There is not much solder holding the antenna jack to the board, so it doesn’t take much force on a connected antenna cable to pull the connector right off. Be careful!
Yep, I just learned this myself.
$40 board gone.
Have the solder pads come off?
If not, you should be able to resolder the connector.
A good rule of thumb for uFL and similar connectors is connect them once and don’t mess with them again if at all possible. Don’t poke at them, breath on them, glance in their general direction, or think any negative thoughts about them or they might get mad at you.
This is what I did to help protect my U.FL connector. It’s 3 segments of header. I squeezed the short pins together around the antenna wire a little and put a dab of epoxy on it. It has worked great so far!
I did something similar with the leads for my DS18B20 temp. sensor using short jumper wiresto keep it from pulling out of the breadboard. I hadn’t thought of doing it on the antenna (though my setup is currently too delicate to really move, too many sensors and wires and such, looks like a very colorful bad hair day). Great idea!
@ScruffR Solder pads did not come off but the connector isn’t in great shape. I have a JBC soldering iron and the smallest, pointiest tip they make and I couldn’t get it back on.
Someone with more skill than I would be able to do it with a new connector.
Not sure what to do at this point. Ask for warranty repair or throw it away…
@smd75jr I’ve bought dozens of Cores and Photons, all of which have uFL connectors and I’ve connected and disconnected each at least a dozen times over the course of the past 18 months and I’ve had exactly 0 issues. This one just wasn’t soldered on properly, and given that I’m not the only one with this issue, I’d say it’s probably not localized to the two of us.
You could always get in contact with Particle to ask (or we just ping @corey )
But I’d definetly not just bin it.
Have you got anybody with a hot air-gun or a rework station? Maybe they could help.
Yes, I have access to this stuff at work but I’m not really of the opinion that this type of thing should be up to the user to fix. I gave it a shot, and failed. If Particle won’t replace it, I’m going to throw it away.
Hey all! Sorry that you ran into issues with the connectors–we’ve done our best to work with our contract manufacturers to eliminate this failure mode, but issues occasionally sneak through.
If your u.FL connector has come off, it would really help us if you’d submit a ticket with us through our Support Portal under “Technical Help” > “Troubleshooting the Electron” …that’s generally how we process hardware replacements. It also allows us to pass feedback onto our contract manufacturers to identify potential batch assembly issues and take corrective actions.
I opened a ticket, but have been busy with more important things and didn’t get a photo to your people in time.
The ticket was closed.
I was a bit upset with that closure, so I threw the Electron away. It is absolutely useless to me without an antenna connector. I don’t want a replacement.
All other Particle hardware I have is amazing. The antenna connectors on all other Particle hardware I own have all been very robust and have each seen a dozen or more connect/disconnect cycles.
I am disappointed in the Electron.
In all fairness, they asked you to open a ticket because occasionally things slip through, as would happen with all manufacturing on this scale.
If you then open a ticket, yet do not provide them with the necessary information they need, there’s little they can do. I can’t imagine them closing a ticket without giving you reasonable time to respond to be honest (prove me wrong though!)
Then you’re very lucky, since that’s not really what they’re made for.
Too bad you didn’t give it another shot, since they agreed that it could be a manufacturing error which could be fixed had you provided the information they needed to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Just my opinion on the matter, since I think the Electron is kinda neat, and shouldn’t be judged on a single manufacturing glitch that could’ve been handled.
Nice, plus it won’t short on a pin
Hey @naikrovek. I’m sorry to hear that you’re disappointed with the quality of the Electron. You are a part of our first production run on the product, whereas the Photon has gone through more than 10 rounds of manufacturing optimization. We don’t deny that there are occasionally issues with the solder quality of the u.FL connector and would like to do what we can to make the situation right for you.
The reason that we ask for a photo of the connector is to communicate the issue back to our contract manufacturer. This is one of the ways we can help them improve the quality of the hardware for yourself and for future customers. Replying to the last email you received from us should reopen the ticket–otherwise definitely feel free to open up another request with a picture of the connector.
About Electron antenna. With my first Electron I managed to deform the on-chip jack trying to press the plug down. I fixed it with a scalpel and a big magnifying glass (then I broke the USB jack off, but that’s another story). With my 2nd Electron I got the antenna snapped on with only minor cursing and I immediately taped it down. I also used a USB extension cable so I never have to the reinsert to the on-board plug.
I live fairly near an AT&T tower, but with trees in the way. I always have 2 or 3 (of 5) signal dots on my phone. However, I notice that when the Electron antenna tab is lying flat I don’t maintain “Cellular.ready( )” state. It seems better when I tip the whole setup vertically.
Understood, @will, but I threw it away and won’t be buying another.
I purchased it only to support Particle anyway, and I have no need for a cellular connected device, so it is not a huge deal.
I sincerely hope you get the assembly issues resolved. It was a major soul crush when I realized that I had ruined a $60 piece of hardware.
Mine broke off today, sad since we’re using it in a trailer and leaving tomorrow. But I was able to solder them back on, amazingly, since the connections are TINY, but it is possible and my signal seemed to be better.
Maybe someone with some deeper experience than me can chime in here and correct me, but I found that pressing straight down to snap the uFl connectors frustrating. I have a few electrons now and found that rotating the plug, once its centered over the plug seems to make it go on easier. With my “old man” eyes I can’t see it anyway (without that big magnifying glass mentioned in another reply).
I hope this helps.
I think pressing it on straight down presents the least amount of stress on the connections. If you turn it, you’re exerting more rotational forces on those already fragile solder contacts, which they may or may not hold up to.
That’s what I like to think.