Pinecil Hardware Debugging

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This page is work-in-progress and is user-contributed content.

Issue Cause/Symptoms Possible Solutions
Pinecil doesn't power on at all Faulty PSU Check your PSU with another tool or a multimeter
Faulty cable
  • Check cable with another device
  • Use a different cable
Internal problem with power Use different kind of PSU (if you're using a barrel jack one, try a Type-C one, and vice-versa)
Pinecil shuts down when connected to a Type-C PSU and trying to request a higher voltage (Title needs a bit more clarification) Out-of-date firmware Update firmware - factory firmware has quite a few USB-PD problems, which the newer firmwares fix. See the update documentation on GitHub
Pinecil randomly resets when touching solder or doing other things Using PinePower or some other non-grounded PSU This is likely to be a "lack of grounding" problem. When using Pinepower, you can unplug the figure-8 AC cable plug (on the back), rotate it 180 degrees and plug it back in - this tends to remedy the problem (insights)
Doesn't power on after applying 24V to the barrel jack Damaged USB chip The FUSB302 might have gotten damaged and shorted an internal power rail
  • Use a hot air gun to remove the FUSB from the board. You can leave the iron without the FUSB302 IC, or you can find and buy a replacement.
  • Without the FUSB IC present, you will lose USB-PD compatibility - the Type-C jack will not power your Pinecil with a C-to-C cable, or from a PD-capable PSU with attached type-C cable (laptop PSUs)
  • You will still have USB QC support without the FUSB IC, and all the other features will keep working!
Pinecil tip heats up too much, starts to glow and [REDACTED] Heats up when plugged in, without pressing any buttons Likely a FET failure - the FET can be replaced. by using a hot air station or a soldering iron.
Heats up after pressing the button Likely to be bad soldering of the thermocouple amplifier IC. Resoldering the thermocouple amplifier should fix this problem.
Either way, you will want to replace the tip after it's heated up to the point of glowing, as the surface coating is likely to have gotten compromised.

Debugging instructions

Screen FPC solder joint debugging


Checking whether the MCU and main power rails are alive