Frustration with XIAO Products

I have bought 5 XIAO boards in the last couple of months, 4 of which have become bricked and don’t respond to the solutions advised in some of the forum posts. I have tried using the NRF52 and ESP32C3. I bought these from Pimeroni, and have used them within a very modest capacity - to control a 28BY stepper motor via a driver.

Up until the point that the boards became bricked, they became increasingly prone to errors and issues:

  • Not identifying correctly in Arduino IDE, often appearing as ‘Wifiduino’
  • Not communicating over Serial
  • Inconstistent uploading from Arduino
  • Occasional crashes in MacOS Monterey on M1 Pro

In addition, the boards are poorly documented with missing information & guides alongside code examples that don’t work

The XIAO expansion board also appears lacklustre, with issues getting the OLED display to work as well as a layout problem with the pogo connectors not actually aligning with the ESP32 board pads(!!)

The LiPo charging capability is tenuous:

  • The polarity on the charging pads were the wrong way around on at least one of my boards (NRF52) - confirmed with others who had the same issue
  • The LiPo charging eventually stopped working.

For the record, I have one NRF52 board that is still working ok. I have also replicated my circuits with official Arduino boards and have had no issues whatsoever.

I was very hopeful and excited to use these boards as they are purported to have lots of features.

It is clear that there is an ongoing quality issue with the boards as discussed by others. My question is then what do people move on to use afterwards? - what is a good and reliable dev board at this form factor?

Are Seeed faithful to their money-back policy?

i have most all of the products you have mentioned and have not experienced the problems you have noted

documentation is not ideal… but that goes for most toasters now a days
i have had bricked xiao samd… but was able to fix
the expansion board pogo pins were designed for samd … this is unfortunate but due to future development

electronics = troubleshooting

I just received my nrf52840 board a couple of days ago and I have a similar feeling.

So, board installation don’t work out of the box in aduino IDE:

After solving the first issue, I wanted to check the Power Consumption Verification sketch provided in the wiki:

Reading the 170 earlier messages in the same thread, it seems that one have stay with version 1.0.0 of board library. Indeed, with the tip used for install, I can’t manage the board version in board manager for my seeed board.

But, one should not be afraid as R&D is working. :sweat_smile:

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I’m sure you’re more experienced than I am with MCUs etc, and are probably avoiding some pitfalls and are having a smoother time.

I have to say though that these development boards are meant for getting a project up and running and testing an idea before potentially going to custom designs. These should be stable as a minimum, and allow users to conentrate on functionallity rather than opaque connectivity problems and spend more time figuring out the gaps in documentation.

It reminds me of the race-to-the-bottom culture with 3D printers, where we’ve ended up with cheap machines that can do something, but have subsequently comprimised the user experience in regards to customer support, documentation, and overall reliability.

Anyhow, I will still try to use my board for my project. Before, I tried to use Adafruit Feather and ItsyBitsy nRF52840 boards. They are very well supported in Arduino IDE and PlateformIO (and Seeed board is mostly using Adafruit libraries). But, due to onboard neo-pixel LEDs, it can’t go to low current consumption (<1 mA). So, the Seeed board may be the best option for my project… if I can use it.

its important to realize that Adafruit is different than Seeed

its a shame that most library are created by Adafruit but
if you want compatability with Adafruit stuff you have to buy Adafruit stuff

its truly as simple as that

Boss detector project.

Step 4: Conclusion

Seeed has wonderful products, however the software support is lacking.[…]