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Support Phone not charging when dead. Unable to find help anywhere!

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by kron0Trippr, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. kron0Trippr

    kron0Trippr Lurker
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    Hey Guys, I have been seeking technical assistance for this weird battery issue I have and no one can really seem to figure it out. I thought I would ask over here, I'm going to copy and paste the relevant parts from previous threads on other forums. Thank you for looking!

    If my phone dies, the battery will not charge no matter how long I keep it plugged in. The solid green light goes on but the phone will not charge. I've taken it to Verizon 3x now, and they keep telling my my battery is bad, and they replace the battery. The phone immediately works with a new battery.

    BUT if I put my old battery into someone else's droid, the battery will charge as normal. As you can see, its a difficult problem to figure out because the battery is fine, my charger is fine. This ONLY happens when the battery runs dead. So I have to "jump start" it using someone else's phone, then I can charge again.

    Obviously the best solution is to keep it charged all the time, and never let it die, or keep a spare battery. But that's not always possible.

    I've been having this problem for weeks now (since I switched to Gingerbread IIRC.) I am on .595, NOT the OTA.

    UPDATE:

    So I thought it was maybe due to the leaked GB (.595) that I had been using, or the rom, (Apex 2.0) or something to do with the battery stats issue, or any combination of the above.

    I finally flashed over to a new rom, SSX, using the "prep patch." I wiped and cleared everything multiple times as per the instructions, installed the rom and the other update patches, aaaaaand...

    Problem still exists. This sucks. I'm going on a 2 week trip where I will have limited access to power outlets so I'm really going to try and get this fixed asap.

    My next step is to do a complete SBF to vanilla froyo, and see if it still has the issue. If it does then, well, hopefully Verizon will replace the phone because this issue is ridiculous.
     

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  2. scary alien

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    kron0Trippr,

    I read your post a couple of times and that is indeed very strange behavior...

    I actually think its the kernel that's responsible for driving the charging of the phone. So, I don't think it would be custom ROM-related.

    In many phones, the phone will not typically charge while in bootloader mode (as you've seen). And recovery, custom or stock, may only trickle-charge the battery, but at a rate much slower than the operations that are typically done while in recovery consume the battery.

    One thing that occurred to me however, which you briefly touched-on was the charging method. You mentioned that the charger is fine / works. How does the phone (battery) behave when plugged-in using just the USB cable (a slower charging method, of course)?

    I mention this because of an Introduction thread where a user posted weird phone issues when using the wall-charger, but no issues when using the USB cable. Credit to our fellow guide lunatic59 for his insights re. this (he speculated that the charger actually has a short in it that might be responsible for the very strange issues the OP was having).

    Have you tried changing-out the wall-charger or just using the USB cable to charge the phone?

    You might have already isolated this or tried this, but I thought I'd mention it just in case.

    Cheers and good luck (and please let us know if you find the resolution to your issue).
     
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  3. Wpz2000

    Wpz2000 Well-Known Member
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    A Li-ion/Polymer battery has a smart chip inside the battery which reads out the battery voltages, temperature, etc. In some cases it also controls the charging.

    This is all because the battery technology needs a specific charging pattern throughout the charge cycle. You can't just dump energy into it like the old NiCd or NiMh batteries. It is also to protect the consumer (and themselves from lawsuits) because if it overheats, you have an internal rupture which causes a meltdown and fire.

    I suspect on the smart phones, the charging is regulated by the kernel and that is why the phone must be on and booted before it will charge (why it won't charge in recovery).

    There are two charge limits - one is the upper limit when the charging must stop. The other is the lower limit which if passed (below), the battery is considered dead and not chargeable. This is why you never 'store' a Li-Ion/Polymer battery when it is (almost) empty. The battery loses charge over time and if the charge falls below this limit, it is dead.

    I think your phone has a slightly out of tolerance voltage sensing circuit or the kernel has a messed up value for this lower limit. It thinks the empty battery is actually below the chargeable threshold and will not charge it. That is why when the charge is bumped up by another phone, yours will charge it again.

    Edit:since you have tried different roms with kernels, I suspect the phone is out of tolerance... good luck with this as you will have a hard time convincing the Verizon techies (which I think are contracted Flextronics techies trained only to do a few diag. things - this is not one of them).


     
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  4. scary alien

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    Good information there, Wpz2000 :).

    I knew about the chip/circuit inside the batteries (or at least the OEM batteries). Some of the cheap, 3rd-party batteries do not include this voltage and temperature sensing/reporting circuitry and when Froyo/2.2 was released, folks with these wonky batteries discovered that Moto had changed the kernel to prevent a battery that does not contain this voltage and temperature circuitry from being charged.

    Also, I do believe that recovery (or at least custom recovery) runs a minimalist kernel that can charge the battery, albeit slowly. But when you are only in bootloader mode, the kernel is, of course, not running and the battery will not be charged.

    I didn't know about the upper and lower limits you mentioned, so that's excellent info. to know.

    I wonder if wiping the battery stats would help (I don't think these are auto-wiped with CWM since there's a separate option for that). SBF'ing should take care of "resetting" any battery stats or kernel settings, so if the OP reverts to Froyo/2.2, that might help.

    Cheers!
     
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  5. Wpz2000

    Wpz2000 Well-Known Member
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    I suspect the OP has a phone that is on one end of the tolerance scale and the battery is at the other end.

    OP: try one of your friend's batteries, it may actually charge when empty

    The upper threshold is 4.2v/cell, stopping the charge earlier increases the battery's life, but provides less power. Most phones charge right up to the 4.2v limit while other types of electronics will shut down the charger at 4.1v.

    The lower limit is between 2.4 and 2.8v depending on the chemistry, if you go below this limit, the battery cannot be charged because of the smart chip or just the battery is actually dead.

    Note: the Li-Ion batteries don't like being drained empty - these full discharge cycles will decrease its life, so charge it often


     
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  6. pool_shark

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    You can also charge the device in the car or with a PC with the USB cable, you do not *need* the AC outlet.

    It's better than letting it die.
     
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  7. kron0Trippr

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    First off, thanks to all of you for the extraordinary responses! This threshold concept is new to me but it makes a lot of sense and seems to correlate with my problem. I'll address a few of the specific questions/comments:

    Not sure if this is universal for everyone but my wall charger is essentially the USB cable that couples with a 2-prong adapter for the wall. I have in fact tried it this way, (via computer, car USB, and also via AC powered USB hub).

    Not to complicate matters but, interestingly, ONE time I was trying to revive it while driving (in a rental so I can't replicate it) plugged into the car USB, it suddenly turned on, then I believe the power supply from the car was too low so it died shortly thereafter, and didn't come back.

    This is the most reasonable and plausible thing anyone has told me about the problem. Thank you for this information, it helps to understand the cause, if not the solution!

    Since I only noticed this problem after flashing the Gingerbread leak back in April, I suspect that something went wrong during this process and interfered with my tolerance sensing circuit, as you say.

    My next step is to SBF back to stock Froyo and see if the problem persists. If it does not, I will take the OTA Gingerbread, and from there back to some custom ROMs.

    If the problem doesn't go away I will take it to Verizon. Ironically the first time I took it there due to this issue, they were simply going to give me a new phone right then and there. Then they noticed I was rooted and I had a hell of a time convincing the tech not to put a strike next to my account. After much deliberation the employee provided me with a new battery (assuming that was the problem). I hope that if I am at stock Froyo, they may replace the phone.

    In any case thanks to all of you once again! I will post my progress, though it may be a few days before I am able to do more testing.
    :D:cool:
     
  8. Wpz2000

    Wpz2000 Well-Known Member
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    USB ports are spec'd by definition to put out max of 500mA, manufacturers are free to exceed this limit, but not many.

    500mA is not enough to power the phone up and charge the battery, that is why it shut down after. Your theory is spot on.

     
  9. kron0Trippr

    kron0Trippr Lurker
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    Again, thanks to everyone who replied and helped me out here. I finally solved the problem, and in doing so I think proved your theories correct.

    I simply sbf'd back to stock Froyo (I use the linux "boot, baby... boot" method). Subsequently, I've rooted and loaded on a new ROM (SSX again), lo and behold charging issue is gone!

    Just as an FYI it was the sbf-ing that brought my phone back to its normal state and fixed the issue.

    Great job guys!
     
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  10. scary alien

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    Good to hear that you and your battery are "back" and happy again :).

    Also, thanks for letting us know what the solution was since that will surely benefit some future reader.

    Cheers!
     

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