Up2 machined aluminum case does not work for Up2

Robert SheltonRobert Shelton Posts: 109New Member
I am writing as a backer of multiple Up campaigns, a buyer of many Up products (I have a small rack of them in my lab), and a KS superbacker. I have just received the much-anticipated machined aluminum case for my Up2. Bought it from the Up Store. Looks beautiful, but that is where my happiness ends.

It is an awful product - worse than the plastic case that I bought as a temporary case as I waited for the machined case to arrive - and definitely not designed with the Up2 in mind.

Here are the problems - all serious issues:

[ul]
[li]The WiFi antenna holes are too close together to allow connection of the required two antenna. I have tested with several designs that I have in stock. As the holes have the required flat side to lock antenna sockets in place, simply drilling out would not work well. No antenna pair= no blue tooth and no WiFi.[/li]
[/ul]
[ul]
[li]The bottom holes for screws that attach to the Up2 are too large for the screws. The screw heads almost push thru - have to be very careful not to ruin the case. This was so obvious upon first look that I am amazed that no one caught it before RTM.[/li]
[/ul]
[ul]
[li]I had to remove the nut posts that would attach the mounting bracket because they interfere with the battery needed to power your UPS board. Neither this nor the plastic case were designed to work with your UPS. Additionally, I had hoped to use that bracket to attach my Up2 to the portable HDMI monitor I use. No go.[/li]
[/ul]
[ul]
[li]Most serious problem: there is NO opening for the USB 3 OTG port. By switching to this case from the plastic case, I have lost 25% of my USB! Some other socket has a port on the same side as the OTG, but I am now down to 3 USB ports.[/li]
[/ul]

This is so out of character for Up that I am shocked. I love the Up boards. I use my Up2 every day. I carry it with a portable HDMI, keyboard and mouse in my backpack to work. It was bought to be - and it is - my daily-user Windows 10 machine. It kicks ass! PLEASE fix this awful mess of a case design and send me one of the redesigned aluminum cases that is worthy of the Up2!

Comments

  • AlingAling Posts: 498Administrator, AAEON, UP reseller admin
    Thanks nexusnet, we appreciate your comment and suggestion.
    We look into it and make some trial, here are our feedback:

    1. WiFi holes:
    We can successfully have two antenna’s next to each other using the standard antenna kit sold on the up web shop. Some bigger antenna designs such as a 3g or 4g antenna will not fit next to each other, to solve this customer is advised to use to use a combination of the 5 antenna holes available on the case one left and one right of the power connector for instance. Providing more details or pictures of the antenna problem might help solve this issue.

    2. The bottom holes for screws that attach to the Up2 are too large for the screws
    While the screw heads are smaller than the milled out hole on the case, if following the instructions provided on the website and only using hand tools for assembly the bottom chassis plate you can attach the screws to the underlying nut posts without issue. Pushing screw through the case will require significant effort by hand but may be an issue if using an electric screwdriver.
    However, we will work with our supplier to see if it's possible to make some modification in the size of screw head.

    3. I had to remove the nut posts that would attach the mounting bracket :
    To keep the size compact in most cases, the chassis was not designed to have UPS HAT inside. As every different HAT needs a different design on the chassis, we don't have the plan to make a chassis accommodate HATs .

    4. there is NO opening for the USB 3 OTG port.
    There is an opening present for the USB 3 OTG port on the metal housing, although the hole size only allows for cable based connections. Some USB 3 OTG adapter would be too big to fit the machined opening. With the power connector facing towards you the OTG port opening is in the top left next to the normal USB 3 port.

    5.Some other socket has a port on the same side as the OTG, but I am now down to 3 USB ports.
    Which other socket is being referred to ? a picture of the assembled case would help here


    We will try to make the documentation more complete, so that users can use the chassis without hassles.
  • Robert SheltonRobert Shelton Posts: 109New Member
    edited September 2017
    Hi Aling,

    Thanks for your quick response! Here is information that hopefully will help, pictures included.

    Please obtain an Up2 and one of these cases. I think it will help to do the assembly, to see first hand.

    1. WiFi Holes are about 1mm too close. See attached pictures. I tested with antenna from 3 different companies, all of which seem to be relatively standard size based on my inspection of routers (Netgear, Turis Omnia) in my shop. While I'm sure the card/antenna sold in Up-shop do fit, many of us makers will have our own cards or will purchase cards that have features we desire. While using other holes is a work around, another possible solution is to purchase 45 or 90 degree RT-SMA adapters. I have done this, and will post information on brand with pictures if my experiment is successful. If the adapters don't work, I will have no option but to use the side hole. Problem there is that the unit no longer fits a safely into a backpack or briefcase. The side-mounted antenna will create a snag. These holes definitely must be moved far enough apart to allow for standard size RT-SMA antennas - probably 1mm will suffice, but please verify this against the CAD files.

    2. Bottom holes for the screws that attach the plate to the Up2 - Sorry, I must not have been clear in my post. The problem is that the 4 holes are too LARGE, so the screw head has very thin metal holding the case together. Please do NOT use screws with smaller heads. If you do that, the entire case will not hold together! The holes need to be made smaller, not larger. The type of screw head being used is a good choice for strength, but the relief cut will need to be flat-bottom rather than conical / tapered. That will allow use of standard screws with optimal heads, while ensuring the case lays flat.

    3. I disagree with the decision that the UPS board (sold on Up-shop for $89) and the metal case (sold for $99) should not be designed to work together - especially when there were no statements on the product pages that they would not work together. I also disagree with the idea that the cases should be designed not to hold hats or otherwise allow for GPIO access via a slot cut to pass thru a ribbon cable. This severely limits use of Up2, and with respect I must say that this is poor design. Up2 is a maker board, but AAEON is selling cases that don't support makers? This is one of the great aspects of RasPi - that makers can buy slim cases that have slots for the ribbon cable, or taller cases that support one or more hats inside. The Up2 cases could support this by offering expansion "rings" (at least in the plastic case). One case, then, could be adjusted by makers to meet customized needs. Various RasPi cases on the market do exactly this.

    Note that, after removing the nuts from the bottom plate, I was able to fit the UPS board with battery gently placed between top of UPS board and the bottom plate of the metal case. There was no evident way to make it fit in the plastic case with a battery of sufficient size to operate the Up2. Also I believe based on experience, that the battery shipped with the UPS board does not supply enough power to run the Up2. I will do separate testing and post separately on that. Also I did cut off the thru-pins from the 40-pin header. Those would not fit.

    4. OTG Port - here is no access to the OTG port, as I stated in my original post. Only the 2 USB near the power plug and one USB on the other side have access ports. The OTG port has no access. The only access port on either side of the board is for a ribbon cable connector See the attached pictures - one of the machined case and another of the plastic case that shows where the OTG port should be on the machined case.

    This case design definitely must be revised for it to be a viable product. That said, my concern is that none of these issues were discovered before the case was shipped. I think that no one did a quality/fit check on a manufacturing sample!!

    I hope that AAEON will fix these problems ASAP, and request that a corrected version be sent to any customers who bought the defective item. I also recommend that AAEON stop selling the current machined case until these problems are fixed. For the price plus cost of shipping, I think that other customers will be unhappy with this case as well.

    Thank you,
    Robert
  • AlingAling Posts: 498Administrator, AAEON, UP reseller admin
    Hi Robert,

    1. We understand the antenna holes may not fit antenna in every brand. While deciding where to make antenna holes, we have to consider the mounting from different positions and keep the chassis small. We don't want to enlarge the chassis for the antenna holes. Unfortunately we can not make everyone happy to use antennas from all brands, however, we can mark the distance of each hole on assembly guide, so that users can check it before purchase.
    HAeL8P0.jpg

    2. For the screw head, it is still doable for now, however, we will change the size of screw head from next batch.

    3. The chassis is not designed for HAT expansion, if you check the assembly guide, you should be able to see it. Earlier makers suggest to make chassis for HAT expansions, and we did some study as well. Unlike Raspberry Pi, they have many supplier design the chassis for free, at this moment, we have to pay for tooling ourselves, and we do need more sales numbers to move forward. Otherwise even we are willing to pay for tooling, no suppliers is willing to produce.

    4. Please see the attached pictures for OTG hole cut-out. Not sure if you got a defective chassis. If your chassis doesn't have OTG hole, please apply RMA.
    69EAP6u.jpg
    nFs5Stp.jpg


    Based on above information, we do believe the design of UP Squared metal chassis fulfill most of needs in the market. We've received some ODM projects, they are happy to use standard design in their projects.
    We are sorry to hear that the chassis might disappoint you. If it can not work with your project, we will be happy to proceed the refund.
  • Robert SheltonRobert Shelton Posts: 109New Member
    Hi Aling,

    Based on your pictures, I have a defective chassis. I will apply for an RMA replacement.

    The solution of using larger size screw heads will solve the hole size problem; or consider tapered-head screws, such as those used to attach the sides part to the bottom plate. That might be a safer option to avoid heads extending beyond the bottom plate.

    Could you provide the diameter of the two WiFi antenna shown in your picture? If you know the brand, that may help me find suitable units on Amazon. All units I have are negative-fit in those holes. Please put both of those data points, as well as center-to-center measurement, on the Up-shop page.

    Thanks!
    Robert
  • AlingAling Posts: 498Administrator, AAEON, UP reseller admin
    Here is wifi antenna we are using. The datasheet & brand is uploaded to UP shop.

    B0vi3dD.png
  • Robert SheltonRobert Shelton Posts: 109New Member
    Thanks Aling! This should help.
  • Robert SheltonRobert Shelton Posts: 109New Member
    edited September 2017
    Hi Aling,

    Thanks again for posting the info on the Intel WiFi/BT4 board. I am still looking for a way to purchase those antenna (or ones of equivalent size).

    I've received yet another set of 5Ghz/2.4Ghz antenna - these by TechToo. They are as large at the base/nut as all others I have tested, and possibly a small fraction larger in diameter. Thus far the only antenna set that I have been able to fit is from another Kickstarter project - unfortunately for a device that supports only 2.4Ghz. I will keep looking, but I hope that AAEON takes note of the number of antenna brands/models that I have tested (now up to 5) vs the number that fit the selected center-spacing on this case (only the set sold by Up-shop and ones that do not meet the machine's full specs). Again, I strongly encourage the Up team to re-examine the spacing on these ports, as your customer base is likely to encounter exactly the issue that I am experiencing.

    My work around solution is to move one of the TechToo antenna to the holes next to the LAN connections. I use LAN cables with Cat 6 shielding and no plastic hood. The style of cable with the surrounding plastic cover may not fit with an antenna mounted in this location, but the metal-shield Cat 6 work fine. At first blush, this "solves" the problem - but only for use cases that need 2 (or 3, using the side-located hole) antenna. This will not work for projects that need 4-5 antenna, such as WiFi + BT + cellular. It also means that the device's footprint is increased for 3-antenna installations. The real fix, again, is to add an additional 1mm of spacing center-center on BOTH pairs of antenna holes. PLEASE do this with the next production run!
  • Robert SheltonRobert Shelton Posts: 109New Member
    Hi Aling,

    I have started an RMA for the defective metal Up2 case. The last communication that I received was a request via the RMA page to return the defective item to Netherlands. I have left multiple messages on the RMA page and via customer service email requesting that AAEON either provide or reimburse return postage for the defective item. It is not the customer's problem - and should not be the customer's expense - that a manufacturing-defective product needs to be returned. I have received NO response via the RMA page or from Customer service. AAEON needs to step up and deal with this. I am happy to receive an after-return refund for postage via my credit card on the order. What I will not do is bear further out-of-pocket cost for a defective AAEON product.

    Could you please follow up internally with customer service to ensure that this gets resolved today? My RMA # is 167.

    Thank you,
    Robert
  • AlingAling Posts: 498Administrator, AAEON, UP reseller admin
    Hi Robert,

    I've discussed with my colleague, and he will process your case. We will pay for the postage in the kind of DOA case. He will discuss with you for how to manage it effectively. Thanks!
  • Robert SheltonRobert Shelton Posts: 109New Member
    Thanks Aling. I appreciate your quick follow up.
  • Robert SheltonRobert Shelton Posts: 109New Member
    Hi Aling,
    I have not heard further from the person who was providing me with FedEx information to return the DOA case. I have left two messages since their contact that I believe was made in response to your speaking with him. Today someone posted a message that I have to pay for postage - definitely a different person from the tone of the note.

    I am VERY frustrated with AAEON/Up over this situation. I have spent much time on this return, and AAEON/Up are not meeting their commitments to me as customer. Please contact the person(s) responsible for handling this return so that they provide the return shipping label. Alternatively, as long as a firm commitment is made, I am happy to ship by my own FedEx account provided that AAEON will reimburse to my credit card on the order. Either way, a very prompt resolution is needed to this RMA. An anonymous person posting that I can just pay for postage myself on a DOA - especially given our conversation on this thread - is not good customer service at all. Please communicate that to the customer service team. This just is not what I expect from AAEON/Up.

    Thank you,
    Robert
  • AlingAling Posts: 498Administrator, AAEON, UP reseller admin
    Hi Robert,

    I figured out where is the problem. Different agent was handling the same ticket, and one doesn't know the arrangement.
    No worry, your DOA delivery will be returned at AAEON's cost.

    We are sorry for the trouble.
  • Robert SheltonRobert Shelton Posts: 109New Member
    Thanks Aling. I've been off for a few days. Picking up where I left off last week. Sorry to be so frustrated in my last post. My patience was getting thin. I'll check the RMA page today. As always I appreciate your help and constant support for your community!
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