A power switch for Zimaboard

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MTShipp

Member
Oct 1, 2020
7
1
If you are like me, the action of unplugging/plugging in the power plug to your Zimaboard becomes annoying and may even introduce wear and tear on the barrel. Though a pinout board is available on the side, it is difficult to install pins to attach a PC power switch and, if like me, your board’s holes may not be through and through making soldering one very difficult.

I found a solution that works great (for me). I purchased on Amazon an inline 5.5 mm x 2.5 mm male to female on/off switch cable. It is only a few inches long and works great for switching my Zimaboard off and on. I am not sure if posting Amazon links is allowed so just search “20cm DC 5.5mm x 2.5mm Male to Female On/Off Switch Cable”. I got a 4-pack for $10 USD.

Hope this helps others!
 
I really like the suggestion of this cable mounted switch! I'd rather do a switch as MTShipp suggests than deal with the pins on the device which might be tricky and more delicate.

My only concern is that the cable and switch needs to handle up to the rated 3A Power supply. I found two that are 3A rated: DISCOOL: https://a.co/d/h8tIaft and AWADUO : https://a.co/d/8RPsq7X . Both are about $10. Both seem to have the right connector sizes and at least state they can handle 12V at 3A.
 
Guys...

I should mention that it's possible to hook up any of the very nice external reset/power switches to our ZimaBoards. Essentially, it's possible to add the regular compliment of "front panel" power switch, reset switch, power LED and drive activity LED to our ZimaBoards. I've done it to all of mine and it rocks! https://www.amazon.com/dp/B097QV6ZD2

Unfortunately, doing this requires opening up the ZimaBoard and soldering a 14-pin (2x7) right-angle "header" onto the PCB. Goto THIS page and scroll down to "Pinouts" and look at the 14P Panel I/O: https://docs.zimaboard.com/docs/Hardware-Interface-Introduction.html

That shows the arrangement of the pins. Using the $8 reset power/reset button from Amazon and a 2x7 right-angle header, it's possible to leave the power connected all the time and use the power and reset buttons on the reset blob instead. :)
 
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I really like the suggestion of this cable mounted switch! I'd rather do a switch as MTShipp suggests than deal with the pins on the device which might be tricky and more delicate.

My only concern is that the cable and switch needs to handle up to the rated 3A Power supply. I found two that are 3A rated: DISCOOL: https://a.co/d/h8tIaft and AWADUO : https://a.co/d/8RPsq7X . Both are about $10. Both seem to have the right connector sizes and at least state they can handle 12V at 3A.

FYI, I ordered the DISCOOL one and it doesn't fit. The end that goes into the Zimaboard has a center hole too small to fit the center pin on the Zimaboard. The outside diameter seems fine. The diameter of the center hole is too small. I may try reaming it out a little using a drill.

Edit:
After further review I see that the DISCOOL one says the center pin is 2.1mm, and the AWADUO says it's 2.5mm. I'll order the AWADUO and see how it fits.
 
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Unfortunately, doing this requires opening up the ZimaBoard and soldering a 14-pin (2x7) right-angle "header" onto the PCB. Goto THIS page and scroll down to "Pinouts" and look at the 14P Panel I/O: https://docs.zimaboard.com/docs/Hardware-Interface-Introduction.html
Hi Steve, I ordered the 2x7 headers and they came in today. Now I'm having 2nd thoughts at soldering it in after pulling the unit apart and getting a look at how tight the clearances are. Do you have any advice about it? How about a picture of how yours looks? I think I'm going to need a finer tipped (and probably temperature controlled) soldering iron now.
 
Hi Steve, I ordered the 2x7 headers and they came in today. Now I'm having 2nd thoughts at soldering it in after pulling the unit apart and getting a look at how tight the clearances are. Do you have any advice about it? How about a picture of how yours looks? I think I'm going to need a finer tipped (and probably temperature controlled) soldering iron now.
Yes. What you have just written above is a testament to your sanity. They could have made soldering that optional header FAR easier with better design of the solder mask of the PCB. I'm quite accomplished with a soldering iron, having successfully soldered tiny surface-mount transistors and ICs many times... But I was unsatisfied by the best I could do with that header and I was hoping that they would work. (I modified a pair of ZimaBoards) They both worked perfectly.

But, YES! ... You need the finest point soldering iron tip you can find. Temperature control is less critical for soldering a connector (than a semiconductor) but it should not be too difficult to find one. I DO NOT regret doing it. It's SUCH a convenience for the use of the ZimaBoard with SpinRite. :)
 
I guess I'm in the marked for a new soldering iron now. Open to suggestions from experienced solderers. My first career many decades ago was an automobile mechanic, and so soldering 12v is no big deal with my current equipment. Yay, I'm going to need to buy a new toy. :)
 
Pine64.org makes a Pinecil soldering iron that runs on USB power and looks pretty cool. Adrian did a review of it at one point... but I suspect it would take you some time to actually get it, especially since China is going into "total shutdown" due to the upcoming Chinese New Year.

According to Amazon, I bought this one: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B086DTV28M back in Sept 2021 when I had to solder in a resistor into my failed ATOM based NAS. (Known issue with ATOM cpus.) I don't know if the point is super fine or not, as I am not an expert by any means (Steve can maybe comment) but I did really like the magnifier and the arms to hold the work item. As you can tell from the Amazon (Canadian anyway) description, it seems to be a pretty all in one soldering station/kit "X-Tronic 3060-PRO • 75W Soldering Iron Station • 4 Helping Hands • Silicone Tool Mat • 5 Extra Tips • Roll of Solder • Tweezers • Solder Sucker • Brass Sponge/Flux • C/F, Calibration & Sleep Features!"