Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: C-1000... Blinking Battery Light
OESF Forums > Distros, Development, and Model Specific Forums > Model Specific Forums > C1000/3x00 Hardware
ArKay
I just got a used C1000 with the EA BL-11 battery and the sharp EA-72 charger.

Plugging in the ac adapter causes the battery light to go on but then after about 10 minutes it sits and blinks.

The unit will not turn on with the battery in or with the battery in and the AC adapter plugged in.

If I take the battery out and plug it in the battery light flashes and the unit doesn't do anything.

Any ideas what might be wrong ?


Sorry for the ignorance - I couldn't find anything about this issue doing a search on the forum archives.
Capn_Fish
I would guess that your battery is dead, but somebody more experienced in this area would know much better than me.

Two things that may help:

1. If your battery isn't an original, check to make sure its contacts can actually touch the Z's. There is a thread dealing with this somewhere (Accessories?)...

2. If your battery is just dead, you could try putting it in a plastic bag in a freezer for ~24 hours, allowing it to return to room temperature (still in the bag to avoid condensation), then charge. This is supposed to revive dead batteries (I believe it gave mine an extra bit of juice, but I haven't done any tests, so it may be power of suggestion)

Anyway, good luck!
speculatrix
I would definitely not put a LiIon battery in a freezer! Most storage recommendations suggest for longevity to keep them in cool place approx half charged. LiIon batteries age over time, but mainly through recharging cycles - keeping them topped up can help.

I once left my cell phone in luggage for transatlantic flight and the hold must have been unheated - there was a lot of condensation in luggage when I landed and needed to get something out - and the battery which had previously been good was useless. As a result if I *have* to put cameras/camcorders etc into check-in baggage (which I avoid if at all possible) I remove batteries and carry them by hand!
Capn_Fish
You put it in a plastic bag to avoid condensation on the battery, so you don't have that issue.
ArKay
Well - the freeze the battery trick didn't do anything.

It was worth a try since it wasn't working anyway. Just a bummer since the person who sold it to me claimed it was 'in good working order' but didn't mention the battery was bad...

Anyone else have any ideas what the blinking battery light means ?
blink.gif

I'm open to reasonable suggestions before I have to shell out a bunch of money to try another battery... even more important in case the charging circuitry is dead and all I'll be doing is wasting time, effort and money to destroy another battery...
Drake01
QUOTE(speculatrix @ Mar 30 2007, 05:11 PM)
I once left my cell phone in luggage for transatlantic flight and the hold must have been unheated - there was a lot of condensation in luggage when I landed and needed to get something out - and the battery which had previously been good was useless. As a result if I *have* to put cameras/camcorders etc into check-in baggage (which I avoid if at all possible) I remove batteries and carry them by hand!
*

I don't know for certain about freezing LiIon cells, but it might also have been the depressurization that killed the battery. I'm pretty sure that LiIon cells (probably most rechargeables, actually) have "vents" that will burst if pressure builds too high. I believe this is to prevent the entire cell from exploding. The cargo hold, which I'm pretty sure is not pressurized, might have caused the "vents" to blow. Just a guess.

I've also heard that the worst thing to do to a LiIon cell is to completely discharge it. Supposedly, you'll get much longer life if you keep it topped off. LiIons do not have the "memory effect" of NiCads, so recharging them when they're only halfway (or less) discharged shouldn't cause any problems.
speculatrix
I did wait for the phone and battery to reach room temp and all condensation to clear before attempting to use it; I am speculating whether the electrolyte in the battery could be damaged by freezing, somehow crystallizing it? Hmm, nothing when I google, but wikipedia says the LiIon electrolyte doens't freeze until -40, which is pretty damn cold. Anyway, I will continue to take that precaution.
pelrun
QUOTE(Drake01 @ Mar 31 2007, 04:23 AM)
LiIons do not have the "memory effect" of NiCads, so recharging them when they're only halfway (or less) discharged shouldn't cause any problems.
*


Nicads don't have the "memory effect of Nicads" either. You don't see the problem with NiMH and LiIon only because the chargers are smarter, and actually turn off when the cell is full! (well, ok, LiIon would explode without it... biggrin.gif )

Partial charges of Nicads are perfectly ok and always have been. What *isn't* ok is overcharging the cells, which is dead simple with the dumb always-on chargers always used with them, and even simpler when you put a half-charged battery in but leave it in just as long as you would have done for an empty battery (half the time is spent overcharging the battery! yay!)

Overcharging damages the cells and makes the voltage drop, which makes devices stop working earlier (even though there is still charge in the cell) which in turn caused people with no knowledge of battery chemistry to invent the "memory effect" myth.
ArKay
OK -
I know this may see somewhat self-centered and leaking, frozen, memory hampered lithium ion batteries are an interesting topic but...

can anyone tell me wht the steady on for 10 minutes followed by blinking battery light _means_ ?

Did I get a bad battery ? A bad unit ? what ?

Is ttere a way to fix it ?

sorry if I sound cranky - but having dropped the $325 for the unit I want to figure out what's up with the 'in perfect working order' Z I just got.

Thanks for any help
speculatrix
QUOTE(ArKay @ Apr 1 2007, 06:24 AM)
somewhat self-centered ... but...

can anyone tell me wht the steady on for 10 minutes followed by blinking battery light _means_ ?

Did I get a bad battery ?  A bad unit ? what ?

Is ttere a way to fix it ?
*


oops, sorry to get off track.

do you have access to someone who's got an external charger, so you can try charging up the battery outside the Z?

do you have a multimeter and able to probe the battery contacts to see what the voltage is on and off charge? one can be bought for less than US$10 in RadioShack etc?
ArKay
QUOTE(speculatrix @ Apr 1 2007, 03:22 AM)
oops, sorry to get off track.

do you have access to someone who's got an external charger, so you can try charging up the battery outside the Z?

do you have a multimeter and able to probe the battery contacts to see what the voltage is on and off charge? one can be bought for less than US$10 in RadioShack etc?
*


No problem. cool.gif

I have a multimeter but no external charger.

The battery reads 4.2v and only 442Mah out of the Zaurus.

IS the battery just weak enough that it can't power the Z and the blinking light is saying 'bad battery ?'
speculatrix
does the voltage on the battery change when the charger is plugged in?
ArKay
QUOTE(speculatrix @ Apr 1 2007, 03:25 PM)
does the voltage on the battery change when the charger is plugged in?
*


Since I don't have an external charger I can't read the voltage of the battery when it's in the C1000. sad.gif

Hence my hope that the behavior (charges OK for about 10 minutes but will not come on even if plugged into AC - battery light starts blinking about 10 minutes into charge and doesn't stop... unit does not turn on then either) would be indicative of a problem and hence an answer to fix it.

If that is the actions of a unit with a bad AC adapter, a bad charger circuit or a bad battery that would be great to know.

...otherwise... I've got a few questions out to see if anyone I know has an external charger to try out.
speculatrix
I meant you need to probe the battery contacts whilst battery is in the Z, with and without charger, so that you can see if the Z is trying to charge the battery at all.

I am wondering if your charging fuse has blown - this seems to be most common problem; if so there are two solutions - 1/ get external charger 2/ open up the Z and replace the surface mount (tiny!) fuse.
speculatrix
if you disconnect all power, take power out, wait 10s, insert battery, flick the switch back, hold D+M and turn on, do you get the D+M menu?
ArKay
QUOTE(speculatrix @ Apr 2 2007, 07:04 AM)
if you disconnect all power, take power out, wait 10s, insert battery, flick the switch back, hold D+M and turn on, do you get the D+M menu?
*


Nope. No luck with that or the 'on' and 'OK' buttons either. Or with trying the same with the reset switch either.


But it does function fine & dandy with the battery from a C3000 (same battery model). The battery does _not_ power on the C3000 and has the same effect (charges for a bit then starts blinking.) So it's not the unit - it must be the battery.

The question is - does the blinking light indicate just a bad battery ? Is there a way (short of buying a new battery and crossing fingers) to check the charging circuit ? I'd hate to get a new battery and then have a bad charging circuit just trash it...
speculatrix
hmmm. if you take the good battery and put in it the suspect Z, will it charge it up, or does it run down?
Stubear
if you disconnect all power, take battery out, wait 10s, hold D+M and plug in the ac adapter, do you get the D+M menu?

Note: Don't put the battery back until after the D+M menu appears

Stu
Antikx
How about Fn + D + M
speculatrix
if you desolder the CPU, attach a PXA270 in circuit emulator and start from boot, where does it get stuck?

ok, only kidding.
ArKay
QUOTE(speculatrix @ Apr 3 2007, 08:09 AM)
if you desolder the CPU, attach a PXA270 in circuit emulator and start from boot, where does it get stuck?

ok, only kidding.
*
blink.gif

I've tried all the above. D+M, fn D+M, 'OK' plus On with and without the battery (for all attempts) as well as trying all the same with the reset switch tripped as well. (sigh).
With the battery in the unit fails to come on. With the battery out the battery light just blinks.

I can't get my multimeter probes into the battery area so I couldn't tell you anything beyond that.

The owner of the C3000 is not keen on tossing his battery into the unit and seeing what happens as far as charging goes. It functions with it in there - but he doesn't want to run it don and see if it will charge. The 'bad' battery _does not_ charge in the 3000 either - so I'm guessing the battery is blown. Either used enough that it's dead or just gone.

For purposes of experimentation I've ordered a new generic cheap battery and will see how that works. (sigh) Now to wait the 2 weeks to get the battery.

Is the fuse easy to see when disassembled and easy to tell if it's blown ? I'd be willing to look as long as disassembly is pretty easy...

Any other ideas guys ?

WAIT !

>If you disconnect all power, take battery out, wait 10s, hold D+M and plug in the ac adapter, do >you get the D+M menu?

>Note: Don't put the battery back until after the D+M menu appears

>Stu

YES! ohmy.gif

I do get the menu... as stupid as this newbie question will sound... now what ?
pelrun
You'll have to buy a new battery no matter what; ebay has some decent clones quite cheap (I got one for under $20.) It's obvious your old one is dead.

The Z won't be the culprit; LiIon batteries only have a limited lifespan. LiIon batteries can also die if they're left completely flat for several months. (lifespan is maximised if the battery is left at 40% charge when unused for long periods.)

Putting a good battery into a Z with a damaged charging circuit won't harm it, guaranteed, because the charging circuit isn't truly damaged, it's just *disconnected completely* from the battery. The Z is explicitly designed to instantly fail that way on polarity reversal to protect the battery. Fuses are cheaper, after all.

Of course, you would just have to shut the Z down and take the battery out to put it in an external charger every day. Or get some replacement fuses and repair the Z. Z users have successfully done each with no ill-effect on the battery.
Stubear
QUOTE(ArKay @ Apr 4 2007, 12:12 PM)
WAIT !

>If you disconnect all power, take battery out, wait 10s, hold D+M and plug in the ac adapter, do >you get the D+M menu?

>Note: Don't put the battery back until after the D+M menu appears

>Stu

YES!  ohmy.gif

I do get the menu... as stupid as this newbie question will sound... now what ?
*


Now you should be able to put your battery back in, close the cover and switch it back to lock. Then on page 2 of the D+M menu (use the up/down buttons to change pages) there are 3 items related to battery: 5. low battery, 6. Batt Voltage Adjust and 10. Charge

5. Low Battery - shows the current Battery voltage and some other info
6. Batt Voltage Adjust - takes you to another page that gives you
1. Battery Voltage Adj
2. Battery Voltage Check
These allow you to play with the battery voltage, but I've lost my reference that had info on how to use them sad.gif Maybe someone else can help. Beware of the adj option you can do some weird things to your battery with that.
10. Charge - takes you to a screen with 3 small boxes and 1 large boxes - the small boxes are "Full", "Half" and "Off" and the large box says "Exit". Clicking on the small boxes turns the charge light on/off and from memory charges the battery to Full or Half level - again I'm working from memory here.

Sorry I can't be more helpful, but hopefully this will be of some help (and possibly searching the forums will give you more useful advice)

Stu
ArKay
QUOTE(Stubear @ Apr 4 2007, 05:29 AM)
Sorry I can't be more helpful, but hopefully this will be of some help (and possibly searching the forums will give you more useful advice)

Stu
*


Sadly the forum search (and lack of finding anything about blinking battery lights) is what spawned the question.

Well, I currently have it on 'Full' charge - the blinking hasn't started and the battery voltage (as noted by one of the other menu options seems to be increasing. I guess I'll know what's up i a couple of hours...

If it looks like the battery won't charge - and the new one doesn't I guess it's time to see what else can be done.

Thanks to everybody for the help.
Drake01
QUOTE(ArKay @ Apr 3 2007, 10:12 PM)
I can't get my multimeter probes into the battery area so I couldn't tell you anything beyond that.
*

In the past, I've tested operating voltage, amperage, etc., by using aluminum foil.

If you are checking voltage between two separate contacts, you can:
* cut narrow strips of aluminum foil
* insert a strip between the battery contact and the Zaurus contact
* repeat for the other contact(s)
* run the foil strips to the outside of the battery compartment, ensuring that they will not touch each other
* carefully close the battery cover, such that you do not damage the foil
* I usually use tape to hold the foil in place at this point
* take measurements off the foil

I've also checked amperage this way by using scotch tape as an insulator between two strips of foil stacked together: Foil-Tape-Foil. I believe what I actually did was Foil-Tape-Foil-Tape, using the second piece of tape to secure and insulate the second piece of foil because the tape was wider than the foil. Leave an uninsulated spot on the end that you insert between the battery and Zaurus contacts so that you have one piece of foil "extending" the battery contact, and the other piece of foil "extending" the Zaurus contact. Use your multimeter to complete the circuit and measure the (milli)amps.

I haven't tried this on my Zaurus, but it worked well on my PalmOS PDA.
pelrun
QUOTE(Stubear @ Apr 4 2007, 10:29 AM)
1. Battery Voltage Adj
*


Careful with this one! It sets the "high-water-mark" for charging to the *current* level of the battery. So if you select this with a half-full battery in the Z it will only ever charge the battery to half full from that point on. So do it with a full battery! smile.gif

I think you can get the Z to charge beyond it if you leave it in the DM menu, although I'm not sure whether you risk overcharging then.
ArKay
QUOTE(pelrun @ Apr 4 2007, 07:49 PM)
QUOTE(Stubear @ Apr 4 2007, 10:29 AM)
1. Battery Voltage Adj
*


Careful with this one! It sets the "high-water-mark" for charging to the *current* level of the battery. So if you select this with a half-full battery in the Z it will only ever charge the battery to half full from that point on. So do it with a full battery! smile.gif

I think you can get the Z to charge beyond it if you leave it in the DM menu, although I'm not sure whether you risk overcharging then.
*



Hmmm. So If I was looking between the 'Charge' menu, the Low Battery menu and the Batt Voltage Adjust menu and chose Adjust (but used Cancel to leave the menu) - it would set the 'high water mark' as the voltage the battery had at that time - or only if [HOME] or [S] were picked (as listed in the 'Set Flash' option) ?

The battery (in 2 hours) had gotten up to a couple of volts - and then down to nothing after being out of the unit overnight - so it looks to me like the battery is dead and unable to hold a charge.

Guess I'll find out after I get the new one...

Thanks for all the help.
ArKay
Well after a few weeks of waiting a Sharp original BL11 replacement battery came.

Everything works fine and dandy now. Hurray !

Thanks for the help everyone.
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Invision Power Board © 2001-2014 Invision Power Services, Inc.