Pinebook Pro charging issues
Hello everyone,

I have recently bought second-hand Pinebook Pro. I am using ARM platform for many years already (ASUS Chromebook C201PA with Devuan Linux as daily driver). Pinebook Pro brought my attention because of it's privacy features, great community support, RK3399 onboard (my chromebook has RK3288), case with alloy-magnesium, high resolution display and it looks modern and solid. I have installed Devuan Linux and it worked well with some workarounds (change sleep mode from deep to s2idle, my own custom background daemon for backlight management).

Pinebook Pro recently started having problems with charging. Through USB-C almoast always it is really charging (battery voltage rises by around 0.2-0.3V when plugged in as shown by command "sensors"). However sometimes the voltage does not change even though red LED is on. When I plug in barrell charger battery voltage never rises even though red LED is on. Earlier (one week before) battery used to charge normally through barrell or USB-C. Does anyone have any suggestions what is the problem in hardware? I have tried to perform some measurements for voltages on PCB but I didn't have enough time to investigate deeper and didn't find anything.

It's a shame that so promising device has dumb hardware issues (weak USB-A port unable to power HDD, high-pitch noise, exploding sound from speakers when audio codec goes to sleep mode regardless the volume, extremely slow charging, problems with charging, incorrect battery temperature reporting). I have come up with an idea that if I would not be able to solve charging issue, I will replace the motherboard with modified Orange Pi 3B accompanied by my custom PCB for I/O (USB ports, SD card slot and so on). What do you think about it?

Problem solved. The issue was caused by faulty DC barrel charger. After cutting the cable near the charger and soldering USB-A connector on that end it can be connected to USB charger which supports >= 3A output at 5V. Now the laptop can be charged using DC barrel or USB-C so mainboard is fine, nothing has fried.

Original adapter was giving too high voltage which caused sometimes to start charging and sometimes not. Also when the LED was steady on battery voltage did not raise. Due to too high input voltage on pin OVPSET in chip BQ24171 (above 1.6V which is maximum according to datasheet) what triggered overvoltage protection in that chip. In case someone experiences issues with charging using DC barrel consider buying new good charger (I wouldn't recommend from PINE64).

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