1. k_a_s_m_i_t_h's Avatar
    Anyone had an issue with the rapidly charger not working? I bought one about a month ago, everything was fine until two days ago and then the playbook stopped charging.

    When I connect the rapid charger the playbook displays a lightning bolt on the battery icon, but it battery level doesn't go up. I've left it overnight and it has actually gone down a little. Charging works fine using the standard usb charger.

    I'm going to to grab wife's playbook and try to charge it with the rapid charger to see if it is the charger or my playbook.
    12-07-12 09:42 PM
  2. FF22's Avatar
    Look carefully at the 3 springloaded pins on the dock (or the travel version). One of them probably is not fully extending and not making contact. If that occurs, and only 2 pins make contact, for some reason, the pb shows the Lightning Bolt but will not actually be charging. Some folks have used those electronic sprays to clean contacts to free up the pin and pressing up/down with a toothpick or similar. Or try fiddling with the pb as you seat it in the dock.

    Battery Guru can actually show that it is charging when used so you are not fooled by the Lightning bolt.
    DC506 and k_a_s_m_i_t_h like this.
    12-07-12 10:18 PM
  3. k_a_s_m_i_t_h's Avatar
    Bingo.... It looks like one of the pins is just slightly lower than the other 2. I'm not able to get it to pop up any further with a toothpick, but I'm going to continue to work on that one contact.

    Thanks for the quick reply and good advice.
    12-07-12 10:32 PM
  4. FF22's Avatar
    Our Battery Guru guy, Peter, actually worked on his from below by dissecting the whose-y-dingy and raising the pin. By the way, the same thing occurs on the Travel Rapid charger which is why I know about the low pin issue!
    peter9477 and Oblio8 like this.
    12-07-12 11:16 PM
  5. TOphotog's Avatar
    Another thing I noticed with the rapid charger: it only seems to charge if the tail of the charge head faces right, and not left. Otherwise, it shows the charging icon but doesn't go up in charge level.
    12-08-12 07:27 AM
  6. FF22's Avatar
    Another thing I noticed with the rapid charger: it only seems to charge if the tail of the charge head faces right, and not left. Otherwise, it shows the charging icon but doesn't go up in charge level.
    And I notice the opposite due to my Otterbox which prevents a full-seating of the magnetic plug if the wire runs off to the right - the case interferes. I can almost always get a Lightning Bolt if I have the wire to the right but NO charging. I believe it is based on which pin is LOW and misses contact.
    12-08-12 08:44 AM
  7. Chaddface's Avatar
    My low pin is on the wire side and have more success plugging in with the wire to the right.

    After cleaning the contacts I can get the PB to charge 9/10 times without fiddling with it. I used a wooden toothpick, pressing with moderate pressure on each contact while spinning the toothpick until the end of the toothpick stopped turning black.
    12-08-12 09:11 AM
  8. peter9477's Avatar
    Our Battery Guru guy, Peter, actually worked on his from below by dissecting the whose-y-dingy and raising the pin. By the way, the same thing occurs on the Travel Rapid charger which is why I know about the low pin issue!
    F2, it was actually the what's-it-ma-bob, but I know you're not very technical so we'll overlook that mix-up this time. ;-)

    Some background for those interested in some history on this: http://forums.crackberry.com/showthread.php?p=6723512 where I reported on my repair job, and No warranty on Rapid Charger. - BlackBerry Support Community Forums where F2 originally posted some photos. Both threads let you see closeups where the "lowered" pin is visible.

    In my case, the cradle still works flawlessly now with one of my PlayBooks, but actually is quite flaky with the other one, requiring repeated attempts to seat it, cursing, and quite some violence before I can get it to charge. The regular/"travel" rapid charger (i.e. non-cradle) works well on both when plugged in with the cable running to the left, and not so well on either with the cable running to the right, though it's noticeably harder to get a stable connection with the one PlayBook with this charger too.

    From that I surmise that the problem can come from a combination of pin height, dust, or whatever, but isn't 100% dependent on the charger, or on the PlayBook, alone.

    Nothing has yet changed my belief that ultimately this comes down to whether there's enough pressure between all three pin pairs to make a good contact. The "lowered" pin problem clearly contributes to the issue, but I believe it serves merely to make a borderline issue much worse. The design is defective from the start, with the pin lengths and connector positioning being insufficient to ensure a good solid contact. Some mechanical designer slipped up and used metric instead of imperial, or didn't account for the thickness of the materials, or the concavity in the ends of the pins on the PlayBook, or the effect that a small amount of grit would have, or something. If he'd added 0.3mm or so to the length of something, none of us would have this issue. I hope he's not responsible for the next version of these things... or that he learned from his mistakes!
    Zildjian71, Puddin13 and Desktoper like this.
    12-08-12 11:50 AM
  9. FF22's Avatar
    Peter, I stand corrected on the correct technical terms but I'm easy right now having just returned from my first cross-country ski trip of the season where the snow went from shallow to more than knee deep!

    Back on topic - I personally believe that the Travel Charger is the better option because it can be tweaked easier than the dock and can be used with many/most cases. But clearly the dock provide a nice base if you don't have a case that provides that.
    peter9477 and BlazorBoy like this.
    12-08-12 06:05 PM
  10. felixcbb's Avatar
    I just had the issue. The charging icon appears but the PB will not charge.
    I looked at the connectors under a microscope, and saw that on the PB side the connections are not gold-plated, and that given their flat shape they keep the dirt on. One of the pins had some black deposit on it. Might be oxidation. I used an rounded exacto blade to gently scrape the surface of these contacts and I saw the shiny color of the metal again. Plugged it back to the charger and voil! it charges properly. The connector pins at the charger side are gold-plated and were still nice and shiny.
    Why does it display the lightning icon if it does not charge? Because it does not read the charging current, instead it reads if there is a voltage at the connector. It the connector is dirty, it means a too high series resistance so there may still be some voltage to detect, but no capability to transfer the current.

    Although very practical and safe this type of connector is not "self-cleaning", as the contacts do not slide upon each other like a USB connector does, for example. I expect this situation to happen again in the future. The cure is easy.

    I have two rapid chargers, and both have one recessed pin. I wonder if the BB guys say if this is intentional or not.
    Chaddface and FF22 like this.
    05-07-13 06:27 AM
  11. FF22's Avatar
    The design or execution is not the best. The pins can stick inside or, I guess, extended and lose their springiness. Others have reported oxidation, too. And, then there's the issue that you see the False Lightning Bolt which deceptively leads one to think the pb is charging and it is not - if two pins make contact but the third does not.

    These symptoms happen with both the Dock and the Travel versions of the Rapid Charger.
    05-07-13 09:12 AM
  12. roguk's Avatar
    Hi read all above and still can not get my Playbook to charge, with rapid charger connected can get playbook to come on but not charging,battery icon stays red and on opening says 0%, no charging symbol on battery, any way to fix this or is Playbook now junk.
    Have same problem with standard charger, if i turn Playbook off get red light then pulsing green light also see charging symbol but battery does not charge. Any help greatly appreciated.
    Have tried stacking method red light comes on/goes off charging symbol comes on/goes off green light pulses, after several hours battery still not charging?
    Last edited by roguk; 07-10-13 at 11:25 AM. Reason: added too
    07-10-13 10:57 AM
  13. chaosdivine's Avatar
    You need to STOP trying to turn this PlayBook on immediately and look up STACK CHARGING by F2 (forum member in this thread) in these forums. He has listed the correct way to charge the device when it's in this catatonic state. The PlayBook has a silly minimal charge required to be present in the batteries BEFORE it can trigger the full and actual charging algorithm. Your PlayBook is BELOW this minimal threshold. Trying to continuously boot it is bringing your device that much closer to possible full on bricking. SO STOP DOING IT.

    Search F2's posts on Stack Charging, then and only then will you have success in bringing this back to life. It could take up to an hour of alternating 60 seconds charging and 60 seconds unplugged (get yourself an actual stopwatch timer) but eventually you can get enough battery capacity to be able to accept a full on charge. Here's a massive hint, leave the microUSB end plugged into the PlayBook and only unplug and plug-in the receptacle end (the actual plug end of the cord) as this will save the fragile USB port. Then you need to let it FULLY charge (could take up to 12 hours) before you can use it once more...

    Also, once you get this device up and running again, never let the PlayBook's battery get below 10% EVER. I would suggest you pad that and not go below 20% charge. If you can't get to a charger in time, at least with 20% left, once you FULLY SHUT IT OFF, you won't go below the 10% threshold should things take a few days to be on a charger again. This is all by "flawed" design by RIM...they thought it was a good design, but in practice it sucks - or at least the way the user is informed about it is flawed.

    Hi read all above and still can not get my Playbook to charge, with rapid charger connected can get playbook to come on but not charging,battery icon stays red and on opening says 0%, no charging symbol on battery, any way to fix this or is Playbook now junk.

    Have same problem with standard charger, if i turn Playbook off get red light then pulsing green light also see charging symbol but battery does not charge. Any help greatly appreciated.
    07-10-13 11:23 AM
  14. roguk's Avatar
    Thanks chaosdivine for reply, will try what you have said(have read post mentioned) i do not deliberately switch Playback on, after about an hour green pulsing light stops and Playbook comes on?
    chaosdivine likes this.
    07-10-13 12:26 PM
  15. chaosdivine's Avatar
    The green pulsing light is a good light to see, it means it's charging. Read this official BlackBerry knowledge base article on what the light colors mean and the charge characteristics of the PlayBook. KB27705-BlackBerry PlayBook battery power charge, discharge characteristics, and guidance on extending battery life

    Thanks chaosdivine for reply, will try what you have said(have read post mentioned) i do not deliberately switch Playback on, after about an hour green pulsing light stops and Playbook comes on?
    07-10-13 12:30 PM
  16. roguk's Avatar
    Thanks again have now read the link, pulsing light is yellowish, will leave Playbook alone and on over night to see if charges, if not will persist with the stacker method.
    07-10-13 12:47 PM
  17. FF22's Avatar
    I'll post it anyway (hike is over and I'm home)

    Locked, bricked Stack Charge Charging

    More Mapsonburt posts:

    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
    07-10-13 07:12 PM
  18. TheScionicMan's Avatar
    I call it the Battery Guru Game. It is the one that will show me if it is REALLY charging. Launch Battery Guru, connect the Rapid Charger. It MUST say CHARGE: instead of POWER: and the Charge Type MUST say CRADLE. And it has to stick for a few seconds. Any other combos can change and sometime cause the battery to drain faster, depending on Display settings.

    Thanks Peter, It's my most-often played game. (610 Recharge Count)
    FF22 likes this.
    07-10-13 07:22 PM
  19. roguk's Avatar
    Hi chaosdivine the good news using what you have told me (stack method) have resurrected 2 of my friends 64gb Playbooks, they are well happy as they were going to bin them. The BAD news my Playbook still will not charge. after trying stack method get red light on/red light off then get yellow light on for about 30 seconds/yellow light off then either 2 things batterry charge smbol on/ then goes off/ pulses yellow light on for some time/then off or 2nd thing get no lights. In either case leave Playbook alone over night in morning playbook looks dead but swiping screen brings playbook on, but battery symbol red with zero charge plus no charge symbol.
    Installed Battery Guru it says Battery 0% Charge 0.00 W Recharge count 144 Charger Type Cradle or Wall (i have tried both cradle is a rapid charger and i know it works as it charged the other Playbooks.
    Do not understand why playbook comes on when been turned off.
    My Playbook is 32gb does this make a differance?
    Battery Guru voltage 2.90v health 94%
    Last edited by roguk; 07-13-13 at 11:04 AM. Reason: added to
    07-13-13 08:11 AM
  20. FF22's Avatar
    Hi chaosdivine the good news using what you have told me (stack method) have resurrected 2 of my friends 64gb Playbooks, they are well happy as they were going to bin them. The BAD news my Playbook still will not charge. after trying stack method get red light on/red light off then get yellow light on for about 30 seconds/yellow light off then either 2 things batterry charge smbol on/ then goes off/ pulses yellow light on for some time/then off or 2nd thing get no lights. In either case leave Playbook alone over night in morning playbook looks dead but swiping screen brings playbook on, but battery symbol red with zero charge plus no charge symbol.
    Installed Battery Guru it says Battery 0% Charge 0.00 W Recharge count 144 Charger Type Cradle or Wall (i have tried both cradle is a rapid charger and i know it works as it charged the other Playbooks.
    Do not understand why playbook comes on when been turned off.
    My Playbook is 32gb does this make a differance?
    How old is your pb? Warranty? And even if past warranty, it might be worth a call as someone yesterday reported that bb either repaired or replaced an out-of-warranty pb.

    The PB has a one year warranty to the original purchaser. It also has 90 free Tech support. I do not know how Rim deals with "quasi-tech support v. warranty"

    Rim Support
    Tel:
    Canada Toll Free: 1-877-644-8405
    United States Toll Free: 1-877-644-8410
    Puerto Rico Toll Free: 1-855-651-4936
    Email: playbooksupport@blackberry.com (this route generally does not work and a call is necessary)

    (UK Support) 0800 096 2805

    Playbook French Support
    Smartphones BlackBerry Z10 - Tous les Tlphones Portables BlackBerry - FR - France
    Phone : 0800 914 533 (within 90 days from activation)

    BlackBerry Customer Support Center
    Austria:0800-297-476
    Belgium:800-77-980
    RIM (Brasil Support toll free number): 0800-022-3161
    Bulgaria: 00800-118-1115
    Denmark: 802-50198
    France: 800-914-533
    Germany: 800-181-6530
    Italy: 800-789-272
    Luxembourg: 800-2-2187
    Netherlands: 800-022-7316
    Norway: 00-1-647-426-7058
    Poland: 00-800-112-43-59
    Portugal: 800-827-760
    Russia: 8-800-100-9643
    South Africa: 0800988892
    Spain: 900-866-969
    Sweden: 02-079-4448
    Switzerland: 0-800-802-492
    United Kingdom: 08000962805

    Phone-Numbers of BlackBerry PLAYBOOK- Helpdesks...

    Germany: 0800 1816530 (Gebhrenfrei)

    North-America: 1 877 255 2377 (Toll Free)

    UK: 0808 100 7466 (Toll Free UK only)

    Outside UK: +44 1753 558400

    Worldwide: 1 519 888 6181

    help@blackberry.com

    (BTW: Helpdesk for BlackBerry devices -except PlayBook- for Germany:
    0180 3302626)
    07-13-13 10:05 AM
  21. roguk's Avatar
    Hi F2 will try contacting RIM on Monday and see what they say, it is out of warrenty.
    07-14-13 06:42 AM
  22. FF22's Avatar
    Hi F2 will try contacting RIM on Monday and see what they say, it is out of warrenty.
    Good luck.
    07-14-13 11:40 AM

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