Raspberry Pi’s latest small and cheap single-board computer is the most powerful to date. The recently launched Raspberry Pi 4 features a quad-core ARM Cortex-A72 processor, an upgraded GPU, faster Ethernet, and for the first time it comes with three memory configuration choices: 1GB, 2GB, or 4GB.

The new model is also the first to feature two micro HDMI ports (instead of one full-sized HDMI port), and the first with a USB-C port for connecting a power adapter.

But it turns out that not every USB-C charging cable will work — which is particularly problematic because the $35 base price of a Raspberry Pi doesn’t include a power supply or cable.

It also turns out that if the Raspberry Pi Foundation had just followed the USB-C spec, this wouldn’t have been a problem at all — but the USB-C situation is rather complicated and plenty of other devices suffer from similar problems.

But the good news is that it shouldn’t be too hard to find USB cables that work.

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9 replies on “Lilbits 372: Raspberry Pi 4 charging issues (and USB-C confusion)”

  1. At this point he Pi hardware developers have clearly demonstrated they’re not very good, both from specifically a hardware design standpoint as well as a prototype/test standpoint.

    1. This is not a major problem for me. It turns out that RPi 4 inrush current is much less than RPi 3, which allows my old (and hardy ever used) 5V 2A adapters to work without showing the under-voltage warning.
      I’m just saying 2 steps forward and 1 step back.

  2. I used a PD charger- quite higher price than cheap chinese one. I used a 18w with a usb port and a usb-c port. And i got a usb to usb-c 2 meter from pzod 3amp supported. Check for proper support and it work. But as the pi4, very cheap and don’t expect high performance or more than still frame on the 4k output. Very slow overall and few lib are compatible right now. If you are looking for a desktop go all way with the Odroid or a ztoac or any 6years old pc will be faster that this stuff.

  3. The cheap and cheerless resistors botch strikes again. Had they just stuck with USB2 and PD all would have just worked.

    1. I have been using cable matters braided c->a cables from Amazon with no issues. You can’t use c->c cables as RPi4 does not support USB pd.
      I have had no power issues, but am having issues with dual monitors.
      Also, Adafruit sells a tall heatsink that works very well.

  4. “which is particularly problematic because the $35 base price of a Raspberry Pi doesn’t including a power supply or cable.”

    Change including to include.

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