Blinking red light for charger, no power-on
#1
I've checked through the threads on this and so far attempted checking the battery connections.  I have a late summer 2020 pinebook pro which has been fairly reliable (aside from software boot issues) since receiving it, upgraded with a 128gb EMMC and an intel 660 NVME 512 drive, the latter working for several months now.  I left it plugged in yesterday after having it compile a lot of software on the Manjaro install on the EMMC, and discovered it dead.  The red light will blink, the green light even goes on if I leave it for some hours, but after checking the battery connection (I don't move it much at all, but it was suggested in an old thread) it still blinks as if it can't accept charge signals.  I've been charging it via both USBC and the AC adapter, no problems for months.

Any suggestions or questions for further troubleshooting?  The NVME doesn't actually get used until I run a shell script once logged in.
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#2
Do you still get the blinking red light with the USB-C charger, or only with the AC adaptor?
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#3
(12-28-2020, 09:27 PM)bifo Wrote: I've checked through the threads on this and so far attempted checking the battery connections.  I have a late summer 2020 pinebook pro which has been fairly reliable (aside from software boot issues) since receiving it, upgraded with a 128gb EMMC and an intel 660 NVME 512 drive, the latter working for several months now.  I left it plugged in yesterday after having it compile a lot of software on the Manjaro install on the EMMC, and discovered it dead.  The red light will blink, the green light even goes on if I leave it for some hours, but after checking the battery connection (I don't move it much at all, but it was suggested in an old thread) it still blinks as if it can't accept charge signals.  I've been charging it via both USBC and the AC adapter, no problems for months.

Any suggestions or questions for further troubleshooting?  The NVME doesn't actually get used until I run a shell script once logged in.

If you are referring to the barrel power plug, yes - same here. It does not seem to work. In this case the Power Supply is a USB to 3mm ? barrel plug, cable. The flashing red light is present.
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#4
It's been reported that if the battery gets too low, the only way to recover to the point that the barrel port will work is to first charge the battery with the USB-C port.

In general, a flashing red LED simply means there's a problem with the battery or charging circuit.
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#5
(12-29-2020, 07:25 AM)KC9UDX Wrote: It's been reported that if the battery gets too low, the only way to recover to the point that the barrel port will work is to first charge the battery with the USB-C port.

In general, a flashing red LED simply means there's a problem with the battery or charging circuit.

I'm trying it again after having let it sit for a few days with the battery disconnected, plugged into USB-C specifically and will report back. If this doesn't solve the issue, anyone have an idea for the next step? The battery has been trying to start it up, but the red light blinks when plugged into the USB-C or when plugged into barrel-jack. Would it be more reasonable to replace the charging circuit board or just go for the battery if it still won't charge?
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#6
Hopefully someone who actually knows will pop in here. But it seems to me that we had another similar thread go unanswered. I could be wrong.

I'm just guessing, I don't know the first thing about that charge controller. I would assume though that the issue must be that it won't charge the battery if it's too far depleted. A lot of other types of battery charger do this too. So I would measure the battery voltage. I expect it would be out-of-spec. In that case I'd be tempted to "jump start" the charge controller by connecting a benchtop power supply to the battery to bring the voltage within the charge controller's legal range. Hopefully then the charge controller will take over, at which point I'd disconnect my benchtop power supply.

At the least though, when you have the bottom cover off, see if the battery is puffed up. If it is, then you should replace it anyway.
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#7
Well, it's helpful if you have a DVM (digital volt meter),, & they can be bought <$20
This is likely LiCoO2, the commonest form of lithium battery (there are 6 or so)
Lithium batteries are a bit "fragile" , hence the charge controller (also dangerous (fire) when abused)
When < 2.5V,, DO NOT CHARGE, dead,, iffy if <2.8V
When frozen DO NOT CHARGE, thaw completely
DO NOT charge >4.2V
If 2.8-3.6V charge slowly,,C/100 (=100ma in this case)
Once it reaches 3.6V or > normal charge rate should be OK
A small, older cell phone charger with dropping resistor or couple diodes can substitute for PS
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#8
It appears that leaving it plugged in with a different charger with USB-C got it to finally accept a charge. Doing a bit more research the low battery issue may have been caused in part because I'm running Manjaro with a 5.9 kernel and there appears to have been some issue with charging causing the blinking light problem. Comments I've read say the issue appears after 5.7 kernel versions.

Also required a quick re-attachment of the NVME drive but everything is now working again.
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#9
Good to know!
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#10
(01-01-2021, 01:20 PM)bifo Wrote: It appears that leaving it plugged in with a different charger with USB-C got it to finally accept a charge.  Doing a bit more research the low battery issue may have been caused in part because I'm running Manjaro with a 5.9 kernel and there appears to have been some issue with charging causing the blinking light problem.  Comments I've read say the issue appears after 5.7 kernel versions.

I really don't see how any changes to the Linux kernel could actually affect the PineBook Pro's battery charging, at least not if you use the barrel connector as the power input.  The battery charger IC inside the PineBook Pro is pretty much "dumb" and has no communication with the rest of the laptop or the operating system.  The only way of communicating its status is through the red LED next to the charger connector.

The Type-C power input is a little bit different.  Its separate control IC could be programmed to use different voltage modes offered by the Type-C chargers, but that would also require some hardware modifications to the power path inside the laptop.  However, the same above-described "dumb" charger IC is still used to actually charge the laptop battery.  Reprograming the Type-C control IC without the necessary hardware modifications would cause damage to the laptop.

AFAIK, nobody has made the above-described hardware modifications yet, so currently no changes to the Linux kernel can have any effects to the actual battery charging, no matter which power input is used.
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