1. FF22's Avatar
    I'm not sure that I could capture the meaning of my question in the Subject line.

    The issue is all of the various threads on the failure of the pb to recharge if it hits "ZERO" (or whatever its trigger is) and why it needs the Stack Charging or potentially days on the charger to recharge or why breaking the circuit at the battery connector is necessary.

    Yes, folks should not necessarily test the unit and/or forget it and allow it to hit zero. But let's be real, human nature what it is, folks lose track of time or power levels or just set their pb aside for too long of a period and the battery goes flat. Then folks run into an inability to just plug it in (either usb-ac or rapid charger or...) and have it charge.

    Sometimes folks miss the warnings or readings. The device should not enter whatever state it enters that makes it very hard to charge. It could be sitting dead for a week or a month and it should just be plugged in and charge again. It should not require gymnastics and extraordinary measures to recharge it. Why does it require electro-shock therapy or a defib or Stack
    Charging routine.

    Why not: Plug it back it - it starts charging. There must have been some reasoning behind what rim did but it is not easy to figure out what was positive about the concept. So that's my question - why not just recharge when attached to some appropriate power source. What was Rim thinking?

    I have a TomTom gps that I don't use very often. Its rechargeable battery goes to ZERO (or whatever) regularly. I plug it in and it charges. Similarly, my Creative Zen mp3 player rarely ever gets used now. It is quite dead - but I can recharge it when I plug it it. Neither device requires Stack Charging or similar methods.

    Anyone know what or why?
    07-31-12 11:53 AM
  2. PedroBorgas's Avatar
    Hey, i dont know it all, but i know this:

    - The "new generation" of batteries, do have this problem(you shouldnt let them hit 0), so its not only RIM's problem. These new kinds of batteries,don't have memory, so them they don't get ruined(addicted in Portugal), by charging them while still with charge, like what happened with the last generation of batteries. On the other side, they can't go flat, because it brings them probs...

    Like i said, i dont know much more about that, but there are threads in this forum regarding this subject. Just search them

    Sent from a beautiful but old BB 8520 or a new and shinny PB 2.0
    07-31-12 11:59 AM
  3. Chaddface's Avatar
    My guess would be redundant safety measures. They don't want charging without a system monitoring the process.
    07-31-12 01:52 PM
  4. doc-hill's Avatar
    I think the problem is the lack of power protecton, there must be some protection against deep discharching of the battery.
    This deep discharching is the biggest battery killer today........ Populair or modern batteries don,t respond well to negative battery power, the old batteries could handle this....
    The pb realy needs a protective level of restpower or shutting totaly down when reaching this level
    07-31-12 02:27 PM
  5. jpash549's Avatar
    F2: Problem is in waking up a totally shut down, near dead battery? Need to get enough charge to operate the charging control computer. Seems to me I also remember having to push the power button for initial startup of the PB. But then the battery had some charge. Also have you visited the web site Battery University?
    Last edited by jpash549bb; 07-31-12 at 03:19 PM.
    07-31-12 03:17 PM
  6. SifJar's Avatar
    My guess would be (and this is a complete and utter guess, I know very little about batteries) other devices have some sort of safety measure where the battery will actually cut out when there's 1-2% left. However much is enough to ensure a proper charge can be done. PB instead goes right to 0% before cutting out, and that causes problems starting a charge. (Something about needing a higher initial current). I'd say it was a design flaw, and not a "feature" or "decision" on the part of RIM. (If RIM have previously stated that it was intentional, disregard this of course. I don't see any reason why they would do this intentionally, but then RIM do plenty I wouldn't do )
    07-31-12 04:38 PM
  7. Saul89's Avatar
    My guess would be (and this is a complete and utter guess, I know very little about batteries) other devices have some sort of safety measure where the battery will actually cut out when there's 1-2% left. However much is enough to ensure a proper charge can be done. PB instead goes right to 0% before cutting out, and that causes problems starting a charge. (Something about needing a higher initial current). I'd say it was a design flaw, and not a "feature" or "decision" on the part of RIM. (If RIM have previously stated that it was intentional, disregard this of course. I don't see any reason why they would do this intentionally, but then RIM do plenty I wouldn't do )
    At my time working for a Li-ion battery company who made them for cars, not consumer electronics, this is about right, although the amount really left when the indicator said 0% could be upwards of about 20% of the total actual capacity. I don't know how much is generally set aside for consumer electronics but it would appear that RIM didn't do enough.

    I have let mine run down until it shut down and haven't had any troubles plugging it in and starting it up again, though.
    SifJar likes this.
    07-31-12 05:15 PM
  8. SifJar's Avatar
    At my time working for a Li-ion battery company who made them for cars, not consumer electronics, this is about right, although the amount really left when the indicator said 0% could be upwards of about 20% of the total actual capacity. I don't know how much is generally set aside for consumer electronics but it would appear that RIM didn't do enough.

    I have let mine run down until it shut down and haven't had any troubles plugging it in and starting it up again, though.
    Perhaps the issue only affects some batteries. But thanks for the confirmation on this, good to have a professional opinion And 20%? Seems like a lot. But I guess if it means it avoids problems like the one described in this thread, it is well worth it.
    07-31-12 05:21 PM
  9. FF22's Avatar
    I can just see Stack Charging a car! I know - how 'bout we put a crank in front of the engine and folks can go out and crank the darn thing back to running.
    Heavens1 and kbz1960 like this.
    07-31-12 07:03 PM
  10. sputneek's Avatar
    F2, I've got a message in to this guy as I am sure HE knows....



    Let you know what he says when he gets back to me
    07-31-12 07:13 PM
  11. jpash549's Avatar
    Back to the car analogy. If you try to jump off a car particularly with the usual cables you may have to wait a few minutes for the dead battery to get enough juice to start the car before you step on the starter. The stack charging is based on the principle that the computer tries to start when there is a little charge in the battery but there isn't enough to get going. Thus you go throgh the off and on cycle trying to build up the energy to the point where operation can be sustained.
    07-31-12 07:23 PM
  12. Heavens1's Avatar
    Darn good question F2!!

    I know my PB starts to get antsy around the 15 to 20% battery level mark, and I get the messages re too low to use browser, so maybe what Saul89's said re cut out occurring should start to work at that point. (I'll need to re-test that - it's been while since I let it get that low)
    07-31-12 07:29 PM
  13. dugggggg's Avatar
    It's simple, really: it's a design flaw. Specifically, a chicken-and-egg problem.

    The PB has a battery monitoring chip, the job of which is to protect the LiPo battery from undervoltage. If the battery voltage is below a certain threshold, the chip cuts power to various power-consuming circuits, most notably the CPU and LCD backlight.

    Unfortunately, it also cuts power to the battery charging chip.

    Fortunately, the charger chip does let through a brief trickle charge before it is shut down by the monitoring chip. This is why several "stack charges" are required, each one slightly raising the battery voltage. Once the voltage climbs above the minimum threshold, the monitoring chip permits the charging chip to do its job properly.

    In most other devices, the charging chip is "always on" and not dependent on a separate monitoring chip.
    Heavens1 likes this.
    07-31-12 07:40 PM
  14. FF22's Avatar
    F2, I've got a message in to this guy as I am sure HE knows....

    Click to view quoted image


    Let you know what he says when he gets back to me
    Hey, got an email address - I could add it to the Rim support info I post!

    And I see Heavens1 is already in on this thread. So I'm sure an answer will be pending soon. And Saul, too. A very biblical group, here.
    Last edited by F2; 07-31-12 at 07:46 PM.
    Heavens1 likes this.
    07-31-12 07:43 PM
  15. KermEd's Avatar
    It is because it runs on the souls of children, and if it runs out completely... you need a new soul stone to recharge it.
    07-31-12 07:50 PM
  16. Saul89's Avatar
    Perhaps the issue only affects some batteries. But thanks for the confirmation on this, good to have a professional opinion And 20%? Seems like a lot. But I guess if it means it avoids problems like the one described in this thread, it is well worth it.
    lol, not really a professional, worked there for 6 months as an intern. I also worked in a different part of the company(r&d electrode coating) than the battery management stuff. That's just what I gathered from presentations from other people and such. From what I got letting one of those batteries run down to true 0% could absolutely ruin it, so there were strong protections put in place to prevent it. Maybe more standard Li-ion batteries are a little more resistant to that, but I'm guessing even when you have to stack charge and such the battery still hasn't hit that close to absolute 0%. I think it may have more to do with the start-up method or something than the battery itself.

    Just my two cents.
    SifJar likes this.
    08-01-12 01:08 PM
  17. FF22's Avatar
    Well, I'm sure most devices that use any of these types of batteries or any battery has a bright line. This came to me today when hiking. My camera kept signaling Low Battery. And I kept pushing it. But clearly even with juice in the battery, the camera will stop functioning anyway. It probably needs more power to move the lens then it does for some other functions. Then there's writing to the card, lighting the lcd, focusing. So the battery might have juice but it might not function well for some or all of those functions. Similarly, the pb needs some level of power. So absolutely zero probably does not happen under use conditions. It just turns itself off with x amount left.

    But the crazy "no power - stack charge me!" situation does not seem appropriate.
    08-01-12 06:16 PM
  18. Heavens1's Avatar
    F2 I'm wondering if it can be resolved via a software fix?

    Have you written to BB Support?

    Wondering if you'd include that question in your info ..... that is - can the battery issue be addressed and resolved via an OS software fix.

    Is it silly of me to think (I've no no battery techo knowledge) that the battery itself could be fine - but the software instructions controlling it are wonky? Is that what some of the more 'in the know' people in this thread are saying?
    08-03-12 07:33 PM
  19. SifJar's Avatar
    F2 I'm wondering if it can be resolved via a software fix?

    Have you written to BB Support?

    Wondering if you'd include that question in your info ..... that is - can the battery issue be addressed and resolved via an OS software fix.

    Is it silly of me to think (I've no no battery techo knowledge) that the battery itself could be fine - but the software instructions controlling it are wonky? Is that what some of the more 'in the know' people in this thread are saying?
    I think it may be (partially) a hardware issue. As dugggggg said, the battery monitoring chip cuts power to the charging circuit when the voltage isn't high enough (i.e. when the battery has run out more than it should). This is a hardware design flaw, because the charging circuit should not be cut off, it should only be the other hardware that is cut off.

    However, it should be "fixable" via software by my understanding. Basically, what I imagine would be a "fix" for the problem would be to change the battery level readout in the OS, so that what is currently, say, 10% would now be seen as 0%, meaning the battery will be "dead" to the OS when it actually has more charge left than it does currently when it is "dead" to the OS.

    Not sure if that is particularly clear. I made a little diagram to try and explain what I meant:



    The top is how it works now, the bottom is how I am suggesting it should work. The chunk on the right of each bar is what the OS sees as the "full battery". The portion on the left is the extra charge that is reserved for keeping the charging circuit active, and won't be used to actually power the device. I think by reserving a little extra for that purpose, the "stack charging" method should never b necessary, because the charging circuit won't be shut down.
    Heavens1 likes this.
    08-04-12 09:07 AM
  20. Heavens1's Avatar
    Thanks SifJar - you've been very clear.

    Wonder if this latest OS upgrade included a fix for this much reported dead battery issue then ....
    08-04-12 06:04 PM
  21. Heavens1's Avatar
    Hey SifJar I see you've got UberCurrency in your signature block .... did you write it?

    Just downloaded it onto the PB, I'll give it a go .... but don't have a lot of need for a currency converter at the moment.
    08-04-12 06:17 PM
  22. SifJar's Avatar
    Hey SifJar I see you've got UberCurrency in your signature block .... did you write it?

    Just downloaded it onto the PB, I'll give it a go .... but don't have a lot of need for a currency converter at the moment.
    Yeah I did. Wrote it when RIM were offering free PBs to anyone who submitted an app. (Might have been taking advantage a little there...). It's not incredible, but it seems to work for me anyway
    08-04-12 06:23 PM
  23. Heavens1's Avatar
    Yeah I did. Wrote it when RIM were offering free PBs to anyone who submitted an app. (Might have been taking advantage a little there...). It's not incredible, but it seems to work for me anyway
    Good on you for writing the app!!!

    I've just added a review and given it 3.5 stars and Recommended the app.

    I really don't know how fair/unfair I've been with 3.5 stars, because I have not tried any other currency converter apps, free or otherwise, but I would like to see the currency rate that's being applied at the time of conversion.

    Also, maybe a buy and sell rate.

    But hey, they aren't a necessity!

    UberCurrency works wonderfully as it is!!

    PS: I'll be keeping it and will use as required.
    SifJar likes this.
    08-04-12 06:28 PM
  24. Heavens1's Avatar
    SifJar I should've added in my Review that the app works flawlessly in bridge mode (wifi off).

    I just tried to write another review, but that's apparently not allowed.

    It's a big plus that it's native!!

    Okay - back on topic of thread now!
    08-04-12 06:44 PM
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