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Old 05-01-2011, 05:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
Talking BlackBerry Encyclopedia
Join Date: Jul 2005
Model: 9800
Carrier: Optus
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Default Bolds not charging

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We have about 80 Bolds here, and those that haven't been replaced under warranty are now approaching two years old.

I'm starting to see a trickle of battery charging problems coming in, and until last week assumed they were all due to ageing batteries. But this week I had two that appear to be caused by worn out USB sockets.

I'm wondering if anyone else has seen this problem. It might only occur on phones that are very heavily used, and are plugged in to charge several times a day.

The first wouldn't charge on several wall and car chargers I tried, but would charge via my PC's USB cable. I used pointy nosed pliers to slightly crush the metal surround of the plug of a wall charger, and that worked fine. I did the same to the user's wall charger and car charger, and that looks like it'll get him by till the contract expires. (The bit I bent down was the "top", the short side of the trapezium where the seam is.)

I also noticed that the bit in the middle of his USB socket was very worn, and very close inspection showed that some of the contacts were bent down a little. I bent them back up, and that allowed it to charge on an unmodified charger.

A second phone had a slightly different problem. We had assumed its battery was utterly dead, and were keeping it as a spare after we got a new battery. I gave it to a user, and they soon complained that it didn't always charge, and that if it was allowed to go dead flat then it wouldn't charge at all. When I plugged it in, it sat there for a while, then displayed the flat battery sumbol for a while, then died again. It repeated this over and over, and never began to charge. Same symptoms as with the "dead" battery.

I plugged it into my "crushed" wall charger, and it soon began charging normally. I put the "dead" battery back in, and it too charged ok. Therefore it must have been a USB socket problem, not a battery problem.

I'm thinking that maybe this socket is worn out too, and is perhaps able to receive a little charge, but not enough to charge a battery from dead flat. Again, crushing the plug surround cures it.

These phones are all being replaced soon, so I'm posting this as a warning to others more than anything, and out of curiosity to see if anyone else has the problem.

I'm a little concerned that crushing the plug will accelerate the wearing process, so I'm not recommending it unless there's a problem, and even then only bending it down a tiny amount.
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