1. doogman's Avatar
    I am trying to get my Playbook to charge using the stack method and would like someone to let me know if I am on the right track. I have read many of the posts on the subject but just need some clarification. I've gotten to the point where the battery symbol with the lightening bolt through it comes on for about 15 second then fades out and the green light comes on for a minute and a half and the goes off. Is it charging at this point and do I need to leave it alone for some time or am i missing something? Any response would be great this is very frustrating. Thanks in advance!!
    03-23-13 07:51 PM
  2. Shadowyugi's Avatar
    Its charging matey. lol... Just leave it for a bit.
    03-23-13 08:55 PM
  3. FF22's Avatar
    What you don't want to do is keep checking it since that quickly drains it back down to a NON-start condition

    Locked, bricked Stack Charge Charging

    More Mapsonburt:

    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.
    joshua_sx1 likes this.
    03-23-13 08:56 PM
  4. doogman's Avatar
    Thanks guys! I appreciate the help. I've read so many posts on this it all became a blur.
    03-23-13 09:38 PM
  5. jpash549's Avatar
    03-23-13 09:42 PM
  6. kbz1960's Avatar
    F2 is awesome with having everything saved that most anyone has tried and worked. Good luck
    FF22 and BB_Bmore like this.
    03-23-13 09:59 PM
  7. FF22's Avatar
    F2 is awesome with having everything saved that most anyone has tried and worked. Good luck
    There are even more methods but I've taken to limit to those above. But if the OP still has troubles, I can post the others.

    What is interesting, reading between "some lines" is that a number of folks who had trouble recharging kind of abandoned efforts and left them sit idle for months, but then just plugged them in, left them alone and they worked. I wonder if there's a vague point at which the charge is so low that it can again be charged by plugging in and leaving alone?????
    03-23-13 11:20 PM
  8. kbz1960's Avatar
    There are even more methods but I've taken to limit to those above. But if the OP still has troubles, I can post the others.

    What is interesting, reading between "some lines" is that a number of folks who had trouble recharging kind of abandoned efforts and left them sit idle for months, but then just plugged them in, left them alone and they worked. I wonder if there's a vague point at which the charge is so low that it can again be charged by plugging in and leaving alone?????
    I don't know if peter would know about that or not? I would think if anyone would have a guess it would be him.
    03-23-13 11:22 PM
  9. rkennedy01's Avatar
    My wife has on many occasions accidentally drained her PB down to the point where the rapid charger will no longer charge the device (e.g. Antair + PB poorly seated in the charging dock). However, I've never had to "stack charge" it - just plug in the stock USB wall charger that came with the PB (i.e. NOT the rapid charger) and leave it for a while.

    It always comes back eventually (an hour or two max), first displaying the red lightning bolt battery thingy, then the charging yellow led and finally booting by itself. I come back after leaving it for a half-day or so and find it running and well on its way to a full charge. Sometimes I'll help speed things along by connecting the rapid charger in series with the USB charger, but ONLY after the former has gotten the PB out of its "death loop" and up to the point where it's flashing the yellow charging light.

    Bottom Line: I think users in these situations need to be a bit more patient and let the USB charger do its thing.

    RCK
    FF22 likes this.
    03-24-13 12:57 AM
  10. doogman's Avatar
    Well how frustrating. I've gotten it too the point where the battery charge symbol is on but the green light doesn't flash to show charging its just on constantly but still wont turn on. It has been plugged in like this well over 12 hours.
    03-25-13 07:29 AM
  11. bsiegle's Avatar
    Of course, there is the case I had with one that simply would not charge. I could turn it off or restart at 85% and it wouldn't start until plugged in. Wouldn't charge while on. Wasn't the port, because it connected to the computer fine. Something failed in the hardware, but BlackBerry support was great and sent me a new one.
    03-25-13 09:25 AM
  12. doogman's Avatar
    Well finally some signs of life. i finally got the green light to flash showing its charging. I connected it to my computer and ran it through the update cycle which didn't work of course because it didn't have enough charge to reboot. But, when I reconnected it to the charger I finally got the flashing green light where before the light was solid for about a minute or so and then go off. Hopefully after after a few hours charging I will be back in business. Fingers crossed!
    03-25-13 10:42 AM
  13. FF22's Avatar
    Do not try using it or turning it on for 4-6 hours or you may deplete it back down too low and have to start the entire process again. Just give it time to sulk alone!
    03-25-13 11:01 AM
  14. doogman's Avatar
    It's alive! I finally booted itself back on. I had to set it up again and restore it from a backup file but it works. It actually seems to be running faster than it was before. Thanks again everybody for the quick replies.
    FF22 likes this.
    03-25-13 05:25 PM
  15. johnierw's Avatar
    Ok I just traveled out of town with my PB and it failed I drained the battery pretty low (43%), and it started by not booting getting stuck on the colored bubble screen. So I attempted stack charging and get a solid green light (fully charged right) wrong! When it boots I show no physical memory tracking meaning I see I have 29gb available, but used memory says 0. So I cannot watch any videos, nor does the wifi come up or find any networks. I am thinking I need to connect to DM and reload the OS. Any thoughts I won't be home until next wek, but on a good note I have my Ainol Elf with me so I am connected!
    04-21-13 11:31 AM
  16. johnierw's Avatar
    OK Folks!! Explain this to me please!! I get back home and plug my playbook in and it's at 0%, so a full charge is in the works! The playbook booted as normal with no issues, connected to my network with no issues and is running awesome!! This is really weird the only answer I may have is that the power I used to charge the playbook when I was away was messed up????
    Ok I just traveled out of town with my PB and it failed I drained the battery pretty low (43%), and it started by not booting getting stuck on the colored bubble screen. So I attempted stack charging and get a solid green light (fully charged right) wrong! When it boots I show no physical memory tracking meaning I see I have 29gb available, but used memory says 0. So I cannot watch any videos, nor does the wifi come up or find any networks. I am thinking I need to connect to DM and reload the OS. Any thoughts I won't be home until next wek, but on a good note I have my Ainol Elf with me so I am connected!
    04-28-13 06:33 PM
  17. FF22's Avatar
    OK Folks!! Explain this to me please!! I get back home and plug my playbook in and it's at 0%, so a full charge is in the works! The playbook booted as normal with no issues, connected to my network with no issues and is running awesome!! This is really weird the only answer I may have is that the power I used to charge the playbook when I was away was messed up????
    You are not allowed to question miracles. Either you or the pb needs to be nominated for Sainthood. But glad to hear it is working. You used the same charger? Might there have been some source of major electrical interference? Some blackout zone?
    johnierw and Carl Estes like this.
    04-28-13 07:15 PM
  18. johnierw's Avatar
    Thanks F2 I got a little chuckle from that! Yes same charger, but different power company.... Like you said do not question.
    You are not allowed to question miracles. Either you or the pb needs to be nominated for Sainthood. But glad to hear it is working. You used the same charger? Might there have been some source of major electrical interference? Some blackout zone?
    04-28-13 09:39 PM
  19. joshua_sx1's Avatar
    On this age of technology, there is still miracle happens... have faith, brother and sister...

    Posted via Z10
    04-28-13 10:18 PM

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