charging battery/running with power cord

Discuss peripherals for the XO and power management.

charging battery/running with power cord

Postby nicksan1 » Thu Jan 10, 2008 1:59 pm

I am very disappointed with this laptop so far. I bought it for my granddaughter for Xmas and haven't given it to her yet since I recently received it and was testing it out first. Well, it worked fine on battery power until it needed to be re-charged. Now I plug the power cord into it and nothing happens, no battery light or power light. Oh, it did turn on for about 20 seconds, then nothing. So, the battery won't charge and the laptop won't run off of an electrical power source. After reading some of the troubleshooting procedures, it looks like I need to be some sort of electrician to get the battery re-charged. Why can't I get sent a new battery?

Thanks - Nick 8)
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Re: charging battery/running with power cord

Postby matt91 » Thu Jan 10, 2008 2:55 pm

nicksan1 wrote:I am very disappointed with this laptop so far. I bought it for my granddaughter for Xmas and haven't given it to her yet since I recently received it and was testing it out first. Well, it worked fine on battery power until it needed to be re-charged. Now I plug the power cord into it and nothing happens, no battery light or power light. Oh, it did turn on for about 20 seconds, then nothing. So, the battery won't charge and the laptop won't run off of an electrical power source. After reading some of the troubleshooting procedures, it looks like I need to be some sort of electrician to get the battery re-charged. Why can't I get sent a new battery?

Thanks - Nick 8)


Can you clarify a little bit what's happening with your XO?

When you have it plugged into the wall, is it functioning normally? Even with a bad battery, it should run fine when plugged in (either with or without the battery installed).

Matt
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Re: charging battery/running with power cord

Postby nicksan1 » Thu Jan 10, 2008 4:05 pm

matt91 wrote:
nicksan1 wrote:I am very disappointed with this laptop so far. I bought it for my granddaughter for Xmas and haven't given it to her yet since I recently received it and was testing it out first. Well, it worked fine on battery power until it needed to be re-charged. Now I plug the power cord into it and nothing happens, no battery light or power light. Oh, it did turn on for about 20 seconds, then nothing. So, the battery won't charge and the laptop won't run off of an electrical power source. After reading some of the troubleshooting procedures, it looks like I need to be some sort of electrician to get the battery re-charged. Why can't I get sent a new battery?

Thanks - Nick 8)


Can you clarify a little bit what's happening with your XO?

When you have it plugged into the wall, is it functioning normally? Even with a bad battery, it should run fine when plugged in (either with or without the battery installed).

Matt


I think I'm having problems replying to this message-let me try again. The laptop does not run, the battery light is not lit, and the power light does not light up. There is live power at the wall outlet. So is the power cord port on the laptop bad or could it be the power cord itself?
Nick
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Postby Steve Holton » Thu Jan 10, 2008 4:14 pm

So is the power cord port on the laptop bad or could it be the power cord itself?

Sounds like either the AC adapter is bad, or the power cord is broken.

Are you handy with a voltmeter? Could you test the output from the AC adapter?

Negative to the outer shield, positive on the inner pin.
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[olpc-help] charging battery/running with power cord

Postby wwf_jr » Thu Jan 10, 2008 4:51 pm

Steve Holton wrote:
So is the power cord port on the laptop bad or could it be the power cord itself?


Sounds like either the AC adapter is bad, or the power cord is broken.

Are you handy with a voltmeter? Could you test the output from the AC adapter?

Negative to the outer shield, positive on the inner pin.

------------------------
Steve Holton http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Support
Got an XO? Get on the map: http://tinyurl.com/37hmmm


I'll pipe in here with a reason I think this is an issue with the
firmware, hardware or the cord... not the battery. I've noticed a
couple of quirky things on my own laptop's battery, although nothing
serious... yet.

1) If I watch the power level indicator, (by hovering over the battery
icon) I notice it sometimes drains down a bit and then charges back up.
I am guessing this is normal, although once or twice I saw it lower
than I thought it should have been. (in the 70's and 80's). In one of
these cases, I unplugged the laptop, left it unplugged for a minute and
plugged it back in. It started charging again. Right now it says
discharging (97%) and it has been there for a while.

2) The other day I was using the laptop with just the battery. When I
came back to my desk I plugged it back in. I did not notice if the
power light changed colors. I then looked at it a couple of hours later
and it was still discharging. The battery light was red and the
indicator put the level down around 10%. It was as if the laptop did
not register the fact that power had been re-applied. I closed
everything I was working on and eventually it shutdown. I disconnected
the power and removed the battery. Put it all back together again. No
joy. I removed and reinserted the cord a few times, tried to power up
and eventually the light turned yellow and the laptop came on.

It could be a problem with the power cord or the way the laptop decides
to charge or discharge the battery. The power adapters seem a bit
flimsy, but I've been giggling it around and the power light stays green.

Just another data point to help you out.

Wilson
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charging battery/running with power cord

Postby nicksan1 » Thu Jan 10, 2008 6:10 pm

Thanks Steve & Wilson for your input. I did check the power cord. I checked the prongs at the outlet site and I get a reading. When I check the connection at the pin side, I get no reading. I guess it sounds like a bad AC power cord. I'll have to request one from OLPC.

Thanks - Nick
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Postby matt91 » Thu Jan 10, 2008 7:56 pm

It the adapter isn't registering on a voltmeter, I'd certainly request a new one. That being said, I wouldn't hold your breath.

Since you're dead in the water until you get some power, you might look to this thread http://olpcnews.com/forum/index.php?topic=73.0 to see what you can do in the meantime. Most of the discussion is about 12 V car adapters, but I think someone was talking about a 110v version as well.

Good luck, and keep us posted.

Matt
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[olpc-help] charging battery/running with power cord

Postby wwf_jr » Thu Jan 10, 2008 8:36 pm

This going to sound like a dumb question, which I hope I do not insult
you in any way by saying, but I really don't know your level of
expertise. The cord should be putting out 12 DC (not AC). The reason I
want to make sure is because I actually believe this to be a
hardware/firmware issue.

You also may be able to find an equivalent replacement adapter at radio
shack. If that doesn't solve your problem, you'll know it wasn't the
cord. They should take it back. It may be about the same cost of the
RMA process when you consider both time and money. Just a thought.

Wilson


nicksan1 wrote:
Thanks Steve & Wilson for your input. I did check the power cord. I checked the prongs at the outlet site and I get a reading. When I check the connection at the pin side, I get no reading. I guess it sounds like a bad AC power cord. I'll have to request one from OLPC.

Thanks - Nick





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charging battery/running with power cord

Postby nicksan1 » Thu Jan 10, 2008 9:45 pm

Wilson - tks again. I found another 12v output cord and tried it. I did get power to the laptop but the cord doesn't quite fit, I have to hold it in place. But I guess this proves that the cord sent with the laptop is bad.

Steve Holton - how can I get another power cord?

Tks - Nick
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Postby pgf » Fri Jan 11, 2008 1:39 pm

maybe this is a good time to ask -- is there any way we (the community) can get a part number and/or vendor name for the plug that inserts into the laptop? the measurements are just a little non-standard, as pictured here by mike lee: http://olpcnews.com/forum/index.php?top ... 562#msg562

if we could locate a source for plugs, the power supply "problem" would get a lot easier, since 12V DC wall warts are easy to come by, as are cigarette lighter plugs. the only thing hard to get is the plug that matches the laptop's jack.

paul
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[olpc-help] charging battery/running with power cord

Postby Guest » Fri Jan 11, 2008 2:40 pm

Officially? You call Donor Services at 800-201-7144 (Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 8:00 PM EST) and explain to them your power supply is bad...yada....yada.....ask for an RMA, package your XO back up, wait 2-4 weeks......

Unofficially?

Stick two sewing ping very carefully through the power cord into the conductors and measure for voltage. (Do NOT try this if you don't already know what I'm talking about.)

If you've got power coming out of the brick, but it's not making it to the connector, your connector is bad. See "Officially" above.

If there's no power in the line, then something in the brick is bad (Fuse? Transformer winding? Diode? who knows)
Now you have another option: abandon the thought of claiming warranty for your brick, snip the wire well away from the XO connector and add-in a new (male) generic one. Now you can build any number of 12 volt, 15 watt supply sources (Car charger, AC adapter, Solar panel, hand crank, etc) and connect whichever one you need into your (highly available) connector and charge your XO *your way*.

And if the the AC adapter you provide breaks again, swap in a generic new one.

It shouldn't have broken so quick, I agree. And I've got some sharp questions to whomever chose a non-standard plug for the power. But this gets you back and running again.


On Jan 10, 2008 8:45 PM, nicksan1 <community-support@lists.laptop.org (community-support@lists.laptop.org)> wrote:

Wilson - tks again. I found another 12v output cord and tried it. I did get power to the laptop but the cord doesn't quite fit, I have to hold it in place. But I guess this proves that the cord sent with the laptop is bad.

Steve Holton - how can I get another power cord?

Tks - Nick


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Re: [olpc-help] charging battery/running with power cord

Postby nicksan1 » Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:27 pm

Anonymous wrote:Officially? You call Donor Services at 800-201-7144 (Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 8:00 PM EST) and explain to them your power supply is bad...yada....yada.....ask for an RMA, package your XO back up, wait 2-4 weeks......

Unofficially?

Stick two sewing ping very carefully through the power cord into the conductors and measure for voltage. (Do NOT try this if you don't already know what I'm talking about.)

If you've got power coming out of the brick, but it's not making it to the connector, your connector is bad. See "Officially" above.

If there's no power in the line, then something in the brick is bad (Fuse? Transformer winding? Diode? who knows)
Now you have another option: abandon the thought of claiming warranty for your brick, snip the wire well away from the XO connector and add-in a new (male) generic one. Now you can build any number of 12 volt, 15 watt supply sources (Car charger, AC adapter, Solar panel, hand crank, etc) and connect whichever one you need into your (highly available) connector and charge your XO *your way*.

And if the the AC adapter you provide breaks again, swap in a generic new one.

It shouldn't have broken so quick, I agree. And I've got some sharp questions to whomever chose a non-standard plug for the power. But this gets you back and running again.


On Jan 10, 2008 8:45 PM, nicksan1 <community-support@lists.laptop.org (community-support@lists.laptop.org)> wrote:

Wilson - tks again. I found another 12v output cord and tried it. I did get power to the laptop but the cord doesn't quite fit, I have to hold it in place. But I guess this proves that the cord sent with the laptop is bad.

Steve Holton - how can I get another power cord?

Tks - Nick


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sph0lt0n@gmail.com (sph0lt0n@gmail.com)


Everyone - I did find a power adapter that works. It is the one that came with my cable modem, made by Motorola. It worked perfectly. Now I need to contact OLPC to request a replacement for the original. VERY HARD to get thru to them.

Peace - Nick
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Postby culseg » Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:40 pm

I have an old IBM Thinkpad X20 charger that fits and charges my XO fine.

Spare parts may be a long time coming, so this info might help someone searching for a power adapter that works.
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Re: [olpc-help] charging battery/running with power cord

Postby pgf » Tue Jan 15, 2008 2:18 pm

Stick two sewing pins very carefully through the power cord into the conductors and measure for voltage.

fyi -- the power cord for the XO laptop i've seen is round, presumably with concentric conductors, and not parallel like a lamp cord. so this trick won't work.

paul
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[olpc-help] charging battery/running with power cord

Postby Richard A. Smith » Tue Jan 15, 2008 2:38 pm

pgf wrote:
Stick two sewing pins very carefully through the power cord into
the conductors and measure for voltage.


fyi -- the power cord for the XO laptop i've seen is round,
presumably with concentric conductors, and not parallel like a lamp
cord. so this trick won't work.


This is correct. Newer test models and mass production units have a
coaxial cord and the pin trick won't work so well. Earlier models (<
B3) had parallel conductors.

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