10-13-14 03:09 PM
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  1. benc1's Avatar
    Dear all,

    My playbook went unused for a while (a few months) as I was originally planning to sell it but now have a use for it. When I came to use it again the battery was obviously completely dead. I have been searching for an hour now for the solution and have tried updating the OS but the reboot step won't work because the playbook can't turn on in the first place.
    I have left it plugged in to the wall charger for a few hours now and it is currently constantly following a cycle of:
    - Red LED for about 15 seconds
    - Battery charging symbol for about 20 seconds
    - Green LED for about 3 seconds

    Then it just starts the whole cycle again. The only solutions I have managed to find have been for when the charging symbol doesn't come up at all or when the leds follow a red, 5x yellow cycle. This cycle did occur when it was plugged into the PC for the update but I have read everywhere the USB to PC will not charge it enough in this state. I tried the stack charge for about 30 minutes but as far as I can work out this was just for when the charging symbol doesn't even come up and hasn't changed anything anyway. Am I right to think this or shall I continue the stack charge or just leave it plugged in to the wall for a few more hours on this cycle?

    Thanks in advance for any help and I greatly apologise if this has been answered before somewhere else, it seems like a less common problem than the others so I am finding it difficult to find a thread about it unless I am just misinterpreting them or the problem I have.
    Last edited by benc1; 10-31-13 at 06:59 PM.
    10-31-13 05:56 PM
  2. middbrew's Avatar
    I have found that leaving it plugged in for well over 3 hours (possible an overnight charge) is needed if the PlayBook isn't used for a long time. I see you posted this yesterday and assume you probably left it charging over night. Did it start up? I would also use the wall charger that came with it to charge it as it will deliver the needed juice to get it charged.
    Carl Estes likes this.
    11-01-13 10:06 AM
  3. benc1's Avatar
    I greatly appreciate the reply middbrew.

    I did indeed leave it charging overnight (but I slept late so overnight meant about 7 hours) on this cycle of rebooting. I woke up to find it turned off and pressing the power button did nothing. I found that unplugging and plugging in the charger would turn it on again but still into this cycle. I also found that holding the power button while it was in this cycle would turn it off so I am currently leaving it charging in this state but I am not even sure if it is actually charging now. BTW unplugging and plugging in the charger brings it back on in the cycle again but now it only does this for a few minutes before turning off again so I don't know what has happened to it now. I tried updating it again but when I connected it to the PC it does the red led, 5x yellow so it doesn't look like I can do much with it from the PC.

    A few other points:

    - Holding the power button for a few seconds while it is off causes a red led to come up for about 5 seconds then nothing after that
    - Holding the volume and power buttons for a few seconds causes a red led for about 2 seconds then nothing after that
    - I have seen some suggestions to just leave it charging for 24 hours to see if that has any effect but I have no idea which state to leave it in while it is charging and I don't want to waste 3 days trying every scenario (unless I really have to)
    All of this is charging it using the wall charger that came with it as well.
    11-01-13 10:55 AM
  4. middbrew's Avatar
    I would have thought the seven hours would have brought it back up. I would try charging it the 24 hours. It should be off when charging. If that doesn't charge it there might be an issue with the charging port. Unfortunately, the charging port is one of the weak spots of the PlayBook. My will not charge through it anymore. I had to buy charging stand that uses the three prongs next to the usb charging port. I'm suggesting that's the problem, and hopefully a full 24 hour charge will get it back up.
    11-01-13 11:50 AM
  5. kbz1960's Avatar
    You might want to try more stack charges. The best way to do those is use a power strip with a button and use the button to turn it off and on instead of plug, unplug.
    11-01-13 11:53 AM
  6. benc1's Avatar
    Thanks a lot for the help. So just to clarify I should leave it off (black screen no leds) and plugged in for 24 hours. How can I be sure this is actually charging it? Anyhow I will try this and report back tomorrow unless anything changes before then.

    kbz I did another stack charge before I went to sleep for about an hour (turning the charger off by the plug to disconnect), by charging for a minute then turning the charger off for a few seconds then back on as per a suggestion I saw by someone who said they used a multimeter and it would work like that, but I am willing to try again if you think that will have any effect. The reason I didn't think it would work is because I saw people suggesting stack charges if the battery charging symbol doesn't come up at all and even while I was stack charging it it was still following the same cycle I reported the whole time.
    11-01-13 01:03 PM
  7. Gooseberry Falls's Avatar
    Thanks a lot for the help. So just to clarify I should leave it off (black screen no leds) and plugged in for 24 hours. How can I be sure this is actually charging it? Anyhow I will try this and report back tomorrow unless anything changes before then.

    kbz I did another stack charge before I went to sleep for about an hour (turning the charger off by the plug to disconnect), by charging for a minute then turning the charger off for a few seconds then back on as per a suggestion I saw by someone who said they used a multimeter and it would work like that, but I am willing to try again if you think that will have any effect. The reason I didn't think it would work is because I saw people suggesting stack charges if the battery charging symbol doesn't come up at all and even while I was stack charging it it was still following the same cycle I reported the whole time.
    There appears to be some threshold of charge that the software recognizes (bad design) to continue charging. That's based on how the battery is calibrated by the software so I think that is why only some people have the problem. That's what the stack charging is supposed to overcome. I think some people have reported many attempts at stack charging before it "wakes up". Unfortunately, most people want to try and turn it on too quickly and deplete any charge that builds up.

    With the PB completely off, the LED will pulse yellow-green and then turn solid when fully charged in the normal situation. So, hopefully it will start to do that. Good Luck.
    11-01-13 01:32 PM
  8. benc1's Avatar
    Thank you Gooseberry. So does that mean this whole time it hasn't been charging? Or is it something like the cycle its following actually the playbook trying to turn on and wasting the battery before it can get to the point where it can charge.

    Either way it seems that leaving it in the cycle is not helping or changing at all so it is currently off and plugged in (and hopefully charging) and I will leave it alone until tomorrow unless anyone has any more suggestions.
    11-01-13 01:46 PM
  9. berry_player's Avatar
    I had same issues as above. After I have bought the rapid charger and left my playbook to charge with it my battery was able to get enough charge to boot up the system. Now the battery is even showing 85% charge, as before it would only show 77%.
    11-01-13 02:28 PM
  10. Carl Estes's Avatar
    Thank you Gooseberry. So does that mean this whole time it hasn't been charging? Or is it something like the cycle its following actually the playbook trying to turn on and wasting the battery before it can get to the point where it can charge.

    Either way it seems that leaving it in the cycle is not helping or changing at all so it is currently off and plugged in (and hopefully charging) and I will leave it alone until tomorrow unless anyone has any more suggestions.
    It seem like forever, but yes it will charge, you just have to leave it to aquire enough charge to boot up. I think that some people "miss" that the PB can sometimes "lock up" on a black screen, still lit though and then they try the stack charge and it will not do it, as the lit LCD draws ANYTHING the chargher is putting out before it can start to charge the batteries.

    It will revive as long as you make sure it it really off.

    c
    11-01-13 02:32 PM
  11. benc1's Avatar
    How can I check if it really is off? I let it start the cycle then held the power button so it should be off but I just want to double check so I'm not wasting 24 hours!
    Also, what will happen when it finally has enough charge? Will it follow what Gooseberry said or will I have to turn it on manually to check?
    With the PB completely off, the LED will pulse yellow-green and then turn solid when fully charged in the normal situation. So, hopefully it will start to do that. Good Luck.
    11-01-13 03:17 PM
  12. FF22's Avatar
    Take into closet or very dark room and make sure that there is no backlight even gray. It should be fully black meaning OFF.

    Locked, bricked Stack Charge Charging

    Another method to try:

    Try this....

    HOLD the power key for 20 seconds, after 20 Seconds do not let go of the power button and plug in the wall charger, and then let go... should get a steady red light for about 10 seconds, then the battery icon with lightning bolt should appear, after that the blinking green will appear and screen will go off.. now its charginggg..... lol wasted 4 hrs tyrign every other method, stack charging everything.... and this one worked for me...hope this works for everyone else

    ...............


    More Mapsonburt (a pb user) who posted this info:

    Don't keep trying if you get the Red light/5 Yellows... you'll soon drag the battery down past where you can start it again. Leave it off, plug it in and let it charge (with at least a 1.8A charger). Once you get the flashing (once every few seconds) green light, you can power it up - on the charger. If you do drag it down below the red flash/5 yellows, plug it in for 1 minute, unplug (at the wall) for a second or so, plug it back in and repeat for 20-30 minutes. You'll eventually get the red/yellows and then leave it plugged in (and off) until you get the flashing green. It's a PITA but the PlayBook has a very conservative charging algorithm when the battery is below 2.67 Volts to prevent explosions (I'm guessing). I've never been unable to start one with that method.

    Mapsonburt:


    The PlayBook OS currently shuts down at 3.5 volts. When the battery gets below 2.67V it won't show power lights or even try to start because there isn't enough juice to even power the processor to run the code on the BIOS. The BIOS is software hard coded on a chip within the PlayBook that tells it how to load the PlayBook OS and is coded such that it only recognizes signed PlayBook boot images (which is why it is so hard to root and that nobody has been able to get one to boot Android or WebOS. The BIOS software also contains some charging algorithms for when the OS is not running - ie device is powered off but plugged into a charging source. This code ONLY runs when the battery is above 2.67 volts because the processor can't run below that.

    The root of the problem is that this design issue prevents the device from accepting any charge longer than 60 seconds when the battery is too low to run the charging algorithms on the BIOS or on the OS (one runs before the device is powered on and one runs afterwards). RIM did this because Lithium Ion batteries have a nasty habit of catching fire if not charged properly so they wanted to ensure that the processor could be in control of the charging. Makes perfect sense and they probably thought they were avoiding situations like where early Li Ion batteries on laptops were catching on fire. The problem is they were a bit too aggressive in dealing with the problem at design stage. If the battery is below 2.67Volts their protective algorithms can't run but you also can't put enough charge into the battery to charge it! Hence all the reports of people having success with stack charging.

    Unfortunately there are a lot of wrong ways to do this floating around out there and getting repeated everyone someone posts a new thread on the issue. It really should be made a sticky. What is the right way?

    1) ONLY use a source that provides 1.7Amps or more of charge. The original charger provides this. The rapid chargers provide a lot more. Your phone charger only provides a fraction of this. Anything less is going to take forever to charge the battery above 2.67 volts and may not have enough juice to charge the battery AT ALL once the processor starts to run above 2.67Volts or even worse once the OS starts to run above 3.5Volts. Forget about using your computer to charge it when the OS isn't running as the computer looks for the hardware to identify itself and won't put out a full charge current unless the device indicates it can accept. Once the OS is running, you'd often CAN get enough power from the USB on the computer but that is because the OS has signaled it is OK for the computer to send it. When the OS/BIOS isn't running, the PlayBook won't take much/any charge from a computer. The rapid chargers are best as they quickly charge but more importantly do not use the (too) flimsy USB port. A lot of problems are caused by this port getting wobbly over time and the device not getting a charge at all. Everyone should have a rapid charger.

    2) Until you get your device WELL above the 3.5Volts that let's the PlayBook boot, do NOT try to start it. Every attempt drags the battery down some more and that attempt sucks much more charge from the battery than you can put in in those 60 seconds before the hardware shuts down the charging. How can you tell where your battery is? Well if you are getting no lights on the playbook on your first charging attempt you are below 2.67volts. If lights go on and then it doesn't start the OS it is below 3.5Volts. If it loads the OS and then dies it is just above 3.5Volts. If the device loads the OS it is somewhere below 5.0Volts. Depending upon where you start (how low the battery is) various techniques work best. They are: REAL stack charging (plug in for 60 seconds, unplug, plug in for 60 seconds, repeat until the processor starts accepting charging (the big battery symbol on the screen). Again, DO NOT try to turn the device on until then. You are just working against yourself and it will take much longer. You should get the charging symbol within 20-45 minutes of repeated REAL stack charging. Forget you ever heard of plugging in for 2 mins and then off for 2 mins and similar as those 2 mins of off time are COMPLETELY worthless. I have put a multimeter on the PlayBook in this state and it NEVER takes more than a minute of charge when under 2.67volts but will accept another minute of charge after a short (1-2 second) disconnection. Just do it right.

    3) Once you see that charging screen leave it plugged in to the charger (stop stack charging) for at least an hour before you try to start the PlayBook. If you don't you may end up in a situation where the attempt to start drags that battery back down below 2.67V and you have start stack charging again. Be patient, you are almost there!

    4) Fully charge your Playbook after this to ensure your PlayBook gets back to 100%.

    Unfortunately, there isn't a lot RIM can do about this now. It's a hardware design issue. I'd be interested in knowing if the fixed it with the 4G versions. I don't think I've ever seen that complaint with one of those but I've "fixed" both of mine a few times (the kids keep trying to power them on after letting them shut down on low battery despite me saying time RUN not walk and put it on a rapid charger when ever it hits the flashing red battery signal (9%). I've also helped many friends and people on the web and NOBODY who has followed the instructions has failed to get their PlayBook to charge.

    I'm convinced this fault is the reason so many PlayBooks are returned to the stores and through RMA. RIM has been very good about this but it should never have happened. Happy Charging!


    ........................
    The battery is likely below 2.65 volts. That happens if the PlayBook has sat for a while. Plug your charger into the playbook (make sure it's the stock charger and not a computer or other charger as you need to pump in lots of amps - more than 1.7amps - the more the better). The rapid charger is even better as it can go to 5 amps.

    LEAVE the charger plugged into your PlayBook. Unplug it from the wall (to save the fragile micro-USB port) every minute for a few seconds and plug back in. You'll see lots of references on the web to plug in for 2 minutes and unplug for 2 minutes. Ignore those. I took the PlayBook apart and put a multimeter on mine when it was doing this. If the battery is below 2.65 volts, the PlayBook charging circuit charges for about 1 minute and then shuts down. NO AMOUNT of continued charging makes any difference. As soon as you unplug it (at the wall) and power it back up, it will take charge again for another 45-60 seconds. Repeat.

    Keep doing that for as long as it takes to get the screen to show the charging display. If it is just below 2.65volts, it will take somewhere between 20-45 minutes as the battery only takes a little bit of charge each cycle and you need to get that voltage up over 2.65 volts (at which point it will show the charging display and take a full charge). It may take more... but keep at it. Every time you plug it in for 60 seconds, you are adding a bit more power to the battery.

    DO NOT try to power the device on until the device has a full charge. You will just risk getting it into a situation where it can't fully boot before it drags the charge down below 2.65 volts again and you'll have to start all over.

    This works... and saves you from having to jump start it like I did the first time I got mine into this situation.

    ----------------------

    KB27705-BlackBerry PlayBook battery power charge, discharge characteristics, and guidance on extending battery life
    Fuzz360 likes this.
    11-01-13 07:52 PM
  13. benc1's Avatar
    Thanks F2.
    I haven't tried that first suggestion yet but I will try after I have left this charging for 24 hours if it still doesn't work.
    The only problem is that what's supposed to happen ("steady red light for about 10 seconds, then the battery icon with lightning bolt should appear, after that the blinking green will appear and screen will go off") isn't what happens to mine when I turn it on as I get a solid yellow/green light at the end and after that it is stuck on the cycle .


    At this point it seems the charge may be under 2.65/2.7 volts so this 24 charge may be doing nothing but the problem I have which I am struggling to find anyone else with is that when I attempt the stack charge the playbook just starts that cycle and so the screen turns on for a few seconds every time which is likely drawing all the power put into it anyway.
    Last edited by benc1; 11-02-13 at 04:51 AM.
    11-01-13 08:08 PM
  14. benc1's Avatar
    Quick update:

    I left it charging for about 22 hours total and still nothing. I tried turning it on and it was still stuck on the same cycle
    I tried another stack charge for about an hour but only leaving it on charge for about 15 seconds (until initial red light turned off) before switching off the plug for about a second and turning it back on because I assumed letting it get to battery charging symbol on screen would waste any charge put into it straight away. Despite all of this I have still had no luck so I have left it off and charging for about another 8 hours and I have no ideas now.
    11-02-13 07:30 PM
  15. benc1's Avatar
    Bump.

    Sorry to bump this but I still have not solved it and I am all out of ideas. I left the playbook on charge for about 3 days and still nothing so I think I can rule that solution out. I am currently trying more stack charges but again I am not sure how long to leave it on for as I am worried the cycle it follows wastes the charge immediately anyway since the screen comes on. I only think this because I have tried stack charging 3 times for about an hour each time and it never worked so I am currently trying stack charging only leaving it on for the first few seconds until the red light comes on.
    11-10-13 01:12 PM
  16. middbrew's Avatar
    Sorry to hear you still haven't gotten your PlayBook up and running. As far as trying the stack charging, I think very short charging periods are best. I would think 10 to 15 minute charging periods would do.

    As I said and F2 mentioned as well, the charging port can go bad and stop working at it's worse and just very loose at best for a bad port. You might need to hold it in the position that you are seeing the red light show up to make sure it is still charging. I ended up getting a rapid charger that charges magnetically using the the three prong port next to the usb charging port. As I said before, that might not be your issue but if the stack charging doesn't work you might have a bad port.
    11-10-13 02:01 PM
  17. benc1's Avatar
    Thanks middbrew but I am still unsure of a few things
    How long shall I leave it charging at a time? What point shall I let it get to in the cycle it follows before I switch the charger off and on again? Or shall I just let it follow the cycle the whole time its charging? How will I know if the stack charging is working? I am sorry to ask so many questions but I haven't found anyone else with the same problem as me who has managed to fix it.
    11-16-13 03:55 PM
  18. jpash549's Avatar
    Have you been using the same charger/cord all this time and is it the Blackberry folding blade charger that is supplied with the Playbook? If so it may be that a problem has developed with this charger. Try another charger if you have one. Also have you inspected the micro USB port to be sure it is clean and in good condition. Even one accidental wrong plug in can damage it. If you can buy or borrow a Rapid Travel Charger would recommend that you do so. Also assume that you have read KB 27705.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using CB Forums mobile app
    11-17-13 01:42 AM
  19. benc1's Avatar
    I have been using the charger that came with the playbook (BlackBerry Portable PlayBook International Travel Charger with UK/EU/NA/AUS Adapter - Black: Amazon.co.uk: Computers & Accessories) but I have also tried a charger that came with my Blackberry curve but it still has the same problem. I guess the only thing left to try is the Rapid Charger but I don't really want to spend 12 to find out it doesn't work. I don't know anyone who has one so I will have to buy it.
    11-17-13 07:27 AM
  20. middbrew's Avatar
    The charger that you have for your curve won't work. The one you got with the PlayBook should work as long as the port is functional. The rapid charger works by magnetically attaching so there's no issue with a bad port. I understand not wanting to buy one if it isn't going to work. You might try holding the charger that came with the PlayBook in place if you are at least getting the led to come on for a moment. It just might not be making contact enough to charge it.
    11-18-13 12:52 PM
  21. benc1's Avatar
    Update.

    I purchased a rapid charger and thankfully the led went straight from red to pulsing yellow the first time I put the playbook in it. I now have another problem which is that in an attempt to fix the playbook before I did a software update. Now the battery is stuck at 0% and it needs to be above 20% to continue the software update. What can I do to get the battery charging again?

    EDIT:
    For future reference or if anyone else has the same problem I simply held the power button to turn the device off and it had the yellow pulsing LED again so I left it for about an hour before turning it on again and it now has about 31% battery and seems to be charging fine at the moment.
    Last edited by benc1; 11-20-13 at 03:57 PM.
    FF22 likes this.
    11-20-13 02:18 PM
  22. Gooseberry Falls's Avatar
    Update.

    I purchased a rapid charger and thankfully the led went straight from red to pulsing yellow the first time I put the playbook in it. I now have another problem which is that in an attempt to fix the playbook before I did a software update. Now the battery is stuck at 0% and it needs to be above 20% to continue the software update. What can I do to get the battery charging again?
    Did you leave it to charge til the LED went solid and it is still at 0%? I'd say to try the 60 sec stack stack charge(s) again with the rapid charger (guess you bought the dock?). Do you have the lightnin bolt through the battery icon? Are you stuck on some update screen or can you move around in the OS?
    11-20-13 04:00 PM
  23. Gurjeet Bhullar's Avatar
    same problem here, have you any solution?
    12-01-13 09:03 AM
  24. sorinv's Avatar
    Plug in the PlayBook and then try pressing the + volume button continuously for a minute or so.
    This happened to me more than a year ago if you let the PlayBook battery drop below 10%.
    It should work.
    It worked for me every time this happened.
    There should be a video on the Internet about this. That's how I found out about it 1.3 years ago!

    Posted via CB10
    12-01-13 04:11 PM
  25. sorinv's Avatar
    If I remember correctly you, have to simultaneously press both the power and the + buttons (or maybe the - button).

    It should work but I don't remember exactly if it was the + or the - button.


    Posted via CB10
    12-01-13 04:16 PM
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