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Excited to start programming the Thing Plus I received last week, I used a nice rubberized flat micro-B USB cable to connect it to my XPS laptop USB port while I boot up the Arduino IDE and get the packages installed.

I realized there were a few more things to download and that it would take a while, so I unplugged the board and found that it was very hot. Upon plugging it in momentarily after cooling down, I felt around the board and the small black square IC was already burning hot. I immediately unplugged again.

The only thing I have done is solder headers on. I am pretty familiar with soldering through-hole boards and none of the joints look suspicious to me (see attached). I didn't have the iron on any pins for very long either.

I wish that I'd tried the USB before soldering so that I'd know if there was a problem in soldering, but I didn't expect that I'd run into any problems this early on. Upon inspection with multimeter, the VUSB appears to be shorted to ground. Not exactly sure what that would mean though.

Any help greatly appreciated.
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Hi Nigel,

Sorry to hear your Thing Plus is acting up and not working properly. Thank you very much for including a thorough description of the issue and photos of your board. Your soldering looks perfect and nothing else in your setup would cause the problem. Most likely you ran into one of the few ESP32 Thing Plus' that exhibit a design flaw with the USB-to-Serial IC. This is a known issue we are currently fixing in a revision that causes a small number of these to fail after passing our QC tests and we would be happy to reimburse you for the defective board.

Assuming you purchased the board directly from SparkFun, please fill out the form on this page and in the "Why do you want an RMA?" box, fill in a brief description and link to this forum post and we will follow up with further instructions. If you purchased the board from one of our Distributors, you will need to contact them directly.
Hello TS-Mark!

Thank you for your response. I look forward to continuing this project and appreciate you helping make this hiccup go easier. I purchased directly from Sparkfun, so this shouldn't be a piece of cake.

Best regards,