RaspBerryPi 4B Cases that support HDD/SSD (NEW DeskPi-Pro), [! BAD DEAL !]

Montala

New Member
Having just received a DeskPi Pro, for which I had very high hopes, I am extremely disapointed to read the above posts, but would be interested to learn if other recipients have had similar experiences?
 

Steve_S

Offgrid Cabineer, N.E. Ontario, Canada
Having just received a DeskPi Pro, for which I had very high hopes, I am extremely disapointed to read the above posts, but would be interested to learn if other recipients have had similar experiences?
be really cautious installing. the bezels are extremely tight, I ended up having to sand the sides some a bit with 400 grit wet/dry on a flatboard.
with mine, once the raspi was installed, the upper USB3 and the USB3 plug on the deskpi board were offset a bit, so when you plug in the dongle it twists. There's no adjustment in the boards, if there was a little play it could solve that. The bezel is also too tight around the plugs and puts pressure on them.

I've mentioned this to a few others that got the pre-sale versions and some rumblings are starting I guess.
Some of it is just silly tolerance stuff, like the bezels being too tight and the lack of play with the screw holes for minor tweaking.

The tech stuff, like the screwy USB ports on the front, that's not good.
I'm pretty sure the dongle & plug have something to do with the problem using the internal M2 or SATA drives.
Without the 52.pi driver an M2.Sata (using the 52.pi adapter from the deskpi) or straight sata in a USB Adapter case will boot fine off the USB 3 or USB2 native ports on the raspi, although it is better on USB3 obviously. ;)

I've received no further response from them either. I kind of have my doubts.

I'm out
2x $55 for the deskpi's, $40 ish for SHL express + duty & taxes etc, one dear 4B-4GB and two partly damaged 4B's a 4GB & 8GB
The Sata to M2.sata adapters & coolers are the stuff that I can use... Although, I don;t have cases to accommodate the coolers.

Been searching for micro-hdmi, USB2 & USB3, USBC and SDCard surface mount adapters / extensions to make my own case. not much luck locating it all yet, amazon & ebay are only so-so. I don't want to get crap for 6 different vendors...
You'd think that Buyapi or canakit, seed etc would have such a "kit" with all the 1' long cables to panel mount for people to make their own boxes....
 

spiff72

New Member
be really cautious installing. the bezels are extremely tight, I ended up having to sand the sides some a bit with 400 grit wet/dry on a flatboard.
with mine, once the raspi was installed, the upper USB3 and the USB3 plug on the deskpi board were offset a bit, so when you plug in the dongle it twists. There's no adjustment in the boards, if there was a little play it could solve that. The bezel is also too tight around the plugs and puts pressure on them.

I've mentioned this to a few others that got the pre-sale versions and some rumblings are starting I guess.
Some of it is just silly tolerance stuff, like the bezels being too tight and the lack of play with the screw holes for minor tweaking.

The tech stuff, like the screwy USB ports on the front, that's not good.
I'm pretty sure the dongle & plug have something to do with the problem using the internal M2 or SATA drives.
Without the 52.pi driver an M2.Sata (using the 52.pi adapter from the deskpi) or straight sata in a USB Adapter case will boot fine off the USB 3 or USB2 native ports on the raspi, although it is better on USB3 obviously. ;)

I've received no further response from them either. I kind of have my doubts.

I'm out
2x $55 for the deskpi's, $40 ish for SHL express + duty & taxes etc, one dear 4B-4GB and two partly damaged 4B's a 4GB & 8GB
The Sata to M2.sata adapters & coolers are the stuff that I can use... Although, I don;t have cases to accommodate the coolers.

Been searching for micro-hdmi, USB2 & USB3, USBC and SDCard surface mount adapters / extensions to make my own case. not much luck locating it all yet, amazon & ebay are only so-so. I don't want to get crap for 6 different vendors...
You'd think that Buyapi or canakit, seed etc would have such a "kit" with all the 1' long cables to panel mount for people to make their own boxes....
Just joined this forum to comment on the DeskPi Pro, as my experience has not been good either!

My issue is that the SSD simply won't boot the Pi4. I have tried 2 different SSDs (clones of each other - one was a perfectly booting SSD when connected to my Pi with a USB3-SATA adapter).

After you mentioned above that your suspicion was that it was a bad USB-USB dongle, it occurred to me that I have a USB3-USB3 A-A cable from a USB hub switch I just got a week ago. So I pulled the dongle out and tried this cable instead. Same issue. The Pi hangs on the bootloader screen endlessly retrying to boot. I was able to boot from the SD card they provided, but if I booted with the USB dongle installed, the internal SSD would not show up or mount. I happened to discover that if I pulled the dongle and reconnected it while the pi was booted up (from SD), it would immediately mount the drive.

So while playing around with the A-A cable, I tried pulling the cable out and plugging it back in while it was stuck on that bootloader screen - and surprise - it would then boot successfully off the SSD - and it seems to be running at normal SSD speed for me. But the ONLY way to get it to boot is to unplug that cable every time after powering it up.

It seems to me that there is something inherently wrong with their USB bridge that prevents the SSD from connecting and mounting at boot. There was one instance (before i tried the cable instead of the dongle where it got partway through a VERY slow boot process, and never finished - hung on a black screen. It had several error messages in the stream of text that shows when it boots up - one was related to bluetooth, one was Disk Manager, one was Light Display Manager, and another was Authorization Manager. This may not be all of them, just the ones I took pics of.

I also tested my front USB ports by plugging a Logitech dongle into one of them and sure enough, they appear dead too.

I sent an email to them earlier today - no response yet, but it is a Saturday. I think that I paid with Paypal, so I may file a complaint with them if I can't get resolution - which I suspect will be the case from hearing that others are having issues as well. I can't believe that something as important as the internal SSD connection could be defective on a product where this is the main feature.
 

Steve_S

Offgrid Cabineer, N.E. Ontario, Canada
Just joined this forum to comment on the DeskPi Pro, as my experience has not been good either!
You joined here just for that, Ohh my ! I am curious as all heck, how did you find this thread ?

Book of 101 stupid excuses don't cut it for me. I took the leap with this because it was coming from 52.pi and the good initial reviews of the presale model. I also posted my "review" in the comments of Leepvideo's YT review. If you watched the reviews before ordering, that likely helped you make the "buy" move. I suggest you comment on them as well. I think a LOT of folks are gonna get shafted here.

I filed a complaint with PayPal as well.

They added my text on their Git Site with my instructions for creating a bootable USB drive. Then they sent me an e-mail telling they improved their material. Oi ! Then they asked me to call them voice from Canada ? Ohhh sure, gonna grab the cell & do that... yup.... so the phone call would only add most lost cash eh... drag it out and it could easily cost more than the danged DeskPi in no time...

I suspect that PayPal will get quite annoyed and the more of us who complain to them the higher likely hood they will intervene.
 

spiff72

New Member
Also - I mentioned that I haven't been able to access the deskpi.com web site for over a month. Tried on my phone tonight with wifi turned off and it worked. So I checked my routers "AiProtection" configuration and it was being blocked there as "Scam". Seems about right!
 

Montala

New Member
Also - I mentioned that I haven't been able to access the deskpi.com web site for over a month. Tried on my phone tonight with wifi turned off and it worked. So I checked my routers "AiProtection" configuration and it was being blocked there as "Scam". Seems about right!
Sorry, but I don't quite follow you there... what are you actually saying is a "Scam"... and what is actually blocking what?
(Hope I am not being too "thick"!}
 

Steve_S

Offgrid Cabineer, N.E. Ontario, Canada
DeskPi is produced by 52.pi a partner with Seed Studio. They tossed up the unique site for DeskPi.
52.pi & Seed as you know are well known and reasonably respectable companies.

There is NO NEED for Postulation, Theorisation or Conjecture. That is a sickness of 2020 along with Covidus Interruptus and too much time on people's hands. The TV Networks should have brought back Soap Opera's to occupy idle & bored minds again.

Bottom line, 52.pi Messed up BIG because they rushed and went off without th\orough Q&A and Live Testing. They will either make it right or they will descend into a historical footnote. It's too bad as their other products like the Argon stand up well... I have a feeling they will be (if not already) having some staffing changes.

I know something that will happen tomorrow (their time) they will NOT like one bit. Some heavies will be having discussions with them about harming the "made in china" brand. You may or may not be aware of this but the Chinese Government has issued directives over these points and when their Government does that... well... It's China,l there's no lawyer bull and delays there... OOPS they got on the Radar. Go Figure.
 

spiff72

New Member
Sorry - my comment was meant to state that I found it ironic that my Asus router's built-in malicious web site protection was flagging the deskpi.com site as malicious, and labeled it in the category "Scam". I tried to whitelist the site in the router and for some reason it won't save the whitelist correctly, so the only way I can visit the site right now from home is to browse to it on my phone through its data connection.
 

spiff72

New Member
DeskPi is produced by 52.pi a partner with Seed Studio. They tossed up the unique site for DeskPi.
52.pi & Seed as you know are well known and reasonably respectable companies.

There is NO NEED for Postulation, Theorisation or Conjecture. That is a sickness of 2020 along with Covidus Interruptus and too much time on people's hands. The TV Networks should have brought back Soap Opera's to occupy idle & bored minds again.

Bottom line, 52.pi Messed up BIG because they rushed and went off without th\orough Q&A and Live Testing. They will either make it right or they will descend into a historical footnote. It's too bad as their other products like the Argon stand up well... I have a feeling they will be (if not already) having some staffing changes.

I know something that will happen tomorrow (their time) they will NOT like one bit. Some heavies will be having discussions with them about harming the "made in china" brand. You may or may not be aware of this but the Chinese Government has issued directives over these points and when their Government does that... well... It's China,l there's no lawyer bull and delays there... OOPS they got on the Radar. Go Figure.
Yes - I am planning to migrate my Pi back into my Argon Neo case soon here.

I wish I had known of the issues with the DeskPi case prior to my ordering the SATA 2.5 drive. I see that the Argon 40 M.2 case is available now, and looks to be a pretty good option to accomplish what I want - incorporating an internal SSD into a simple stylish case. It even supports UASP, unlike the DeskPi (which I unfortunately didn't realize until it was too late). The Deskpi looked great on paper and ticked every box I wanted so I preordered it as soon as I saw it.
 

Steve_S

Offgrid Cabineer, N.E. Ontario, Canada
I had to hunt down two M.2.Sata drives (they are getting tough to find) NVMe is common now and actually price competitive.
So I sit with 1TB & 500GB M.2.Satas... InfluxDB can fill fast with time logged data sets from multiple devices.

Forward Ho ->
 

spiff72

New Member
Well, that Argon One M.2 case might let you put one of those M.2 SATA drives to work :)

One other question about your issues...

Did you have any issues with the HDMI connections? I spent the last hour trying to get the DeskPi to output HDMI to my Samsung 4k TV trying many different settings in /boot/config.txt, and nothing would work. I had it plugged into a Dell monitor (2560x1440), and had no issue with that connection (actually I don't recall if I adjusted the resolution or it was using 1920x1080), but this TV just wouldn't work at all.

I ended up removing the pi, replacing it in my Argon Neo case, and packing up the DeskPi for now. I then connected the Pi with an HDMI to microHDMI to my TV with the same cable, and it worked immediately. Go figure.
 

Steve_S

Offgrid Cabineer, N.E. Ontario, Canada
I got this e-mail below just now. Progress ? well... sorta kinda.

I had no issue with the HDMI remember to use HDMI 0 which is the one closest to the USB ports on the Raspi, use Port 1 and you won't see the boot screen, that's the secondary screen only. I use a 47" LG LED TV as my screen, has never failed me.

I'm not buying any more cases. I'll probably make up a couple out of acrylic sheeting. That way I can accommodate the tall cooler and place the M2 where I want.

Just realized that no one has all the "wiring" required to put a Pi in a Box and bring all the connectors to panel mount connectors. PiHut, Canakit, even a few of the bigger European "maker suppliers" don't have it all... GOBSMACKED ! Did not expect that, holy macaroni...
Thank Goodness at least many have stock on Mini SDcard extenders (board or by cable) but the rest nope, only some. The "Kick in the pants", I have to source it from one vendor in china as I am not going to triple the costs by having 3 shipping bills that add up fast. It isn't like no one makes their own cases or housings ...

What I find on EBay/Amazon etc the 3' cables with panel mount ends are cheaper than the shorter ones. No surprise , demand...
they are all between $8-15 a pop so in no time, you spent more than the cost of the Raspi, + s&h... ~head smack
Just gotta wonder...

Connectors: (nothing uncommon here)
From Raspberry Pi-4B ports
-- 1x MicroSD from Raspi to mountable MicroSD
-- 2x Micro-HDMI to Standard HDMI
-- 1x USB-C to USB-C
-- 2x USB-2 to USB-2
-- 2x USB-3 to USB-3
-- 1x GPIO 40-pin extension cable to GPIO mountable
-- 1x gigabit Ethernet adapter (if available)

Hello:
Thank you for all your comments and suggestions, we are already in the process of updating.
As for your question, we have given some solutions,

1.The front panel USB is unavailable because there is no configuration: /boot/config.txt file, you need to add in this configuration file: dtoverlay=dwc2,dr_mode=host, and restart the Raspberry Pi.

2. The default system is Raspibian OS. The account and password are: pi and raspberry. The system needs to be connected to the Internet due to pre-configuration, and the network needs to be configured with wifi-country to start wlan, so the default configuration is to use the configuration of Shanghai, China. sudo raspi-config to make changes.

3. Slow USB BOOT is the problem of USB conversion chip. We are working on a new solution to solve the problem of slow USB boot.

4. We are also re-adjusting the installation problems caused by the too small tolerance of the housing.
If you like, we can send you a new set after the re-modification.

We are very grateful for your valuable suggestions, which also brought us closer to the real user needs. When we designed the product at that time, we followed the past experience. The TF card was used as the system disk and the external SSD or HDD was used as storage. Therefore, at the beginning of the design, we did not foresee the slow startup of the SSD hard disk, and the problem of Logitech keyboard and mouse incompatibility: The reason for this should be that the board and the adapter produce the corresponding frequency interference during the USB3.0 data communication, which leads to the abnormal wireless mouse communication.

We are updating the news through this link, you can get help here: github.com/DeskPi-Team/deskpi

Now, after communicating with you, we have started testing improvements and updates.

We sincerely hope all of you have a good using experience,we also know the expensive shipping fee of returning the package to repair it,so you don't need return it,as long as we finish the advancement,we will re-sent you a updated deskpi-pro.

As for the message reply, because it is not during working hours on weekends, there may be time delays, but we attach great importance to all your comments and suggestions.


Best Regards
 
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Montala

New Member
I got this e-mail below just now. Progress ? well... sorta kinda.

(Comments & email not quoted!)

Hi Steve,

The email you received does sound as if they are anxious to offer a fully working product (quite rightly so!) and are even offering to send you an updated product or parts, which again sounds encouraging.

I am not quite as advanced as you, and have so far only assembled the product as a "dry run", but everyting seems to line up as it should do.
My plan is to install a 240GB Crucial BX500 SSD. but then to start from scratch with the latest OS which RasPi released a few days ago.
I was then planning to follow the steps as laid out in the YouTube Video at
which shows how to boot directly from a SSD, without an SD card.

As you have already found out this probably won't work anyway, so I will then contact the DeskPi Pro support team to ask them to send me some 'updated' components... or even a new device altogether! At the moment I get the impression that they are a responsible comapny, who is anxious to produce a correctly working device, so I will stick with them, and see how I get on! In the meantime however, I hope that you will receive what they have promised you!

Good Luck!
 

Steve_S

Offgrid Cabineer, N.E. Ontario, Canada
Well, I have to say, they are working to making it right.
I think they will, they just learned a valuable but costly lesson.
I've recovered on Raspi using the emergency EEPROM flash, phew ! NOT for the faint of hearty, last ditch try to save a Raspi.
Some main Vendors like BuyApi & Canakit (less so) and a few other of the bigger Raspi House are also paying attention, they are contacting me directly too about it. So there is exchange happening there. Even one of the Big Monster UK shops has reached out.
~ High Profile ouch I guess.

As they note, some hardware mods will follow (chip change) and a few other things, I have other mails from 52 but not posted here... I got like 6 in a row with "bits" and then long ones and more... The Lolligagging is over.

TIP: do not force anything.
Assemble the electronics, place in case, loosen screws a bit, slide in bezels, tighten bezels, then tighten screws holding the electronics. This should minimize the force and potential of twisting the socket/plug (not the best soldering work). I still had to use 500grit wet/dry sandpaper to knock down the edges of the bezels a bit do it slips in smoothly. a fine flat file would do as well. it does not take much, it's surprisingly soft.

One of my Bridge Dongles is borked there is no pass-through.
Again, I think they rushed too much, someone took a short cut or two and did not do a full sampling Q&A which would have caught all of this. They were under pressure as preorder deadline came and past and no product to ship.... OOPS. I know a lot of folks were bugging them on that.

Lesson Reinforcement: Never buy a Version 1.0 of ANYTHING ! V1.1 will be fixed.
Hmmm can that apply to spouses ? In some cases maybe so ! LMAO I ain't married thank goodness, BTDT once was more than enough.)

WD M.2.Sata's are on sale at Newegg for amazingly good prices. I got a 1TB & a 500GB for the two solar raspi's.
I'm not keen on Value Brands or off brands when it comes to such, just not worth it.

I have to ask. Your new on this forum ?
Are you into Solar or like the other fellow who found this thread & joined to participate ?
I'm told by a couple it surfaces high on Google.

BTW, I don't do video/YT. But if you do, may be prudent to pop one up on this V1.0 semi-beta Deskpi and that they are fixing it.
Couple of vendors I know are holding their Argon & Argon.m.2 Orders pending the outcome of this. I guess the concern is similar issues may follow. None want the headaches if that is the case I am sure.

Thanks
Steve
 

spiff72

New Member
There must be a bit of variation in the tolerances, since I actually put mine together and as I looked at the full assembly prior to sliding it in the housing, I thought to myself - "Self, if all 8 of these screws line up I will be shocked." But once I got the guts into the enclosure, the holes lined up surprisingly well. Even the front and back plates popped in nicely and all the ports lined up well. I did notice that the heatsink was dragging on the top of the housing as I pushed it in, but other than that, I thought it was mechanically sound. Electically (or or electronically), not so much.

I emailed them Saturday and haven't gotten any response back yet.
 

Montala

New Member
I have to ask. Your new on this forum ?
Are you into Solar or like the other fellow who found this thread & joined to participate ?
I'm told by a couple it surfaces high on Google.
Hi Steve,

I am inded new to this forum, and like "spiff72" I only found it by doing a Google search for "DeskP Pro Forums" and it was second on the list!

I was quite surprised, as I would never have found it otherwise!

As you might have already realised, I live in England (U.K.) and am just about to go away for a couple of days, but wil post again on my return.

Cheers,

David
 

Steve_S

Offgrid Cabineer, N.E. Ontario, Canada
Rumblins are appearing elsewhere as well... some hard bashing over on a Pi Forum I poke in on once in awhile... Some much harsher verbiage too.
They are now contacting me frequently with updates. I have a very strong feeling they will make it right and take the hit on the chin. It's gotta Hurt but often times the most valuable lessons come with pain. Applies to all sectors everywhere. I am told they will be shipping out replacements very soon.

I believe they will follow through and make good. They have the Argon.M.2 and others queued to come out, so they want it right before moving forward. I think the Lesson Has Been Learned. I suspect there may be some staffing changes too there... someone boffed the pooch.

Steve
 

spiff72

New Member
Rumblins are appearing elsewhere as well... some hard bashing over on a Pi Forum I poke in on once in awhile... Some much harsher verbiage too.
They are now contacting me frequently with updates. I have a very strong feeling they will make it right and take the hit on the chin. It's gotta Hurt but often times the most valuable lessons come with pain. Applies to all sectors everywhere. I am told they will be shipping out replacements very soon.

I believe they will follow through and make good. They have the Argon.M.2 and others queued to come out, so they want it right before moving forward. I think the Lesson Has Been Learned. I suspect there may be some staffing changes too there... someone boffed the pooch.

Steve
I hope you are correct. As mentioned yesterday, I haven't gotten ANY response to my support inquiry yet. They did reply previously (but it may have taken a few days) when I had inquired about when the product was shipping.
 

CrunchyDoodle

New Member
I have successfully reconfigured the DeskPi Pro with an SSD to work fairly well. As noted, the issue is with the internal USB 3 to SATA adapter. The internal adapter uses a JMicron chip that does not support UAS protocol on the Raspberry Pi 4 with any flavor of Linux. The issue is well documented in this posting:

https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=245931&sid=2f65e00291e239e7ee9c1ee58c723f52

I followed the instructions and added the appropriate quirk to the cmdline.txt file and that disabled UAS and reverted back to usb-storage. This gives a 20% reduction in performance, but it boots up and works OK.

If you are using 32-bit Raspberry Pi OS, the DeskPi Pro software installation scripts will work as advertised. However, if you use most anything else, it will fail. This is documented on Github where you get the DeskPi Pro software under issues. I was able to easily recompile the source code for 64-bit Ubuntu Mate and also had to make a few corrections to the install script for 64-bit Mate 20.10, which is an official Raspberry Pi 4 Linux distribution. I have told all of this to the DeskPi Pro people and they did respond with a lame email and asked for pictures and videos. Since their Github has the script issues documented and the JMicron chip they used is known bad with a Raspberry Pi 4, they need to put someone to work and fix this stuff.
 
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