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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 personas tienen este problema

Nice to see  you are still holding the fort Ivo. In fact when I reported the same problem occurring with my Pi-Top (UK provides 6 year warranty) I was provided with x2 base units "just in case...". It may be worth looking up the buyer protection policies of member countries in case of other little known municipal and national initiatives to prevent sub-standard goods dumping from overseas producers! That would be regardless of the point of origin of the constituent components.

Best Regards to our community of good hearted enthusiasts and Pi-Top users


Here‘s my comment I‘v sent to Ivo per e-mail: OK, 1. I‘ve filled out the second replacement form on 29th may 2018 after Jonathan Chavez sent it to me. Haven‘t heard anything since then beside that my ticket is closed because it‘s solved: sorry it‘s not solved. 2. my first battery died probably the way you described it. The pi-top was without power for about a week. I have the battery lying around. 3. my second battery died beside I have it on the power outlet all the time. Comment: this looks a little bit like a design flaw to me. If you have such problems with the battery it would be at least good to inform your customers. Last word: the performance and responsibility of your support and how support is handled is ‚below ground‘ to say it politely (I‘m CIO and IT consultant since more than 20 years and I think I‘ve got enough experience in this)

Hi Peter,

I've sent you a little something through pflaeging dot net.

Have you found it?




Blew up another Pi-Top battery!


Pulling the adapter cord from the running Pi-Top while the adaptor was still plugged into the mains.

No longer the Pi-Top boots from the battery and the Pi-Top halts immediately when the mains is cut.

Lesson learned: do not pull the live adaptor at the Pi-Top's side but rather unplug the adapter from the mains first.


Ivo J. L. A. Van Ursel


Because the Pi-Top needs to run from Mains, I get: "- OC [22] Over Charge : 1", which is a Permanent Failure, stopping the further use of the Pi-Top's battery. As the Pi-Top is "sealed" with some keys, in Firmware, there's little besides ordering a new Base.

0x0050 SafetyAlert

- RSVD [31] Reserved - Do not use

- RSVD [30] Reserved - Do not use

- ACOV [29] -

- COT [28] -

- UTD [27] Under temperature During Discharge : 0

- UTC [26] Under temperature During Charge : 0

- PCHGC [25] Over Pre-Charge Current : 0

- CHGV [24] Over Charging Voltage : 0

- CHGC [23] Over Charging Current : 0

- OC [22] Over Charge : 1

- RSVD [21] Reserved - Do not use

- CTO [20] Charge Timeout : 0

- PTOS [19] Precharge Timeout Suspend : 0

- RSVD [18] Reserved - Do not use

- RSVD [17] Reserved - Do not use

- OTF [16] -

- RSVD [15] Reserved - Do not use

- CUVC [14] Cell Undervoltage Compensated : 0

- OTD [13] Over Temperature during Discharge : 0

- OTC [12] Over Temperature during Charge : 0

- ASCDL [11] Short-circuit during Discharge Latch : 0

- RSVD [10] Reserved - Do not use

- ASCCL [9] Short-circuit during Charge Latch : 0

- RSVD [8] Reserved - Do not use

Talk Tech with me. My e-mail address is somewhere on the Internet



Ivo. J. L. A.Van Ursel

Peter?? Have you come closer to your battery problems? Regards, Ivo.

At the moment I'm short in time. But it looks, that I have a problem like you mentioned before. I will checjk back this evening or tomorrow.


A question to Ivo: Why can't the details of the firmware be altered under a non-disclosure agreement to more closely match the needs of the Pi-Top and European market? 

Is there any benefit to the current programmed behaviour of this battery management package given the clear shortfall in functionality apparently caused by safeguards designed for the climate extremes of the US market? 

Otherwise what dangers do exist and for what environmental conditions? 

For example can't conditions such as "over" and "under" temperature limits during the charging process be understood as unlikely in Europe, e.g. 120 degrees Fahrenheit as found in Death Valley US of A is a real hazzard but only for the US market? (what other values are similarly inappropriate for 'our' Pi-Top application?)

I ask these questions to point to those conditions and programmed responses that could be altered or completely removed while at the same time removing the cause(s) of the battery fail trigger(s) without compromising any significant safety features for a limited European market and strengthen the suitably informed voluntary Pi-Top market for a happier compromise?

Until these opportunities are explored can we be sure we are not being subjected to problems that originate in the conservative engineering of a US centric product that could catch fire if charged at midday in Summertime in the Nevada or Texas badlands?

A penny for your thoughts?

Dropped the penny but no gum-ball yet.

Ivo, you are not known to eschew the gumball! ;o)

Have you approached the dispensers owners? Is the Pi-Top destined to be unprofitable and unsupported because of the overly restrictive charge management lockdowns? What if the power cells were replaced with Li-Fe-Ion cells since these do not tend to self incinerate like Boeing Dreamliners?

IIRC the original description of the lockdown concerned an error in the number of cells contained in each battery pack and the resulting cell voltage falling outside of the independently calculated and programmed "safe" working voltage range. Surely there is a test harness that would identify the error per pack and trigger the inappropriate lockdown to enable a default return to Ti? I assume Ti will tire of unlocking and sending the same units out as "refurbished" if the test harness can just as quickly send them back in bulk under warranty without customers being involved? The design would not be expensive to implement and multiple harnesses would then clear bad stock quickly?

Does the gumball lose its flavour when left on the (test) bedpost during the night?

Hi Alexandra,

Since quit some time I promised the Pi-Top v1 users to make available a tool able to recover Pi-Top batteries.

Today that day is final here!

Remember that I had a v1 a couple of weeks ago with an OC Permanent Failure?

One run of the tool, less than a minute, and the Pi-Top is up on its feet again.

From a Pi-Top that no longer could start from batteries, I have now a fully operational system and I'm very proud to have finished a major task with success.

The new tool is available in C Source Code form only 1) to enable study and 2) to make sure that seen the complexity and to counter remarks of a sceptical nature are dealt with.


Hopefully the Pi-Top police refrains from removing this forum message.

(29.3 KB)
May I be the first to congratulate you on your completion of a very important project and a far better solution than my 'reaction' to the problem. You really have shown amazing determination to pursue this solution and I think few people will realise just how much work you have put into this. Thank you you for your generous belief in this community and I think many people will come to thank you for saving their Pi-Tops from being angrily discarded! I do hope the Pi-Top company can recognise just what a difference your work will mean to their position in the marketplace now there is a self help and recovery tool available. I do hope your source code has a download counter as there should be some equity value in this data? If your code is ignored/removed I think I shall make a point of symbolically burning my Pi-Top on YouTube in protest. There is only so much injustice that can be tolerated before a form of protest just has to be demonstrated. There will most likely be quite a BANG!

p.s. Fortunately your code comes as an alternative to the Pi-Top team failing to supply me with a hex key to loosen the hinges and remove the screen to allow me to replace the currently defunct battery pack with a replacement!
p.p.s. The key was kindly promised in response to a standard ticket some 2 months ago.


Hi Alexandra & Co,

An educated guess: pi-top v2 is using bq40z50R2 as the core of its Smart Battery System. (SBS).

i2c address is: 0x10.

The Technical Reference Manual (sluubk0a.pdf) matches the one for the bq40z60 used in the pi-top v1. (about the same style and content). The v2 SBS Firmware does not run on the v1, too many differences.



Ivo - My battery died a few weeks ago (have a new one coming), but wanted to try your fix to see if I could revive it. I had Rene's battery utility (maybe an older version?) installed, but I still apparently let it run down too long before recharging. Now it is stuck in the no-charge state.

So I downloaded your maccess-4.c program and tried to compile to run it. I'm getting errors during compile which are a little confusing. I'm by no means an expert, so probably something very silly. The errors are as follows:

/tmp/ccIodDFK.o: In function 'mac-read':

maccess-4.c:(.text+0x80): undefined reference to 'i2cWriteBlockData'

maccess-4.c:(.text+0x100): undefined reference to 'i2cReadI2CBlockData'

... several more references to various pigpio.h functions...

collect2: error: ld returned 1 exit status

I've successfully compiled c programs before and I verified that the pigpio.h file exists. Any suggestions on what I'm doing wrong here?


Did you run: i2cdetect -y 1
If you cannot run that command, can you try this: sudo apt-get install i2c-tools
Is your pi-top OS Polaris recently updated?
Please let me know if this helped.


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