UART console port. It might be broken, because I learned my mistake AFTER I connected a 3V3 USB-RS232 cable to it (Exynos-based boards have 1V8 GPIO levels). Not sure if that was fatal in any way.
On XU4 this mistake kills ethernet, usb (and possibly HDMI), but not the soc itself. And only if you transmit 3.3V via UART. The UART itself used to still work once you return to acceptable levels.

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Re: Recycling(or Fixing) Odroids

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mad_ady wrote:
Mon Jun 07, 2021 2:57 am
- There's no output on UART console port. It might be broken, because I learned my mistake AFTER I connected a 3V3 USB-RS232 cable to it (Exynos-based boards have 1V8 GPIO levels). Not sure if that was fatal in any way.
On XU4 this mistake kills ethernet, usb (and possibly HDMI), but not the soc itself. And only if you transmit 3.3V via UART. The UART itself used to still work once you return to acceptable levels.
Well, I connected only GND, TX and RX, I left 3V3 unconnected. So maybe that won't be as bad?
Unless @crazyquark tried that before me. :D

The Ethernet works as much as glowing amber light when I plug in the cable. It also runs its own 1V2 Buck converter and I confirmed that it is still working.
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Re: Recycling(or Fixing) Odroids

Post by crazyquark »

Hey, nice progress!
I only used the official UART cable from Hardkernel so I doubt I did any damage there…


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Re: Recycling(or Fixing) Odroids

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mctom, where did you get the barrel plug breakout? Those are slick, I'd like to get a set.

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Re: Recycling(or Fixing) Odroids

Post by mctom »

crazyquark wrote:
Tue Jun 08, 2021 7:41 pm
Hey, nice progress!
I only used the official UART cable from Hardkernel so I doubt I did any damage there…
Thanks bro. :)

You mean this one?
https://www.hardkernel.com/shop/usb-uart-module-kit/
In that case no damage should have happened.
I guess I'll have to explore the other side of the board to find a possible damage. Or actually try some other SD card image.
L67GS wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 1:13 am
mctom, where did you get the barrel plug breakout? Those are slick, I'd like to get a set.
I get them in a local shop, but there are tons of stuff like that on Aliexpress.
I definitely prefer plugs with screw terminals for prototyping whenever possible. I also have female barrels and 3,5mm audio jacks with breakouts like that.
http://pl.aliexpress.com/wholesale?catI ... plug+screw
http://pl.aliexpress.com/wholesale?catI ... w+terminal
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L67GS (Wed Jun 09, 2021 7:10 am)
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Post by crazyquark »

mctom wrote:
You mean this one?
https://www.hardkernel.com/shop/usb-uart-module-kit/
In that case no damage should have happened.
I guess I'll have to explore the other side of the board to find a possible damage. Or actually try some other SD card image.
Yes, that one.

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