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Thread: Teensy 4.1 butchery

  1. #1

    Teensy 4.1 butchery

    Despite the Teensy 4.1's tiny size, I want to go smaller. I'm certain this is frowned upon but I'm trying to be a bit naughty by chopping the board at the place shown in the pic. After this is done, and using this schematic I'm trying to wire the psram directly to appropriate points on the board. This looks like 7 wires for the full 16MB plus 2 for power and gnd. Unfortunately I can't get it to work. I wrote a memory test program which worked before surgery and doesn't work afterwards. I've triple checked all connections, there's no shorts and power is getting to the ram chips. Obviously there could be many reasons why this could go wrong so my question is has chopping the board in this way also severed some other internal track i'm not aware of?

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  2. #2
    Senior Member pictographer's Avatar
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    Would a Teensy 4.0 spare you a heap of trouble?

  3. #3
    Senior Member PaulStoffregen's Avatar
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    I really want to see a photo of how you've actually connected the wires. Don't be shy! Show a photo.

    I'm particularly curious to see how you got the 7 QSPI signals (EMC24-EMC29) without the right hand side of the PCB...


    Quote Originally Posted by hungrybutterfly View Post
    I've triple checked all connections, there's no shorts and power is getting to the ram chips.
    How did you check the 7 signals?


    so my question is has chopping the board in this way also severed some other internal track i'm not aware of?
    I can confirm cutting along that red line will only sever signals which route to the I/O pins, QSPI pads, and SD socket. No special signals critical for Teensy 4.1 operation are routed through that portion of the PCB. 2 of the internal layer are for 3.3V and GND, so there is a possibility of roughness on the cut edge could cause any of those I/O signals to short to 3.3V or GND.

  4. #4
    Senior Member PaulStoffregen's Avatar
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    I made this map to help you find the 7 SQPI signals. Hopefully it helps.

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    If you scratch away the green solder mask, you should be able to solder small wires to these vias. Be careful about too much heat, since those vias go right up close to the underside of the main chip's pads. Best to set your soldering iron to a relatively low temperature, and use lead-based solder.

    You could run a program like the LED blink, 7 times, with pin number set to just 1 of the QSPI signals on each run. Then use a voltmeter or connect a LED+resistor to each wire to check that it's really connected to the correct signal.

    Still really hoping to see photos of this wiring. As far as I know, you're the first people I've heard to attempt such a feat.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by PaulStoffregen View Post
    Still really hoping to see photos of this wiring. As far as I know, you're the first people I've heard to attempt such a feat.
    OK it's now working. It turned out to be a short between D3 and 3V, I think caused by a rough edge where it had been cut. Just knowing I was on the right path helped me strengthen my resolve to fix it

    Thanks so much for your help. As you were curious here's a pic of what I'd done before fixing it. It's pretty much exactly what you'd suggested in the map you sent. Please excuse my dodgy soldering I could really do with better tools but can't justify the cost.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by pictographer View Post
    Would a Teensy 4.0 spare you a heap of trouble?
    Unfortunately not. I've worked on a 4.0 before but I need the psram memory to be addressable like normal memory rather than having to use function calls. Thanks for the suggestion though.
    Last edited by hungrybutterfly; 04-10-2022 at 03:14 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member PaulStoffregen's Avatar
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    I'm pretty impressed you got it working!

    Might mention this on social media. Hope that's ok.

  8. #8
    Senior Member pictographer's Avatar
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    Wow. Congrats on getting it working!

    I'm sure I'm not the only one who is curious about what marvelous gadget will you put this in and what will it do?

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by PaulStoffregen View Post
    I'm pretty impressed you got it working!

    Might mention this on social media. Hope that's ok.
    sure thing

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by pictographer View Post
    Wow. Congrats on getting it working!

    I'm sure I'm not the only one who is curious about what marvelous gadget will you put this in and what will it do?
    Thanks. I'm making more of these https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQdilSVFqRk

  11. #11
    Senior Member houtson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hungrybutterfly View Post
    Thanks. I'm making more of these https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQdilSVFqRk
    wow, that looks crazy - I want one!

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