Battery problem solution a discovery?

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denodan
denodan's picture
Battery problem solution a discovery?

My replacment battery only lasted 10 mins then blue lights and Rovio turned off. This has been a problem for many here, and some have replaced it with 9v chargers.

 I may have made an important discovery to fix this problem, if you charger is going of course.

What I found is after 1/2 an hour, or so, the pulsing would stop and Rovio showed full charge. What I have done is place it back on the dock, would charge a bit more, when it says full do it again and again.

 

Now I have had 43 mins on the battery, seems you can get a false indication your battery is charged. This can often happen with rechargables, which is why they say it can take serveral charges before you get max battery charge.

 

I know I find this is working with my Rovio. I am hoping it will give me a longer battery life then my other battery, which will last about 45 mins without the headlight accessory.

 

If your having your battery last only 10 mins keep charging your battery, when it indicates full charge, undock, then redock. I am seeing how long the replacement battery lasts in my broken Rovio

cimplexsounds
cimplexsounds's picture
It's likely that these have a

It's likely that these have a Nickel Cadmium or Nickel Hybrid batteries. The bad thing about this kind of battery is they are went to have their power supply totally exhausted before the next charge.

These batteries have a memory in them, so they remember the last time they were charged. So keep in mind, if you charge the battery frequently, and the memory in them thinks, it's fully charged when it's not, YOUR SCREWED.

The most simple solution I've found when dealing with these kind of batteries. Do not let Rovio return to the base for charging when batteries are low. If you can use the web interface to shut that option off.

Instead let Rovio keeping roaming the house until he goes completely dead. Keep his headlight off too. A slow discharge is better than a fast discharge. Then after Rovio is so robbed of power he can't make it to the base, put him on the base for a full recharge.

You've just manipulated, the memory in the batteries now. Now the batteries can get more of a full recharge. Try this only with Nickel Cadmium and Nickel Hybrid batteries. Never try this with a lead acid battery. Lead Acid batteries are more like car batteries. Totally discharging them can permanently damage them..

There should be a label on the bottom of Rovio telling you what kind of batteries are inside.

cowboyctx
cowboyctx's picture
denodan said: My replacment

denodan said: My replacment battery only lasted 10 mins then blue lights and Rovio turned off. This has been a problem for many here, and some have replaced it with 9v chargers.  I may have made an important discovery to fix this problem, if you charger is going of course. What I found is after 1/2 an hour, or so, the pulsing would stop and Rovio showed full charge. What I have done is place it back on the dock, would charge a bit more, when it says full do it again and again. Now I have had 43 mins on the battery, seems you can get a false indication your battery is charged. This can often happen with rechargables, which is why they say it can take serveral charges before you get max battery charge. I know I find this is working with my Rovio. I am hoping it will give me a longer battery life then my other battery, which will last about 45 mins without the headlight accessory. If your having your battery last only 10 mins keep charging your battery, when it indicates full charge, undock, then redock. I am seeing how long the replacement battery lasts in my broken Rovio

That is why I built that feature into Rovio Commander,  its call charge mode.  You can set the number of minutes to wait before the next backup command is sent to the Rovio.  Better than re-docking the Rovio manually.

denodan
denodan's picture
My battery has gone from

My battery has gone from lasting 5 mins to 1 hour. Timed it. I found it went to the last bar, then the battery completely died. Not bad for a battery that only lasted 5 mins to start with?

With a few more charges may get more then 1 hour. But my steps above are the soultion for anyone who's battery lasts 5 mins, you don't need a 9v power supply, as long as your Rovio's power supply is going, these steps will most likely enable your battery to fully recharge.

cimplexsounds
cimplexsounds's picture
This does make sense. Since

This does make sense. Since the battery has a memory in it. Very cool, how you managed to trick the battery's memory like this.

Hey if you can, find out for me what kind of battery is in the Rovio anyway.

cimplexsounds
cimplexsounds's picture
Are you one of the folks at

Are you one of the folks at Wowwee who actually built Rovio?

cowboyctx said:

denodan said: My replacment battery only lasted 10 mins then blue lights and Rovio turned off. This has been a problem for many here, and some have replaced it with 9v chargers.  I may have made an important discovery to fix this problem, if you charger is going of course. What I found is after 1/2 an hour, or so, the pulsing would stop and Rovio showed full charge. What I have done is place it back on the dock, would charge a bit more, when it says full do it again and again. Now I have had 43 mins on the battery, seems you can get a false indication your battery is charged. This can often happen with rechargables, which is why they say it can take serveral charges before you get max battery charge. I know I find this is working with my Rovio. I am hoping it will give me a longer battery life then my other battery, which will last about 45 mins without the headlight accessory. If your having your battery last only 10 mins keep charging your battery, when it indicates full charge, undock, then redock. I am seeing how long the replacement battery lasts in my broken Rovio

That is why I built that feature into Rovio Commander,  its call charge mode.  You can set the number of minutes to wait before the next backup command is sent to the Rovio.  Better than re-docking the Rovio manually.

denodan
denodan's picture
cimplexsounds said: This does

cimplexsounds said: This does make sense. Since the battery has a memory in it. Very cool, how you managed to trick the battery's memory like this. Hey if you can, find out for me what kind of battery is in the Rovio anyway.

Battery specs of my battery are:

5LMH-43SC3000-W-T

NIMH 6V 43SC 3000mAh  PTC

Hope this helps

Hope

 

cimplexsounds
cimplexsounds's picture
So this is a Nickel Hybrid

So this is a Nickel Hybrid Metal Battery. Thanks

Then it is safe to totally to completely discharge the battery, and then return Rovio to the base and put him on by hand, for a complete recharge.

Many laptop computers come with nickel Hybrid batteries. The manufacturers, allows recommend, totally discharging the battery, or at least draining the battery down until you get a critical battery alarm. They say this actually helps extend the battery life for a long time. The battery is probably hi amperage because of the kind of device it's powering. You should be getting at least two to three hours of use off of a single recharge, considering how power efficient Wowwee robots are suppose to be. Again my suggestion. I'd let the battery go completely dead a few times, and allow Rovio to achieve a complete recharge, before use. you probably find this will really help.

Fortunately you don't have Nickel Cadium batteries. They are less forgiving. If you don't totally discharge a Nickel Cadium battery during each use, it shortens their battery life significantly, mainly because of the memory.

In case you don't know the following are usually the symbol meanings for these types of batteries:

NIMH = Nickel Hybrid Metal Battery - more forgiving on partial recharges.

NI - CD = Nickel Cadium Very unforgiving on a partial recharge.
You usually find these symbols on the batteries.

5LMH-43SC3000-W-T would probably be the model number of your battery in case you ever have to order a replacement.

Hope this helps.

denodan
denodan's picture
An update on fixing my

An update on fixing my battery. I got a total of 80 mins out of it on a full charge

cimplexsounds
cimplexsounds's picture
Very good!! Just keep running

Very good!! Just keep running the battery down all the way, then recharge it up completely. You should eventually be able to get two to three hours of use on a full battery.

Please keep us posted.

Thanks

denodan
denodan's picture
I have another Rovio Battery

I have another Rovio Battery also and never got 2-3 hours. Got around only 70 mins on that.

However you never know if I will get more? I am hoping it will end up a better battery then the other one I have.

cimplexsounds
cimplexsounds's picture
The Rovio might be different

The Rovio might be different the other Wowwee robots. I know I can get over 6 hours of use on both my Robospaien V1's and even my Robosapien V2 on a single recharge, with the video camera, built in to his head.

May I suggest? Try doing with the other battery, what you've done with this one. You've done a pretty good job of manipulating the memory on this battery. If you still have the old battery, try doing the same thing.

If it works, you'll have two good batteries!!

By the way I have a question for you. I've considered adding a Rovio to my Wowwee collection. How good is the video quality on the Rovio?

denodan
denodan's picture
I find it good in the day and

I find it good in the day and ok with your lights on at night, but for it to be useful you need the headlight accessory. I know people keep going on about the camera preforming badly in low light, but what do you expect, with such a small apature camera lens?

gdmeade
gdmeade's picture
I'm having the same problems,

I'm having the same problems, but my rovio will not come on. I'm seeing 4.6 volts from the charger base on my volt meter. The NiMH battery is 6 volts... it's been my experience that you need to have a little over 6 volts to charge. The rovio wall transformer is rated at 8 volts... and that would be reasonable. But as soon as I plug it into the base I get 4.6 volts... not enough for a cycle charge. Anyone else experiencing this?

chris75
chris75's picture
From reports and my

From reports and my experience, there are problems with bad battery packs/ bad charger (too weak) and dock contacts at least.
I got the first 2 problems.

So check contacts are ok on dock (dirt etc..) if voltage goes under 7V when docked either too much current is drained (bad pack - short circuited elt) or adapter is too weak.

I replaced my adapter by a 9V / 3 Amps, charging is a lot better though not perfect. Later i replaced by a better 4800Ah nimh pack

A 5 nimh pack should be between 6.5 / 6.8V-7V fully charged so indeed 4.6V is not enough.

If it happens to be the adapter and you replace it, you'll have to do the dock/undock trick to keep Rovio charging and get battery voltage in the 'safe' range.

Charger board is a bit quick at doing a power off when battery is very low so no chance battery can go up enough before it is switched off...

Hope this helps.

cimplexsounds
cimplexsounds's picture
Hmmm. I didn't know about the

Hmmm. I didn't know about the battery pack and power adapter, not being properly matched to Rovio's power requirements. Thank You for the tip. Just another sign of bad engineering. The Robopet seems to have the same problem. Four AAA batteries just don't seem to be enough to power robopet for very long, even when they are fully recharged. I can only get about one or two hours of use from my Robopet.

This will help me be really careful when looking for the perfect Rovio to buy.

gdmeade
gdmeade's picture
Seems that Rovio was an

Seems that Rovio was an overly priced piece of %^&%&. It isn't easy, if at all possible to get it to sink with a wireless lan and doesn't recharge either. I could have done better just putting a camera on a Roomba. I bought Rovio to help me engage with my family while I was in Iraq, but the honeymoon was over before it started. It turned out to be something I had to work on more than it was worth. I don't mind tinkering a little to make something better. But, I do mind having to make it work, when it was supposed to work out of the box.

jm
jm's picture
Hey Chris 75 can you point me

Hey Chris 75 can you point me in the direction of where you bought the higher-capacity replacement pack for your Rovio? I've found a couple packs that would work, but either slightly too large dimension-wise or wrong connectors.

Any help appreciated,

jm

chris75
chris75's picture
I built a new pack from 5

I built a new pack from 5 elements like these:
http://www.integy.com/st_prod.html?p_prodid=5368&p_catid=128

I used the power cable from my dead pack, so you'll need to do some soldering.

A guy from a rc model shop told me there may be a pack like this for rc cars called "Baja". He had none in stock, i'm not sure the connector is the same though the 5 elements are apparently assembled the same way.

Hope this helps.

chris75
chris75's picture
Found possible cause ? 

Found possible cause ? 

while reverse enginnering the Battery charger board and building a replacement, I found a diode was apparently soldered the wrong way.

Symbol on PCB board shows one orientation and the diode component (D4) is soldered the opposite direction.

I took a picture of it to show the problem:

I removed the diode tested it was ok (it was) and soldered it back the right way. 

Things looks a lot better, i placed Rovio on dock and it full charged and kept battery charge for 2+ hours (7.05V) , moving the Rovio looks like it's on steroid now.

Prior to this I replaced weak 8V  adaptor by a powerfull 9V one and replaced NIMH pack by a good 4600mAh  one,it improved things but did not fix the issues.

I still experienced disappointing autonomy/chaage  (<45mn off dock) and constant charging / discharging (blue leds blinking) cycles with most of times automatic shutoff as battery went too low.

All in all Rovio was unable to survive more than a day without shutting off and requiring the dock/undock trick to kick charge cycle again. 

If anybody had similar symptoms and knows how to dismantle the beast, i'm interested to know if D4 is wired like mine or not.

I'm still doing tests to see what's the new Rovio MTBF :) 

Hope this helps.

jm
jm's picture
Hey Chris, yeah the Baja

Hey Chris, yeah the Baja seems like it would work, although the size specs I was able to find seem to indicate it's ever so slightly larger than the Rovio pack, but if the cells are standard it should fit. The Baja does have the wrong connector so that would have to be swapped.

But, WOW on the diode. Or should I say, WOWEE! As soon as I'm done with my standard 90-hour workweek I'll take a peek. I don't know how to dismantle it, but I'll figure it out. My thinking is I've got a useless lump of plastic right now, I don't have much to lose :)

jm

chris75
chris75's picture
First unplug battery to avoid

First unplug battery to avoid problems, then to remove the Rovio top you'll have to remove 6 screws under the Rovio (near edge).
Then you'll have the charger board on one side (left if you look Rovio from front).
Then you need to remove 2 screws to release a plastic part that keeps the charger board in vertical position.

Pull the charger board to extract it from the 2 plastic rails.

Hope this helps.

chris75
chris75's picture
With diode fix, Rovio was

With diode fix, Rovio was able to stay off dock for 3H40 with 30mn / 1H web connection, then it redocked and resumed charge without shutting down which was what happened most of times when redocking in low state.

So looks like this inverted diode was really causing some trouble to Rovio charge.

I'll check how many days it can survive now but it's already hugely improved.

chris75
chris75's picture
Hi all,

Hi all,
looks like all my battery issues are gone (Yeah!), Rovio is now operating properly for 48H+ hours.

If battery pack/adapter are not dead (which has been reported too) and
If you have these symptoms:
- Rovio never full charge ie: when solid blue you get - When battery low you may need to dock undock several times to get it charge again.
- If left on dock for a long time it sometimes switches off.

Send it back to Woowee or if you know how to solder you can check power board for the inverted diode issue I mentionned above.

The grey ring on the diode should correspond to the bar on the symbol (cathode), if you have something similar to the picture I took (bad direction of d4) , removing the diode and soldering it back in correct direction may solve the issue.

See my posts above for details.

So I bought my Rovio in June 2009 and we are now in July 2010, Woowee support disappeared quickly after I reported the battery issues, though I admit they were kind enough to send replacement battery / charger which has not fixed issue anyway. I'm afraid if these HW issues are common they got massive returns and
their Rovio line is a financial disaster....

Even partly broken Rovio is an impressive assembly of technology for such a price, that's why I did not return it, though if you're not ready to hack it and just want it to work it may just be a useless piece of plastic (if you get one with defects) ....

Hope this helps.

liang
liang's picture
hi,

hi,

same problem
the picture you made, is that the way it should be or the way it was?
could you show a picture the of the change you made?

thanks and greeting liang

SiGGy
SiGGy's picture
The diode is backwards from

The diode is backwards from the factory, the diode is backwards in that photo. The photo is the board unmodified.

If you look at the photo do you see the silver ring around the D4 diode and the silver ring on the diode behind it?

The silver ring marks one side of the diode. And the direction for the flow of current.

On the board underneath each diode you'll see the triangle symbol pointing to a vertical line. Sorta like this >| (the triangle points towards a vertical line) Note the symbols for the D4 diode and the diode behind it are pointing in opposite directions, this is showing they should be installed opposite direction of one another. However if you look closely you'll see the diodes are actually installed in the same direction. It's easy to over look because they cut the leads (the 2 wires on the diode) different on the diodes, so it'll trick your eyes. The lead (wire) closest to the silver ring on the D4 diode should be soldered to the same side as the vertical line in the diode symbol. It's not on the D4 diode. The silver ring is on the opposite side...

Once you can see the problem; you'll see the diode was installed incorrectly from the factory. Assuming the silk screen on the PCB is correct.

liang
liang's picture
Thanks,

Thanks,

your probabely right i was onley looking at the side the diode was on and not the side the ring was on the diode
so i think i wil try this.

also hope it works and wil not fry my rovio

do you know of other people who have tried this solution ?

greetings liang

airspeed
airspeed's picture
The problem have modified now

The problem have modified now, the direction of my rovio's  D4 diode is correctly!

chris75
chris75's picture
Yes, I confirm photo is board

Yes, I confirm photo is board unmodified with diode mounted in wrong direction.

Chris

TheCrustyChicken
TheCrustyChicken's picture
Mine was correct.... this

Mine was correct.... this must not be the problem with my rovio :(

JFR
JFR's picture
just finished checking mine,

just finished checking mine, and it was correct also.
Wowwee must have installed them in the later runs. I just got mine this month.

rovioMan
rovioMan's picture
 

 

chris75 said: 

Symbol on PCB board shows one orientation and the diode component (D4) is soldered the opposite direction.

I took a picture of it to show the problem:

I removed the diode tested it was ok (it was) and soldered it back the right way. 

Things looks a lot better, i placed Rovio on dock and it full charged and kept battery charge for 2+ hours (7.05V) , moving the Rovio looks like it's on steroid now.

just thought i would share that i just received my Rovio the other day from thinkgeek.com and this diode is no longer on the board?!?!?!?! My Rovio however experiences the same problems(it will not fully charges, i have to repeatedly remove it then put it back on the dock because it stops charging and says "Roaming", while still on the dock, before being fully charged) Could this diode be the problem to the Rovio charging/ dock problem? I am waiting to hear back from customer support.

Photobucket

 

chris75
chris75's picture
From what I remember this

From what I remember this missing diode is really doing something.
I think it routes either battery pack power or dock power to the main power line.

So if it's missing sensing logic may be confused by levels on power line.

Any medium power diode like a 1N4004 should do the trick.

So if you have this kind of diode (found in dead power adapter for ex ) and a solder gun, you can try to put one in place.

Hope this helps.
Chris.

rovioMan
rovioMan's picture
Well I do have access to a

Well I do have access to a diode and I can solder, so the question is do I try and fix the problem myself or wait a few days to hear back from customer support? Just to confirm the missing diode should be facing same direction as one next to it, right?

rovioMan
rovioMan's picture
Just took a closer look at

Just took a closer look at the board and it appears that wowee removed the diode and replaced it with a jumper on the bottom.

chris75
chris75's picture
Interesting,

Interesting,
FYI, I also found the raw voltage from dock looks too low for the IC managing the charge.
From the (weak) 8V adapter to transistor controlling charge the voltage drop is quite big, (diodes / bad dock contacts). Fully charged pack would probably be around 7.2V and for sure the Rovio power board can't reach this level.
So in my case, besides fixing the diode orientation. I switched to a 9V adapter and also replaced the battery pack (original one died after a few cycles).

Hope this helps.
Chris

liang
liang's picture
hi,

hi,
after a lot of experimenting and after i fried two batteries i gave up,
but then i recieved e-mail from this forum, people are still trying , so i orderd a new battery and started again. same problems. then i started looking at the mechanics of the dock and found that one of the contacts which moves when the rovio docks was stuck because the opening in which it was supposed to move up en down was too narrow so it did not connect al the time. I made the opening larger, and now my rovio is charging ( already for half an hour ) without truning off or trying to leave the dock on search of the dock.If this continues i will post a film or foto;s of what i did.

wolfmanjm
wolfmanjm's picture
I started playing with my

I started playing with my Rovio after about a year. I had bought a http://www.amazon.com/Prophet-Plus-AC-Peak-Charger/dp/B0006N6XWK Prophet charger for the batteries to get around the problems, I even built a new battery pack using 3300maH cells.

So I know they are fully charged, and the factory batteries seem to work fine for a while, however my higher capacity cells don't last very long.

I noticed that the Rovio shuts down saying battery is low way to early... when I remove the battery it is still at 6v, which is the nominal voltage for 5 (1.2v) cells. after charging both packs are at around 7v.

At 6v there is still plenty of charge left, so is there a way to adjust the shutoff voltage on the Rovio? seems it is way too sensitive at the moment.

Raz
Raz's picture
I recently got a Rovio from

I recently got a Rovio from Amazon and the diode in question is missing from the board. It is obvious that the diode was there initially, but it was then removed. This must be a factory fix on newer models, so I guess the diode is not needed anyway.

Raz

Raz
Raz's picture
My new Rovio (purchased in

My new Rovio (purchased in June from Amazon) does not have the diode in question at all. It was there when the board was manufactured but it was obviously removed before the unit was sold. The Rovio works fine, battery life is about 2 hours and takes about 1 hour to charge.

Raz

kraiwut
kraiwut's picture
I thought I got the solution

I thought I got the solution for my battery problem when I saw Chirs's post about incorrect direction of diode, but after I open my Rivio, I found that the diode on my Rovio's charging circuit is correct. However, I still have the issue as describe in this thread. Even after I replaced the battery. Now I don't know what to do.

chris75
chris75's picture
So you have new battery and

So you have new battery and new power adaptor (9V) ?

Even with new battery stock power adapter is too weak to charge when battery is too low.

Symptom, when docked, is blue leds pumping and then shutoff after a few mn.

Is this what you get ?

Chris

Andr0id
Andr0id's picture
OK. Got my Rovio from

OK. Got my Rovio from ThinkGeek couple of days ago. Setup was done via network so no USB computer connection issues. Of course I have the charging issue as everyone else. I looked at the charging board, the D4 diode is not there but a jumper is installed on the underside of the board instead.

I placed two strong magnets on the connection pads of the Rovio to make sure there are no contact issues with the docking station. When docked the lights pulse for about an hour, then stay bright. After a few hours everything goes dark. I can reset power and use it for about 20 min before the bat shows very low.

To eliminate all possibilities suggested so far I am currently charging the batt with my Hobby multi-charger to make sure it has a full charge.

I will respond with the results. If I still have problems then I shall dig a deeper.

ThinkGeek gave fair warning their might be issues and agreed to accept any returns no questions asked so I was/am willing to give this a go as best I can as when working this thing is great. www.nmscientific.com/andr0id.com

kraiwut
kraiwut's picture
Yes, the symptom is that the

Yes, the symptom is that the blue LEDs blinking and then turn off after a few minutes when I put put the Rovio in the dock. I also used an external charger to charge the battery, which helps the first few time, but after that, Rovio stop charging the battery again.
And yes, I have both new battery pack and new 9V power adapter.

chris75
chris75's picture
Looks bad, on my Rovio I also

Looks bad, on my Rovio I also opened the dock and replaced 2 wires going to the retractable pods (below the springs ..).
For some reason there was a significant voltage drop between input 8/9V plug and what Rovio gets on dock.
I also cleaned the mechanical contacts especially the one inside docs that cut/short power when power pods are moved up/down.

My experience is the Rovio charger board needs >8V or it will fail to pump enough current to get the battery voltage go up quickly and then the Rovio MCU will shut off the Rovio on low voltage condition.

Chris

Andr0id
Andr0id's picture
Update: Fully charged batt.

Update: Fully charged batt. Rovio worked good. used for about 15 min, still showed full batt. Sent to home and it docked with no issues and even showed charging for a bit. Let it sit there overnight. Next morning, no lights. I power cycled it and i went from 100% to 80, then 60 within just a couple min. This seems to indicate to me that either it was not charging on the dock at all or that the dock was actually draining the batt to some extent. I pulled the batt and put it back on my imax charger and it is charging as if it was dead. So my next step is to take a closer look at the base. I will keep this updated.

Andr0id
Andr0id's picture
Ok, docking station looks

Ok, docking station looks sound. Input power is parallel between both the board and directly to the contact pins that go to the Rovio when docked. No mechanical issues and i can read a solid 8.27 V at the pins. The power adapter "says" it is 8V and 2.5 Amps so that should work fine.

Now the interesting bit. IF the Rovio is physcially off but docked, should the batt still charge? If i have the batt pulled and a meter in its place and dock the Rovio i get 5.7V to the batt connector. This obviously is too low to charge a 6 V batt. Is this a normal condition because the Rovio is off or does this sound abnormal to you guys?

chris75
chris75's picture
No the Rovio daesn't charge

No the Rovio daesn't charge if docked with switch off (at least mine:).
If i remember correctly when looking at charging sequence with a scope the MCU (Board controlling motors /LEDs / encoders etc...) shut off the charger controller (few wires going from MCU to charger board) .
When MCU is off , charger board is off too. You are probably measuring leaking voltage.

I reversed engineered a bit what the wires do, need to get back my notes and share probably.

Chris

chris75
chris75's picture
From my notes.

From my notes.
Charger board built around a LS2516, got no datasheet but seem to be a "standard" NIMH charger microcontroller.
Charge board works on it's own, ie as soon as it is docked, it will charge depending on battery level sensed. It will stop when senses "delta peak" / max voltage ie: Voltage drops a bit at end of charge.
Charge board / MCU connected via 3 wired (+ground) :
CS: Voltage to indicate to MCU charging level (sensed by Rovio to blink blue LEDs /slow/fast/solid)
CPS: To detect when docked , sensed by MCU too.
CPC: Not sure but looks like this one disables charger if MCU not up (Rovio off). Looks like a wire for MCU to switch off charger.

Flaws I think I found:
* Docked / charging: Rovio takes lot of power and input voltag is varying fast (noise), it perturbates battery voltage during charge phase. Charger chip is probably lost trying to detect end of charge. Should have been wiser to power Rovio directly from dock and isolate battery for charging when docked. Either the design is flawed or some component is not doing its job.
* Charger board power: Dock power goes to a first diode (probably prevent inversion of voltage) then some control transistors then a self then diode again
etc.. finally lots of voltage drops and charge chip has not enough voltage margin to operate. This is probably why using 9V adapter fixes issue for some people.

Hope this helps
Chris

Andr0id
Andr0id's picture
Thanks for the info. Yes I

Thanks for the info. Yes I notice a few things. I fully charged batt. Put Rovio on the dock and it still charged a bit, max 7.08 Volts then drop to 6.92 when it "thinks" its charged. Within 10min drop to 6.63V, next 10min drop to 6.52, at this point the web interface sent a warning to return to dock for charging. (although it was already on the dock) however, the batt level indicator still showed full and the lights were still solid. I picked it up and redocked just for fun. It started to charge again. Eventually it reaches what it thinks is full charge and then stops.

The issues I see is that like you said, it runs off the batt all the time, and even if I KNOW it is fully charged it still runs off the batt. When it "thinks" it needs to charge it lets you know; however, it does not in fact do anything about it UNLESS it is re-docked. The result is.... if Rovio is on the dock and even successfully charges, it will run the batt down eventually and not recharge unless you physically re-dock.

Problems I see:

As stated.

1. I think the Delta is off and it is reporting low even when it is not.
2. Rovio will not charge unless you tell it to, so unless you watch it every 2 hours it will eventually die and you will have to cycle power to get things going again.
3. As stated, the batt should be isolated when docked and the Rovio run off of the power of the dock, NOT the batt. (I have noted, the Rovio will not run off of the dock if the batt is not installed currently)
4. As stated by Chris, the charging board itself is in question as to if it works as expected or not. Some have diodes, some have jumpers, either way, it seems the charging is not even 80% true.

Solutions:

1. My first attempt is going to be the easiest, that is go to a 9V supply with the attempts that the charging board will work better. As Chris stated though, since Rovio runs off the batt and it is noisy I have doubts that the board can sense a full charge with any accuracy.

2. Attempt to isolate the batt when docked. This will take a little thinking and perhaps I might have to throw in some extra logic here and a picaxe to boot.

3. If all else fails combine step 2 with a home grown charger.

4: optional (again using a pic controller 'fake' some of the signals to the MCU so as to be more accurate.

Best bet is step 2 and that is what I will think hardest on. Thanks for the added input Chris! (I WILL make this @%^#%@ think work!)

Andr0id
Andr0id's picture
Battery problem for the Rovio

Battery problem for the Rovio Solved.

The answer was to isolate the bat when docked. This required a second power supply to power the MCU when the Rovio was docked. 6.24V seems to be the best voltage. A 5V 1Amp supply would not keep the MCU going.

So I modified the Rovio with a micro switch under it that when normally closed powers the MCU via the bat, when docked the contacts connect to the Rovio as normal but a power lead is also pushed up into the Rovio activating the micro switch and providing power at the same time, thus powering the MCU from the second supply attached to the Dock. So far this seems to be working. as the grounds are tied together on both supplied it is able to sense when the bat is charged and it turns the charger board off yet stays powered via the second supply instead of the bat. When Rovio leaves the dock the micro switch is released and power returns to the MCU from the bat. The only think i might still do is add some caps to keep the charge long enough between the switching of the supplies so the Rovio does not reset as sometimes it does now. We are only talking a second or less but that is enough. A refresh of web page grabs the Rovio again though so no loss of remote control.

Now I can play with it and it charges.. weeee!

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