RK3188 Quad Core Cortex-A9 Android stick teardown

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My RK3188 Android stick arrived yesterday and needless to say it was disassembled immediately.

What I like is the big external WIFI antenna it makes reliable connection to the WIFI router even if the signal is weak.

What I didnt like: there was tiny 0.8 mm thick aluminum plate placed on top of RK3188 with … double side adhesive tape πŸ™‚ c’mon guys this tape is thicker than the aluminum plate, what termal transfer will it have??

This stick was $30 cheaper than A31 stick I bought one week ago, but when I opened it I could see why – it have only 1GB of RAM not 2GB as A31 stick had!

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Something else I missed in the brief datasheet is that RK3188 have no native HDMI but only RGB LCD interface, so it needs IT66121 RGB-HDMI transciever to connect to HDMI TVs. No signs of HDMI TVS protectors like in all cheap Android sticks, these are pretty expensive and should not be wasted πŸ™‚ you can see there is provision for them on the PCB but they are no populated, you better pry your TV have no static electricity charge when you connect your Android stick to it πŸ™‚

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there is something else which always puzzles me when I open these sticks. When we design our OLinuXino schematics and follow all rules we place between 120 and 150 filtering capacitors to all voltage / GND points – and these chips have *LOT* of voltages, for the cores, for the peripherials, for the output buffers, etc etc.

All these sticks have no more than 30 capacitors at all! What does this means – less noise immunity, and sometimes digital parts could latch-up but who cares when these sticks are so cheap πŸ˜‰