Why two power ports on a budget laptop??
#41
(08-10-2020, 11:43 AM)dsimic Wrote: Totally agreed.  However, the only trouble with the first requirement would be that the simple barrel connector pretty much couldn't be used any more. Smile  See, a "barrel-style" power adapter couldn't be "dumb" any more, it would instead have to be able to communicate its wattage with the laptop.  By the way, the battery inside the PBP actually isn't limited to 3 A during charging, it can take 5 A easily.

I'm not entirely convinced that is necessarily the case - e.g. that same W510 I mentioned running off 90W PSU thinking it is a 170W PSU. The PSU in ThinkPad has three lines - ground, power, and "signal". The simple resistor in the PSU connector between ground and "signal" is what tells the laptop how much power the PSU is supposed to be able to provide. When I shorted that pin on the motherboard that told the machine the PSU is a 170W model, but the machine still wasn't drawing all 170W to power the machine and charge the battery, it was drawing only as much as the PSU was actually able to provide. AFAIK the older PSUs in ThinkPads from before Lenovo acquisition do not have third signal pin, it's only power and ground, and they did come in varying power yet they were (mostly) perfectly interchangeable - e.g. I am able to use my old R50 with a 30W PSU from my 701C instead of the proper 72W, and while it doesn't charge the battery unless the laptop is pretty much turned off it does slow down the battery discharge. Something I'm not noticing with PBP (not to bash - just stating the fact).

And to be clear, when I was talking about 3A charging limit I was not talking about battery's theoretical capability, I was talking about the actual circuitry in PBP.

(08-10-2020, 07:21 PM)dieselnutjob Wrote: So I think that I am entitled to believe that the usb-C ports on these phones are not as tough as the barrel sockets that still work on some of my truly ancient laptops (Compaq NC610 with a real parallel port anyone?, or IBM Thinkpad T23? or how about a Toshiba Tecra 800 that still works as a Bosch KTS diagnostic computer, last update in 2007).

How about an IBM Convertible that's almost as old as myself? I still have one, it's banged up, with cracked plastic and broken lid latches but the power still works perfectly, though I did have to rebuild the battery. It's one of those that still boots to BASIC if there is no floppy disk with OS.
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#42
(08-10-2020, 10:09 PM)moonwalkers Wrote: I'm not entirely convinced that is necessarily the case - e.g. that same W510 I mentioned running off 90W PSU thinking it is a 170W PSU. The PSU in ThinkPad has three lines - ground, power, and "signal". The simple resistor in the PSU connector between ground and "signal" is what tells the laptop how much power the PSU is supposed to be able to provide. When I shorted that pin on the motherboard that told the machine the PSU is a 170W model, but the machine still wasn't drawing all 170W to power the machine and charge the battery, it was drawing only as much as the PSU was actually able to provide. AFAIK the older PSUs in ThinkPads from before Lenovo acquisition do not have third signal pin, it's only power and ground, and they did come in varying power yet they were (mostly) perfectly interchangeable - e.g. I am able to use my old R50 with a 30W PSU from my 701C instead of the proper 72W, and while it doesn't charge the battery unless the laptop is pretty much turned off it does slow down the battery discharge. Something I'm not noticing with PBP (not to bash - just stating the fact).

And to be clear, when I was talking about 3A charging limit I was not talking about battery's theoretical capability, I was talking about the actual circuitry in PBP.

Did you try to run the CPU and GPU at full tilt and charge an empty battery while using a 90 W charger disguised as a 170 W unit?  I'm pretty sure that wouldn't work well.

I forgot the exact way the ThinkPad chargers identify themselves to ThinkPads, so this was a good reminder.  Here's detailed information, if anyone wishes to check it out.  However, sensing a resistor is also a way of communication between the charger and laptop; sure, not nearly as complicated as the communication required for establishing high-power USB charging, for example.

Why can a 90 W charger work in place of a 170 W charger?  Well, ThinkPad designers overestimate the power cosumption, while the charger designers undervalue the power outputs of their products.  Plain simple safety margins, but that surely doesn't imply that a 90 W charger is going to happily chug along for years disguised as a 170 W charger. Also, it doesn't imply that a disguised 90 W charger is going to be able to both charge the battery and power the laptop running at 100% of CPU and GPU.

The sad thing about PBP is that the internal charging circuitry isn't maxed out at around 3 A.  It can go up to 4 A, but it is simply limited to 3 A through the configuration of the BQ24171 charger IC.  By the way, guess what, the charger IC is configured using resistors. Smile
#43
(08-10-2020, 10:48 AM)dsimic Wrote:
(08-10-2020, 10:39 AM)Arwen Wrote: I think more obvious answers could be;
* They thought 5v @3amp would be enough
* Pinebook Pro is their first USB-C charging device, so they wanted a backup plan for power in case it did not work well, (or at all), see above.

Unfortunately, the PBP's Type-C charging option doesn't seem to have been directed toward a backup plan.  According to the PBP circuitry, the maximum current allowed to be taken from the Type-C port is even lower than the maximum current allowed to be taken from the barrel connector.  More precisely, it's 2.52 A vs. 2.98 A, both at 5 V of course.
Sorry, I meant that the barrel type jack was the backup plan to the USB-C charging.

As for the amperage limitation, I don't know. Could have been a mistake, (though unlikely).


One thing I have not yet read in this thread, (could have missed it), is that over-clocking the RK3399 SoC's CPUs, (and potentially the GPUs), is now "standard" for our Pinebook Pros. Remember, this SoC is not intended as a high performance device when compared to x64 laptop CPUs. But, a majority of people wanted their Pinebook Pros to be faster. (The Pinebook Pro IS already faster without over-clocking than the original Pinebook laptops.) So they accept the excess heat, power draw, reduced battery cycle, etc...

There are people requesting an even faster, (and potentially a more power hungry), SoC for either an upgrade. Or next version. (Some want a 15.5" or 17" screen too, or more internal peripherals like a 2.5" SATA disk bay... which would also take more power.)


I do agree that something can be improved with the power charging & delivery systems.
On the other hand, I think the Pinebook Pro is suitable as is for many tasks. Perhaps not as a daily laptop for people who need more power.
--
Arwen Evenstar
Princess of Rivendale
#44
I'm continually mystified that anyone who expects the hardware and software to work perfectly, plus being faster and better than the most expensive alternatives, would buy these things. I bought them specifically because I knew I'd be able to modify them however I see fit, and honestly they're faster and more powerful than I expected or need.
#45
(08-10-2020, 11:20 PM)dsimic Wrote: Did you try to run the CPU and GPU at full tilt and charge an empty battery while using a 90 W charger disguised as a 170 W unit?  I'm pretty sure that wouldn't work well.

I forgot the exact way the ThinkPad chargers identify themselves to ThinkPads, so this was a good reminder.  Here's detailed information, if anyone wishes to check it out.  However, sensing a resistor is also a way of communication between the charger and laptop; sure, not nearly as complicated as the communication required for establishing high-power USB charging, for example.
Haven't tried that specifically on W510 with 90W PSU - unless I load the GPU it just doesn't breach the PSU limit. But, as I already said, I have tried that on the much older R50 that AFAIK doesn't have that resistor and third pin in PSU for wattage sensing, and the result was that it works, but the battery discharges, though slower than without any PSU. I'm not an electrical engineer, but my understanding is if more current is drawn than PSU can supply without voltage dropping below certain limit then battery will be discharging instead of charging, providing the extra current needed for the machine to keep operating. If this is a misconception on my part I would love to see someone correct it. Until someone does - I'm pretty sure there is more to it than simply overestimating the power consumption. R50 on 30W PSU without battery - definitely unstable, unable to reach full performance. But plug the battery in and it chugs along just fine, with battery discharge rate that appears to be several times slower than running on battery alone.
(08-10-2020, 11:20 PM)dsimic Wrote: The sad thing about PBP is that the internal charging circuitry isn't maxed out at around 3 A.  It can go up to 4 A, but it is simply limited to 3 A through the configuration of the BQ24171 charger IC.  By the way, guess what, the charger IC is configured using resistors. Smile

Yes, yes, yes, I read the thread about it, no need to be so pedantic :-) Whatever are the details of the cause, the bottom line - overall power input to the machine is limited by the current battery can use to charge and the machine will not run without battery (the switch on the mobo aside). The whole power system in PBP is (artificially, though probably unintentionally) bottlenecked on the battery charge current, whereas on the same ThinkPads the bottleneck is the PSU itself - if it is not powerful enough the battery will not charge at full speed and may even discharge to supplement PSU, and if PSU has excess power the battery will not charge faster than is safe. But one more observation - it seems to me that unlike the already mentioned R50 on PBP the battery is either charging (however slowly), or just discharging with charger making no difference whether it is connected or not - while I couldn't get any meaningful data from powertop the time measurements on similar loads show little difference between run times with no AC connected and AC connected with red light next to charger port blinking. If this is also a misconception - again, by all means please correct me.
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#46
(08-11-2020, 05:28 PM)KC9UDX Wrote: I'm continually mystified that anyone who expects the hardware and software to work perfectly, plus being faster and better than the most expensive alternatives, would buy these things.  I bought them specifically because I knew I'd be able to modify them however I see fit, and honestly they're faster and more powerful than I expected or need.

I have seen my PBP go from 60% charged using the Pine supplied charger to 100% charged
While watching YouTube videos with the volume turned up to the Maximum.

I understand some users may need more power, but it seems to be enough for me.

I am still using mrfixits Debian OS on my PBP.

BC
#47
>AC connected with red light next to charger port blinking.
If the light is blinking, that is an error state, something is wrong
Pdf for charger chip in thread general ->red light flashes...
#48
(08-11-2020, 07:14 PM)wdt Wrote: >AC connected with red light next to charger port blinking.
If the light is blinking, that is an error state, something is wrong
Pdf for charger chip in thread general ->red light flashes...

I see that light blinking every time the machine is under heavy use. I've accounted for temperature, that made no difference. I believe I've described in another thread that I was able to toggle between blinking (not charging) and steady (charging) light at will by just adding or removing a little bit of extra load. Weaker charger, one that supplies less than 3A - more likely to see blinking light, more powerful charger - less likely. Brighter screen, heavier network and CPU/GPU use - more likely, dimmer screen, lighter use - less likely. If I have brightness set to 100% and download about 10 large files using Firefox while also doing some browsing, have Krusader open on the Downloads folder (it'll by default keep updating file list as the files are downloaded), have browser-integration package active - light is guaranteed to blink. If I quit Krusader when I don't need to shuffle files around, keep screen dimmer than 100%, disable browser-integration and have fewer simultaneous downloads - the light is less likely to blink. And since I'm not the only one experiencing blinking light and discharging battery while on AC - I'd say this is more likely to be a design flaw than a defect in a particular unit. It is manageable, don't get me wrong, this machine is still a fantastic value for mere $200, but it is definitely not without design flaws. Much less obvious, I might add, than the original 14" Pinebook with it's Bender McBendy plastic frame.
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#49
I guess maybe you are unlucky, the tolerances stacked against you
From charger chip pdf
Blinking at 0.5 Hz when fault occurs, including charge suspend,input over voltage,timer fault and battery absent.
#50
(08-12-2020, 12:00 AM)wdt Wrote: I guess maybe you are unlucky, the tolerances stacked against you
From charger chip pdf
Blinking at 0.5 Hz when fault occurs, including charge suspend,input over voltage,timer fault and battery absent.

OK, so the battery is definitely not absent, and since the IC is supposed to handle up to 17V input (unless I misread the sheet) there is no input overvoltage. So that leaves charge suspend and timer fault. For charge suspend the conditions appear to be the temperature but like I've said before (I believe) I've accounted for that with extra cooling to the battery and that didn't change anything. Admittedly I don't quite understand the conditions for the timer fault though, but that appears to me to have something to do with voltage levels, thresholds, and battery response to charger current, which makes me think it may have something to do with power drawn directly from the battery and possibly throwing off the IC measurements. Again, I'm no electrical engineer, if there is one here I'd be glad if they picked this apart.
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