PinePower 65w - DoA or am I doing it wrong?
#1
Hi there! 

I bought the PinePower 120W and 65W models as soon as they became available and they've both turned up. The 120W seems good but the 65W brick appears to be dead on arrival, or maybe I'm doing something wrong. Plugging it into known good plug sockets results in no lights (if there are any, the documentation is incomplete) but also no power on any USB port.

I think it's dead on arrival but the UK plug socket adapter is a bit weird, like it puts the entire device upside down when fitted and it was an extremely tight fit, so tight that I can't remove it. Has anyone else tried the UK plug adapter? Am I doing something wrong?


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#2
Hi all, today I received the 65W PinePower device. Initially I bought it for my laptop from work as it seemed a more compact and convenient solution compared to the one I got with that laptop (from Lenovo). That laptop requires a 65W power supply (power delivery) so I expected it to work. Unfortunately it didn't. Not sure whether the big laptop damaged the charger, but I now have it connected to my PineBook Pro and it isn't charging either. Not using the USB-C to USB-C cable, nor when using another USB-C cable that goes into the USB-A slot of the charger. So yeah, it doesn't work for me either. By the way, I live in The Netherlands and use the EU plug which seems to fit neatly.

As for the snug fit, I can confirm it is a bit tight but not too tight. It seems the backplate is slightly shifted with respect to the steel tubes the plugs go into. Like half a mm or so but I can imagine that if it slightly more the plug is being clamped between the steel tube on one end and the plastic backplate on the other. Also, the USB-A slot has the steel tube slightly skewed, so no longer rectangular. Again, my plugs go in and out just fine but I can imagine that when it is more off than this, the plug could jam and get stuck in there.

Of course with FOSS equipment like this I'm ready to accept the risk that stuff may not perform as intended but I do wonder what makes most sense to do now.
  • Is it actually broken or is there something simple I need to do to switch it on? There is s small hole next to one of these USB-C slots. Is it like a reset button where you poke a needle into or is there an LED in there (to indicate it is working when it does)?
  • Is there a central thread or place where to report issues with this piece of hardware so that the Pine64 staff can get an idea of what's going on?
  • What to do with the unit I have? I don't think it makes sense to send it back to the other side of the world. They'd probably ditch it anyway so no one gains anything.
So yeah, suggestions are welcome!
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#3
I've filed a support ticket and will see how that goes. I'm just glad this isn't a particularly expensive or crucial item.
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#4
(02-17-2021, 05:00 AM)CampGareth Wrote: I've filed a support ticket and will see how that goes. I'm just glad this isn't a particularly expensive or crucial item.
Support say to try it without the UK plug adapter, that's challenging as it's extremely tightly fitted. 

Edit: But it's possible to remove by standing on the whole unit. When using the US plug pins built into the unit and a travel adapter it works! The hole at the back contains a white LED that turns on when there's power, so that's an easy debugging tool!
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#5
Thanks a lot! I was quite hesitant to return the product under warranty as I had become used to the notion that FOSS stuff comes without warranty. Obviously this one did cost money yet still, the actual price is still way lower than other aftermarket power delivery type power supplies capable of delivering 65W. So Pine64 probably isn't making money from these so with me returning them I'm afraid they (or actually, everyone) loses out. I'll try to source a US travel adapter (who even travels these days?) and see if it works for me too.

Cheers!
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#6
(03-11-2021, 04:03 AM)Vinay Wrote: Thanks a lot! I was quite hesitant to return the product under warranty as I had become used to the notion that FOSS stuff comes without warranty. Obviously this one did cost money yet still, the actual price is still way lower than other aftermarket power delivery type power supplies capable of delivering 65W. So Pine64 probably isn't making money from these so with me returning them I'm afraid they (or actually, everyone) loses out. I'll try to source a US travel adapter (who even travels these days?) and see if it works for me too.

Cheers!
Support were kind to me but got the wrong end of the stick. They sent a second charger without adapters so now I have two working chargers with US pins and still no working UK plug adapters that mate with the unit. I'm gonna talk to support once more but order some US -> UK plug adapters as well.
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#7
Mine too only works with a travel adapter :-(

I have had the same experience and after reading yours I came to a conclusion. Do you fell the friction when folding out the US pins? I believe that is when the physical connection is made for the AC power. Sliding on any of the included adapters on the pins when they are folded in and there will be no connection from the US pins to the internals of the brick.
If this is true it's the worst design ever, and even worse, nobody cared to test the adapters?
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#8
It seems I've got the same issue with the EU adapter : when using the provided adapter, no juice comes in (led stays off), but when I use one of my own travel adapters it works just fine.

@CampGareth, you say that if I contact Pine64 they could eventually provide replacement adapters ?

Edit : or if @donjohn is right, there's no way any new adapter would work, so contacting support would be useless... :/
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#9
Same issue here with the EU adapter. Support has been ignoring my ticket for over a month now
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#10
Sorry, I should have reported back a long while ago. I got an aftermarket third party US adapter and all works fine. The charger itself is fine, just need to get a cheap third party adapter if you're outside the US.
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