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Old June 2nd, 2012, 09:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Got ICS: Yay! Tab Won't Charge: Boo!

Got my A500 five days ago (Acer factory refurb off eBay), got it charged and operating, it was good. Got an HC update and then a couple days later the ICS update. Finally got down to around 30% battery and plugged it in. Charge symbol on the screen had the lightning bolt through it as if it were charging and the on/off switch light was....flashing, I think?

Anyway, next morning it was down to 14% charge (still plugged in!) and that afternoon it was down to about 6% (still plugged in). I tried unplugging and replugging it to no avail. Last night I turned it off at 4% and plugged it in and it charged to 15% or so (had to turn it on to see if it was charging) and that was as high as it got. Now it's back down to 4% even though I've tried the same methods again.

Is this a hardware thing? ICS thing? I've only fully charged this device once since I got it so I have no other experience aside from the initial charge with HC.

Suggestions? Factory reset before it's totally dead and hope for the best?

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Old June 2nd, 2012, 10:53 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I did a factory reset to make sure it got done before the battery was completely dead....no dice. Tab booted and got rolling again just fine, but it's plugged in and down to 1% power. Lovely.
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Old June 2nd, 2012, 05:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Maybe you have a bad charger? Mine's a refurb, but through Amazon. You can get another wall wart through Amazon - maybe Walmart.
Does your charger have the interchangeable plugs? Mine does, and the plug might not be sitting in the charger right.

Know anyone with with a Voltmeter?

I hope you aren't trying to use a car charger - most don't work. I just bought an inverter for the car.
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Old June 2nd, 2012, 05:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Yep, factory wall charger with the interchangeable plug. The one that came with the device. Worked once for the initial charge, and once for a short time a couple days later, but it failed countless times.

I do have a multi testers, should I just check the voltage at the charger's tablet-end plug to make sure it's at 12v?
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Old June 2nd, 2012, 06:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Does the fact that the tab says it's charging when it's plugged in (even though it's not) indicate anything? Seems if the charger weren't working the tablet wouldn't indicate it was.
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Old June 2nd, 2012, 06:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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It may be delivering just enough juice to cause the tablet to report its charging, but not enough to do any good.
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Old June 2nd, 2012, 06:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Mmmm, interesting thought. I'll definitely try it.
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Old June 2nd, 2012, 07:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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12.2 volts at the tablet plug end of the charger when plugged into the wall. :-\ Probably the tablet. Will call Acer's warranty folks on Monday. *sigh* I was really diggin' this thing!
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Old June 2nd, 2012, 10:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I noticed that you did not mention whether or not you tried a hardware reset using the pinhole switch down on the lower right corner by the USB port. If you have not done that yet, it seems worth a try. The hardware reset does affect certain components in the tablet differently than the factory data reset or even a power down/up.

It seems more likely to work with the unit unplugged from the power adapter, but that may not make a difference.

I've seen issues like this on notebook PCs, where I've had to pull the battery to reset the charging controller. The hope is that this might work similar to that. It seems possible that this may even be a necessary step when the battery is replaced, and hopefully only one time. It's just a guess, and probably a long shot.

If it does not work the first time, try holding the pinhole reset switch for about 15 seconds before releasing it.
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Old June 2nd, 2012, 10:48 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I did do a factory reset and tried charging several different times with it on and off. Worked that one time only (off), which in itself adds more confusion to the situation).
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Old June 2nd, 2012, 10:51 PM   #11 (permalink)
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The reset I did was via the pinhole. Now it's back to Honeycomb and I had to start over with my Google account and all that initial startup stuff, but I was surprised the apps I had downloaded were still there.
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Old June 2nd, 2012, 11:06 PM   #12 (permalink)
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It can't go back to HC with a factory reset if the ICS update actually completed. That would then be the only image on your ROM. If you just got the tablet though, there may have been a few HC updates that are prerequisites to ICS, meaning that you may not have hit Android 4.0.3 yet.

You can look at Settings-->About tablet to see the Android version. The most current HC is 3.2.1, and ICS is 4.0.3.

Odd problem though. It's good that you have warranty coverage.
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Old June 2nd, 2012, 11:17 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Oh man, I feel like an idiot! I was going purely on appearance, and my "experience" is extremely limited; I didn't actually check. Thanks. ICS indeed. Still friggin' discharging, though. :-(
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Old June 3rd, 2012, 08:31 AM   #14 (permalink)
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This is common with car chargers. Someone electronically minded said it was the setup of the little ring on the pin. I think they had the specs on that little ring. It was either Android Tablet Forum or the Acer Forum. Maybe yours got buggered.

I also have an A100 - since I have 2 chargers and they are the same, I'd plug in the other working one. If that doesn't cure the problem, then it's internal and back to Acer.

I'd buy another charger anyway. If you intend to get an inverter and use it in the car, you won't be misplacing the original charger.
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Old June 3rd, 2012, 05:03 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I guess it'd be nice to have a second charger. I'll get one in my Amazon cart. In the meantime, however, I can use my tab for a few hours because it charged last night! So strange. I was ready to pack it up to go back to Acer, but talking about it on the forum made me try one more time and it worked. <shakes head> The saga continues...
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Old June 3rd, 2012, 05:41 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Loose connection?

Try fixing it so the end that goes in the tablet doesn't, can't, won't, move and see what happens.

I have cats - and while the tablet isn't within paws reach, the wall wart cord is. They can brush against it.
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Old June 3rd, 2012, 07:35 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I had the same issue after I had new tab for about 6 weeks. The power button in the side would turn orange for a couple seconds and then flash white. I returned it to Acer and they replaced the battery (I think) but it had worked fine sine then. That was when it was running 3.1... Send it back if its under warranty.

They did ask if I has another charger to it and wanted to ensure I sent back with the tab as well.

Good luck with Acer...
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Old June 4th, 2012, 06:35 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doesgo View Post
Got my A500 five days ago (Acer factory refurb off eBay), ...
Charge symbol on the screen had the lightning bolt through it as if it were charging and the on/off switch light was....flashing, I think?
What you describe, where the charge light was flashing may be abnormal and suggests a possible battery controller problem (which may be built into the battery). I recall that the light may flash for a while when the battery is nearly or completely dead, which is fairly standard behavior for many types of devices. The light should not typically flash while charging, at least not after a few seconds after starting from a dead battery. The light should be steady orange while charging, and then turn steady white when charged.

I'd personally hold off on shelling out cash for a new power adapter until after the warranty service. If they do determine it is an adapter problem, which seems possible regardless of the no-load voltage you measured, then they may send you one of the newer versions which have a longer and stronger cord. I have seen both, and the newer one looks and feels more robust than the older version.

What I am wondering about at this point is if you are seeing the reason why your particular a500 was refurbished in the first place. It seems possible they may have never addressed the original problem that caused the first owner to ship it back. I suppose it is also possible that when they refurbished, they replaced the battery with a defective part.
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Old June 8th, 2012, 12:34 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I'm not sure why my particular device was refurbished. It looks perfect and acts perfect (or at least normal) except for the charging issue.

I'd pony up for a $10 charger or even $15 to test it out, but since genuine Acer chargers are so expensive ($45 shipped? Ouch!), if the problem persists I will send it to Acer for repair.

I've not had much time to use my tablet over the past few days, but it was down below 50% charge so I put it on the charger again. I'll find out what surprises are in store when I get home from work.
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Old June 8th, 2012, 05:52 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Amazon is your friend.
Amazon.com: New Genuine Acer Iconia Tab A100 A500 A501 Gateway Tab TP A60 Tablet Ac Power Adapter w/ Plug - PSA18R-120P: Computers & Accessories

There's more on the page.

I just bought one - lost all the adapters for different outlets and needed them as A100 is going to England.
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Old June 8th, 2012, 06:40 PM   #21 (permalink)
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What??? I was just on Amazon and I sure didn't see that one. That's great, thanks a lot.

BTW, it charged up to 100% today. Both successful charges (excluding the initial charge) were done with the tablet resting on one end on carpet, leaning against the wall. Could be a loose connection somewhere that closes when the charger wire hangs in a certain way. I'll keep testing...
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Old July 6th, 2012, 07:36 PM   #22 (permalink)
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One more successful charge. Four in five weeks. Terrible. Sent it in for warranty coverage today. Fingers crossed!
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Old July 14th, 2012, 02:22 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
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One more successful charge. Four in five weeks. Terrible. Sent it in for warranty coverage today. Fingers crossed!
I had the same problem. Factory charger went bad. It was a switching charger, got one on ebay and it will start charging, red light on, then in a few seconds got a blinking white light. unplugged it and plugged it back in, charging light came, same thing again. I decided to play with it. I plugged it til it went white blinking light, then unplugged it agian, started charging. Did this til I got about 25% charged. My theory is that it has to be a switching charger and I was simulating that by switching it manually. tells me that you have to have a switching charger like the one that came with it.,
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Old July 14th, 2012, 04:25 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I had the same problem. Factory charger went bad. It was a switching charger, got one on ebay and it will start charging, red light on, then in a few seconds got a blinking white light. unplugged it and plugged it back in, charging light came, same thing again. I decided to play with it. I plugged it til it went white blinking light, then unplugged it again, started charging. Did this til I got about 25% charged. My theory is that it has to be a switching charger and I was simulating that by switching it manually. tells me that you have to have a switching charger like the one that came with it.,
You are probably correct about the need to use a charger with the same specs as the original. The problem actually appears to be due to inadequate voltage regulation properties of certain aftermarket supplies, where the voltage levels output by certain chargers drop too low under load. I've seen several reports about this same problem.

I worked with another user on this problem and he discovered while monitoring with a volt meter that the aftermarket supply he tested did not maintain adequate voltage levels. The charging circuit apparently requires a well regulated voltage and does not tolerate drop offs. When the voltage drops below a certain threshold, the battery charging circuit detects that, and opens, where you then see the error condition indicated by the flashing power light. When you manually disconnect/reconnect the charger, the charging circuit resets and tries to charge again. The voltage again drops below the required threshold, and after a specific time at the lower voltage (which I recall to be about 5 minutes), the charging circuit again disconnects.

A good switching-mode power supply of the appropriate specs apparently provides a steady well regulated voltage that does not drop below the threshold, so the charging circuit continues to operate without interruption.

Note that the "switching" part of the power supply refers to the method used to regulate the voltage, and not to any switching of the output voltage/current. A switching-mode supply does not turn the output power on and off, but maintains it at a steady voltage level. Again, when you unplug and plug back in the charger, you are just resetting the charging circuit in the tablet which allows it to charge for a short while until the logic determines that the voltage level is inadequate, and disconnects the power from the battery.
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Old July 14th, 2012, 10:45 PM   #25 (permalink)
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That really makes sense. Seems that I need to get one directly from acer, specifically for the Iconia A500. Thanks for the information.
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Old July 15th, 2012, 07:03 AM   #26 (permalink)
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I put a timer in the wall outlet and set it to 15 min on 15 min off. I watched a while and the battery level started coming up. I left it on overnight and have a full charge. Didn't fix it but now I can get a charge. Same thing should hold true using a mobile power inverter and plugging the wall charger into it.
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Old July 15th, 2012, 11:04 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Very creative. I could not help but smile a little as I read this.

I assume this is just a temporary measure until you can get a suitable replacement. I'd be a little concerned that the method could possibly shorten the battery life if used too long or too often. It could just as well lengthen it though, or make no difference at all.
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Old August 3rd, 2012, 09:48 AM   #28 (permalink)
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It took three weeks, but I got my A500 back. No mention in package of what the problem was, nor from the person I contacted to find out what the heck the status was (they never told me of their own accord and my e-mail went unanswered, but fortunately I was able to get the status via telephone, although the person wasn't able to find out what the problem/fix was), but I'm two for two with successful charges so far.

It IS the same tablet, assuming they didn't swap out the SN sticker, but I'm not sure if it's the same charger.

Either way, it's fixed, cost me nothing but some time, and I love having my tablet back!
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