Phone bottom end got hot, plastic melted, fire concern
#1
Hi,

I am using a Pinephone 64 Beta  edition as my main cell phone.  It has
been workable since mid-May 2021, and  I have been using the Mobian OS
to run  the phone.  It has  growing pains, but  until tonight,  I was
reasonably happy  with it.  Tonight, while  on a charging cord  that I
have been  using since  purchasing the  phone, the  bottom end  of the
phone got way too hot.  It has  always run very warm, but this was not
reasonable.  The  charging cord  end started to  melt.  Felt  like the
battery might enter thermal runaway.  I  believe that the phone is now
not safely  usable.  The phone  is still  running and has  cooled down
maybe, but I am  not sure whether there is lasting  damage and I don't
want my home and  family burned.  I have it now  outside on a concrete
patio surface.

Is  there a  warranty?  Am  I on  my own?  The cord  seemed OK  until
tonight.  Once it  melted, the cord now seems unsafe  as well.  I have
that unplugged also.  The cord was  by Manhattan, 10', USB-A to USB-C.
Charger  seems  OK.  We  have  other  similar  cords  in use  with  no
problems.

Marc
  Reply
#2
(08-20-2021, 08:13 PM)mronell Wrote: Hi,

I am using a Pinephone 64 Beta  edition as my main cell phone.  It has
been workable since mid-May 2021, and  I have been using the Mobian OS
to run  the phone.  It has  growing pains, but  until tonight,  I was
reasonably happy  with it.  Tonight, while  on a charging cord  that I
have been  using since  purchasing the  phone, the  bottom end  of the
phone got way too hot.  It has  always run very warm, but this was not
reasonable.  The  charging cord  end started to  melt.  Felt  like the
battery might enter thermal runaway.  I  believe that the phone is now
not safely  usable.  The phone  is still  running and has  cooled down
maybe, but I am  not sure whether there is lasting  damage and I don't
want my home and  family burned.  I have it now  outside on a concrete
patio surface.

Is  there a  warranty?  Am  I on  my own?  The cord  seemed OK  until
tonight.  Once it  melted, the cord now seems unsafe  as well.  I have
that unplugged also.  The cord was  by Manhattan, 10', USB-A to USB-C.
Charger  seems  OK.  We  have  other  similar  cords  in use  with  no
problems.

Marc

[quote pid="99074" dateline="1629512039"]
I was  using a  10' Manhattan  USB-A to USB-C  cord when  the overheat
occurred and the cord connector (USB-C) attached to the Pine64 melted.
I  took photos  of  the connector  that melted  next  to an  undamaged
connector by the same manufacturer.  The photos are attached below.  I
have never  had a problem  with a  Manhattan cord before.  I purchase
them because I trust the quality of their products.

I powered off the phone and  checked the battery.  There does not seem
to be  damage and there  is no smell  of burned components  within the
cell phone.  The battery appears to be undamaged.  There is no sign of
obvious deformation from heat damage.  I  moved the phone outside to a
safe, non-combustible location, plugged it into an extension cable via
a  3A charging  block and  the  red USB-C  cord with  which the  phone
shipped.  The phone again got significantly  hot, but the red cord was
not  damaged.  The  phone  has always  run  significantly hotter  than
typical Samsung or Apple cell phones  and I assumed that the model has
thermal problems  that need  to be worked  out.  Recently  though, the
thermal problems seem to  be worse.  I am using the  Pine64 as my only
cell phone.  I no longer  trust bringing the  phone into my  house to
charge at night as  my family sleeps.  I do need  a working, safe cell
phone.

Please see enclosed  melted connector shots.  The  Manhattan 10' cable
is no  longer safe  to use.  It had charged  the phone  regularly for
about 2 months.

Are  there critical  differences between  the red  USB cord  and other
manufacturer's  USB-C charging  cords?  Are  other manufacturer  cords
incompatible with the  Pine64?  Do all Pine64  phones have significant
thermal problems or is my particular phone unusual?

Thank you,

marc

On 2021-08-21 04:41, Pine Microsystems Inc. wrote:
> Hello Marc,
>
> Please confirm if the PinePhone battery melted, and you are using the
> read USB-C power cable to charge the phone.
>
> Could you please snapshot a photo of the charging cord for our
> checking?
>
> Thank you.
>
> Regards,
>
> support team #4...


mronellHi,

I am using a Pinephone 64 Beta  edition as my main cell phone.  It has
been workable since mid-May 2021, and  I have been using the Mobian OS
to run  the phone.  It has  growing pains, but  until tonight,  I was
reasonably happy  with it.  Tonight, while  on a charging cord  that I
have been  using since  purchasing the  phone, the  bottom end  of the
phone got way too hot.  It has  always run very warm, but this was not
reasonable.  The  charging cord  end started to  melt.  Felt  like the
battery might enter thermal runaway.  I  believe that the phone is now
not safely  usable.  The phone  is still  running and has  cooled down
maybe, but I am  not sure whether there is lasting  damage and I don't
want my home and  family burned.  I have it now  outside on a concrete
patio surface.

Is  there a  warranty?  Am  I on  my own?  The cord  seemed OK  until
tonight.  Once it  melted, the cord now seems unsafe  as well.  I have
that unplugged also.  The cord was  by Manhattan, 10', USB-A to USB-C.
Charger  seems  OK.  We  have  other  similar  cords  in use  with  no
problems.

Marc
[/quote]
                   
  Reply
#3
To: support@pinemicrosystemsinc.zohosupport.comCc: info@fsf.org, info@consumer.orgSubject: Re: [## 10808 ## Wrote:  [Order #185614] (May 7, 2021) Phone bottom end got hot, plastic melted, fire concernReply-To: mronell@riseup.netDear Sirs, pid='99074' dateline='1629512039']
The attached  photos show two  different cables.  The melted one  is a
USB-C to  USB-A 10' cable  manufactured by Manhattan that  was damaged
while charging the Pine64 cellphone. The 2nd cable is another cable of
the same type shown only for  comparison. I am displaying an undamaged
cable  next to  the  cord  that was  damaged  while  plugged into  and
charging the Pine64 phone for contrast  so that the melt damage on the
wire used  to charge the  cell phone  is easy to  see. I have  not had
problems with  these cables in the  past; they have lasted  and served
well. The cell phone, on the other hand, gets inappropriately warm/hot
regularly. This is the first time the  cell phone became so hot that I
could  not handle  the phone  directly. I  do not  see heat  damage on
either the  cell phone or its  battery.  I have tested  the phone with
its red  cord, and  the phone still  turns on and  seems to  work, but
again  it is  hot.  I  am concerned  about  the  thermal heating  and
inappropriate temperatures  of the  Pine64 phone.  As a  free software
enthusiast, I was supportive of your  cell phone and your efforts, but
I am  worried about  the potential for  a fire at  this point  with at
least my particular Pine64 phone. I still want to see a free software,
configurable  phone, and  fundamental  privacy  features designed  and
maintained by the manufacturers.

I  recommend  you  cross-ship  me  a  new  phone  and  send  me
packaging/postage  to  return  the  device  that  seems  potentially
defective/dangerous so that you can adequately investigate the thermal
properties of the cell phone.

I  need a  workable,  safe  cell phone  solution.  This  phone was  my
full-time  cell phone.  I was  able to  use it  as a  cell phone  with
patience. I am now, unfortunately, working to find a safe substitute.


Marc D. Ronell
      phone (Home): (617) 332-5007
    address (Home): 45 Auburndale Ave
                    West Newton, MA 02465-1403
                    USA
              mail: mronell@riseup.net

On 2021-08-22 12:53, Pine Microsystems Inc. wrote:
> Hello Marc,
>
> From your photo, the cable looks like is USB-C to USB-C, not the USB-A
> to USB-C as mentioned.
>
> Since the defect happen on the cable, you can check with the cable
> company on the possibility that cause the cable melting.
>
> Thank you.
>
> Regards,
>
> support team #4...
>
> ---- On  Sun, 22 Aug 2021 03:05:05 +0800 "Marc
> Ronell"<mronell@riseup.net>  wrote ----
>
>> I was using a 10' Manhattan USB-A to USB-C cord when the overheat
>> occurred and the cord connect attached to the Pine64 melted. I took
>> photos of the connector that melted next to an undamaged connector
>> by
>> the same manufacturer. The photos are attached below. I have never
>> had a problem with a Manhattan cord before. I purchase them because
>> I
>> trust the quality of their products.
>>
>> I powered off the phone and checked the battery. There does not seem
>> to be damage and there is no smell of burned components within the
>> cell phone. The battery appears to be undamaged. There is no sign of
>> obvious deformation or heat damage. I moved the phone outside to
>> safe
>> location, plugged it into an extension cable via a 3A charging block
>> and the red USB-C cord with which the phone shipped. The phone again
>> got significantly hot, but the red cord was not damaged. The phone
>> has always run significantly hotter than typical Samsung or Apple
>> cell
>> phones and I assumed that the model has thermal problems that need
>> to
>> be worked out. Recently though, the thermal problems seem to be
>> worse. I am using the Pine64 as my only cell phone. I no longer
>> trust bring the phone into my house to charge at night as I sleep. I
>> do need a working, safe cell phone.
>>
>> Please see enclosed melted connector shots. The Manhattan 10' cable
>> is no longer safe to use. It had charged the phone regularly for
>> about 2 months.
>>
>> Are there critical differences between the red USB cord and other
>> manufacturer's USB-C charging cords? Are other manufacturer cords
>> incompatible with the Pine64? Do all Pine64 phones have significant
>> thermal problems or is my particular phone unusual?
>>
>> marc
>>
>> On 2021-08-21 04:41, Pine Microsystems Inc. wrote:
>>> Hello Marc,
>>>
>>> Please confirm if the PinePhone battery melted, and you are using
>> the
>>> read USB-C power cable to charge the phone.
>>>
>>> Could you please snapshot a photo of the charging cord for our
>>> checking?
>>>
>>> Thank you.
>>>
>>> Regards,
>>>
>>> support team #4...
>>



mronellHi,

I am using a Pinephone 64 Beta  edition as my main cell phone.  It has
been workable since mid-May 2021, and  I have been using the Mobian OS
to run  the phone.  It has  growing pains, but  until tonight,  I was
reasonably happy  with it.  Tonight, while  on a charging cord  that I
have been  using since  purchasing the  phone, the  bottom end  of the
phone got way too hot.  It has  always run very warm, but this was not
reasonable.  The  charging cord  end started to  melt.  Felt  like the
battery might enter thermal runaway.  I  believe that the phone is now
not safely  usable.  The phone  is still  running and has  cooled down
maybe, but I am  not sure whether there is lasting  damage and I don't
want my home and  family burned.  I have it now  outside on a concrete
patio surface.

Is  there a  warranty?  Am  I on  my own?  The cord  seemed OK  until
tonight.  Once it  melted, the cord now seems unsafe  as well.  I have
that unplugged also.  The cord was  by Manhattan, 10', USB-A to USB-C.
Charger  seems  OK.  We  have  other  similar  cords  in use  with  no
problems.

Marc

           
  Reply
#4
Just to throwing out other potential causes, other than software.

Do you live in a hot climate?
Does your house have a window where the sun is perhaps heating up the cellphone?

I have read that the pinephone may run a little hotter than needed, there is another discussion about throttling down the cpu to stop any potential over heating issues.
  Reply
#5
Simple :

Your cord is much too long !

At 5 volts DC the voltage drop over long cords causes an over-current condition.

If you had the phone turned on, it was probably still discharging, even with the charger plugged-in.
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#6
I wouldn't throw the blame on the user just yet. There's not much in the bottom part of the phone that should be getting hot (certainly not when no charging is going on!).

https://megous.com/dl/tmp/e05b1202e1a053c7.png

What should be getting hot down there? There's nothing there. It's just connector and some protection diodes, vibrator motor (but that one is not thermally connected to the type-C connector, so it would be hard for it to melt the USB-C cable), etc. It's some kind of problem with one of the connectors probably.

Measuring the USB-A side if there's a short or close to it there, might exclude it.

Imperfect connection (increased resistance of the contacts) or misalignment, or dirt might also cause heating of the connectors. Do the connectors lock completely, or is it a bit wiggly, or do the connectors separate easily? They should not.

(08-25-2021, 10:20 AM)bcnaz Wrote: Simple :

Your cord is much too long !

At 5 volts DC the voltage drop over long cords causes an over-current condition.

If you had the phone turned on, it was probably still discharging,  even with the charger plugged-in.

Too long, or not too good a cable would actually help reduce the power loss on the connector, because pinephone monitors the voltage drop, and if it gets bellow 4.5V on the phone side, it starts reducing current consumption. If you're unlucky and have a very good cable, but not so good contact in the connector, and lose 0.5V on the contact (worst case) and very little in the great cable itself, with 2A going through the connector, that's a whopping 1W being concentrated in the tiny connector. That will probably melt it over time.

"Bad cables" would have the power losses spread more throughout the cable.
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