Has my pHAT DAC died


#1

I’ve been using the pHAT DAC for a few weeks now , and just lately the pin connections have become a bit on the loose side. When I plug the phone lead in to the output socket, sometimes no audio was coming out until I had to jiggle the phono plug. Also as I did that the pHAT DAC moved up and down on the pins, and I have to keep pressing it down as far as it goes before audio was present.
Yesterday, while I was fiddling with both the phono plug and the pHAT DAC, the latter came off the pins completely and I had to kill the power so that I could put the board back on the pins, and now there is no audio at all, not matter what I do.

Any suggestions welcome.


#2

Soldered on female header or hammer header?


#3

The header was done with the Hammer header, which is firmly pressed or fitted to the pins on the Zero W, and it is these pins that the pHAT DAC is on: /\

For what it may be worth, I have put volumio on a separate card in the pi Zero W. In the playback options for volumio I have selected the pHAT DAC as the DAC model and it auto selected the output Device as Audio Jack.

One thing I have just noticed is that as I move the phono jack in or out there is no scratching noises as there were before.


#4

Ok, so male 40 pin header on the Zero W and female 40 pin header on the pHat DAC? If your pHat DAC is just sitting on the male pins with no header of its own, that’s your issue. The pins are only Hammer/snug fit on the one end.


#5

It seems to be where the pHAT DAC sits on these pins /\ that is my problem, and when I have just tipped the pHAT DAC down, where the phono lead is, so it is sloping towards the connections side, there is audio coming out now.

I took the top piece of the case off to see if the connection of the pHAT DAC on the /\ pins would be any better or make a difference and it does seem that way.

So now , no top lid on the Zero case, and the board, pHAT DAC , is sloping at an angle. Also, the phono jack/socket in is a bit iffy as well.


#6

Where possible I use stand offs to hold my pHat or Hat firmly in place. What case are you using with the Zero? A picture of your setup might help.


#7

The case I am using is for the Pi Zero W and the lid or top has a slot cut out so that the 40 pin header pins can come through it.
The picture shows how the pHAT DAC is fitted on those pins, minus the lid of the case.

I should add that the zero case has 4 small feet which the pi zero holes fit over to keep it in place.
if you know of any other solution ?


#8

I have that case. The top with the slot is more for connecting a ribbon cable than a pHat. IMHO anyway. I’m using the camera cover on mine though. I drilled out the rubber holders and use nuts and bolts to hold my Pi Zero firmly in place. It moved around in the case a bit to much for my liking. The Pi is mounted flipped on its side, camera facing forward. It’s on a rover project I’m working on. https://1drv.ms/f/s!AjOYwiwlwDtpgrNitzE9mWKSbll5jg

I have the pHat Beat on a Pi Zero W setup as a Pirate Radio. My own custom case though. I mounted everything with stand offs. https://1drv.ms/f/s!AjOYwiwlwDtpgrJY6ORLsK5AVpwNuw


#9

A PIBOW case may be a better option, https://shop.pimoroni.com/products/pibow-zero-w Nice flat top. Then just put a mounting screw with a nut as a spacer in one or both of the from mounting holes of the pHat DAC.


#10

Something I have thought about is that I have a Black Hat hack3r, and a ribbon cable, so I wondered if the pHAT DAC would work off that. I know I would have to solder it to a 40 pin header first, although I could still use the header which came with it ,tho’ it it’s still a bit wobbly.
What about just soldering the end pins on that header to keep it solid.

Re the PIBOW case, yes it is something to think about.


#11

Yeah, I would think you should be able to solder that hammer header on just like any other header. That would take all the wobble out and get you nice solid connections.

No case and using four standoffs will also get you a nice firm setup with no wobbling. Or order eight standoffs and use 4 more on the bottom for support legs/stand.
https://shop.pimoroni.com/products/brass-m2-5-standoffs-for-pi-hats-black-plated-pack-of-2


#12

One of my biggest complaints with pHats Hats Bonnets, what ever you want to call them. Is finding a suitable case to hold the finished product. This isn’t directed solely at Pimoroni. All Pi related retailers have the same issue IMHO. Lots of cases for your Pi, but as soon as you add on to it your stuck with a not so ideal situation. No case, or a case that only holds half your project. Pimoroni is actually better than most. They have some custom PIBOW add on layers etc. It’s still a pet peeve of mine though. I don’t own and don’t see owning a 3D printer any time soon. So I have to make do like everybody else. Hopefully things get better over time.


#13

I’ve soldered to 2 end pins of the pHAT DAC onto a normal 40 pin header , then slotted that over the top of another 40 pin header, so double stacked. I then put that onto my mini black hat hack3r. Now the pHAT DAC is rock solid.

The Zero is fairly secure in the case, but not solid if you want to jiggle it.


#14

If you replaced the hammer header with a normal one, you need to solder all 40 Pins. Well all the pins actually in use by the pHat DAC as a minimum anyway.


#15

I thought that to solder all the pins, so I took it off a normal header and put it back on to the hammer header, then soldered 2 pins at each end, and now when placed on the mini black hat hack3r it is really solid.


#16

I would have just ditched the hammer header and replaced it with the normal one that came with it. Soldering all the Pins.


#17

That’s another job for another day now tho’, as my Zero has died


#18

That sucks, sorry to hear that. I haven’t lost a single Pi, knock on wood. I’ve owned many over the years. Nine total last head count of which five are Zero W’s. At only 10 bucks I often add one to any order I’m making just to have a few for spares and to play with. You can mount a pHat on a full sized Pi, if you have another one not in use.


#19

I’ve ordered another pi 3b for another project, and I’ll see what comes of my mail to support about the zero.

Yep, it was weird how it just stopped working. I played around with a Blinkt on a raspian os, then swapped cards over to a musicbox os. I placed the ribbon cable on the zeros header pins, then put the pHAT DAC on a mini black hat hack3r which was on the other end of the ribbon cable.
I plugged in the power lead, and left as headless. After 5 minutes I tried to ssh into it, but no host found, so I then tried a monitor to see what was going on. Guess what, no video signal to the monitor, so I tried another monitor, same thing, and after dismantling the zero, the video socket was really hot, and the rest of the board was quite warm as well.


#20

Are you sure you plugged the ribbon cable on the right way, not reversed?