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Author Topic: T17/S17 malfunction: cases, solutions, remedies, RMA history  (Read 6846 times)
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mikeywith
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May 22, 2020, 11:19:45 PM
 #81

I responded asking for alternatives, as my shipping to CA is ~ $100, and to Hong Kong is ~$400-500.  I'd rather wait for CA to reopen, than spend 4-5x shipping cost.

$400-500 + the time wasted from sending it to receiving it back will probably cause you to lose more than you will ever mine with that gear, they do have an address in Netherlands, I presume it would be cheaper and faster to ship it there, you need to ask them if you can send it there (obviously after checking the shipping price to that location), here is a list of all their repair sites.

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May 23, 2020, 12:01:14 PM
Last edit: May 24, 2020, 12:17:41 AM by frodocooper
Merited by frodocooper (2)
 #82

I responded to customer service email, advising that I was not concerned with speed of repair/replacement, and asked if I could delay the return until CA is re-opened. Received a response that we could do just that, file a temporary repair ticket for CA, and update/renew as needed until CA reopened.

My business aspect is unique, in that this miner was bought almost completely with previous credit. I spent less than $200 total, including shipping and tariff.   Plan was to bring in an almost free 70th unit, and sell the 50th unit, effectively getting paid to swap out and increase by 20th.   But not doing that til I get a good unit.
  
So I unplug this thing on Wednesday to not waste power. Spend 2 days of emailing, and figure out I'm in a holding pattern.  I plugged it back in Friday to fiddle with it again, and its running perfectly again with no errors almost 24hrs now.   That tells me theres nothing wrong on my end network wise, if the errors come and go randomly.

Home garage miner: (3) S19j pro
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May 26, 2020, 05:53:23 AM
Last edit: May 26, 2020, 11:29:29 PM by frodocooper
Merited by favebook (5), frodocooper (5), mikeywith (2), o_e_l_e_o (1), Scorpyy (1)
 #83

Hello, I have been reading every single answer to this interesting post. This is because I have also been framed by Bitmain with those S17+ antminers. I have some background in electronics and analyzing those intermittent failures that these miners have just got me a little confused, specially during a time that I checked control boards and data cables by disconnecting back and forth. At times the miner was full throttle mining just to drop after few hours. That in electronics is called a "cold soldering". Although there are not visible cold solderings I discovered that the soldering material that is being used on this S17 have 2 problems.

First, high amount of lead and low proportion of tin, and of course zero silver in the soldering material. This can be observed under the microscope used to soldering circuit boards. All of the solderings showed a greyish mate color and no shinning finish.
 
Second, below normal temperature of the soldering material, also leaves traces, specially on the hashing board chips. Also analyzed under the microscope there are traces that look like an sponge along with tiny cracks surrounding the chip's area at the surface of the hashing board.

So, this takes me into the conclusion that somebody at Bitmain's is trying to cut ends and by doing this they have compromised 50% of the S17, T17 series. The use of soldering with high percentage of plumb just tells me that they are throwing the cheapest crap they have to solder the components on those miners. Also they are trying to reduce electricity costs by not heating well enough the soldering material melted at the trays and this is specially true because the soldering material with higher proportion-ratio of lead instead of tin and silver takes colder temperatures to melt.

So taking all this into consideration I really recommend to all of those that are willing to throw the money into shipping costs, customs fees and no mining income, just don't do it because Bitmain still uses the same bad quality materials to fix it.

Since that soldering material is all over the hashing and controller boards is just a matter of time chips keep coming off the boards, the only and costly solution is to desoldering them all and soldering back with a good quality soldering flux, other than that those miners will keep failing over and over.

Basically most of the S17 series are doomed.
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May 26, 2020, 08:03:26 AM
 #84

Since that soldering material is all over the hashing and controller boards is just a matter of time chips keep coming off the boards, the only and costly solution is to desoldering them all and soldering back with a good quality soldering flux, other than that those miners will keep failing over and over.

Basically most of the S17 series are doomed.

You have just explained 'scientifically' what I have been trying to tell everyone for months, dude we need more people like you around.

So, since the soldering melts at fairly low temp, will under-clocling these miners give any improvement in the lifespan of that tin before chips start falling? Or should someone just overclock the heck out of them because they will melt either way? Or leave them at stock?

Also what soldering flux do you suggest to use? A product link from Amazon will be great.

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May 26, 2020, 12:51:25 PM
 #85

I have some background in electronics and analyzing those intermittent failures that these miners have just got me a little confused, specially during a time that I checked control boards and data cables by disconnecting back and forth.
At times the miner was full throttle mining just to drop after few hours. That in electronics is called a "cold soldering". Although there are not visible cold solderings I discovered that the soldering material that is being used on this S17 have 2 problems.

First, high amount of lead and low proportion of tin, and of course zero silver in the soldering material. This can be observed under the microscope used to soldering circuit boards. All of the solderings showed a greyish mate color and no shinning finish.
 
Second, below normal temperature of the soldering material, also leaves traces, specially on the hashing board chips. Also analyzed under the microscope there are traces that look like an sponge along with tiny cracks surrounding the chip's area at the surface of the hashing board.

What mikeywith said... We need more people like you, seriously!

Would you mind setting up a ticket and telling them all of this? You might get a refund or some coupon or even a job offer there Cheesy
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May 27, 2020, 01:36:22 PM
Last edit: May 27, 2020, 11:34:18 PM by frodocooper
Merited by frodocooper (5), Sundance_ (2)
 #86

My friend mikeywith, I really appreciate your good words, thanks. About your question of keep it stock or overclocking, I rather underclocking them cut the blue wire from the fans and place the miner in a horizontal position instead of vertical so the chips on the boards also stay in horizontal position and that might help to keep them from falling easily. Also I observed that the base plate where the fans are attached are not completely open to the airflow as those in the S9. Those plates have metal fins forming squares in front of the fans and let me tell you those fins cause a disruption and some blockage of the airflow into de miner. In the past I did some experiment placing a simple air filter in front of the intake fans on S9, after few minutes of operation the miner's temperature raised exponentially in relation with a no air filter condition.

Based on that, I suspect that any obstruction of the air flow, no matter how small is can cause the temperature on the miner to raise abnormally high and relatively quick. The solution to this is to cut those stupid square fins that are in the fan base plate and leave them as those that come with the S9. Just keep the outer frame of the plate which is in reality where the plate and fans attach to the aluminum body of the miner.

About your question of which soldering paste to use, the BEST choice all over the board hands down is  Kester TSF-6522. it can be bought on electronic specialty stores such as Digikey. This compound is specially good since is a tacky and NO CLEAN class which is very important. Due to the limited space between the hashing chips is absolutely necessary to leave no trace of soldering material around and within the chip that is about to be soldered.

Here is the link: https://www.digikey.com/products/en/soldering-desoldering-rework-products/flux-flux-remover/266

I hope this have helped many people around to understand what is really going on with this miners and to suggest to those that are willing to fix by themselves their miners to do it. Instead to spend the money by sending your machine, as Bitmain expects to do it, to Hong Kong, I rather buy the chips, the hot air soldering machine and soldering compound and do it myself. Yet, if you feel you are not able to do such a job find an electronic technician that have hot air soldering skills and ask to do the job, you can supply the hashing chips and the soldering paste.

To all good friends in this community I tell you guys WE ALL are on our own on this and if I were a lawyer I will be filling for a class action lawsuit against Bitmain. By the time and in the best of our interests let's find out how to solve our miners problems by ourselves so we can be back in business in a safe and low cost manner.

Best regards.



... Would you mind setting up a ticket and telling them all of this? You might get a refund or some coupon or even a job offer there Cheesy

Friend Favebook, I already did and I'm really sick of  "copy and paste" answers by someone called Jessica L. who is in charge of technical department.
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May 27, 2020, 05:18:34 PM
 #87

About your question of keep it stock or overclocking, I rather underclocking them cut the blue wire from the fans and place the miner in a horizontal position instead of vertical so the chips on the boards also stay in horizontal position and that might help to keep them from falling easily.

Are you sure about the horizontal positioning? By some laws of physics and my basic understanding of it, while miner is in vertical position, all heatsinks have the same sag and gravity is pulling them downwards at angle of 90°. And that may not be perfect, but I think it is best to stay in that position since if you put the miner horizontally, half of heatsinks are in perfect position (gravity is pulling them towards chips and that would make them almost impossible to fall off), but half of them are in worst position as they are pulled downwards (away from chips) at angle of 180° and that would make them (by some raw and stupid calculation) 50% more likely to fall off than in vertical position.

Please, do correct me if I am wrong in any way!

Friend Favebook, I already did and I'm really sick of  "copy and paste" answers by someone called Jessica L. who is in charge of technical department.

Yeah, I understand you... I hate those answers too.
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May 27, 2020, 06:43:52 PM
Last edit: May 27, 2020, 11:37:11 PM by frodocooper
Merited by suchmoon (4), frodocooper (2)
 #88

I have a S17 with 3 dead hashboards that gradually dropped out. No warranty, no good-will. For sure its the solder breaking on the chips, tried everything.

This is not recommended, but as a last ditch effort tried to re-flow the hash boards by heating to 385 Deg f for 10 min. Haven't had success. I've heard of people bringing motherboards and GPUs back to life using this technique. Theory is the heat melts and reconnects the broken solder joint.

Maybe something to try before you throw your board in the trash. Not sure if anybody else has tried this with any degree of success.
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May 27, 2020, 07:26:55 PM
 #89

All S17 T17 series need a change of FANS, those that come are the worst wining shitty fans i haver use, all bitmain equipment this days come with those fans, they move almost nothing air, if you have DELTA or other good brand (2.6 amp) just change the 2 back FANS.
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May 27, 2020, 08:54:24 PM
Last edit: May 27, 2020, 11:36:51 PM by frodocooper
Merited by mikeywith (1)
 #90

Are you sure about the horizontal positioning? By some laws of physics and my basic understanding of it, while miner is in vertical position, all heatsinks have the same sag and gravity is pulling them downwards at angle of 90°. And that may not be perfect, but I think it is best to stay in that position since if you put the miner horizontally, half of heatsinks are in perfect position (gravity is pulling them towards chips and that would make them almost impossible to fall off), but half of them are in worst position as they are pulled downwards (away from chips) at angle of 180° and that would make them (by some raw and stupid calculation) 50% more likely to fall off than in vertical position.

I understand what you are talking about, you are referring to the chips that are on the other side of the hashing boards, the small ones with small heatsink. However, what I am doing is putting upwards the chips with the long heatsink which are the ones that creates most of the heat and thus are prone to fall off the board due to this high temperature. The ones on the opposite side have a small heatsink which tells me they develop less heat. I am testing this position on several miners and see what happens.
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May 28, 2020, 03:06:09 AM
Last edit: May 28, 2020, 11:55:23 PM by frodocooper
 #91

I understand what you are talking about, you are referring to the chips that are on the other side of the hashing boards, the small ones with small heatsink. However, what I am doing is putting upwards the chips with the long heatsink which are the ones that creates most of the heat and thus are prone to fall off the board due to this high temperature. The ones on the opposite side have a small heatsink which tells me they develop less heat. I am testing this position on several miners and see what happens.

That seems smart. Will test too!
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May 28, 2020, 04:08:46 PM
 #92

I have a S17 with 3 dead hashboards that gradually dropped out. No warranty, no good-will. For sure its the solder breaking on the chips, tried everything.

This is not recommended, but as a last ditch effort tried to re-flow the hash boards by heating to 385 Deg f for 10 min. Haven't had success. I've heard of people bringing motherboards and GPUs back to life using this technique. Theory is the heat melts and reconnects the broken solder joint.

Maybe something to try before you throw your board in the trash. Not sure if anybody else has tried this with any degree of success.

Jbillk, don't throw them to the garbage, find someone near you that have soldering skills using hot air guns, buy yourself a good soldering paste and bring one hashing board and ask the tech resold the chips and most of the components on the hashing board.

here is a top notch soldering paste

https://www.digikey.com/products/en/soldering-desoldering-rework-products/flux-flux-remover/266
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May 28, 2020, 09:41:21 PM
Merited by favebook (1)
 #93

you are referring to the chips that are on the other side of the hashing boards, the small ones with small heatsink.

favebook brought up a very good point, just for everybody's information, the heatsinks that usually fall are the once that are directly on top of the chips ( the bigger ones), if you take out 2 heatsinks placed in the opposite direction of one another, one will have the asic chip below it, another will be "empty", however, without totally negating the effect of positioning the miner in a horizontal position, it's safe to assume that unless you can do it easily [1] it's really not worth the effort, there isn't much you can do about these heatsinks until they fall, sadly.

[1]- if you use spilt-room design as I do and you have already made a whole to fit the miner vertically, going horizontal is a lot of effort, which IMO not worth it given the little advantages you get from this, but if it's a matter of simply repositioning the miner in 30-60 seconds, go ahead, you lose nothing.


This is not recommended, but as a last ditch effort tried to re-flow the hash boards by heating to 385 Deg f for 10 min.

Had to go from f to c (apparently what 99% of human beings use  Grin) and it turns out to be 196 c, please DON"T do that, the chips and most other components will most likely rest in peace when they are put in that temp for 10 mins, your method could have probably fixed the soldering problem but created a far greater issue.

 I suggest to simply apply some pressure on the heatsinks see which one falls, try to soldier it or do as The_binary_Observer suggested.

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June 01, 2020, 10:47:58 PM
Merited by frodocooper (2)
 #94

Recently purchased 2 x S17+ 70TH, April batch but delivered in May due to delays at Customs. Both machines worked fine initially, then dropped a hashboard. One machine after just 1 hour and the 2nd unit after approx. 2.5 hours, very disappointing Sad Spent several days back and forth with Bitmain support doing everything they asked but to no avail and now both units have been shipped back for repair.
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June 02, 2020, 07:23:13 AM
Last edit: June 04, 2020, 01:19:26 AM by frodocooper
 #95

Sorry to hear your story, although by now I am not surprised to read such stories, in fact, I'd be surprised hearing the opposite about these crappy gears Bitmain makes.

Did the support bots at bitmain give you any troubleshooting aside from the

"Sir please reset the mine and flash the latest firmware" or "Sir this is the recovery files put on sd and flash, use this guide"?

I am sure that members here provide a million times better troubleshooting than bitmain's support, did they tell you about the cheap soldering they use? I can bet the house that the 2 boards that failed had a loose heatsink/chip on them, just like 99% of other issues happen, so another month or so of delay, only to get the same unit you ordered a long time ago, by the time you start hashing - all those S19s/M30s have been plugged in, well good luck with that.

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June 02, 2020, 09:29:24 AM
Last edit: June 04, 2020, 01:20:55 AM by frodocooper
Merited by frodocooper (4), mikeywith (2)
 #96

I have some background in electronics and analyzing those intermittent failures that these miners have just got me a little confused, specially during a time that I checked control boards and data cables by disconnecting back and forth. At times the miner was full throttle mining just to drop after few hours. That in electronics is called a "cold soldering". Although there are not visible cold solderings I discovered that the soldering material that is being used on this S17 have 2 problems.

First, high amount of lead and low proportion of tin, and of course zero silver in the soldering material. This can be observed under the microscope used to soldering circuit boards. All of the solderings showed a greyish mate color and no shinning finish.

Just to let you know, the greyish finish comes basicly from lead free solder. All Manufactors are forced to use leadfree from 1996 on for consumer products. You may test it using a handheld analyzer (in production used to check material prior production).

That you expirience cold joints is a old problem also on S5 and S3. To repair that, I use no clean flux paste around the affected chip then a heatplate on the underside of the board (regulatet to 100° c) and warm the pcb up for arround 3 min. before I am using a regulated hotair (360°c) on top to melt the joint and reestablish connection. 99% this method works. 1% the chip was realy dead before that action.

In conclusion I can say that bitmain did not got their reflow process in control, and no qa off corse.

from the creator of CGMiner http://solo.ckpool.org for Solominers
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June 03, 2020, 04:42:26 AM
Merited by frodocooper (4)
 #97

All you do is a reflow, make sense if the board is new, if the equipment is old a reballing is needed.

The lead-free solders melt at higher temperatures of about 217°C/422°F compared to 183°C/361°F for the lead-based option, if you can use lead paste/ball is better.

The problem with Lead-free solders is that make micro-fracture occurs in the solder joints, this is a know problem with the consoles (XBOX and PS), reballing with lead balls make then working perfectly, no more cold joints and micro-fracture.

Lead free solder is an abomination for circuits, help the environment but kill circuits especially the ones that work with high temperature.
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June 03, 2020, 07:06:35 AM
Last edit: June 04, 2020, 01:22:52 AM by frodocooper
Merited by frodocooper (4)
 #98

Well, this is not valid for all electronics.

Bitmain asics comes as qfn package not bga, that means that the coating of the chip is paladium. Everything in chip manufacture is oriented to lead-free now.
Depending on what kind of solder paste (activator chemicals) was used, a mix with other lead paste (acid chemicals as activator) may result in a good joint, but degrading of the influence of the different chemicals mixed now over the time. The heat of the board, the vibration from the fans, and a not homogen temp over the pcb result in warping the joints (microfracture).

The problem of the miner is to look overall, so the pcb design and the material used is also an issue. Given the condition of in wich the pcb has to operate, this is not an easy (quick) task. But time to market is the main concern at bitmain. Anyway we have to live with it, as we got only the option not to buy.

PS: If bitmain can offer you a new S9 for 63$ now and still make some money, I do not think that they are realy designing the miners up to quality or a long life.

from the creator of CGMiner http://solo.ckpool.org for Solominers
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June 03, 2020, 04:37:39 PM
Last edit: June 04, 2020, 01:24:12 AM by frodocooper
 #99

Jbillk, don't throw them to the garbage, find someone near you that have soldering skills using hot air guns, buy yourself a good soldering paste and bring one hashing board and ask the tech resold the chips and most of the components on the hashing board.

here is a top notch soldering paste

https://www.digikey.com/products/en/soldering-desoldering-rework-products/flux-flux-remover/266

Problem is that all the boards look ok, it would be like finding a needle in a haystack finding the bad chips. The log shows 0 chips detected on all 3 boards, so i have no idea witch ones need to be re-soldered.

I also tried blasting the boards with hot air gun, no results.

Not sure if reflow oven at higher temperature will work (already tried 10 min @ 200 deg c). Really have nothing to lose, i'm just experimenting at this point.
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June 04, 2020, 07:23:07 AM
 #100

PS: If bitmain can offer you a new S9 for 63$ now and still make some money, I do not think that they are realy designing the miners up to quality or a long life.

This makes sense, but what I don't seem to understand is the reason why all gears made by Bitmain in 2019 onwards have the same issue, it's not just the 17 series, even the S9k had the same issue of heatsinks/chips falling off the hash boards, I am not sure if you saw my thread regarding the s9k, now I don't know enough about electrics but it seems like bitmain aren't using any type of solder but rather they inherit the postage stamp method of using a bit of saliva to stick them  Grin, I would understand if the heatsinks fall due to over-heating them - that means the quality of the paste they use is bad, but for chips to fall off due to shipping and handling is terrible, I would like to get a an explanation on that.

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