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Battery / Power problems

When my Pi-top is charged I'd unplug it from the wall but immediately the pi top would turn off. For a while all i'd have to do is try to remember to shut down when its charged then unplug it. However, perhaps i forgot to do that one to many times now I get no indication of battery charge, nor does the pi top power up without being plugged into the wall. Its become highly inconvenient and Im not sure whats damaged or how to fix it, what can be done?Thank you very much

22 people have this problem


Monday afternoon I let deplete the batteries of my 3 pi-tops. 1 x Rpi2 and 2 x Rpi3.

Immediately when the power was cut at 5% (thanks Rene), I plugged in the Power Adaptor.

And leaved them for the night.

The Rpi2 is fine and could be started from its battery.

Both Rpi3 did not boot from their respective battery.

Attached is a screen dump.

I'll keep you current on the recovery I'll do.



Recovery running. ...

Enjoy your pi-top.


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1 of 2 recovered. On to the next one.

In the lower range cell 1 drags by 0,5 volt.

Which created a PE failure.



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Permanent Fail

3.1 Introduction

The device can permanently disable the use of the battery pack in case of a severe failure. The
permanent failure checks, except for IFC and DFW, can be individually enabled or disabled by setting the
appropriate bit in Settings:Enabled PF A, Settings:Enabled PF B, Settings:Enabled PF C, and
Settings:Enabled PF D. All permanent failure checks, except for IFC and DFW, are disabled until
ManufacturingStatus()[PF] is set. When any PFStatus() bit is set, the device enters PERMANENT FAIL
mode and the following actions are taken in sequence:

1. Precharge, charge, and discharge FETs are turned off.

2. OperationStatus()[PF] = 1, [XCHG] = 1, [XDSG] = 1

3. The following SBS data is changed: BatteryStatus()[TCA] = 1, BatteryStatus()[TDA] = 1,
ChargingCurrent() = 0, and ChargingVoltage() = 0.

4. A backup of the internal AFE hardware registers are written to data flash: AFE Interrupt Status, AFE
FET Status, AFE RXIN, AFE Latch Status, AFE Interrupt Enable, AFE FET Control, AFE RXIEN,
AFE State Control, AFE Protection Control, AFE OCD, AFE SCC, AFE SCD1, and AFE SCD2.

5. The black box data of the last three SafetyStatus() changes leading up to PF with the time difference is written into the black box data flash along with the 1st PFStatus() value.

6. The following SBS values are preserved in data flash for failure analysis:

• SafetyAlert()

• SafetyStatus()

• PFAlert()

• PFStatus()

• OperationStatus()

• ChargingStatus()

• GaugingStatus()

• Voltages in DAStatus1()

• Current()

• TSINT, TS1, TS2, TS3, and TS4 from DAStatus2()

• Cell DOD0 and passed charge

7. Data flash writing is disabled (except to store subsequent PFStatus() flags).

8. The FUSE pin is driven high if configured for specific failures and Voltage() is above Min Blow Fuse
Voltage or there is a CHG FET (CFETF) or DSG FET (DFETF) failure. The FUSE pin will remain
asserted until the Fuse Blow Timeout expired.

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Let me just say I am not using Rene Richarz' battery widget yet.

If i discharge my pi-top's battery to 0% (not sure if it is first or second revision of the battery pack) I can charge it back to full, but it won't run on battery until i have run the firmware update patch.

I also need to stae that the first battery pack i recieved I have never run the patch on, but it never woke from shipping state.


Hope this helps someone else with their issues. I think it is a safe bet that Rene's widget should be used on the pi-top. /end shameless plug

Have you raised a Support ticket yet? My Pi-Top (Kermit) was let run down accidentally while I was moving my workroom. When I tried to recharge it would boot from mains but not charge the battery. Tried all of Rene's fixes but poor old Kermit only runs on mains. Submitted a ticket and am being sent a replacement. Kermit was among the 1st of the crowd funded production. Has there been a change in the battery, circuitry and/or firmware which overcomes this issue? It really is sad because I was getting up to 15 hours from a full charge. Pretty exceptional for a laptop of any description. Is there going to be a replacement keyboard unit produced for sale with better keys? It really is the single biggest problem with the Pi-Top other than the battery problem.

I bought my Pi-Top June 2016 and the first battery failed November 2016 and a replacement was supplied and now that 2nd battery has failed completely August 2017 and the response was that the Hub Controller board is the route cause of the problem and is under re-design and I should request a new Mk2 Hub and battery pack, however that request went off over a month ago and nothing has arrived yet. 

I have now raised another ticket requesting an update if replacement parts will or will not be supplied. 

(Where is copy/paste gone on this Forum?)

All that FWUpdate does is resetting the bq40z60, which might help in one case but mostly not.

The bq40z60 is protected with a password, without it, you cannot read out instructions nor data.

The last batch (by lack of better ways to describe things) of Base/Cells/electronics has HSA-1/HMAC encryption implemented steering further away from the original idea of open software/hardware.

At one point I had 3 pi-top and Texas Instruments supplied tools and software to study what's under the shining hood. I've donated all to a technical school in my home town.



I wasn't told about the hub or advised to ticket for a replacement. Hopefully I won't need one any time soon. Here's hoping my new battery will last a long time. ;-)


that is bad news,

I am still having to kickstart the second shipped battery I received with the firmware patch every time it gets below a certain percentage so that the pi-top will continue to run off battery.  But between this and all the comllaints on teh forums, the closed source hardwar, the continued hardware bugs, and lack of support,  I am with youabout sending off this $300 paperweight.  I just haven't done so yet.  I am getting tired of trying to maintain it though, especially after reading all the continued complaints.

good luck in your next venture,

----Jesse Moore

I did take the pi-top apart all of the way so I could reset the hub.  I then charge the battery up to full discharged for a bit.  then I eft it on mains afterwards (for a few days) so it colud charge back up,

I needed to pull the pi off mains after charging it and runing the fw update.  but couldn't as it didnt charge fully after just one run of the update. I rand the update three times and it charged to ull.  I had needed the pi-top too be portable this morning too.  after  running the update it did charge and work. Past the point of me needing it to be portable though

. the flaky-ness of the battery is a big issue.  I hope the team gets a fix for future users.  The pi-top continues to disappoint me  as i said in my previous post.

I too now have a Pi-Top with a 'faulty' battery pack. I have been away from the forum for some months after the battery charge topic was mysteriously shut down. No answer could be obtained from the forum 'masters' and so I gave up.

Now I have a PT that shuts down immediately whenever the wall plug is removed from its socket and the battery panel widget shows zero charge and no charging no matter how long my PT is left plugged in.

Any help please else I will need to ask for yet another replacement under UK electrical goods statutory warranty (6 years) - hoping there has been a change to the battery pack configuration by now?

Thank you in advance for any support. This has always been a very good forum with excellent contributions, big and small.

Repeat as my comment was cut by the powers that be.

Hi Alexandra,

I hear you loud and clear but can't help you as my reactions are cut out from the forum nor do I find on the Internet a direct link to you.

Over the course of 3 years, quite some changes have occurred to the battery pack, but other than replacing the base no other solution work in the long run.

I understand that the new Pi-Top portable has a completely new Base design.

The new Base does not fit in the old plastics I assume.

Unfortunately, the new Base has another Chip (no longer TI BQ40Z60) and the firmware is not only protected by keywords but also by SHA1 encryption.


Ivo J. L. A. Van Ursel


Hi Alexandra. I too had the same problem in August this year. I was moving equipment around and forgot to recharge Kermit and the battery went flat. I submitted a ticket to Pi-Top and they asked for the battery model number and then provided a free replacement quite promptly. I would guess that the enquirer of the battery model details indicates a production issue which (hopefully) has been fixed in later models. I received a complete battery/lower laptop tray replacement. I suggest you drop in a problem ticket and hopefully you’ll get a free replacement. Good luck.  Ian

Hi Ian, your solution appears straightforward enough, thank you. I am disappointed by the company reaction as the British sense of loyalty and collaboration has been usurped by reactionary and isolationist behaviours indicative of a problematic psychology and as damaging to young creative minds. Contrary to the whole idea of an educational environment.

we are indeed entering into the third and penultimate phase of human evolution as we fail to adopt an environmental conscience, the latent power of the environment will preclude our continued disruption of the worlds ecological continuity. See methane production from thawing permafrost regions of the Northern hemisphere (more limited regions of the Southern hemisphere).

In short I believe the only way to progress is by collaboration and unity towards the broadest principles of inclusion of all contributions. That to understand the best solutions available to us (all). A new way of thinking is necessary. It is necessary to explicitly discuss a new approach and by doing so to consolidate the need for contributions like these from Ivo and Rene. Unless we make our constitution clear we risk losing, by a minority exclusion, the valuable contributions we need to make imperfect designs work in the real world!

FWIIW, I still have a Kermit webbook into which I have managed to cram two speakers and a prototyping board. It is just possible to then add an external powered USB hub so apart from the memory leak within ZRAM it is now possible to get useful work from the PiTop with a hard disk drive but then this battery pack remains prone to failure if the 'system' is left without external power for any length of time and for the internal battery to discharge to as close to zero Volts as makes no difference in potential to that of a brick. That s now where I am mistakenly believing the design flaw had been put right... So again I will need to disassemble my YouToob study window and LoRaWAN dev box to send it back to my supplier. (name dropping for the sake of encouragement).

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