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   /  Amiga OS4.x \ Workbench 4.x
      /  Weak battery symptoms
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RacerX 
Weak battery symptoms
Posted on 23-Oct-2005 23:50:02
#1 ]
Super Member
Joined: 21-Aug-2003
Posts: 1158
From: Parts Unknown, USA

Not owning a voltage meter, I was wondering if there were any symptoms of a weak battery on an AmigaOne. I know if it is dead the A1 won't boot but I was wondering if there was a way to tell if it was dying.

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tomazkid 
Re: Weak battery symptoms
Posted on 23-Oct-2005 23:57:38
#2 ]
Team Member
Joined: 31-Jul-2003
Posts: 11694
From: Kristianstad, Sweden

@RacerX

I noticed it when my A1 refused to boot all of the sudden when I was changing gfx-card.

The harddrives and cd/dvd spinned up, but UBoot halted when it tried to initialize the gfx-card.
There is a thread about dead batteries in the A1-owners forum as well.

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number6 
Re: Weak battery symptoms
Posted on 23-Oct-2005 23:59:30
#3 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 25-Mar-2005
Posts: 11259
From: In the village

@RacerX

Hey Larry (the Amiga guy),

iirc there are a lot of threads, some of which describe "early" symptoms or
"perceived" early symptoms.
Best bet is a search in particular for "CR2032" on AW search.
Sorry I have no direct links on these, but some are in the Amigaone owners forum.

Best Wishes,
#6

Last edited by number6 on 24-Oct-2005 at 12:02 AM.

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Excalibur 
Re: Weak battery symptoms
Posted on 24-Oct-2005 13:15:19
#4 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 23-Mar-2003
Posts: 118
From: Oz

@RacerX

Quote:
RacerX wrote:
Not owning a voltage meter, I was wondering if there were any symptoms of a weak battery on an AmigaOne. I know if it is dead the A1 won't boot but I was wondering if there was a way to tell if it was dying.

Well, an obvious symptom would be your U-Boot variables being reset to default , at least that's what happened to me after I returned from holidays with the A1 powered down for just over a week. The A1 booted to the prefs menu instead of going to boota, also the system clock had frozen after power was removed the previous week. When the system booted the clock was still the time I powered down.

Being aware of battery problems I did out of interest measure battery voltage with the battery still in place before I powered up for the first time after returning - it was 2.935V (give or take, my meter is not calibrated). The machine would boot ok, but the UBoot prefs menu appeared due to all UBoot variables being back to default.

I removed the battery (A1 does not boot at all without battery, as expected) and used a battery tester, which told me the battery was as good as dead. Incidentally, this is why a battery tester should be used to test batteries and not a multi-meter, because a battery tester loads a battery for testing whereas a multi-meter does not and so will give a false result.

A fresh battery later, all UBoot vars set back to normal and all was good as gold again.

To get back to your original question, there's not an easy way to predict when the battery will fail, other than removing the battery and testing it with a battery tester. If you remove mains power while doing this you will of course lose your UBoot settings.

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Chunder 
Re: Weak battery symptoms
Posted on 24-Oct-2005 15:13:45
#5 ]
Super Member
Joined: 10-Mar-2003
Posts: 1956
From: The City of Xebec's Demise

@Excalibur

Quote:
If you remove mains power while doing this you will of course lose your UBoot settings.


Are you suggesting that you should attempt to remove the battery whilst everything is switched on??!!

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ssolie 
Re: Weak battery symptoms
Posted on 24-Oct-2005 15:33:17
#6 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 10-Mar-2003
Posts: 2755
From: Alberta, Canada

@Excalibur
Quote:
I removed the battery (A1 does not boot at all without battery, as expected) and used a battery tester, which told me the battery was as good as dead. Incidentally, this is why a battery tester should be used to test batteries and not a multi-meter, because a battery tester loads a battery for testing whereas a multi-meter does not and so will give a false result.

The multi-meter does not give the user any false result. Is it the meter's fault the user doesn't know what P=I*V means?

@all
Always use a battery tester to check a battery unless you really know what you are doing. Some multi-meters have battery testers built-in as well.

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RacerX 
Re: Weak battery symptoms
Posted on 26-Oct-2005 3:23:28
#7 ]
Super Member
Joined: 21-Aug-2003
Posts: 1158
From: Parts Unknown, USA

It was still the original battery (about 2 and a half years old) so I just replaced it rather that wait for it to die. I did run the following command (with the printer switched on of course) from an Amiga Shell to print the UBoot settings - as suggested by someone in another AW forum.

nvgetvar >prt:

The reason I was wondering was my A1 had been acting flakey lately (unusual lockups, etc...) and I was curious if a weak battery could be to blame. So far, so good (knock on wood).

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number6 
Re: Weak battery symptoms
Posted on 26-Oct-2005 3:40:20
#8 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 25-Mar-2005
Posts: 11259
From: In the village

@RacerX

"nvgetvar >prt:" That was probably @Sundown. He has mentioned printing UBoot
variables many times.
BTW-The figure of "(about 2 and a half years old)" seems pretty normal from my
readings of many posts on the subject. It has also been suggested that the
batteries in an XE do not last as long as batteries in a Micro.

Best Wishes,
#6

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sundown 
Re: Weak battery symptoms
Posted on 26-Oct-2005 4:50:40
#9 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 30-Aug-2003
Posts: 5120
From: Right here...

@number6

Heh, problably was & I just posted that info on the os4 mailing list. Another thing to do is to go into the uboot prefs & use the menu to save the settings to a file on the HD. You could then load that file & then save it back to uboot if you had to.

I do an in-circut test with a voltmeter. Neg lead on the chassis & the pos lead on the battery top, if its 2.9V or lower, it gets replaced. Anytime a lithium battery is below its rated voltage, its life is about over.

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tonyw 
Re: Weak battery symptoms
Posted on 26-Oct-2005 6:41:35
#10 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 8-Mar-2003
Posts: 3222
From: Sydney (of course)

@Excalibur

Quote:
- it was 2.935V (give or take, my meter is not calibrated)


LOL

My experience is that my XE died suddenly (while running) many months ago and would not reboot. I measured something < 2.9 V (forget the value now). Pulling the battery out to replace it, I found slight corrosion underneath it and cleaned it thoroughly before replacing it. There has not been a problem since.

Note to people touching their "batteries" (actually it's only a single cell):
Skin oils and perspiration can lead to corrosion and failure. If you handle it, make sure you clean it carefully with a tissue or dry rag (your shirt will do) before replacing it in its holder. Try not to touch it with your fingers once it is clean.

[edit] Does anyone know what sort of load one should use when testing? Would a mA or so do (2.7k resistor)?
[/edit]

Last edited by tonyw on 26-Oct-2005 at 06:43 AM.

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sundown 
Re: Weak battery symptoms
Posted on 26-Oct-2005 7:11:02
#11 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 30-Aug-2003
Posts: 5120
From: Right here...

@tonyw

Does anyone know what sort of load one should use when testing? Would a mA or so do (2.7k resistor)?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thats what I was referring to in my previous post, 'in-circuit test'.

Measure the voltage when its in the holder as that's a real world test with the actual load that its supporting. I do this with the power off.

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Excalibur 
Re: Weak battery symptoms
Posted on 27-Oct-2005 15:21:45
#12 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 23-Mar-2003
Posts: 118
From: Oz

@tonyw

Quote:
Does anyone know what sort of load one should use when testing? Would a mA or so do (2.7k resistor)?

Oh, go buy yourself a real battery tester, it won't break the bank!

At the risk of telling you to go suck an egg , lithium cells have a fairly flat discharge curve so the exact value is not too important as long as it's enough of a load. The Energizer CR2032 datasheet should give a few hints.

The voltage I measued was in-circuit with the plug pulled, and I was quite surprised that the U-Boot vars had reset even with this voltage. With power applied then the A1 powered up via the front power switch the voltage fluctuated somewhat, even more surprising, and I expect that's what did the U-Boot vars in, but without schematics it's a little tricky to tell exactly what's going on. But that of course doesn't explain why my system clock froze.

FWIW my battery tester places a 3K load on the battery so you were pretty spot on. The terminal volatge of my dud battery drops to .69V when measured with the tester.

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Excalibur 
Re: Weak battery symptoms
Posted on 27-Oct-2005 15:25:41
#13 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 23-Mar-2003
Posts: 118
From: Oz

@ssolie

Quote:
@Excalibur
Quote:
because a battery tester loads a battery for testing whereas a multi-meter does not and so will give a false result.

The multi-meter does not give the user any false result. Is it the meter's fault the user doesn't know what P=I*V means?

Ahhh, picky picky!

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Excalibur 
Re: Weak battery symptoms
Posted on 27-Oct-2005 15:43:32
#14 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 23-Mar-2003
Posts: 118
From: Oz

@sundown

Quote:
Measure the voltage when its in the holder as that's a real world test with the actual load that its supporting. I do this with the power off.

Until recently this is exactly what I would have thought too, but Real World Experience® has shown this is not an accurate test.

You really do need to remove the battery and test it with a battery tester, unless someone else knows of a reasonable means to test battery condition in-circuit. This means you will loose your U-Boot settings with mains power removed. The electrolytic caps will hold a residual charge with the battery out, but enough to retain nvram contents for how long I have no idea, it could be microseconds or it could be minutes.

You could check (or change) the battery with the A1 plugged in to the wall but the mobo powered down, which still provides standy-by voltage to the nvram. This will be safe due to steering diodes on the mobo, of course the clumsy fingered who drop the battery on the mobo may be asking for trouble!

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logicalheart 
Re: Weak battery symptoms
Posted on 12-Jan-2006 16:50:25
#15 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 2-Dec-2003
Posts: 694
From: Sandy, Utah. USA

@RacerX

Here is some information from my experience with my AmigaOne XE G4.
First I could not get a complete boot from the OS4 CD. The CD would load kickstart and other modules, but then go to a blank screen. I fixed this by replacing the Voodoo4 PCI with a Radeon8500 LE AGP. Then the CD would boot into the Workbench and I could run the OS4 install.

Then the computer had a lot of crashes. Sometimes the computer would freeze. Most of the applications I ran would crash with the Grim Reaper showing a DSI or ISI error. I fixed these problems by raising the VCORE from 1.59 to 1.64
http://www.intuitionbase.com/static.php?section=notes
After that, it was so stable and fast.

Shortly afterwards, the computer would not boot at all. The video card would not even power on to show anything on the screen. I just had power to the motherboard starting up the fans, NIC light, and power light. I fixed this by replacing the CR2032 motherboard battery. I got the motherboard about a year ago. Now I'm having lots of fun on OS4 Prerelease3. It is fantastic. Now I'm looking forward to Prerelease4 and Warp3D drivers for my Radeon8500.

- Lars

Last edited by logicalheart on 12-Jan-2006 at 06:56 PM.

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Rudei 
Re: Weak battery symptoms
Posted on 12-Jan-2006 17:46:54
#16 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 20-Nov-2002
Posts: 3589
From: Dallas, Texas

@logicalheart

Good for you matey!

Rude!

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stychokiller 
Re: Weak battery symptoms
Posted on 15-Jan-2006 10:52:19
#17 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 18-Dec-2003
Posts: 213
From: Slayton, MN, USA

@Excalibur

My battery checks out at 2.85V into a 47-Ohm load (around 60mA) but cannot light any of the LEDs on the simple battery tester I have. If this is why my AmigaOne refuses to boot up, I'm gonna be very
upset, since I thought the CPU might have gotten fried when I inadvertently bumped up the core
voltage switches from 1.69 to 1.95 (The CPU was under a massive water-cooled heatsink all the time
so it was never overheated). Is there some sort of rechargeable battery that would fit in the holder?
I'm not averse to changing out the holder, since I have the necessary equipment. A rechargeable
battery won't do much good if there's no recharging path on the motherboard, however. Anyone
from Eyetech willing to say one way or another? Once I get a replacement battery, I'll put it in and
see if my AmigaOne really is dead or not

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Toaks 
Re: Weak battery symptoms
Posted on 15-Jan-2006 10:57:04
#18 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 10-Mar-2003
Posts: 8042
From: amigaguru.com

@RacerX

1. black screen when power ON , power off and then ON again and it works ( atleast the very first times)

2. Black Screen when Power ON and keyboard doesnt get power (no led's glowing when pressing caps lock)



just so its said, the battery type is : CR 2032 , grab an extra one as it will come in handy.


PS: it might be smart to reseat the battery after you have moved the computer or whatever.

pps: be gentle "but firm" when you remove the battery and make sure youre actually seeing what youre dooin.

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painter 
Re: Weak battery symptoms
Posted on 15-Jan-2006 19:55:48
#19 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 5-Oct-2003
Posts: 681
From: Manitoba, Canada

@RacerX

For me it was a black screen after loading kickstart. but if I unplugged
my router it would boot fine. I don't have a meter to test and the battery was
cheap so I just changed battery and every thing began ot work as normal.
Aone G4 XE 512 mb cd/dvd combo 2 hard drives, dlink router.

painter

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kgrach 
Re: Weak battery symptoms
Posted on 15-Jan-2006 20:55:54
#20 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 1-Aug-2003
Posts: 678
From: Farmingdale NY

@all

The mention of many of printing your old uboot variables will good.
But using them might not be all that it is cracked up to be.

I suggest after reseting your uboot or updating use the reset to factory defualts.
turn off machine wait then turn back on.
it will then enter uboot prefs on it's own.

from there all that is required is setting your boot device.
save and reboot if your hard drive is set up proper you should now be able to boot into OS4 or linux.

If you need additinal settings either for OS4 or linux your setup is not right and now is as good a time to fix it.

other settings like turning DMA on or right windows key or something like that. You can use UBOOT PREFS in the prefs drawer to set up once you boot into OS4.

kgrach

Just my two cents

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