clockworkpi

Can the Gameshell be plugged into the wall using a USB power brick?

Or would that just explode things. I currently have it plugged into my usb hub on my PC, I just want to know if I could plug it into the wall without things going Note 7 on me. I would likely use an Apple power brick, so it won’t be a dodgy no-name one.

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Yes it can, it has the AXP223 chip https://linux-sunxi.org/images/e/e5/AXP223_Datasheet_V1.0_en.pdf

Which is the power management chip that manages power and the battery and has couple of features including:

AXP223 has integrated various protection circuits such as Over voltage Protection(OVP)/Under voltage Protection(UVP) 、Over temperature protection(OTP)、Over current protection(OCP)

Wonderful, thank you! I just ask because the back of the unit tends to get somewhat warm during use, which can be disconcerting to say the least.

Phones also warm up alot if you use them while charging. You could avoild extra heat by not using the gameshell while charging.

One concern in phones is that heat reduces the lifetime of LI-PO/LI-ION batteries, on the gameshell the battery is far away from any heat from the mainboard.

This is true. I suppose I just don’t expect a device of this size to heat up. And I’ve been using it plugged in as USB Ethernet is the only way I can transfer files, as my computer has no wireless capabilities.

Don’t leave it plugged in charging while in a case, or anything else covering the back. Got a nice melted read case. That was completely my fault for not providing enough ventilation.

Hmm mine never got that hot, I guess its silicon lottery!

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Did it melt the plastic? Was that in some sort of carrying case or holder while it charged, or did it just melt itself?

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It was my fault entirely. I had it inside a little rope tied nylon bag thing. The kind you get with portable hard drive caddies. TERRIBLE for any kind of ventilation. Ironically, I had it inside there to prevent things being dropped on the Gameshell while compiling.
Thankfully it was mainly the clear CPI shell that melted, and not the rear shell. The bag I had it in however was a smouldering mess. It melted onto the gameshell, and I feared the worst.

Wow. I just keep it on my desk while charging, I don’t think it’ll combust that way, one would hope.

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It was also doing some fairly intensive compiling using all four cores. Normally if it’s charging sitting on a desk, you wouldn’t be using it much.
Probably would be a good idea to shut your gameshell off while charging, since it will let your battery charge
faster, since it wouldn’t be drawing any current.
In fact, I wonder if the power management chip automatically makes the CPI board draw exclusively from the USB port once the battery is charged. The last thing I’d want are a bunch of micro battery cycle drains while it’s plugged in, if it draws from the battery.

Yeah, I always turn it off when not in use, because to be perfectly honest the battery life is a bit crap.

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Agreed. That’s why I followed this thread and ordered a 2400mAh battery replacement. https://forum.clockworkpi.com/t/swapping-out-battery-for-larger-capacity-li-ion/882

@2000brix

Please be VERY careful with providing misinformation based on mere speculation and primitive testing methods.

I STRONGLY DO NOT RECOMMEND DOING WHAT @2000brix HAS SUGGESTED. DO NOT REMOVE THE BATTERY WHILE THE GAMESHELL IS ON!!
THIS TEST PROVES NOTHING AND ONLY SERVES AS A RISK TO THE INTEGRITY OF YOUR FILESYSTEM/POTENTIAL HARDWARE FAILURE!!
I CANNOT STRESS THIS ANY MORE!!

Unless you are actively monitoring the incoming current, there is no way to know whether or not the your Gameshell is receiving current, charging, or if the battery is being used in preference over the USB current.

Moreover, read point 9.2 on page 23 of the data sheet linked above.

I have provided it here for you.

Using this information, here is a possible scenario that could lead to charge cycles being prematurely consumed. I am open to correction, and am by no means staring this as a black an white matter.

In particular, the last two points are of interest. It’s down to what parameters lead to the charge current being disabled.

A variety of factors can contribute, including heat build up, which can result in a potential increase in resistance, thus according to Ohm’s law, current decreases.

It seems as though it is staged, no doubt as a protective measure. Using both the internal battery and the USB current in is the first stage. If it still isn’t enough, the USB current is disabled.

This will result in the battery being drained. Perhaps it was a head induced resistance that caused the switch over to the battery alone. After things have stabilised, and the circuit detects a drop in voltage, it would resume its charging.

Depending on what triggers this change over, leaving the gameshell on and plugged in would result in micro cycles being consumed. On top of this, the voltage will naturally drop over time, and if plugged in will constantly be topped up when the drop is detected; again resulting in consumed charge cycles.

Relevant to my initial point, see here:

The third paragraph mentions that once the target voltage is reached (ie charge capacity) it will stop charging. However, if the previously mentioned condition being something that may trigger, the target voltage may possibly drop once again.

The last section regarding battery activate mode is assuming that the battery being used can actually reach its target. This is when I get worried regarding using any old third party battery. This could result in a constant stream of current, albeit low prematurely using up charge cycles, generating heat and overall damaging the battery.

Just thought I’d clarify what was initially just an off handed comment, that had a response that could cause other users to damage their Gameshells.

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@javelinface Sorry for that post I made earlier. I’ve read point 9.2.
(Pls excuse me if I don’t fully understand the power management chip) At optimal conditions, the CPI will run on USB power w/o the battery, but certain conditions can shut off the USB power, which can potentially cause FILESYSTEM CORRUPTION/HARDWARE FAILURE. Speaking of power management, for some reason the PMC on my GameShell seems to have gone wack. The battery level is always displayed as 0% in the launcher and in Bean, and the Amber charging LED on the black is flashing on and off every second.

Here is a video I recorded:


And yes, I do use DEOT :blush:
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While you’re editing/deleting posts, erring on the side of sensitivity and political correctness, could you please edit your last post to remove the following?

I’m not sure of your background, age or every day vernacular, but using the aforementioned phrase as a slur is frowned upon where I am from.

As for your battery issues, I wouldn’t be surprised if you damaged your battery while removing it when it was supposed to be receiving a current; something you mentioned you did to test a theory.

Javelin, i wonder what part overheated when you got your melted case. Is the OS using all the hardware temp monitoring resources to be as safe as possible? I feel like things shouldn’t self destruct like that: mobile phones will auto-shut-down if they are left out in the sun so they don’t destroy themselves. Is this preventable with changes to the OS do you think?

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The main hot spots are:
AXP223 power management IC
R16 quad core cpu

Again, I stress that I had the gameshell in a draw string bag, using all four cores for a lengthy intensive compile. It was 100% my fault. Even if it was running at a fairly normal 40-50 degrees, without ventilation it would deform the plastic over time, given how close the plastic is.

The throttling of the CPU no doubt would be relative to the safe operating temperature of the IC’s, which would be somewhere above 100 degrees or so. The last thing I would want is the CPU throttling down/auto shut down when it barely reaches peak load.

Sure, it’s preventable; possibly on a kernel level. But simply providing enough ventilation would be a far easier solution. The rear shell cutout is no doubt made this way to ensure that even when sitting on a flat surface, there is still ample air flow.

Realistically, what I would love to see is a replacement top lid for the CPI shell that extends out further, taking up the cutout portion of the rear shell. That way, at least there would be more space between the IC’s, and more of a chance of heat dissipation.

@javelinface Actually, I believe the flashing amber light was from a loose wire connecting the negative terminal of the battery. After writing the first post about the amber light, I took the battery out and put it back in while the power was off, and that fixed the flashing light. However, the power kept getting randomly cut off, which isn’t a good sign. I inspected the 2 wires connecting the battery to the terminal, and the negative one was hanging by a thread. I tried to resolve the issue, and that’s when it snapped off without warning. Well, at least I know what was causing these problems. :stuck_out_tongue: