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Old 03-21-2010, 01:26 AM   #1
aabeg100
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Desperately need Advise/Help ... Iliad charging issue....

Hi all,

I am in a desperate situation. My iLiad is not charging. The problem is not with the travel hub (I know cause I changed two of them) it seems to be with the connector at the bottom of the iLiad. I think its either broken or loose. Interestingly enough it allows connection to PC via USB and also Ethernet connection but doesn't charge the iLiad.

I started a support ticket at IREX website and the support person was very helpful but he told me that I need to purchase some service credits before they can check the problem out and I will have to purchase additional credits to have the issue fixed. Long story short I need to pay £65+ upfront for the checkup and worst case of £130+ for repair/change of main board. As a student I don't really have that kind of spare cash but at this critical time in my studies (final year PhD) I need the iLiad.

My question is, does anyone know of a cheaper way to get the iLiad fixed or maybe another way to charge the iLiad? Also do you think the amount IREX is charging is fair and is there any chance of getting a student discount from them.

Please guys help me out. I am in a real jam.

Thanks a million

Asim
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Old 03-21-2010, 02:59 AM   #2
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IMHO, for most common users including me, unless the problem is caused by bad contact of the connector, there is no way to fix it on users' own. If I were you, I would try some solvent, such as WD40, to fix the bad contact problem. However, that's not an advice from some expertise. Be careful.
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Old 03-21-2010, 09:02 AM   #3
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Being really practical I would get everything off the Iliad and on to a laptop. I've just spent two years lugging a laptop around and reading academic books and papers off an LCD screen. It's a pain in the whatsit and it makes my eyes water after a couple of hours of reading. I've just acquired an IREX DR800 for those very reasons. But, if I reach the point at which using the unit becomes a hindrance rather than help in my studies - and not being able to trust it would be a hindrance - it would get put in a drawer and used for leisure reading, or put on the Flea Market here.

As a less radical solution you could take it to your local computer shop (not chain store but little bloke who builds computers) and ask them to test the USB. It would be a lot less than 65 quid and they might be able to suggest a solution.

Good luck!
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Old 03-22-2010, 12:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aabeg100 View Post
I am in a desperate situation. My iLiad is not charging.
Does it work while it's plugged in, or does it not turn on at all?

If it works while plugged in, but doesn't work when you unplug it, then it would sound like the USB port is getting power. Most likely that would indicate that the batter is bad.

If it doesn't turn on at all, even when plugged in, then I would suspect the USB port.

Is it still under warranty?
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Old 03-22-2010, 06:47 PM   #5
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Unfortunately its not on warranty anymore ... Its over 2 and half years old (bought in Sept/Oct 2007) .... The unit turns on alright. It was working fine until the batteries went almost dead and when I tried to charge it the red light does not go on and the device does not charge. I can still turn it on because there is some juice left in the batteries but I can't seem to charge it.

Any ideas ??

In fact, I was actually wondering if anyone has tried to separate the charging connection from the travel hub. I was thinking that since the charger transforms the voltage maybe the iLiad can be opened up to just take out the two charging connections and add a separate connection maybe like the one on the travel hub so that the charger can be connected directly without going through the travel hub.

What do you guys think .... is it possible.

Asim
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Old 03-22-2010, 07:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aabeg100 View Post
Unfortunately its not on warranty anymore ... Its over 2 and half years old (bought in Sept/Oct 2007) .... The unit turns on alright. It was working fine until the batteries went almost dead and when I tried to charge it the red light does not go on and the device does not charge. I can still turn it on because there is some juice left in the batteries but I can't seem to charge it.

Any ideas ??
It would be interesting to see what happens after the batteries go completely dead. Will it still turn on if you plug it in?

You probably want to make sure you backup everything on it while you still have battery power, just in case.
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Old 03-23-2010, 12:46 AM   #7
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Yeah that would be interesting .... I think I will try it .... by the way I am not so worried about the data as I not only have all of it backed up in my Laptop I also don't keep any books and papers on my iLiad's internal memory ..... everything is on the CF card.....
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Old 03-23-2010, 07:06 AM   #8
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Hi everybody!
I have "quite" the same problem as aabeg100. I mean: i can't fully charge my iLiad - better: i can't charge at all my iLiad!!!.
The story: a few days ago i took my iLiad again - after a lot of time - and charged; when i disconnected (after more than 8 hours of charging) i noted the battery's icon was not fully black... however i worked and readed some newspapers and when the battery's icon was less than half black, i decided to re-charge the iLiad.
Well, at that time started the "tragedy": when i plugged-in the travel hub the red led turned on, but only for few seconds... than, nothing happened, the screen remained "white".
I disconnected & re-connected the hub's plug; again the red led turned on for few seconds... I tried this "disconnection & re-connection" operation again, but this time holding the connector... nothing changed.
Even if i turn-on the iLiad and connect the charging plug, the led turn on orange, but only for few seconds...
I have to say that i reflashed the iLiad - thinking the problems can be solved this way... nothing changed!
Now i think the problem can be batteries... so i ask: where can i find the batteries for the iLiad - i read the way to upgrade batteries, but i think i am not able to update the firmware to let the iLiad recognize the super-batteries...
Hope my english is not too bad
Ciao from Italy
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Old 03-23-2010, 12:16 PM   #9
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I suspect these are both battery problems, but I can't tell for sure.

ionontelodico, I believe you can follow the forum posts for installing "super-batteries" without the firmware patch. It'll still use the battery, it just won't use all of the extra capacity. In other words, the battery you get might be big enough to give you 30 hours, but without the firmware you'll only be able to use 15 hours of it. I don't think it would hurt anything.

I could be wrong though. If you want to try that, be sure to go back to those old posts and read them very carefully to find out exactly what the firmware patch does, and whether it's required or optional.
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Old 03-25-2010, 03:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaggy View Post
I could be wrong though. If you want to try that, be sure to go back to those old posts and read them very carefully to find out exactly what the firmware patch does, and whether it's required or optional.
The firmware update is indeed optional. It only updates one file and that can be done through the console, so no iRex connection is required, just make sure you have the same firmware version as where the super-battery-update has been written for (which is probably v2.12). If you run into problems you can always reflash with a CF-card.

Last edited by A4-; 03-25-2010 at 03:46 PM. Reason: fixed version nr.
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Old 03-25-2010, 03:25 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by aabeg100 View Post
when I tried to charge it the red light does not go on and the device does not charge. I can still turn it on because there is some juice left in the batteries but I can't seem to charge it.

Any ideas ??
If the red light never goes on, good chance the connector has a loose contact. In early broken contacts it's possible that when you wiggle the connector a bit around (up/down) that the red light briefly lights up.
Power is on both outer edges of the connector, 2 pins (which are slightly longer then the rest) on each side. If you have a steady hand (and the tools) you can solder em back on.

However, when ion-batteries go below a certain voltage they cant be charged anymore to prevent the risk of explosion. This usually happens if these batteries are left depleted for a long period (half a year). That's why ion-batteries in new phones/laptops etc. have some charge from the factory.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aabeg100 View Post
In fact, I was actually wondering if anyone has tried to separate the charging connection from the travel hub. I was thinking that since the charger transforms the voltage maybe the iLiad can be opened up to just take out the two charging connections and add a separate connection maybe like the one on the travel hub so that the charger can be connected directly without going through the travel hub.

What do you guys think .... is it possible.
You could build some kind of connection to bypass the travel-hub, but that would involve way more skills -- and tools -- than just repairing whatever there is broken. Charging the batteries directly -- by bypassing the charging circuit -- is dangerous. Don't ever try that.
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Old 03-25-2010, 03:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ionontelodico View Post
i noted the battery's icon was not fully black... however i worked and readed some newspapers and when the battery's icon was less than half black, i decided to re-charge the iLiad.
Well, at that time started the "tragedy": when i plugged-in the travel hub the red led turned on, but only for few seconds... than, nothing happened, the screen remained "white".
It could be that you need to 'reset' the charge-detection. This can be done by turning the iLiad off. Then when you power-on the iLiad, keep the on-button 'pressed' for one minute. A reinstall of the firmware, with the format-option, should have the same effect.

Since the battery meter is still showing some charge it's not below the imposible-to-recharge-threshold (see my previous post).

Ion-batteries loose capacity over time (notable after 2.5 years or 1000 full charge-cycles). You can reduce this effect by charging as often as possible, and keeping it fully charged when turned off.
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Old 03-25-2010, 11:41 PM   #13
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Hi A4-

Thanks for the detailed and informative responses. I really appreciate them. Anyways, I think that in my case the connectors on the iLiad side are lose. The reason is that, initially (like you said) the red light used to turn on and iLiad started charging when I wiggled the connector a bit so what I used to do was hold the connector in place when the light turned on (Usually higher than horizontal/actual connector position) to charge the iLiad. It doesn't work this way anymore (no more red Light).

If possible, could you please provide a bit more details about the connector and connections on iLiad side and the schematics if you have them so that I can try and possibly re-solder the connectors.

Asim
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Old 03-26-2010, 06:08 AM   #14
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Quote:
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Hi A4-

Thanks for the detailed and informative responses. I really appreciate them. Anyways, I think that in my case the connectors on the iLiad side are lose. The reason is that, initially (like you said) the red light used to turn on and iLiad started charging when I wiggled the connector a bit so what I used to do was hold the connector in place when the light turned on (Usually higher than horizontal/actual connector position) to charge the iLiad. It doesn't work this way anymore (no more red Light).

If possible, could you please provide a bit more details about the connector and connections on iLiad side and the schematics if you have them so that I can try and possibly re-solder the connectors.

Asim
In the MobileRead-Wiki there are loads of pictures of the inside of the iliad.
This looks like it's a detail of the connector.

4 pins on the connector are used for power, the 2 on the left and the 2 on the right. So in your case probably either the left or the right ones are loose. All you need to do is open the iliad carefully (DON'T warp the casing because that might break the screen), and then heat up those contacts where they touch the board with a soldering-iron (max 25 W) with a small pointy tip. 2-3 seconds per contact should be enough. Fix one at a time so you don't connect em together (it's tough to split joined contacts).
You should be able to see which ones are 'broken', perhaps with a magnifying glass.

Good luck, and take your time.

PS. The iLiad v2 has a screw behind the barcode. If this is your first time soldering, let someone with experience do it for you.

Last edited by A4-; 03-26-2010 at 06:19 AM.
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Old 07-09-2010, 12:01 PM   #15
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I had a similar problem as well! I was wondering if there is anywhere (preferbably in the UK) I could purchase a pair of batteries from? When Mine stop charging and didn't even work via the adapter, i decided to open my iliad up and have a look since i was out of the warranty period. One battery (out of 2) looked like a balloon. I carefully dislocated this battery and the Iliad started to work via the adaptor only. Maybe I had a bad battery?
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