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Old 11-29-2017, 11:26 AM   #1
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Kindle 3 (Keyboard) battery dead?

I bought a Kindle 3 from shopgoodwill.com. It's in good physical condition, but came with the "Dead Battery" screen and won't boot.

I've been trying the "tricks" I've Googled (recharging, recharging again, recharging from a computer cable, holding the power button over for 20 and 40, seconds, then holding it for 20 seconds then the Home button for a minute, shorting the reset pins, etc.) but no luck yet.

So I have a couple questions. The light appears to be doing all that it's supposed to be doing. Hold it over, the green light comes on. Hold the key over for about 6 seconds and it double blinks like it's turning off. Hold it for over 20 seconds then let loose, and at about 15 seconds the green light comes on. Hold the power button over for 20 seconds and the Home key for a minute and the light comes on – so the light's reaction seems to be normal (according to what I've read) but nothing is happening on the screen.

So this would make me think that maybe the Kindle *is* working but it has a dead screen ... except I can't see the Kindle from my computer when the USB cable is plugged in. (The screen looks good and the connector that (apparently) can come loose from the main board is good and tight.)

When I charge with a power supply the orange light never goes off. When I charge from the computer it goes off after a couple hours, but I've never seen it green, just goes from orange to off (unless I've just missed the green light when not there). So could it just be a bad battery? Enough power to light the light and *try* to boot but not enough to actually get the job done? Is it possible to test the battery and what should I look for? The back is currently off (which is the way it'll stay until I either give up on it, or fix it).

At any rate, what have I missed? Does this sound like the symptom of a bad battery, or something else?

Thanks for any advice. (Next time I will *not* buy one from Goodwill that is displaying a "Dead Battery" screen. Pretty stupid of me.)

Last edited by rcentros; 11-29-2017 at 11:29 AM.
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Old 11-29-2017, 11:38 AM   #2
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The "dead battery" screen is shown when the battery needs to be recharged.
Has nothing to do with if the battery is "dead".

The thing you are missing:
That light (and the battery management/charger chip) is partly under the control of the firmware.
The firmware is not operating or not operating properly.
So how can you trust the light?

What you describe is a common failure mode with the K3.
They die and stay dead for some reason that no one has ever found.
Return the device.
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Old 11-29-2017, 12:01 PM   #3
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What you describe is a common failure mode with the K3. They die and stay dead for some reason that no one has ever found.
Return the device.
Can't return it (I don't think) but I can probably keep it for parts, or repair it. At least now I know it's not something to worry about. If I buy a new (used) main board would that fix it? (I would probably get a new battery as well.) I'm guessing it has a good screen and this is a 3G model (at least I think it has the 3G module) (the "module" is just a placeholder "cover" for a module, I think). I know it doesn't make any sense to fix it (you can get working ones on Woot right now for $15) but I hate to see these things broken.

If I just decided to give away the parts, I'm guessing the screen might be good. ]Is the 3G module interchangeable with other Kindle Keyboards? (No module.) (Someone might have one that doesn't work.)

At any rate, thanks. I didn't realize that some of these have "fulfilled death wishes."

Last edited by rcentros; 11-29-2017 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 11-29-2017, 01:44 PM   #4
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It MIGHT just need a new battery.

But I have a stack of them that never get past turning off the orange light.

One thing to try (this has worked for me on a couple of them) - freeze it.

Wrap lightly in a micro-fiber cloth, put in freezer.
When good and cold, all the way through (leave in for a few hours) -
Remove from freezer, leave in the wrapping (protects against condensation) -
Put on wall charger -
Wait.

Sometimes they will "recover" enough to get past the "orange light" stage.
(Also known to work for PW1, PW3, KT3 - all of which I have recovered by freezing)
Which reminds me, I have a couple of K5 devices that need a good chilling.

The Kindles that did not have 3G from the factory do not have the connector on the board for the modem and the sim card nor the antenna in the case for the 3G module.
But the same module was used in most Kindle models.
PS: It is 60USD new.

Last edited by knc1; 11-29-2017 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 11-29-2017, 11:22 PM   #5
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Sometimes they will "recover" enough to get past the "orange light" stage.
(Also known to work for PW1, PW3, KT3 - all of which I have recovered by freezing)
Which reminds me, I have a couple of K5 devices that need a good chilling.
I'll try the freezing "trick." (What can I lose?) Meanwhile I went ahead and bought one of the $15 ones from Woot. These are supposed to be factory serviced and working (and there's a 90 day Woot Limited Warranty – I don't know how "limited, but at least it should cover "dead on arrival.")
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Old 12-06-2017, 09:30 PM   #6
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Second Goodwill Kindle Keyboard came today (this one *is* 3G, is white and came in a leather Amazon brand case). It took about two weeks to get these. This one wouldn't charge either. It had a "Critical Battery" message instead of the "Empty Battery" one. The amber light came on for a bit, then off ... finally wouldn't come on at all. So I opened it up (had more trouble with it than the original) and figured out why when I got into it. The battery was bulging pretty badly and probably putting strain on the case. So I got rid of that battery and installed the battery from the other Kindle Keyboard. Now it's got the exact same symptoms as the first Goodwill Kindle Keyboard. The battery shows 4.22 volts (but I don't know how many amps) – so I'm wondering if it's worth trying a new battery in either one of these? I ordered two other Goodwill eReaders, a Nook Simple Touch (that is also like new, but with a dead battery) and a Sony PRS-300, which was the only one of the four that worked (and it only cost $6 including s/h and looks like it was never used). I hate to abandon the Nook or either of these Kindles, but I'm guessing the Kindles might be a lost cause (except for parts).
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Old 12-06-2017, 10:43 PM   #7
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4.22 Volts is a fully charged battery for these units. Have you tried rebooting after installing the new battery? Sometimes that is necessary to get it to recognize the new battery is installed. Unplug, slide power on and hold 30 seconds. Release and watch to see if the power light cycles or if screen relights.

Once in a while I get a battery error after a battery replacement. In that case running Kubrick can usually restore full operation.
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Old 12-07-2017, 12:16 AM   #8
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4.22 Volts is a fully charged battery for these units. Have you tried rebooting after installing the new battery? Sometimes that is necessary to get it to recognize the new battery is installed. Unplug, slide power on and hold 30 seconds. Release and watch to see if the power light cycles or if screen relights.

Once in a while I get a battery error after a battery replacement. In that case running Kubrick can usually restore full operation.
On both units the power light does everything it's supposed to do (I think). If I hold the switch on for 30 seconds, about 10 to 15 seconds later the light will come on and stay on for about 3 or 4 seconds. Once it's on, if I hold the switch over, at about five or six seconds the power light will double-blink, at about 15 (or a little less) seconds, the green light comes on again. (I've even done the 60 second power and then then 60 second Home test – and the light comes up green there as well. But nothing changes on the screen. I'm beginning to wonder if the screens are just bad – or whatever is on the mother board that drives the screen is bad. The screen connections are tight on both.

To run Kubrick I would need to connect via USB wouldn't I? Neither unit can be seen from my computer.

Thanks for the response. I'm willing to test either unit, but if it's not the battery than I'm guessing it doesn't look good for these K3s.
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Old 12-07-2017, 04:45 AM   #9
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If you've removed the backs you would have been able to see if the glass on the back of the screen was cracked. Any cracking there and the screens are definitely bad.
Sounds to me like you've done everything you can already.
What you describe on the power light operation sounds like it is trying to run.
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Old 12-07-2017, 05:06 PM   #10
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If you've removed the backs you would have been able to see if the glass on the back of the screen was cracked. Any cracking there and the screens are definitely bad.
Sounds to me like you've done everything you can already.
What you describe on the power light operation sounds like it is trying to run.
I haven't seen any cracks at all. I think I'll just buy a replacement battery on the off chance something odd is wrong with the one "good" battery I have. (Since I'm getting the exact same results with that battery on both Kindles.) Even if I can't fix the two K3s, I can hold the battery back for when I have to replace the one in my working Kindle Keyboard (the one I got from Woot). If anything comes of this I'll update this thread – probably not for a month or so.
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Old 12-14-2017, 05:28 PM   #11
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Well, it turned out that the battery was the main issue in both cases. The black Kindle (non-3G) is now up and running. The white one (with 3G) has a broken screen. Obviously it was broken between the time its battery went dead and the time it had a good battery put into it. I hope it wasn't done by me when trying to get the back cover off (but it could have been, the battery was swollen and it made the cover hard to remove). Not all is lost, however. I now have another working Kindle 3 (Keyboard) and parts (including case, mother board and 3G module) and (I just realized today) the cover the white Kindle came in was a working lighted case. So, all and all, the ShopGoodwill turned out pretty well. Besides the two Kindle Keyboards (detailed above), the NST just required a new battery and it's working great (almost new condition) and the Sony PRS-300 worked "out of box" as soon as it was charged.

So, I guess, even though the old Kindle battery showed 4.22 volts, its amperage must not have been up to snuff.
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Old 12-14-2017, 06:06 PM   #12
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- - - -
So, I guess, even though the old Kindle battery showed 4.22 volts, its amperage must not have been up to snuff.
Close.
A ?feature? of Li-Ion is that it can show a full charge terminal voltage and have hardly any more storage capacity than a run-down hearing aid battery.
Any discharge rate (amperage) can cause it to go from 'full' to 'empty'.
Even just writing to the eMMC (and if it hits bottom before the eMMC completes its internal cycle, the eMMC is dead).

Amazon/Lab126 made a similar mistake in the early firmware designs - they allowed/postponed things based on "terminal voltage" rather than on "storage capacity".
The "5 series" firmware is fixed for that problem, and maybe the "4 series" also.

A bit of trivia:
The transmitter of the 3G module pulls 4 amps when actively transmitting.
(3G is a burst mode protocol - mostly the transmitter is off - but that is 4 amps during the burst.)

Last edited by knc1; 12-14-2017 at 06:12 PM.
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Old 12-14-2017, 06:40 PM   #13
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Thanks, lots of good information. The battery "seemed" to hold a charge but it simply wouldn't power up the Kindles. At any rate the new battery booted right up.

I was able to update the Kindle from 3.3 to 3.4, but now the 3.4.2 update won't show up. I know I read about this problem just recently. But I can't find where now. I think it was a matter of Kindle providing the wrong file in the wrong location?
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Old 12-14-2017, 06:49 PM   #14
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The only solution that I can recall anyone posting here -
Use Kubrick to downgrade it to the firmware version that Kubrick contains (3.1.something if I recall correctly) 3.4 according to the release post.
And then follow Amazon's directions to update it. It is a step-wise process, since the 3 series firmware are all "incremental" rather than full images.

Just be sure to set Kubrick's options to replace the system image.
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