[SOLVED] Red light flashes next to barrel-port
#1
Hi,

I noticed that the tiny red light next to the barrel jack flashes/blinks red with about an interval of 1 second. Searching around the internet, blinking red light seems to indicate something is wrong.

Just got my pinebook pro yesterday, used it the entire day and accidentally totally drained the battery to 0%. I thought that maybe the flashing light was indicating that the battery was under-powered, but even after many hours of charging it is still flashing.

The pinebook seems to work fine as far as I know but I'm worried something will get damaged if I keep using it in this state.

Does someone possibly know what this blinking light means?

Edit: Only charging using the barrel-port with the charger provided with the pinebook.

Update: Leaved the pinebook charging 10+ hours (yesterday) and 12+ hours (today) - the battery couldn't go beyond 21% each day. It seems to be charging but abnormally slow. Will try to leave the pinebook charging for at least 24h to see if it can bypass 21%.

FINAL UPDATE: Turns out my power supply that came with the pinebook and or the barrel-port is damaged/faulty. However, I managed to fix my symptoms - read "SOLUTION" below. My pinebook stopped charging completely and was dead after 24+ hours of charge from the barrel-port. Won't even boot by removing the battery and connecting the bypass cables.

SOLUTION:  Using a USB-C power supply (5V 3.4A) solved all my symptoms. I got a non-flashing solid red light the moment I inserted the USB-C power supply and battery charged to 100% in about 6h. I could also boot using the bypass cables without the battery. I tried to use the barrel-port again now that my machine is restored but as I feared, blinking red light and no charge.

Thanks to everyone who joined this thread. All the information you shared is much appreciated.

Best regards,
Carl
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#2
Update: Leaved the pinebook charged overnight (10+ hours) and battery is still just 21%.
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#3
That flashing red light means the power used by the machine is higher than what it can draw from the power supply. Unfortunately, this appears to be a common occurrence for this machine when it is under a heavy use. It seems the biggest drain is WiFi, but I'm yet to do proper power use measurements.
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#4
was it charging while off? did you use barrel or usb? turn off and use the other.
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#5
(07-13-2020, 11:37 PM)xmixahlx Wrote: was it charging while off? did you use barrel or usb? turn off and use the other.
It was charging while off using the barrel charger provided with the pinebook.

(07-13-2020, 11:22 PM)moonwalkers Wrote: That flashing red light means the power used by the machine is higher than what it can draw from the power supply. Unfortunately, this appears to be a common occurrence for this machine when it is under a heavy use. It seems the biggest drain is WiFi, but I'm yet to do proper power use measurements.
Thanks for clarifying what the red light means. However, forgot to mention that the pinebook was charged while being powered off which means that the flashing red light in my case indicates something else?
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#6
Hi All,

I’m experiencing similar symptoms to Carl.

I received the PBP yesterday, powered it up, used it for a couple hours and then plugged in the barrel plug charger. The OS acknowledged the machine was charging but the battery continued to discharge. I thought perhaps the power supply couldn’t handle powering the laptop and charging the battery simultaneously, which if true is a bit of pain, but one I can live with. 

I got a bit carried away (new toy and all) and ran the battery flat, so I plugged it into the barrel plug charger to charge overnight. This morning I woke up to a laptop that was still completely flat. I stuck a meter across the battery and it’s hovering around 3v, so it clearly hasn’t taken on any charge at all.

When plugging in the by-pass cable, and powering from mains, the machine boots (or at least it did the second time…) and works as expected. So, I’ve raised a ticket with support, and I’m currently charging the battery on an external charger to see if the battery management system will spring to life with a fully charged battery.

Let me know if anyone else has experienced this or has any other suggestions for a fix.

Cheers,
Ron
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#7
Are you sure the led blink when drawing more power than it can charge ? It happened to me when there was no load. I've read on the archlinux installation faq it was when the soc was too hot, a thermal security.
When my soc get too hot, i underclock the cpu @1,2Ghz on BIG and 1Ghz on small, for everyday usages it's enough for me (Manjaro overclock the cpu to 2Ghz BIG/1,6Ghz little instead of 1,8Ghz BIG/1,5Ghz little which is a mistake i think, too much power draw and heat).

/sys/devices/system/cpu/cpuX/cpufreq/scaling_available_frequencies
/sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_max_freq

replace cpuX by : cpu 0-3 little | cpu 4-5 BIG

Never happened to me anymore for the moment.
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#8
iirc the blinking red charge light is a battery fault, but i hope this is documented somewhere.

i rarely/never have power issues with 2.0/1.4, but i have found that i prefer conservative governor on battery and performance while plugged in (compiling) to optimize heat and power usage.
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#9
(07-13-2020, 11:49 PM)Carl Wrote:
(07-13-2020, 11:37 PM)xmixahlx Wrote: was it charging while off? did you use barrel or usb? turn off and use the other.
It was charging while off using the barrel charger provided with the pinebook.

(07-13-2020, 11:22 PM)moonwalkers Wrote: That flashing red light means the power used by the machine is higher than what it can draw from the power supply. Unfortunately, this appears to be a common occurrence for this machine when it is under a heavy use. It seems the biggest drain is WiFi, but I'm yet to do proper power use measurements.
Thanks for clarifying what the red light means. However, forgot to mention that the pinebook was charged while being powered off which means that the flashing red light in my case indicates something else?

I had mine refuse to charge when completely turned off on occasion. Happens more often when I have 1A power supply connected or a weaker USB-C charger, rarely happens when the original PSU is connected, usually only on those occasions when I accidentally manage to run the battery almost completely flat.

(07-14-2020, 02:38 PM)rimaille Wrote: Are you sure the led blink when drawing more power than it can charge ? It happened to me when there was no load. I've read on the archlinux installation faq it was when the soc was too hot, a thermal security.
When my soc get too hot, i underclock the cpu @1,2Ghz on BIG and 1Ghz on small, for everyday usages it's enough for me (Manjaro overclock the cpu to 2Ghz BIG/1,6Ghz little instead of 1,8Ghz BIG/1,5Ghz little which is a mistake i think, too much power draw and heat).

/sys/devices/system/cpu/cpuX/cpufreq/scaling_available_frequencies
/sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_max_freq

replace cpuX by  : cpu 0-3 little | cpu 4-5 BIG

Never happened to me anymore for the moment.
Pretty sure it's not about SoC being hot, because I had it blink even when machine is not that hot, and vice versa had the machine so hot it was burning my lap yet the light wasn't blinking. It seems when the load is just on CPU/GPU it's fine, it's when CPU load is combined with heavy WiFi and I/O use that it starts blinking and the battery charge starts slowly decreasing. Once the load is reduced sufficiently the light stops blinking and the battery charge starts increasing again. Now it might still be thermal protection because the battery itself gets too hot, though TBH I kinda doubt it. Would be nice to hear some "word of god" here from the hardware engineers.

(07-14-2020, 03:15 PM)xmixahlx Wrote: iirc the blinking red charge light is a battery fault, but i hope this is documented somewhere.

i rarely/never have power issues with 2.0/1.4, but i have found that i prefer conservative governor on battery and performance while plugged in (compiling) to optimize heat and power usage.
This may make sense if it is a temporary fault that clears up when the draw drops, I'd love to see some documentation on the topic too. Otherwise, just now I was downloading several big files, the average CPU utilization was about 75%, download speed about 11+ MBps, the red light was blinking and the battery slowly went down from 83% to 80%. Then download stopped, CPU utilization dropped, and soon after red light stopped blinking and now my battery already back up to 81%.

Do you mean the U-boot and firmware blobs version by 2.0/1.4? If yes, I've been using 2.0 since something like February or March, and I still regularly see battery draining when usage is too heavy. I usually don't bother with switching governors, just leaving the default schedutil and allowing the CPU to downclock even when on charger.
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#10
sorry, no i meant 2.0GHz Big/1.4GHz little cpu frequencies.

using conservative governor has been significantly better at power usage and cpu temps than schedutil for me.
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