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Warning - Battery Charging

48 posts in this topic

Posted

lithium ion batteries do not have 'memory effect' as ni-cad batteries but they are very sensitive to temperature, low temperature such as 0 degrees will kill the battery (common in laptops left in car overnight) :roll:

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Posted

lithium ion batteries do not have 'memory effect' as ni-cad batteries but they are very sensitive to temperature, low temperature such as 0 degrees will kill the battery (common in laptops left in car overnight) :roll:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

As always is the case on fourms like these, generalisations based on part knowledge can lead to misleading statements and misconceptions. Lithium-ion batteries are often rated to work down to -20 deg C. Lithium-ion Polymer, on the other hand, are only rated down to 0 deg C. The only way to be sure is to check the manufacturer's spec of your battery!

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Posted (edited)

You need to check your facts. As awarner says, they are NOT designed to run flat, in fact the internal structure is permanently damaged if they fall below approx. 2.5V per cell.  Your analogy is utter rubbish too - you yourself admit that a kettle needs a "small amount of water", i.e. a minimum charge. What happens if you turn the kettle on with absolutely no water?

The batteries used in PDAs and mobile phones have internal controllers which temporarily disconnect the battery when it gets close to the low voltage limit to prevent further discharge. That's why it may become unresponsive to normal charging. If the cell voltage falls below approx 1.5V the controller considers it faulty and permanently disables the battery. This is done for consumer safety - as Lithium can be highly explosive if mistreated (e.g. by trying to charge a faulty cell).

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yes, the internal controllers are there to stop a discharge deep enough to damage the cells - basically the battery runs goes 'flat' before it is actually empty, to proected the cells. However it goes 'flat' and the then won't take a chrage, then either the battery is damaged or the internal controller circuit is badly designed.

I have plenty of lithium-ion batteries used in a number of different devices (PDAs, phones, laptops etc) and a full discharge (ie. a discharge to where the device will not power on again - not necessarily completely emptying the battery) does nothing noticable to the battery, and will always charge properly again. This is perfectly normal use for such batteries.

If the device will not charge after running the battery down through normal use, then there is a fault or possibly a design problem. The internal controllers are there to stop such things happening - both for safety, and for reliability of the battery.

Edited by Swampie
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Posted

This is a common problem, with any form of smart charging if a cell falls below nominal voltage it will not charge, you should take battery out of phone for couple of hours (still very small drain on battery whilst in phone) a good battery will recover- then insert back into phone and charge ;)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I just want to thank majorjam for their post. My Vario wouldn't charge at all, even with the ac charger. I left the battery out of the phone overnight, and it charged fine the next morning. Which is probably just as well as I don't think I trust myself to strip a usb cable!

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Posted

I would have agreed with you completely if it wasn't for my experience at the weekend. I tried charging it with the mains charger and a number of usb sync cables but with no joy!

It only charged after I had taken the battery out and charged directly using the bare cables! Once it had enough charge in it the sync cable and mains charger were both able to top it up and it has been fine charging since (I just don't let it run down quite so much!).

Can you provide specifics? I need to do the same thing. Looking for what wire you put on which contacts. Thnank you for the information.

I know I was not crazy when my battery died.

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Posted

Just to let everyone know that i had the same problem over the weekend - i left the battery out for a couple of hours and put it back in my phone but stupidly tried to switch it on, it started to boot, then went off and couldnt charge again.

Im currently hotwiring the battery - thanks Jonhitch

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Posted

Just to let everyone know that i had the same problem over the weekend - i left the battery out for a couple of hours and put it back in my phone but stupidly tried to switch it on, it started to boot, then went off and couldnt charge again.

Im currently hotwiring the battery - thanks Jonhitch

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hi all, ive had similar problems, when flat, my Vario will not charge from a USB port on any computer, car adaptor or even USB cable on a mains adaptor. However, the original mains cable still charges it fine.

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Posted

Hope you don't mind but I'm bumping this up to the top to help out Michael. It seems like there are a number of us who've had the same problem!

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Posted

thanks for this thread! I was really surprised. However, it helped that I was not allone and for me too it helped to charge after waiting for some time and using the original charger (which had slightly higher output power than my travel charger which I normally used!).

Thanks again

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Posted (edited)

This is a common problem, with any form of smart charging if a cell falls below nominal voltage it will not charge, you should take battery out of phone for couple of hours (still very small drain on battery whilst in phone) a good battery will recover- then insert back into phone and charge ;)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yep.. I'm a witness.. As i'm a victim as we speak of the battery drained and will not power on.

I actually got my unit from UK shipped to the states.. So I've had the wrong mains plug and have been charging my unit via the usb cable.

Well a friend of mine gave me his blackberry cable i.e. usb and I was skepitcal at first because the unit seemed hot.. so i only used it once a few weeks back and have since just used my usb cable.

however I got a main off of the ebay yesterday via the mail.. I went out to play poker and after all my usage and so forth the battery was draining.. Most notably.. getting hot as hell. i.e. the back was warm.. when its normally cool to touch..

so i checked and I had the notification of battery loss etc.. I just cut it off as no need to call the wife etc.. However I got home.. I plugged in my new usb main from and the light did not come on at first.. however I did have enough to power the unit on which i did.. and it said charging.. So i just cut it off.. Noticed the charge light was off, thought nothing of it and went to bed..

This morning.. can't do anything.. So the battery is out and is being used as a paper weight.. for an hour.. So we shall see..

good thread.

YOUNGHOG

Edited by YoungHog
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Posted

Hope you don't mind but I'm bumping this up to the top to help out Michael. It seems like there are a number of us who've had the same problem!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

YEP..

Actually gave in went to the T-MOBILE store.. The guy used the original charger (which I didn't have) and it worked like a champ.

ODD thing is that the USB charger.. 1 Seperate non-original charger.. 2 new car chargers would not pop a charge to this thing but the original one turned that charge orange light on as well as the unit.

so $19.95 later and 8 hours of not using the unit.. I'm charging.. So what have i learned.. If the battery is totally drained.. ONLY the original charger will pop it back to life.

YoungHog

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Posted

I assume by original charger you mean 'mains charger'? thanks for sharing that - much appreciated!

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Posted

I assume by original charger you mean 'mains charger'? thanks for sharing that - much appreciated!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yes..

Mains..

I have a blackberry usb charger.. given to me by a friend.

2 ic-chip wall chargers

2 battery chargers

1 Original Wall Charger

and now 1 original Main AC charger.. And after full drain the only one to pop up the charge light and give activity to my unit was the newly purchased Manufactur Wall Charger.

I got my unit from UK and it has the wrong US plug.. So thus my drive to the T-MOBILE store.

Once the initial charge i.e. life to the unit via the charge light.. I was able to use

any of the other charging modules..

Just an FYI.. ;)

YoungHog

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Posted (edited)

The answer's quite simple. The mains charger is rated to give 2 Amps at 5 V. Most generic USB chargers and PC USB ports only give 0.5 Amp - if you are lucky (which is within the USB spec). So there simply isn't enough current to start off a full charge. Worse still, drawing too much current from a cheap adapter could cause the regulator it to overheat and fail, and stuff 12V into your precious phone. I doubt if any of them have over voltage protection.

It's silly to spend $1000 on a phone, then try and save a $10 by using a cheap / borrowed charger. Even more so to continue to try and use it even though it's obvious it doesn't work. Just because the plug fits doesn't mean it's up to the job. Don't risk it. Use something that is specified properly for your device. If you want something more flexible than the manufacturer offerings, Boxwave have a range of high curent chargers (>1A) for this purpose.

Edited by Metoo
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Posted

YEP..

Actually gave in went to the T-MOBILE store.. The guy used the original charger (which I didn't have) and it worked like a champ.

ODD thing is that the USB charger.. 1 Seperate non-original charger.. 2 new car chargers would not pop a charge to this thing but the original one turned that charge orange light on as well as the unit.

so $19.95 later and 8 hours of not using the unit.. I'm charging.. So what have i learned.. If the battery is totally drained.. ONLY the original charger will pop it back to life.

YoungHog

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

i'm in the same situation now...i turned my phone off for 2 days (or at least i thought i turned it off) and it wouldn't power up today. left the battery out of the phone for 4 hrs, then tried it again and it made it to the Windows splash screen. guess i'll be headed to a T-Mobile (US) store tomorrow...

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Posted

The answer's quite simple. The mains charger is rated to give 2 Amps at 5 V. Most generic USB chargers and PC USB ports only give 0.5 Amp - if you are lucky (which is within the USB spec). So there simply isn't enough current to start off a full charge. Worse still, drawing too much current from a  cheap adapter could cause the regulator it to overheat and fail, and stuff 12V into your precious phone. I doubt if any of them have over voltage protection.

It's silly to spend $1000  on a phone, then try and save a $10 by using a cheap / borrowed charger. Even more so to continue to try and use it even though it's obvious it doesn't work. Just because the plug fits doesn't mean it's up to the job. Don't risk it. Use something that is specified properly for your device. If you want something more flexible than the manufacturer offerings, Boxwave have a range of high curent chargers (>1A)  for this purpose.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I feel ya.. I have just confirmed on 2 different occasions.. Overnight charges.. That the off brand charger that I got for unit.. Is in fact draining the battery and not charging it. Regardless of how much battery is left when placed on that unit.. The next day on both tests.. I couldn't turn the unit on and had to use the original OEM charger.

I will from here forward only use the OEM charger and OEM USB charger.. Not much I can do with the car charger as it does its duty and its never in there more than 7 hours..

just an FYI..

YoungHog

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Posted (edited)

overheat and fail, and stuff 12V into your precious phone. I doubt if any of them have over voltage protection.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

It gives me great pleasure to advise that the HTC magician, does indeed have overvoltage protection. I can vouch for this first hand, after stuffing 12v into mine... and it lives! ;) All I got was a red light, then a hard reset... lucky me!

Edited by K22
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Posted

You need to check your facts. As awarner says, they are NOT designed to run flat, in fact the internal structure is permanently damaged if they fall below approx. 2.5V per cell.  Your analogy is utter rubbish too - you yourself admit that a kettle needs a "small amount of water", i.e. a minimum charge. What happens if you turn the kettle on with absolutely no water?

The batteries used in PDAs and mobile phones have internal controllers which temporarily disconnect the battery when it gets close to the low voltage limit to prevent further discharge. That's why it may become unresponsive to normal charging. If the cell voltage falls below approx 1.5V the controller considers it faulty and permanently disables the battery. This is done for consumer safety - as Lithium can be highly explosive if mistreated (e.g. by trying to charge a faulty cell).

Actually the kettle analogy would refer to water level, not the ability to boil. An empty kettle can't provide boiled water but if you fill it (charge) it can.

Looking after around 150 li-ion and li-poly based devices and regularly seeing them run flat I'd have to disagree on the discharge front too, zero failures in over 2 years since they were put out in the field. Newer cell technology is no more prone to collapse or failure than NiMH - they don't develop the same type of memory either.

The only documented issue with HTC devices and Lithium cells is that some models won't charge if completely discharged from a PC USB connection, but this shouldn't be a problem with the desk charger.

Considering the frequency of these reports I'd suggest a few dud batteries are out there, which is no shock considering the tens of thousands being sold each week. People don't post threads about the ones which work ;)

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Posted

Can anyone please give me instructions on how to hotwire the battery? I lost my original charger, battery went dead, USB not charging it, so I ordered an off-brand mains charger from ebay (waiting to get it), but from what I'm reading here it probably won't work when I get it. I called my local T-Mobile store and they don't have any spare chargers in stock, so I need to hotwire the battery and then charge it with the off-brand charger when I get it... Any help appreciated.

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Posted (edited)

After reading every post in this thread im lost....whats the moral?

Dont let your phone die or do...

I always run down and charge items atleast twice before main use...ma c550 both iPAQ pocket PC's my iPOD does it frequently 'coz i use it 24/7!

What is to be done?

Edited by nevawlkalone
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Posted

After reading every post in this thread im lost....whats the moral?

Dont let your phone die or do...

I always run down and charge items atleast twice before main use...ma c550 both iPAQ pocket PC's my iPOD does it frequently 'coz i use it 24/7!

What is to be done?

I wouldn't worry about that, I do the same. The damage comes when you forget about it and leave it discharged for a long time, so that the self-discharge of the battery drops the voltage below the limit for normal charging.

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Posted

So no one has instructions on how to hotwire the battery?

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Posted

I found this site after experiencing the same problem and researching it on the net. I saved my usb cables, but got my imate running again after connecting it to a car battery charger for about two minutes. WTF up with this, and is there a sollution yet? I'm getting a new phone asap as I'm not interested in this struggle with a piece of plastic equipment.

Imate's ass, bring back my nokia! :)

Just to let you know of an experience I had over the weekend. I had run my battery right down - I wasn't near a computer to sync and didn't have my mains charger with me. When I noticed I only had a small amount of charge left I decided to turn off the unit and charge later.

When it came to charging I attached my unit to a usb sync cable and left it to charge. However no light came on and I was worried that the connection was not working properly. My Wizard had no charge too so I couldn't turn on to check. I decided to attach to my mains charger and let it top up overnight.

The next morning - still no charge! At this point I was starting to panic. The unit would not respond to anything and would not show it was charging. Agghhh! I went online and found (via howardsforum) that this has happened to a number of other users. Apparently if the charge left in the battery is too low then it will not even take charge!

I tried everything however the only way I was able to charge the battery was to remove it from my Wizard, strip down a USB cable and charge using the bare cables (try at your own risk!). My battery then charged up enough for me to then insert in the machine and the battery to then top up as normal!

So the moral of the story is - don't let your battery run down too low!

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