Lithium powered things not charging?

Do you have a question? Post it now! No Registration Necessary

Translate This Thread From English to

Threaded View
Hi all and HNY.

Daughter recently bought a 'refurbished' Samsumg Galaxy Tab2 10.1"
(tablet) and it seemed ok at first. However, the supplier forgot to
include the charger. She called them and in spite of requesting a
genuine Samsung one, they sent her a generic jobby (and only 650mA).

Along the way (and not helped by the charger thing) she's allowed it
to go flat and now it won't charge up again (I've tried various
chargers, inc a 2A Samsung one) and after Googling about it looks like
this (sort of thing) is a known problem with these Lithium batteries
and Samsung tablets (and probably other makes and devices as well
etc).

One solution seems to be to pop the back off, pull the battery
connector, refit the battery and away it (often) goes but it is also
suggested that if you get to that low voltage state again, it will /
could lock up again. ;-(

However, one chap on Youtube suggests a more permanent 'fix' by the
addition of a small 'bypass' diode and whilst I'm happy to do that (I
was a field support guy, years ago and still try to keep my hand in
with basic repairs), I thought I'd ask here if it sounds 'sensible'?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ggQU3E01IQ


I'm not able to work out where on the diagram he put the diode or if
it has any other (negative?) impact. He starts to show the schematics
from 4:20 onwards and there are also links to them and the full
service manual in the text. Ours is a GT-P5100, as are the manuals he
links to but he seems to be discussing the GT-P3100 (the 7" model and
may not have the same PCB layout for someone old / simple like me to
follow <g>)?

Obviously our first port of call will be the supplier but we didn't
want to go though the trouble of sending it back, for them to
disconnect the battery and send it back to us, only for it to lock up
again later.? ;-(

Basically she was just looking for a 3g 10" tablet that was 'nice' to
use and that she could afford and the s/u 10" Tab2 seemed to fit the
bill.

Thanks for your time in any case. ;-)

Cheers, T i m

Re: Lithium powered things not charging?
T i m wrote:

Quoted text here. Click to load it

How long have you left it on charge?

Some items take a surprisingly long time to get enough "initial" charge  
into them from flat to show any sign of charging let alone being willing  
to boot ...


Re: Lithium powered things not charging?
wrote:

Quoted text here. Click to load it

A couple of hours (before trying something else). The thing is, the
loop it's in (shows charging screen then seems to reboot etc) doesn't
seem to be conducive to it even taking any charge? ;-(
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Understood.

Cheers, T i m




Re: Lithium powered things not charging?
On 1/7/2017 8:48 AM, T i m wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

You have an unknown source suggesting some vague fix that
defeats charging protocols using an unknown
"diode" not clearly defined on the schematic to a DIFFERENT tablet
made by Samsung, the poster child for lithium battery safety.
How many bad signs do you need before you determine that this is too
risky??

Not at all clear exactly what he's doing.
If he's adding a parallel charging path thru the unspecified diode,
I'd suggest that it's a time-bomb.
You'd need at least three silicon junction diodes and a series resistor.
I would never, ever, suggest that anyone try such a stupid thing.

Another thing that I believe is overlooked.
When you modify a device in an unsafe manner, you risk harming yourself
and those around you.
If you let ANYONE else use it, or steal it, or sell it to someone,
you put THEM at a risk that they're not even aware of.  If it's sold
at your estate sale, all your good intentions to remove the mod
are worthless.
Quoted text here. Click to load it


Re: Lithium powered things not charging?

<snip>
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Potentially yes. He *could* know exactly what he's doing (he looks
like he might) but he also may have no idea (so point noted).

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Didn't know that, thanks.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Well, to be fair I wasn't going to even attempt anything (if I ever
did) until several other avenues had been exhausted but again. I do
get your point / caution.
Quoted text here. Click to load it

If you have followed his idea and see that's exactly what he is doing
then fair enough. If not (and playing devils advocate for a second)
then couldn't it (possibly?) be a nifty / safe solution?

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Unspecified other than a "a std rectification' diode you mean, or were
you still talking about it's roll?

(The other day I fixed an electronic motorcycle speedo for a friend by
replacing the remains (through water ingress / corrosion)  of some SM
diode with a 4001 I happened to have a load of. It seems to work ok
but isn't charging a battery of course.<g>)

Quoted text here. Click to load it

I do understand your caution so thanks for that.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Understood ... and that's why I asked if anyone could 'vet' what was
proposed here. ;-)
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Understood ... but I would prefer to see it as 'if' rather that when
as not all cases *will* be inherently dangerous (even if they weren't
fully considered or technically correct). Like, loads of people have
simply unplugged and replugged the battery in such 'non-charging'
situations but how do we know if that also isn't potentially bypassing
some safety function?

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Understood. There are many jobs I could easily undertake but where the
thought of something going wrong, even if nothing to do with my input,
doesn't bear thinking about ... so I don't. What I call the 'what if'
factor.

Just OOI if I may Mike, do you ever buy any unbranded electronics ...
phone chargers, cables, battery packs etc? I ask because I understand
some of these sort of things are also not built with the same level of
safety in mind that we might assume and pay for in some of the
(hopefully) better branded kit? (genuine question).

Thanks for your feedback. ;-)

Cheers, T i m

Re: Lithium powered things not charging?
On 1/7/2017 1:25 PM, T i m wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

MIGHT?  Sure, he might...but he also may catch fire.  Are you feeling  
lucky with your daughter's life? house?
Quoted text here. Click to load it


Unless you've been living off the grid you couldn't escape the hoopla
over the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 battery fires.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

I couldn't tell where on the schematic he put the diode or the type of
diode.  We could certainly guess the type of diode.
If he had the EXACT tablet as yours, with the SAME hardware version
and the SAME firmware version and he disclosed the EXACT connections
on the schematic and we had specs for all the relevant chips, I'd be much
more inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt.

If not (and playing devils advocate for a second)
Quoted text here. Click to load it
Possibly.  Are you feeling lucky?  I suggest that if it's
a widespread problem with a solution that simple, you'd read
a lot more about it from verifiable sources.

If your car heater is busted and someone suggested that you
should put an open container of gasoline on the front seat
and set it on fire, would you try it?  I'm quite sure
you'd be warmer if you did that.

I couldn't tell where on the schematic he placed the diode.
The schematic shows the protection chip, so it looks like he
may be defeating some or ALL of the circuitry that controls
the charging process, possibly affecting the full charge detection.  That is
an extremely bad idea.  Do you think he is likely to more about this
than the people who make/use the chip in production?

Another alternative is to bypass the chip and apply some charge to directly
to the battery until it reaches the threshold where the protection
chip can take over.

There are two serious problems with this.
If you just use a diode, you're gonna supply all the current the
charger can supply.  Maybe that's two amps?  Let's say it's only one amp.
If the diode voltage is at the max spec, it might be 1.2V.  So, at 1 amp
that's 1.2 watts and the diode will melt the solder and fall off, landing
who knows where.

Second, it's risky to try to recover a lithium battery that's been
discharged below the minimum voltage.  If you do, you need to use LOW
current.  The diode provides HIGH current...very bad.

You fix the current with a resistor in series with the diode.
Now, you have to worry about maximum voltage.
At nominal 5.000V charger voltage and nominal 0.7V diode drop,
that leaves you with 4.3V on the battery.  That's not good.
I've seen chargers with nominal 5.3V at low current.  That puts your
battery at 4.6V.  That's asking for a fire.
If the diode overheated, it may be leaky, making things worse.

If you use two silicon junction diodes and a resistor, you start
to get into the range of possibility.   Three diodes is even better,
but then you run into the possibility that the battery will  never reach
the voltage needed for the protection chip to take over.

THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS.  We don't know ANY of the details of the  
charging circuit or what his mod does.  But, we can surely guess.



Quoted text here. Click to load it

What is a std rectification diode?  How do you know that's what he used?
He did suggest removing a random diode from another tablet/phone.
If it's a schottkey diode, the voltage is lower and might have significant
effect on how it works...maybe...we don't know.
Quoted text here. Click to load it

A 1N4001 diode always works, until it doesn't.  You had the ability to test
the result and determine that the circuit works.
I suggest that you haven't the knowledge or equipment to validate a lithium
battery charger mod...or you wouldn't have asked the question.  Since  
it's not your tablet, you'll not be around to notice any telltale signs  
of danger.
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Wouldn't be the first time that something seemingly simple and impossible
to screw up caused a major screw up.  Won't be the last either.
Samsung can't even get it right on their second try of the Note 7.
Quoted text here. Click to load it

This is one of those times.
Quoted text here. Click to load it

I don't think you can tell any more.  Paying more doesn't guarantee
better stuff.  The name is no longer sufficient.  Most everything these
days is bought from the cheapest bidder.  The seller slaps his label
on it and charges big bux.  The next one you buy from the same vendor
may be completely different.

If you treat the tablet and charger as a system, you can save money
by leaving out some parts.  The manual probably says, "don't ever use
any charger other than the one supplied."  How many of us heed that
warning?

Even if the designer had it all figgered out, that's still no guarantee.
I've had situations where purchasing decided unilaterally to change a part
to save a few cents.  I didn't learn about it until the production line
shut down.
Just like your example. "It's just a std. diode."  Unless it isn't.

I buy almost all my stuff busted at garage sales.
I have an electrical engineering degree and 40 years design experience.
I almost always get it close enough to right.
ALMOST!
I once set a laptop on fire while charging the battery.  I assumed that
the designers had some common sense.  I was wrong.  The
charge current limit
was in the external charger, not anywhere near the battery.  Label says
19VDC, but if you apply 19VDC, you let the smoke out.

The internet is a very dangerous place.
It's a great place to get ideas, but implementation is often lacking.
Most people who post stuff haven't a clue.  They take a narrow
view of the problem/solution.  Often it doesn't matter.
Sometimes, it sets you on fire.

Get your ideas from the web.  VERIFY the solution and do your own math.
Implement what you can verify and/or test.  Even if you think you
know what you're doing, it's extremely difficult to test for stuff you
never anticipated or couldn't simulate.  We learned that from the design  
of the Hubble Space Telescope.

Are we having fun yet?

Quoted text here. Click to load it


Re: Lithium powered things not charging?

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Yup.


Exactly. ;-)

Quoted text here. Click to load it

True, but it might not. My point is that unless we know *exactly* how
his mod works we can't determine if it is a potentially safe or
dangerous one.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

The thing is (and subject to the thoughts above), there could be loads
of things we use that are inherently dangerous, like tumble dryers or
any other battery or charger so it needs to be taken in the right
perspective.
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Ah that, sure (a mate had one on order but it was cancelled by
Samsung).
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Well I can do the latter as he tells us in the video. It's a general
purpose, SM (ideally for the small size) 2A rectification diode, as
typically found on phones and tablets etc.  We could certainly guess
the type of diode.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Or a tablet from the same manufacturer and series ...

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Or that shared a common circuit design ...

Quoted text here. Click to load it

It may not be firmware dependant but I do get your points etc ...

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Ok.


Well I believe we have the former as he references the service manual
and schematics for the exact same model I have.
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Well yes, and such may be out there but how many people are up for
opening their devices *and* soldering stuff in?
Quoted text here. Click to load it

I think that may be a slight over-exaggeration Mike. ;-)
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Ok, that is key information for me.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Ok.


Agreed.


Are you suggesting that no manufacturer hasn't ever price engineered a
solution or made a mistake with the design? Have you never seen hand
re-mapped circuit boards, cut tracks or components that were obviously
never designed to fit that board? Have you never heard of a product
make or model that was known to be unreliable and/or be recalled for
safety reasons? Did you hear about the Note 7? <weg>
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Yes, but as he says, that may not prevent the same thing from
happening again (the next time the tablet is allowed to go flat).
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Understood.

Understood.

Understood.

Understood.

Well, my general understanding is that the diode mod 'bypasses' (his
words) a part of the circuit that allows for a battery to be recovered
from an over-discharged state. Now, it may do so by using the existing
charging circuitry but kick starting the detection stage, rather than
passing the actual charge itself.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

That was why I asked here Mike <g>. In the past people have been able
to look at a photograph of a PCB that I have presented and work out
exactly how it worked! ;-)

Quoted text here. Click to load it

A general purpose device to be used in a known environment. So, if we
are talking about a Tablet then we won't be needing a device able to
handle 600 volts or 100 GHz.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Because he tells us in the video.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Understood.

;-)

Quoted text here. Click to load it

As our guy in the video did ... and all those who also did as he
suggested and fixed their tablets?

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Agreed.


In this case daughter still lives with us so I probably would.
Quoted text here. Click to load it
<snip>
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Quite.


Quite.  

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Ok. ;-)
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Exactly.


Yup. ;-(
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Well, I'd say we try to because I have been involved with
'electronics' for over 50 years I have probably a better understanding
of the rules and risks than many 'ordinary folk' and do take notice of
the charger volts and current capacity etc. I have also been playing
with rechargeable batteries for nearly as long and still have a road
going electric car and designed, built and raced an electric motorbike
(raced as it was more 'endurance / range' than racing as such).

I used the word 'played' there because I wouldn't see / offer myself
as an expert in any of it.
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Ok.


So was I and it was a big eye opener.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Yes, true, except in those situations where it really doesn't matter
as long it 'works'.
Quoted text here. Click to load it

We don't have them over here (Uk) but we do have boot sales (Trunk
sales?) and Freecycle and the like.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

And that's why I am happy to defer to you and many of the 'experts'
here because whilst I did 'design' some of my own circuits, I would
generally just be following the component datasheets or borrowing bits
from similar circuit designs.As a component level bench and field
*support* tech, I was fine as long as I had the schematics, scope,
iron and test gear. ;-)
  
Quoted text here. Click to load it

I like to do similar and hence why I often ask advice from those who
know. Whilst my version will often work, it may not be the most
efficient design. That said, I have provided feedback to others (who
were designers) who have consequently modified their designs because
of my input (the last was a 4 way battery charger switcher where a
failed relay could allow two 12V to become connected in parallel. My
design mod meant that it would always fail 'safe'. ;-)

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Not done that ... yet! ;-(

Quoted text here. Click to load it

What do they say about 'assumption' Mike. ;-)

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Ah.

Agreed.


Ok. ;-)
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Yup ... that's exactly what I was doing here. ;-)

Quoted text here. Click to load it

We did indeed.
Quoted text here. Click to load it

I think so, and learning / reinforcing stuff at the same time. ;-)

I spoke to daughter when she came in last night and I will probably
contact the supplier with her on Monday and start the returns ball
rolling. In light of this 'issue' I think (as I mentioned) offer to
put the difference towards a brand new tablet for her, as at least our
investment would be protected for the next two years.

Cheers, T i m

Re: Lithium powered things not charging?
On Saturday, January 7, 2017 at 11:48:40 AM UTC-5, T i m wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Seems to me this is best fixed at the software level.  Is there a firmware update available, or have you tried contacting Samsung?


Re: Lithium powered things not charging?
On Sat, 7 Jan 2017 12:36:43 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

<snip>
Quoted text here. Click to load it

I prefer that idea, that's for sure but to find out I'll need to get
some charge in the battery. ;-)

Quoted text here. Click to load it

I can't be 100% sure but daughter may have accepted an update or two
when she first got the unit but I'm not sure she's remember what they
were if there were.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

No, I haven't yet because this being a second user device, I felt my
first port of call would be the supplier.

I have read many who have contacted Samsung and if it was in warranty
they were sent back and repaired or replaced and if out they suggested
the customer bought a new one.

I will get daughter to email the supplier for Monday, possibly
requesting a full refund and treat her to the difference on a new Tab
A 10.1 (with a 2 year warranty).

Cheers, T i m


Re: Lithium powered things not charging?
On Sat, 07 Jan 2017 16:48:38 +0000, T i m wrote:

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Charge initially at a very low rate until the protection circuitry sees a  
voltage higher than 3V from each cell in the battery, then charge  
normally.
If it doesn't take a charge then it's dead.

Re: Lithium powered things not charging?
wrote:

<snip>
Quoted text here. Click to load it

I don't think I can do that from the 'outside' as it doesn't seem to
accept any charge at all. I will try it again tomorrow (when we are
here) and see what happens.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

I have an intelligent charger than can do all battery types (charge,
discharge / balance) but to do that I'd have to get the back off and
the battery out.

The suggestion is that even if the unit was 'recovered' that way,
there is a good chance it could lockup again, if left to go flat (that
shouldn't typically be flat past std external charger recovery).

I have several tablets and all have at some time or another been left
'on' (standby) for some period, gone flat but recharged ok afterwards
(so far anyway). ;-)

We will speak to the supplier on Monday and see what they say and if
they offer to replace the unit with another (A1 refurbish) that they
allow the replacement to go flat to ensure that one recovers ok.

Cheers, T i m


Re: Lithium powered things not charging?

Quoted text here. Click to load it

All the books are telling me that there's a critical minimum discharge  
voltage that going under damages the cell.

Anything worth having should have a UVLO circuit to prevent that happening -  
I'd take it back and tell them its not fit for purpose.

Refurbs usually only have 90 day warranty - so get your skates on.  


Re: Lithium powered things not charging?
On Mon, 9 Jan 2017 21:07:14 -0000, "Benderthe.evilrobot"

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Agreed.

And most good devices do of course, however, they may only be
protected from everyday full discharge conditions, not being left
uncharged indefinitely (battery self discharge)?

Quoted text here. Click to load it

That was the plan but there is now an update (and some egg on face).

Recap: Daughter ordered the refurb Tab2 after my suggestion because of
the cost, and there wasn't much about that was also 3/4G ready (and
network unlocked).  

It arrived very quickly and when she unpacked it it *appeared* they
had just sent the tablet, charging / data cable and the two pin Uk
charger plug adaptor, not no charger itself.

So, because it came with some initial charge she was able to play with
it and confirmed it would do what she needed. It seemed to accept some
charge using other USB chargers (we have many) and that was that.

She didn't want to take it out till she had a decent case so put it to
one side and ordered an Otterbox defender that took a while to go
though. She mounted it in the case, tested that it still worked and
put it aside again.

In the meantime she had contacted the supplier re the missing charger
and they quickly sent a generic (only 650mA, not the Samsung 2A) one
though.  

I tried the charger but only saw the charging loop issue (and it was
too flat to turn on by now) and no other charger seemed to make
matters any better, including a genuine Samsung 2A one that came with
a Samsung phone.

Then I did some Googling and posted here, assuming the tablet had gone
into what appears to be a known under voltage / loop state.

I then contacted the supplier, went though what we had done so far and
they emailed her a courier collection / returns document and I went to
pack it all up ready for collection. As I picked up the Samsung box, I
felt something moving inside that felt heavier than the Uk plug
adaptor pins but when I opened it up there was nothing (other than
said adaptor) to be seen, however, when I lifted up the blow moulded
layer I found the genuine Samsung (5V 2A) charger underneath!

So, I plugged it into the Tab and lo and behold it started charging
properly <g> (the gold battery icon stayed on screen for a good time),
however, the plug didn't seem to seat fully?

Upon close inspection it looked like there was something laying across
the bottom of the socket and I carefully removed it it appeared to be
a 5mm length of softish plastic that could have come from the Otterbox
or been there all the time (and part of the issue)?

So, at this time we are keeping the tablet 'under observation' and
will discharge it completely to make sure it continues to recover ok
(although if it recovered from the previous depth of discharge there
is no reason it shouldn't ... *unless* it's an intermittent problem.

Anyway, I thought I'd relay what actually happened in case it helps
anyone else and thanks to all who replied. ;-)

Cheers, T i m

Re: Lithium powered things not charging?

Try it with a genuine charger for the tablet.

An iPhone charger may not charge an iPad.

iAnythings seem to shut off before going totally flat.  I don't know
about others though.

--- sam

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Site Timeline