Pi-top Display power issues

with the pi-top display touchscreen, if I use the adapter to plug in another device like a laptop, if it provides enough power it will power up the display and it will work just fine. If it doesn’t provide enough power through HDMI the display doesn’t ever turn on. I have my pi-top4 power plugged into the display adapter usb-c port tried pressing the power button on the mount on the back. No luck, unless the HDMI provides enough power it will not turn on the display.

Do I possibly have a defective display adapter? or is there something i’m doing wrong here?

there were no instructions sent out with the display adapter so i’ve had to piece it together from support and the forums.

@enoac the display needs to be powered via a 5 V 3 A USB-C charger in the USB-C port on the Display Adapter, in some cases, the 5 V pin on a standard HDMI cable can power it too but this is not intended.

I have my pi-top4 power plugged into the display adapter usb-c port tried pressing the power button on the mount on the back

Do you mean you have the pi-top [4] charger plugged into the Display Adapter? Or a cable from the pi-top [4] to the Display Adapter?

If you connect the pi-top [4] directly to the Touch Display with the green cable does everything work ok?

Another thing to check is that screen resolutions are being set properly, if the device you are trying to output video from isn’t correctly setting the resolution then you likely won’t see anything on the screen even if power is working.

I’m using the pi-top 4 power cable that came with my pi-top 4, if the device provides the power, or if I use the display cable with my pi-top 4 it works just fine. This issue only comes up if I have to power the display separately. In which case it will not power on. I’ve double checked the resolutions and that all looks good. The issue seems to be a power issue within the display adapter.

@enoac apologies for the slow response - I missed your reply somehow. Sounds like you have diagnosed that the issue is with the Display Adapter - please get in touch with support@pi-top.com and get a new one sent out, hopefully they can get one to you asap!

Yeah thats what I did, they shipped me the new one early this week, so i’m waiting for it to arrive to test and see if it works correctly.


@enoac great, please let me know the test results!

Mr Duwudi, it turned out the Display Adapter was the issue, everything is okay with @enoac’s equipment now

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@RezIN please get this adapter tested and the root cause of the failure found, we need to do everything we can to ensure this doesn’t happen again :+1:

I am having the same issue happening on my 2nd display. The first one flickered, then had a white halo around the perimeter, when I could get it to work. The only cable supplied was the display adapter with the FHD display. I am using a 5 A and 3A power supplies I have confirmed, plugged into the display adapter USB-C. Connected with an hdmi to the display adapter and the mini end to the pi-top (RPI 4) The pi-top will not boot with the FHD . The OLED shows a computer with arrow to an sd card.? Using my portable 15 inch hdmi monitor, the pi-top will boot, no problems. I have swapped out hdim/mini cables. All work with my 15 inch. I have measured the output on both power supplies, both measure over the specs. There is a flaw somewhere either in the display adapter, or FHD display. The interesting thing is both monitors did the same, the pi-top will not cold boot up. If I boot with my 15, then connect the FHD and power off/on, it will work. Even reboot, but not cold boot.

Hi @oviking99, I’m struggling to understand what the exact problem is - if you have two displays can you summarize each one separately as clear as you can?

The OLED showing a computer graphic just means you have to carry out onboarding on the OS, you can get instructions for this at pi-top.com/start - once onboarding is finished you’ll have access to the OLED menu and you can do HDMI resets to try troubleshooting display issues.

I have owned the pi-top for a month. It has been setup and the menu functions on the OLED when attached to my 15 inch monitor. It was bought without the FHD display.

  1. The first FHD display I received, caused the pi-top to not boot. The “outboarding” oled display appeared then shut off. When connected to the 15 inch monitor, the pi-top boots fine and the OLED menu functions as it has always. The FHD display was returned for another.
  2. Received the 2nd FHD display. Same issue, the pi-top oled shows “outboarding” then shuts off. Again, the pi-top boots fine using the 15 inch monitor.
  3. The only way to get the FHD display to work is to boot the pi-top with the 15 inch monitor, then swap to the FHD display.

Just thinking;
I believe this to be a power draw problem. The pi will not boot due to lack of power when attached to the display adapter and FHD display, even with a 5V, 5A supply to the display adapter and a 3A power supply connected to the pi-top. Thinking out loud; without adequate power my other RPI’s will not complete the boot process either. I have to wonder if the FHD display would work without the supplied display adapter. I do not own the proprietary green USB-C HDMI cable, so I have no means to test.

Please excuse my ramblings;
I happened to come across a pi-top with foundation kit including, the RPI 4B + 16gb pi-topos, power supply, foundation kit, and “green” cable. All for $100.00 on ebay, shipped 2nd day. I will try the FHD on that system tomorrow.
Just an FWI; I have updated my pi-top EEPROM to 9/20 from 3/20. I swapped the 5V 5A charging supply to the pi-top and the regular USB-C 3A supply to the display adapter. It power booted once. I tried to power off and reboot, nada. After 30 minutes it rebooted up with the FHD display. I will leave it on as we used to say, to “burn it in”. We’ll see. Thanks for the help :wink:

@oviking99 ramblings are good, useful info! $100 is a very good price for all that, hopefully it’s in good condition when it arrives! :+1:

When using the Display Adapter to connect the FHD Display to a pi-top [4] or any other device (e.g pi or laptop), you’ll need to supply power by plugging in a 5V 3A power supply into the USB-C input of the Display Adapter - it seems like you did this so I’m interested to know what happens when you use the green cable directly to the FHD Display. It might be that the Display Adapter has a power issue so hopefully we can pinpoint that when your green cable arrives - keep me updated!

Thanks for the reply! Yes, I have a 5v 3a plugged into the USB-C on the display adapter. I will post my results with the ebay green cable. Interesting though, the display adapter remains cold when powered. But letting the display adapter and FHD set for awhile, it will work. My hope is it is the display adapter and not the FHD. Question; Is there a “U” connector in the works to eliminate the dangling green cable cable? Thanks! :wink:

@oviking99 yeah I hope it’s not the FHD Display too, much easier to swap out the Display Adapter!

There is indeed, many other people have asked for the same thing over here: https://forum.pi-top.com/t/shorter-display-cable/287 :+1:

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I received my Ebay Pi-top, foundation kit. All works great, almost new. The “green” cable works great on both p-itops.
Last night using the display adapter, I ran some graphics intensive youtube videos for a few hours. As I posted earlier, it is how we used to “burn in” new equipment/computers for reliability testing. There is still debate about this, but I believe it actually works. Interestingly the display adapter worked for every shut down/ startup after that. The things I noticed were some screen jitter/jumping and noise in the videos. Today I used both the green cable and display adapter on both machines with the same results. The green cable provided rock solid video, no jitter, no anomalies. Using the display adapter, there was occasional jumping and constant noise on both pi-tops. I made sure to properly secure the cables so there were no “loose” connections. Without tearing the thing open, my guess, connector issues.
I am very happy the FHD is functioning great!

@oviking99 nice, glad the new kit works!

I think your diagnosis sounds correct, it does sound like a connection issue within the Display Adapter - keep an eye on it and if it becomes a serious problem then don’t hesitate to get in touch with support@pi-top.com to get a replacement :+1:

Thanks! I will be using the green cable as it functions great with the FHD.