On keyboard replacement and Pinebook Pro fragility
#1
My ANSI keyboard arrived recently (to replace ISO one) along with NVME controller and I thought I would share my experience after mostly gentle disassembly and reassembly. Let's start with effect right after assembly:

1. Both screw standoffs were broken (I guess that's what was making noises since receiving PBP)
2. New keyboard basically did not work -- more than a half of keys did not result in any code, the rest was acting funny ie: key '1' resulted in '1', key '2' resulted in nothing, key '3' resulted in '2', key '4' resulted in nothing, key '5' resulted in '3' etc
3. Daughter board is dead
4. Possibly related to 3. USB2 devices do not work when plugged into USB3 port (forget about external keyboard, mouse or YubiKey). USB3 devices work perfectly fine though.
5. Touchpad did not work

About keyboard:

I was struggling between two options, whether to raise complaint to support or try new firmware. I realized I did not know where keyboard firmware is actually located -- if it's on the main board then it's wrong since it was for ISO keyboard. If firmware is directly on the keyboard then newly arrived keyboard was completely broken. Fortunately installing new firmware helped (after few attempts out of which few ended up in errors). Note that installing firmware is extremely complex if 1) you cannot attach external keyboard (no USB2 devices),  2) your WiFi connects after logging in (no SSH) 3) you cannot login since you don't have any working keyboard.

About daughter board:

that was the only "non-gentle" operation. The cable going into daughter board would not come off no matter what. I used a little force and it turned out the port on daughter port was somewhat broken -- smashed pins on one side. Might be the reason why USB devices worked like 50% of the time in USB2 port. Anyway lesson learnt: if you don't have to unplug something -- don't. Chances of breaking something are too high.

Now not really sure if USB2 devices not working in USB3 port is in any way related to daughter board -- that would be peculiar. Perhaps it's just some shortcoming of device tree file which assumes USB2 availability only if port on daughter board is available? Can someone from Pine sched some light? Unfortunately my usage patterns are way too reliant on YubiKey (PGP, SSH, CR) which identifies as USB2 device. If it is related I'm looking forward to replacements parts availability.

About touchpad:

After replugging a hundred times I did inspect cable joining board and touchpad and turned out one of pins was skewed. After "straightening" it touchpad worked again.


As for good news NVME adapter worked fine from the start with WD Blue SN550.

One thing is for sure: if I every open up PBP again, that would be just for replacing daughter board. Everything inside is just way too fragile.
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#2
I'm sorry to hear that you had that bad of an experience replacing your ISO keyboard with an ANSI! You're not the only one who has complained about broken screw standoffs-the ISO batch of Pinebook Pros had a lot more brittle plastic then the ANSI batch. If possible, I'd contact sales@pine64.org about the daughter board and cable. You are most likely out of warranty, but if you are ambitious you could argue that it was broken from the factory. At the very least, you could probably have a replacement board shipped to you. When I replaced my ANSI keyboard kit with the ANSI version I removed the cable from the motherboard and not the daughter board, so I cannot say the cable is supposed to come out for sure, but I would be surprised if that was not the case. To answer your question: The firmware for the keyboard is stored on the mainboard, and switching keyboard types does brick both the keyboard and the touchpad until you flash the firmware for the ANSI version. Unfortunately, I am not a developer, so I cannot cannot shed much light on the USB problem, but both USB ports have worked just fine for me. I hope this helps!
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#3
Thanks for advice. Unfortunately I was not able to bring daughter board up, hence mailed sales with question about replacement.

One more question -- is this a touchpad firmware thing or have both buttons always resulted in "left click" (button 1) behavior? I'm pretty sure they used to be different but after keyboard replacement both act as button 1.
  Reply
#4
I don't know about the firmware, but I can confirm that originally, at least on my ANSI model, the two buttons do different things.
  Reply
#5
(06-29-2020, 04:52 AM)jpalus Wrote: My ANSI keyboard arrived recently (to replace ISO one) along with NVME controller and I thought I would share my experience after mostly gentle disassembly and reassembly. Let's start with effect right after assembly:

1. ...
2. New keyboard basically did not work ...
3. Daughter board is dead
4. Possibly related to 3. USB2 devices do not work when plugged into USB3 port (forget about external keyboard, mouse or YubiKey). USB3 devices work perfectly fine though.
5. ...

About keyboard:

... I realized I did not know where keyboard firmware is actually located -- if it's on the main board then it's wrong since it was for ISO keyboard. If firmware is directly on the keyboard then newly arrived keyboard was completely broken. Fortunately installing new firmware helped (after few attempts out of which few ended up in errors). Note that installing firmware is extremely complex if 1) you cannot attach external keyboard (no USB2 devices),  2) your WiFi connects after logging in (no SSH) 3) you cannot login since you don't have any working keyboard.


As for good news NVME adapter worked fine from the start with WD Blue SN550.

One thing is for sure: if I every open up PBP again, that would be just for replacing daughter board. Everything inside is just way too fragile.

Thanks for your post. It's very close to home for me. 

I just received a replacement ANSI keyboard because the original board apparently failed outside of warranty. Looking at the keyboard now I'm guessing that the failure is in the firmware you alluded to.

Do you have a link to instructions on how to update the firmware?  Maybe some notes you'd be willing to share?
I can get logged in and slowly do some keyboard input so I may be able to do a firmware flash.

Also, you alluded to using an external USB keyboard. Is that talked about anywhere online?

I really don't want to transfer all of the PBP's components to the new keyboard - I have essential tremor.  If I'd done my homework thoroughly I would have cut my losses.

Thanks
  Reply
#6
(09-15-2020, 09:09 PM)marawuti Wrote:
(06-29-2020, 04:52 AM)jpalus Wrote: My ANSI keyboard arrived recently (to replace ISO one) along with NVME controller and I thought I would share my experience after mostly gentle disassembly and reassembly. Let's start with effect right after assembly:

1. ...
2. New keyboard basically did not work ...
3. Daughter board is dead
4. Possibly related to 3. USB2 devices do not work when plugged into USB3 port (forget about external keyboard, mouse or YubiKey). USB3 devices work perfectly fine though.
5. ...

About keyboard:

... I realized I did not know where keyboard firmware is actually located -- if it's on the main board then it's wrong since it was for ISO keyboard. If firmware is directly on the keyboard then newly arrived keyboard was completely broken. Fortunately installing new firmware helped (after few attempts out of which few ended up in errors). Note that installing firmware is extremely complex if 1) you cannot attach external keyboard (no USB2 devices),  2) your WiFi connects after logging in (no SSH) 3) you cannot login since you don't have any working keyboard.


As for good news NVME adapter worked fine from the start with WD Blue SN550.

One thing is for sure: if I every open up PBP again, that would be just for replacing daughter board. Everything inside is just way too fragile.

Thanks for your post. It's very close to home for me. 

I just received a replacement ANSI keyboard because the original board apparently failed outside of warranty. Looking at the keyboard now I'm guessing that the failure is in the firmware you alluded to.

Do you have a link to instructions on how to update the firmware?  Maybe some notes you'd be willing to share?
I can get logged in and slowly do some keyboard input so I may be able to do a firmware flash.

Also, you alluded to using an external USB keyboard. Is that talked about anywhere online?

I really don't want to transfer all of the PBP's components to the new keyboard - I have essential tremor.  If I'd done my homework thoroughly I would have cut my losses.

Thanks

  On this Forum :

There are extensive discussions on the keyboard firmware in posts early this year, 
      ( there is even more than one choice of firmware that will work.)

   I believe the firmware is stored on the keyboard itself.

 As there is only one replacement mainboard,   not different ISO and ANSI versions.

There is even at least one post detailing step by step,  the installation of a new keyboard.

There is a lot of very useful information here,  just sometimes you must dig-in a bit to find it.
  Reply


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