04-30-15 02:32 AM
46 12
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  1. Richard Barry's Avatar
    Hi all,
    Had my PB close on 2 years and have always charged it with the charging pod with the magnetic contacts (outside of the 1st week or 2) and charging was reliable up until a couple of weeks ago when I put it on to charge as normal at about 18%, came back a while later and it was 8%!!

    I was surprised and despite being left the charge the battery slowly drained down to 0%. I was going to be away for a bit so I switched it off and left it sit. Unsurprisingly when I came back it won't power on so I used the stack charging method to get it appear to be charging,

    I say appear as the behaviour has been consistently,
    1. Any combination of power button presses when not connected to a charger - nothing happens.
    2. If connected to usb charger or placed on pod, red LED comes on followed by battery icon with bolt through it, that fades out and then the pulsing green LED comes on.
    3. Success! or so I thought as it appears to be charging but after about 20-30 mins it attempts to boot up, going through the "bubbles" screens and either it dies or sometimes it fully boots but shows 0% and no charging bolt. Unit immediately goes dead if disconnected.

    I attempted a de-brick (reload of the OS) with Desktop Manager and it was successful in that when I put it on to charge it eventually booted and I was able to go through the initial setup until the update screen when warns the battery is at 0% and update will continue at 20%. I have left it charging in this state for 2-3 hours - no change.

    My final roll of the dice was to take the back cover off and disconnect the battery (unscrewed the 2 tiny screws holding the tab and popped it off with a credit card). Reconnected battery and put on to charge with back cover off- same thing, booted after a 30mins of pulsing green LED then died before fully loading OS. Out the cover back on - "charged" until boot to setup screen.

    Bottom line here, is there anything else I can try or is my battery finished??
    Sorry for the essay length but wanted to be comprehensive and not get suggestions of things I've already tried. Thanks.
    12-09-14 03:41 AM
  2. Gooseberry Falls's Avatar
    Hmmm. My only comment is that only charging 20-30 or 2-3 hrs before attempting to turn it on again from that low of charge is just not enough to boot. The PB needs a certain charge level to boot and every time you try to boot, you exhaust any charge that has built up. You mentioned you got the pulsing yellow-green charging indication. I'd let that go to completion (solid green light) while using the USB charger. Could take a long time, maybe on the order of days.

    Take a look at your stand rapid charger magnetic connection and PB. Clean and inspect that they aren't bent. You might even buy a travel rapid adapter as they are pretty cheap these days.

    If you can get to semi-normal operation and can download battery health software like Battery Guru, that may tell you if the battery is really dead. I have heard of situations where the PB only works with charger connected. There are lots of YouTube demos on battery replacement.
    Carl Estes likes this.
    12-09-14 08:10 AM
  3. Carl Estes's Avatar
    Those charging docks can/will have an issue with the contact pins. Dust/dirt does accumilate, and it get down into the spring pin, and after a time, the pin does not raise up as far as it did, and you think its charging, it says its charging, but it ain't charging. And like GB said, the PB hates to be drawn down in voltage/charge. Absolutly hates it.
    You have to clean them with some spray contact cleaner and clear out the debris, then all will be good with the world. These pins are not magnetic. Spring pressure and gravity only.
    I have had this happen to me once and my neighbor twice.
    The Rapid travel charger with the magnetic connector is the best charger in my opinion.....Although it does not hold the PB upright as with the charging dock.
    Gooseberry Falls likes this.
    12-09-14 02:33 PM
  4. mamasan47's Avatar
    Carl,

    Can you recommend a cleaner? I'm having the exact same problem

    Linda
    12-10-14 02:23 PM
  5. Richard Barry's Avatar
    Apologies for not replying sooner, been away a few days. Thanks for your input guys, I examined the connections (both usb & charging dock) and cleaned what dirt/dust I could see but might try it again with acetone and see if that helps.

    To be honest this is just the latest problem I've had with the Playbook and am tempted to scrap it and move on with HP Slate 7 for the Windows 8.1 (hate Apple/Amazon's locked environment, Android's too insecure). I don't mean to start a discussion on which OS is best, just fed up of RIM.
    12-15-14 06:03 AM
  6. DOCTOREVIL8's Avatar
    The issue with the rapid chargers/docks is sometimes only two of the three pins make full contact. That's enough for the lightning bolt symbol to appear, but it's not enough to actually charge.

    I use Battery Guru on my PlayBook and it will tell me the volts being sent into the system while charging. That's a tell-tale sign if the connection is good or not.

    Posted via CB10
    12-15-14 07:54 AM
  7. Carl Estes's Avatar
    You can use any electronic spray aerosol cleaner, like Zep-Elec, or something like that, you can find it in any hardware store or Fry's, Radio Shack (while there stll around). just hold the dock upside down and spray a little of the cleaner into the little 3 pin plate. Also, make sure there isn't a bunch of debris etc. in the receiving pions on the Playbook itself.
    I've also use a brand new toothbrush to clean around the little "slippy" block on the charge dock, and to keep the pins clean.
    12-15-14 01:51 PM
  8. Carl Estes's Avatar
    [QUOTE=Richard Barry;11163421]Apologies for not replying sooner, been away a few days. Thanks for your input guys, I examined the connections (both usb & charging dock) and cleaned what dirt/dust I could see but might try it again with acetone and see if that helps.

    Acetone may/will melt the plastic base....
    12-15-14 01:52 PM
  9. J English Smith's Avatar
    If the rapid charger is the problem, I have solved non-charging by unplugging it, then gently poking the three pins with the tip of a straightened paper clip. One pin, for me the left-most one, is slightly weaker. By poking it gently, then I can make the pin sit up again, and then the PB charges.

    Apparently this is a known design flaw, that the icon shows as charging if two pins are engaged but not all 3. All 3 have to make perfect contact for charging to occur.

    Good luck! The battery in the PB is pretty robust. My first one is now 2 1/2 years old, 500 cycles and battery health is still at 84%. I haven't babied it.
    12-15-14 03:32 PM
  10. Richard Barry's Avatar
    Thanks for your help, guys.
    Gave the dock a clean last night (without melting it!) and the behaviour was the same, red led, battery icon followed by "charging" leds (pulsing green) and after about 40mins, boot up to "battery is critically low, setup will continue once it reaches 20%" screen. I'm getting a setup screen because I did a de-brick earlier.
    It'd be great if it did turn out to be the dock but I should point out result is the same when using usb charger that came with PB (ie pseudo charge then boot which shows 0% battery cant continue screen).

    The booting is automatic and occurs after a relatively short period plugged in (30-40 mins). If I stop it (holding power button to power off) the cycle just repeats.

    Before I did the de-brick this boot would allow me normal use of the PB as long as it stayed plugged in/on the dock from which I ran Battery Guru which showed battery health at 89%, 0% charge, correctly detected charger type and Voltage around 3V which went down to 2.9V after being left to charge in this state for 3hours (screen off/standby). I switched it off when I saw that.

    To be honest, I'm unwilling to spend any money that could go on a less troublesome replacement on replacing the battery or new chargers. I think I had a lemon from the start as it also had the browser disappearing problem when I side-loaded android apps. I think it may be EOL for the Playbook. Thanks for your input fellas.
    Last edited by Richard Barry; 12-16-14 at 03:23 AM. Reason: additional details/symptoms
    12-16-14 03:17 AM
  11. joshua_sx1's Avatar
    Question: "Why does my PlayBook pretend to charge?"

    Answer: "So you will not throw him in the garbage"

    Posted via CB10
    12-23-14 10:34 PM
  12. Richard Barry's Avatar
    UPDATE : Ordered replacement OEM battery from ebay. It's coming from the US so will take 1-2 weeks with holiday delays to get to me in Ireland. I'll update when I have it installed if that solves it and proves the battery was shot or if it's the playbook itself (charging controller) that's kaput. Was 33euro all in which is about all I was willing to risk on a possible dead tablet. Happy new year!
    12-28-14 12:49 PM
  13. mamasan47's Avatar
    Had the same issue with the dock. In my case, it appears I let the battery get too low and it wouldn't take a charge through the dock. So I plugged it into the wall charger overnight and the next morning it was fully charged again. This happened two or three weeks ago, been charging from the dock just fine. Needless to say, I won't go so long between charges.
    12-28-14 01:42 PM
  14. kbz1960's Avatar
    It's faking out the NDA?

    Hope the new battery fixes it.
    12-28-14 02:17 PM
  15. Richard Barry's Avatar
    UPDATE - got the replacement battery from eBay (used pulled from working unit) and after 2 frustrating hours I had it installed with one mishap - I had to transfer all the little antennae from the old metal plane assembly to the new battery and I accidentally popped off the connector on the little black cable one in the top right when trying to stretch it across to reconnect -hope it wasn't crucial but I guess I can replace it if it is once I'm up and running.
    Anyhow, popped it on the charging pod and it started charging normally!!
    I allowed it to finish charging (solid green light) which took less than 2 hours and it booted as normal (happy days!) until I got to the setup screen (I had done a software reset previously) and touchscreen was unresponsive

    I re-opened the case and checked all the connections - none were out other than the broken one mentioned above which is not relevant to the screen. After a quick look at the ifixit directions I know the connector to look out for now so will check that tonight and hopefully it's not been damaged in my tinkering!
    At least I know the battery was my original problem as it's charging behaviour is normal now so I guess I'll call this a win for now....
    mh1983 and kbz1960 like this.
    01-09-15 02:35 AM
  16. Richard Barry's Avatar
    FURTHER UPDATE - Opened it up last night and had a good poke around with a magnifying glass to see if anything was loose and sadly I discovered that I have a crack in the touchscreen/digitizer ribbon just before the touchscreen controller (right where it curves around the battery assembly
    As the ribbon was taped to the battery frame I must have over flexed it when taking out the old batteries. After much humming and hawing I bit the bullet and sourced a replacement touchscreen & digitizer on eBay for another 26euro

    I did try using the silver tape that held it to the frame to try to mend the crack but bizarrely that seemed to render the whole unit unresponsive (ie wouldn't turn on or charge - one flash of a red led then nada).

    I'll update when I get the new screen but again since it's coming across the Atlantic it could be a couple of weeks. Hopefully I won't break something else while installing that! Oh and on a side note, the black antennae cable I popped the connector off appears to be from the speaker. Needless to say, I'm not going to replace that until everything else is functional if ever. Thanks for the likes/thanks!
    01-10-15 04:47 AM
  17. scrapmetal58's Avatar
    FURTHER UPDATE - Opened it up last night and had a good poke around with a magnifying glass to see if anything was loose and sadly I discovered that I have a crack in the touchscreen/digitizer ribbon just before the touchscreen controller (right where it curves around the battery assembly
    As the ribbon was taped to the battery frame I must have over flexed it when taking out the old batteries. After much humming and hawing I bit the bullet and sourced a replacement touchscreen & digitizer on eBay for another 26euro

    I did try using the silver tape that held it to the frame to try to mend the crack but bizarrely that seemed to render the whole unit unresponsive (ie wouldn't turn on or charge - one flash of a red led then nada).

    I'll update when I get the new screen but again since it's coming across the Atlantic it could be a couple of weeks. Hopefully I won't break something else while installing that! Oh and on a side note, the black antennae cable I popped the connector off appears to be from the speaker. Needless to say, I'm not going to replace that until everything else is functional if ever. Thanks for the likes/thanks!
    Best of luck!

    Posted via CB10
    01-11-15 03:02 AM
  18. Richard Barry's Avatar
    UPDATE - Received my replacement screen glass and digitizer yesterday (only 2 days late, thanks customs!) and couldn't wait to install and see if my playbook was back! Took me about an hour as after my previous escapades, I'm now pretty familiar with the PB's innards. Pretty easy but not for the faint-hearted with all those tiny tiny screws!

    Once it was back together I pressed the power button, nothing happened Put it on the dock to charge for about and hour or so and then tried again to boot, it came on and booted normally (phew!). Not only that but the screen was working!!!

    Went through the initial setup over again with only one problem, I had to manually enter my wi-fi settings (PB did not detect the network) and it connected enough to eventually get to the home screen (after re-entering wi-fi setup periodically). I suspect the wi-fi issues could be due to the damaged black antennae cable which was attached to the right speaker (popped off during battery install).

    Fortunately I have already ordered a replacement speaker (with antennae cable in the pic) but that's unlikely to arrive before the week is out.
    In conclusion, what started out as a battery not charging has led to €72 of parts (admittedly €40 of that is due to my clumsiness) but at least the end is in sight for this saga! I'll report back when the speaker arrives and is installed. Hopefully I'll (finally) have a fully functional PB again!
    Last edited by Richard Barry; 01-20-15 at 03:13 AM. Reason: typo
    01-20-15 03:13 AM
  19. kbz1960's Avatar
    Wow. Glad it's working but might had been better to find a cheap used one somewhere.
    01-20-15 06:23 AM
  20. Richard Barry's Avatar
    Wow. Glad it's working but might had been better to find a cheap used one somewhere.
    True, but then I'd have two obsolete tablets cluttering up the place!
    Seriously though, maybe it's me being over sentimental but I have a habit of replacing parts to keep a machine running past what's economically sensible rather than give in and replace it entirely - can get a bit like Trigger's broom! (Only fools and horses fans will understand the reference).
    mh1983 and kbz1960 like this.
    01-21-15 03:04 AM
  21. Richard Barry's Avatar
    UPDATE -speakers came yesterday, a day earlier than even the earliest estimated delivery, finally caught a break! Install went well (it's very easy) and PB booted as normal until I turned on wi-fi and "no networks found"

    So I manually entered the SSID etc and it connected but with terrible signal, I had to stand right beside the router to keep enough of a connection to re-install apps and do updates. Obviously, not an ideal situation so I popped the back off again and dis-connected and re-connected all the antennae cables (while checking all other connections). I also made sure all the antennae cables were routed to avoid strain or snags and noticed the grey one had been slightly damaged (wire was exposed but not broken. I got some electrical insulation tape and patched it up (I'm not replacing any more parts!) and closed the case back up carefully.

    With a sinking feeling I powered on the PB and to my joy (& some surprise!), wi-fi was back to normal!!! Also, the replacement speaker is working perfectly as well so my beloved Playbook is well and truly back!

    I concede that the €72 spent on it was probably more than was sensible but the satisfaction of repairing the device myself was, dare I say it, worth it. Hopefully I won't ever have to open up the case again but I will say I learned a lot about how the PB is put together, although it's questionable how useful that knowledge is!! Thanks for everyone's help and support.
    mh1983 and kbz1960 like this.
    01-22-15 02:33 AM
  22. Richard Barry's Avatar
    Just a further update - wi-fi is continuing to be a PITA, loses connection very easily and struggles to even see the network if not in the same room as the router

    A cursory search tells me the wi-fi is received via the top two antennae (grey is G, black is N). I can only assume the replacement speaker which had the black one is functional and probably the only reason I'm getting any kind of signal at all. The grey antennae got damaged (sheath cut and wire braid exposed and a little frayed) during the battery install and I attempted to repair with electrical insulation tape - unsuccessfully it seems.

    I experimented with the back cover off and adjusting the grey wire and squeezing the damaged part - the result was a direct impact on signal strength (ie number of little green bars) so I can only conclude that the damage to the grey (I believe G wi-fi) antennae is causing my issues. I also tried setting the router to N only which made no noticeable difference.

    I started off searching to see if I could cheaply source an antennae wire and solder it myself and in a moment of madness ended up ordering a PB antennae kit (ie antennae pulled from another PB) which were about $10 but of course cost $15 to post to me

    I know I've said it before but this is positively absolutely without question the last part I'm gonna buy for this confounded machine (even though I've found it impossible to source a non-apple decent replacement that doesn't cost a fortune in the stores here).
    01-26-15 03:14 AM
  23. Richard Barry's Avatar
    Just a follow on to the above post - I ended up cancelling that order after the website wanted me to call during business hours (for them) to confirm I wasn't a scam artist (on a $10 order!). Sourced an alternative from a guy in NY on eBay from whom I bought the speakers - they were amazingly well packed so I purchased with plenty of confidence. I'll update when I get the antennae and my PB should (finally) be fully operational!
    01-27-15 08:40 AM
  24. Richard Barry's Avatar
    UPDATE - Got the antennae yesterday and fitted the wi-fi G (white) one after dinner and then left the PB to charge.
    With some apprehension I powered on a while later, it booted so I had at least re-assembled the device correctly but no change in wi-fi quality

    Still connects fine (with one-two bars) within a few feet (ie same room) of router but either can't find or quickly loses connection if I'm anywhere else in the house. It uses to be rock solid everywhere so I'm at a loss now as to what the problem is - I'll re-check connections tonight but I'm getting pretty fed up at this stage.

    To be honest, I feel a bit of a fool having wasted €87 on parts and too much of my time on what is as good as a dead device. The irritating thing is the PB (when it works) was a great tablet but I think it's time to jump on the Nexus 7 on sale in Argos right now.
    02-06-15 03:26 AM
  25. kbz1960's Avatar
    Oh well. You learned a lot

    Sorry all work didn't work.
    02-07-15 04:54 PM
46 12

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