Keyboard types random characters
#1
After receiving a Pinebook Pro in June that had QA issues, I opened a support ticket. It took a month for them to start troubleshooting with me. Then we did some very poor troubleshooting for a month. They issued a RMA and I paid for return shipping. I waited another month and now they have shipped me a replacement. It does not seem like a new unit. The box was slightly damaged and the screen and touchpad did not have the protective plastic film. While that is annoying because I paid for a new laptop, it has a bigger issue.

The real problem now is that the keyboard does not function properly. I can’t select ANSI or ISO keyboard. If I touch the right random key it will go to the next screen. When I try to enter a user name the keyboard just outputs random characters. It is unusable.

Has anyone else had this issue? Is there a solution? Or was I lucky enough to receive a second lemon?
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#2
Are you sure they're random? Or are they just wrong?

Are you running Manjaro? I've had Manjaro select the wrong keyboard layout a few times. It's just a matter of setting it right and rebooting a few times.
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#3
Random is QUITE different than wrong
Plug in a usb kbd, is it correct? If not, does it give same wrong display as laptop kbd?
>I can’t select ANSI or ISO keyboard.
Err, it is fixed to the hardware that you have, hopefully the same as warranty exchange
To change, you have to change top cover (which contains kbd)
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#4
Hi erock22,

I received a PBP about 3 weeks ago with a keyboard issue I posted here.  (PINE64 --> General --> Getting Started --> First time user experiencing weird keyboard issues)  I also filed support tickets, and a similar response as you, in my case no response, not even a semi-friendly, "sorry we're busy" or "we're looking into this and will get back to you",   so you're not unique.   It's funny how they encourage participating in the community, but who wants to participate in such an unfriendly community??? Why make a nice computer and then not realize that the users are as much a part of using a computer as the machines and deserve a little consideration?
Anyway, in my case the keyboard issue was not random typing, though it looked that way at first.  After awhile I saw the main issue was it would go into some kind of cap lock mode.  I could get numbers by typing Fn + the numerical pad numbers, but it would also switch back and forth, so i WoUld eNd uP tYpinG lIKe THis.  Nightmare!  Needless to say, it rendered an otherwise nice laptop useless, and good luck trying to enter your password in the terminal where you can't see what you are typing!
If you find out anything let me know.  If you can figure out how to get a non-Manjaro, non-KDE operating system onto a MicroSD and booting from there and see if your problem persists, I'd really like to know the results.  That's what I've been doing, using Fedora Xfce image, and so far no typing problems but I'm slowly installing apps and seeing if the problem re-emerges.
Good luck
Kendew
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#5
(09-23-2020, 05:10 AM)KC9UDX Wrote: Are you sure they're random?  Or are they just wrong?

Are you running Manjaro?  I've had Manjaro select the wrong keyboard layout a few times.  It's just a matter of setting it right and rebooting a few times.
Sorry I thought I signed up for email notification on this thread and hadn't received any, so I didn't see your response until I looked.

Ok, maybe not random but wrong. Yes, I was assured it was a new PBP and I did not try to change the OS. I was just starting up to test that everything was working. So stock Manjaro, ANSI layout. The first screen on set up is selecting the keyboard layout for the system. The arrow keys do not seem to work at all, so I am unable to select a keyboard layout.

(09-23-2020, 08:10 AM)wdt Wrote: Random is QUITE different than wrong
Plug in a usb kbd, is it correct? If not, does it give same wrong display as laptop kbd?
>I can’t select ANSI or ISO keyboard.
Err, it is fixed to the hardware that you have, hopefully the same as warranty exchange
To change, you have to change top cover (which contains kbd)
Yes sorry it was wrong not random. (PS the touchpad seems to work fine.)

@Luke  suggested on Twitter it might the wrong firmware loaded on the keyboard. So I plugged in a USB keyboard. It functioned properly, and I was able to get through the Manjaro setup. Unfortunately the PBP freezes and becomes unresponsive when I try to log in. So I have not been able to get to update the firmware.

I did finally pull out the serial console cable I purchased and I have figured out how to use it. I was able to log in over it. Now I need to figure out how to set up wifi from the command line, so I can download some firmware.

I have tried Manjaro KDE on an SD card and it has all the same issues. Wrong characters and freezing after log in. I may try something else down the road and I will post here if it makes a difference.
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#6
Try the Debian image that yoostaby the official PBP OS. It isn't as full featured as Manjaro yet but it seems to be rock solid.

I'm not saying that you need to run that operating system, but it would be a good diagnostic procedure to try it and see if the problem persists.
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#7
(09-25-2020, 10:10 PM)KC9UDX Wrote: Try the Debian image that yoostaby the official PBP OS.  It isn't as full featured as Manjaro yet but it seems to be rock solid.

I'm not saying that you need to run that operating system, but it would be a good diagnostic procedure to try it and see if the problem persists.
I'll try that tomorrow. I finally got wifi going and then tried to update the system and ran into a kernel panic. Probably need to reload the OS anyway.
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#8
Thanks for the clearer picture, A stuck, bad menu
I wonder, could it really be, quite old school menus??
Where the only movement key is tab/shift tab, and space is select/enter
I definitly think mrfixit's distro is a good one to have on SD, do update(mrfixit_update.sh ,,IIRR)
And too, you have an easy access, easy transferable uboot (&friends) that usually works
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#9
My keyboard was misbehaving, randomly outputting ~~~~~~~~~, ~9~9~9 and similar characters, for no reason.
It didn't seem to be a hardware issue, as lightly touching, moving things, shaking, etc., didn't make a difference.

Reluctantly, I tried this update:
https://github.com/ayufan-rock64/pineboo...rd-updater
and it seems to have fixed it. I was very reluctant b/c my laptop was a lot newer than the update, but there you go, there's my report.

Make sure to have an external keyboard before you set out on this journey!
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#10
(10-22-2020, 03:28 PM)lrb Wrote: Reluctantly, I tried this update:
https://github.com/ayufan-rock64/pineboo...rd-updater
and it seems to have fixed it. I was very reluctant b/c my laptop was a lot newer than the update, but there you go, there's my report.

Actually, it didn't fix it. The problem came back.

I eventually suspected hardware. Screws came off the back. Battery came out. I didn't disconnect anything, but ran my finger over everything and applied a bit of pressure.

Then I reassembled. The problem hasn't happened again!

I'm actually using this machine for work when out of the house: it's light, the battery lasts a LONG time, it doesn't have annoying fan noise, and it's not too expensive a machine in case I smash it. I rather like it!
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