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Thread: Fixing the LE1600 & LE1700 battery problem, solution here.

  1. Default Fixing the LE1600 & LE1700 battery problem, solution here.

    Since Motion Computing isn't making new batteries and since after market batteries don't exist and since the old stock of unused batteries that still exist to LE1600&LE1700 have 100 dollars air in their price, I think the following solution is best.

    I haven't bought one yet but if you go to ebay or google and type: universal external battery or external laptop battery, you will find a battery that can keep your tablet on for hours and you hook it up to the power jacket of your laptop. They come with many different power adapters so you will have the right one. Just choose the right voltage in the external battery (LE1600 is 19volts) and you are ready to go. When you use this, you can remove all the original LE1600&LE1700 batteries to make it lighter. Or you can just remove the original external battery (the big square flat battery thing behind the tablet) and use velcro and attach this to its place instead.

    Idea: if you have a dead BATEDX20L8 (external battery), you can open it and remove the circuit board and the cells and close it. After this its very light and you can velcro the new universal external battery to its case (outside). This way you can remove the new universal battery by using the mechanism of the old battery, if you wish to do so.

    It seems these motion computing protection boards have some kinda memory function and you need unlocking/decrypting software and hardware to reset them and that equipment probably only exists with some pro/engineers and so on. So because of that its hard to change cells and make it work.

    Your DC-IN adapter in LE1600&LE1700 doesnt have any crypt key so LE1600 dont know if its powered through the wall or an universal external battery.

    I was ebaying and found out that there are several different sized universal external batteries. Some can power 2 hours, some can 10 hours. If you are afraid to buy chinese ones, i found out that even energizer makes these things (its name is xp18000).

    This way you can use your tablet into the future too.

    I think motion computing hired some chinese factory and made only a X amount of these original batteries and after the batteries were made they decided they will not make new ones. And because tablets are quite rare, after market batteries dont seem to exist to this...

    Reason I wrote this was because I had 6 external batteries 6 months ago that I bought used. Now only 2 works. I say thats: "fail". I have opened up the BATEDX20L8 and it has 8x li-ion cells. You could buy new higher capacity ones for 40 dollars but the circuit board is the problem. To pay almost 200 dollars for an original battery is just lame...

  2. Default

    I just did some testing. I opened a dead external battery that blinks with 3 lights 3 times when I press its voltage level button. I opened it and cells show 2.5v per cell. Well I manually charged them by desoldering their pads and putting clamps on them and clamps go to my flashlight li-ion recharger (ultrafire wf-139). The 8 cells are in parallel and they are divided in teams of 2.

    I charged 4 cells at a time and after 2 hours I charged the other 4.
    After about 4 hours all 8 cells show now 4v. I resolder them.

    So, now there should be juice in them. I connect the battery to my Le1600. I hit the switch. Computer goes on for 1 second and the top light goes on and the third light from the top blinks once and then all lights go off and it shuts down.

    Well. I try it again. I put the electricity cord in it and boot to windows. Then I remove the power cord. Computer is on for 1 second and shuts down. I even disabled windows capability to shut down computer if not enough battery.

    There must go some communication between the battery and the Le1600 that tells if it still supposedly is supposed to have some juice left or not and it takes 1 second when it checks it. lol.

    So. I think this happens with most laptop/tablet companies. I guess this is life. They scam you. These suicide chips are in the battery case that prevent computers running them when they supposedly have no more juice left. I could have easily installed new cells if I would have had and computer wouldn't even in that case run. These suicide chips are there for a purpose and its money. I wonder how many "dead batteries" are in reality only maybe at a 60% stage of their life but the chip decided that they only have 30% and soon its 20% and then its time to buy a new 200 dollar battery. And it cost 20 dollars to make that battery in china btw...

  3. #3

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    I wonder the exact same thing. If motion is truly putting suicide chips in the battery cases of their products, it's the last time I go Motion!
    Grrrr
    Chad Essley - Animation / Illustration - www.cartoonmonkey.com

  4. #4
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    Default

    Seriously, do you think Motion or any other company is going out of their way to put a "suicide chip" in their battery just so we have to buy new ones? that sounds a little silly to me.

    On the other side, we resell used/off-lease LE1600s all the time and find some units that are 5+ years old and the battery still gets 2+ hours battery life. Others last 10 minutes. The biggest killer of Li-ion batteries is heat and if the user is charging and using the tablet at the same time this contributes significantly to lower battery life.

    I won't believe there is a conspiracy until I see it on WikiLeaks....
    John Hill
    TabletPCBuzz, Owner/Editor

    Allegiance Tablet PC Experts, CEO
    ALLTP Website
    ALLTP Tablet PC Store


  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by John Hill View Post
    Seriously, do you think Motion or any other company is going out of their way to put a "suicide chip" in their battery just so we have to buy new ones? that sounds a little silly to me.
    Why ? Toner cartridge manufacturers do that.
    Motion LE1600 VA x2, Motion LS800, Toshiba M200 x4, Motion LE1700 x4 and a TC1100 with dock just for nostalgia. No Ipads.

  6. Default

    But you must at least take into consideration the following:

    The kill chip function of the batteries.. This makes no business sense at all. This screws them and the client.
    Granted, the function was in place to protect the consumer..but how much protection shall it require to the point
    where it becomes unusable? Lets face it.. only educated consumers bye Motion Products..you will never see
    these units "on main stream cooporate world" the Motion Folks were just too closed minded, particularly with batteries... cause
    you cant buy replacements made by someone else, and they dont give users the means of recycling the current ones
    with a simple cell swap and they did not make enough...

    I'm sorry, but I agree with the users comment. Because of this issue the average users sells the tablet 2 years after purchase..or really
    thinks about it when the battery no longer takes a charge and they have to buy a new one...I know I have.

    In my case I took out the old cells...and guess what, I charged them up using a RC hObby professional charger conditioner..and all
    4 cells took charge at 3.7 1100ma each, I ran a test discharge with all cells connected in series with a moderate load of 45% rate
    and it took the charger 4 hours to complete the discharge , this on batteries that were 3 years old if not more.. Please explain this?

    The permanent kill chip thingy was the worse mistake they have ever made.
    TC1100: 2G, 32G SSD Windows 7
    LE1400: 2G, 32G SSD Windows 7
    LE1600: 2.5G 40G HD Mac OSX 10.5.8
    LE1700: 80G Mac OSX 10.6.7
    Fujitsi 4020 2.5G 40G Windows 7
    Lenovo X-60 160G Mac OSX 10.6.7

  7. Default

    If anyone wants / needs more extended batteries to do more testing, please let me know, I'll ship free of charge to wherever.
    I could test any battery you want before sending to make sure it meets any specifications a tester wanted.
    Motion LE1600 VA x2, Motion LS800, Toshiba M200 x4, Motion LE1700 x4 and a TC1100 with dock just for nostalgia. No Ipads.

  8. #8

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    Well, my tinfoil hat is seriously ON with this one. Having seen the printer cartridge "empty ink" and "expired cartridge" chip do it's thing on my home printer, ( foiled by a little piece of cellophane tape over one of the contact points on the chip ) and having my batteries go bad after only one and a half year's use, it's time to try a third party battery manufacturer.

    I wonder if places like this make reliable and non kill switch batteries.. http://www.laptopbatteryexpress.com/...9_a_7cMOT_d_17
    Chad Essley - Animation / Illustration - www.cartoonmonkey.com

  9. Default

    I was able to extend the running time of the external battery. I opened it up and it had those 8 li-ions. Well, I opened one unresponsive external battery and removed its 8 cells and rechardged them to 4.1v with flashlight battery charger. The same voltage as the working external batteries.( Li-ions charge up to 4.2v and when they start to empty they go down to maybe 3.5v before they need to be recharged. Li-ions can go unresponsive if they are fully emptied.)

    There are some warnings that I will type here:

    The external batteries case is half plastic and other side seems to be magnesium, or some metal. It will conduct electricity. I had some sparks flying when I installed the batteries. I believe this mod can be done on non-dead external batteries that still boot and give 5 lights when fullt recharged.

    I didnt have new li-ions so I used some from my dead external battery. I got about 1 hour more computer time. But, it also has a problem. When I reach 0% capacity on batteries according to windows, I still get 40min after that point. If I shut down the tablet when there is 0% on the battery meter but in reality 30mins unused, the le1600 will not boot up. You can boot up this le1600 with batteries that windows said are 0% if you keep the charger plug in. After about 30 seconds you can remove the charging plug and it wont shut down and it will continue to boot into windows. But, windows will still say critical battery. If you continue from this point, at the end of the real battery timeout time, the computer will simply shut down coldly so remember to save what you were doing, often.

    So, its best to just keep the tablet on after it shows 0%. I got 40min after that point and about 1hour of total time more than without these old 8 li-ions attached.

    But, the case where you will drill the holes is metal. It will conduct electricity everywhere on the inside. Thats why there seems to be that white tape under the li-ions. Be sure you pull the tabs deeb enough so the exposed metal head of li-ions tabs wont touch at any momeny the casing,

    I actually dont even recommend you do this unless you are very careful. You can mess up 3mm and if your le1600 falls to the floor in the night and the batteries start to touch the casing, then they will ignite in fire.

    This mod mostly only shows that you can cheat the LE1600 batteries if the Le1600 you are modding still gives 5 lights when fully charged. I could have used, if I would have had, much larger capacity li-ions. In that case, computer would say at the 2:30 mark that 0% life left. But, I could continue probably for some hours after that point.



    In the original configuration there are 8 cells in parallel so that 2 cells create the normal 3.7v. 4x2 sets. In series the 2 cells would be over 7 volts but they are in parallel here. Voltage of the external battery to the tablet is 14.8v I changed the configuration so that now there are 4 cells creating the normal 3.7 operating voltage instead of 2 cells. So now I have 16 li-ions in my external battery.

    I know this is a bit hazardous but the li-ions are from the same battery lot that I bought from ebay, the "5 batteries cheaply lot" that was selling in the summer. They seem to be of same age.

    Usually, li-ions should be all of the same capacity because li-ion thats full can start to empty into an empty li-ion and then they can explode and stuff. This is what they warn in the flashlight forums.
    But, these batteries are in parallel so they arent going through eachother. But, its best to be sure. Every battery seems to have a small chip (you cant see it, its under the metal), I dont know what it does. It is only a few millimeters in size. I was thinking that maybe it signals the battery electronics that is is a sanyo battery. But, the normal internal battery (the smaller battery on the top of le1600) that uses 18650 li-ions dont have any chip in the 18650, yet the computer recognizes them as sanyo. So, why there is a chip in the external batteries li-ion cells, I dont know.


    Here are some pictures:

    I drilled 8 holes. Pictures from both sides. The red color indicates plus +:




    Picture 3 is one removed battery from the non-working external battery. I have 4 of these. They are fully recharged. As you can see, the metal connectors have been put into a 90 degree angle. I did that because im going to put these batteries on the outer side of the external batteries shell. Then i put those connectors throug the hole and soldier them to the clear metal part of the other batteries. Im like putting them on each other. After that there are 4 batteries in parallel. You can remove these batteries very easily, just put soldier iron and they come out easily.

    Warning: never heat a battery directly, like soldiering a wire to a 18650 batteries (not in picture) end because it can blow up. Ofcourse if you can do it without heating the battery then go ahead. I wouldnt try. Its best to buy li-ions that have tabs in them. (this warning text does not apply to the batteries in picture because these have tabs)



    I put clear tape on the battery casing so it doesnt directly touch the batteries. Just a precaution. You maybe can't see it in the picture but under these batteries is 2inch wide tape side by side. I also taped on top of the batteries. Since the case is metal, a small scratch on the outer side could allow the tabs to touch it and then it would short circuit and smoke and flames would come. I have numbered the batteries so its easier to understand whats happening. There are 2x number 1 batteries, 2x number 2 and so on. I added old number 2 batteries to the working external batteries number 2 batteries. Number only indicates location.



    Final picture. There is a lot of hotglue so the metal parts do not touch the case. I put too much hotglue because the external battery wont keep a good contact on the motion le1600, i had to use some tape to force it to be tight.

    Picture 6 is missing but I put a plastic cover from the empty external battery as a shield on top of these li-ions.


    here you can see how it looked in the end. I have soldered the new batteries tabs to the exposed areas of the old ones. Dont heat too much so the tape under the batteries wont melt exposing the metal shell.

    Warning: Even the gray area you see between batteries in the center of the picture actually conducts electricity. That gray and white colored shell is not plastic its metal. This seems to be quite a risky design for a battery. Putting batteries in a metal casing where they can short circuit and go kamikaze. Or maybe its another "anti piracy" thing ?


    The tabs arent touching the case at any moment afte the installation. I just didnt feel safe knowing theres only 5mm to a metal casing so I decided to glue it up.

    This battery recharges normally. But, it seems to be stuck at 99% for some time. I think this is because the battery chips memory thinks its about full when in reality it hasn't reached the target voltage yet, the voltage that indicates it is full. So, I am able to recharge the batteries.

    I have had this working for 1 week now and no problems yet.

    I was fed up to dying batteries so I did this. It took about 3 hours. You must be 100% certain that any metal parts from the battery tabs do not touch the case. If it touches half a second, its not bad. But, if you dont glue and solder correctly, it can get contact.

    Lesson I learned in this: you can get more time for the external battery if you have:
    1: working external battery
    2: "changing" cells will give you more time but the chip still thinks its the old battery.
    3: This is just a guess but I do not suggest you remove batteries even for a little time on a working external battery. This external battery can have "anti piracy" capabilities in the chip. If it finds out that there is no voltage coming for 5 seconds, it can render it incapable. So, if you are planning on changing the cells, be sure to attach new cells first to the center chips soldier places before you remove the old ones. Since its in parallel the voltage will stay the same.

    But, im probably buying an external battery that plugs to the power-in jacket.

    If motion would sell batteries to this thing for the price of max 80 dollars a piece, I would buy new ones. They would still make a profit. But, if they want to make these fancy metal 5 led light super duper cells, no wonder they cost so much.


    warning: remember to read all warnings in this text or you can short circuit your batteries. Im no expert with electronics so people with better skills could probably come up with better solutions if they would put their mind to it.

  10. #10

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    Nice post on refurbishing your battery. I have looked into this issue extensively and decided it was too risky for me so hats off to you. As it is, Li-Ion batteries must be protected from being punctured and exposed to air. They run the risk of exploding. Also, Li-Ion his a finite # of recharge cycles before it becomes slightly unstable and risk of explosion while charging increases. The manufactures have to put in the chip as a matter of safety; granted there is a large margin of safety to protect the consumer and Li-Ion batteries are safe to use. However, I am sure some if not most of you have hard of cell phone batteries becoming excessively hot and in rare instances exploding. These shorting batteries are what needs to be prevented by the chips. The switch kills the charge function after about 400 charge-discharge cycles. That is complete 100-0% battery discharge. It keeps track of partial discharge as well so you don't just get 400 times changing the battery since you might only use 20-50% between charges. So bottom line, this is a safety function and not a stick-it-to-the-consumer trick. Some people have tried burning out the logic chip on the circuit board that controls the charging and have reported varied success. If you venture down your own experimental road and open these batteries, be very careful. The last thing you wand is a Li-Ion battery blowing up in your face.

    By the way, I here 4 extended butteries that have gone belly up on me. If anyone is interested in experimenting, just PM me. You pay shipping and the batteries are yours.
    Current: TX2525nr, iPad (yes, even the iPad).
    Former: Motion Computing LE1700, 1400 and 1300, TC1100, P1510

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