Battery life is short [Solved]

Hi, I suspect I might have a battery or charging issue with my new Arduboy.

I got my Arduboy on Tuesday (bought from the uk supplier). It had no power out of the box so connected to my pc and charged for the afternoon but am finding the charge doesn’t seem to hold for very long. I estimate I get anywhere from 20 - 40 minutes playtime out of it when disconnected from the power before it switches off.

Here’s what happens (tried charging from pc and from the mains directly with a USB phone charger):

  1. When battery dead plug in to charge. Get a solid red light.

  2. About five minutes or so pass and the red light begins flashing quickly, maybe 2 or 3 times per second. - over time, up to say about 30 minutes of charging, the red light flashes faster.

I then get about 30 mins playtime with it switched on before the battery is dead.

I have tried leaving it plugged in for several hours (with the red light flashing) but does not appear to make any difference.

I suspect I have a faulty unit and this is not normal? The website says 8+ hours but I’d kind of expect at least 3 hours. Lasting for 20-40 minutes isn’t great. Any ideas?

Yeah, it sounds like your battery is messed up. The battery last about 6 hours normally to me

That is not normal. The LED should be solid red while charging and then go off when fully charged.

Thanks both. Does sound like it is not working correctly. I’ll get in touch with Pimoroni.

Also try with they are super helpful :slight_smile:

At a guess I’d say the Li-ion battery has been ruptured in transit.
(I’m giving Pimoroni the benefit of the doubt here, and I know what UK shipping can be like, especially given the ‘holiday rush’ where many companies employ temporary drivers en masse.)

Does the Arduboy’s case look under any stress at all?

When Li-ion batteries are ruptured they expand and stop charging properly (it’s to do with the volatility of the chemicals inside them which is also why they’re considered “dangerous goods” and have a higher shipping cost than some other kinds of batteries).

For more info there’s this HowToGeek article that’s quite good.

Of course it could be something else, that’s just a guess based on experience (I’ve had a similar case with a different device using an Li-ion battery).

Either way definitely contact Pimoroni and tell them since they’re the ones who will have to send you a replacement.

Pimoroni is your best and should be your first point of contact since they were the seller.

They offer fantastic customer service and I would be shocked if they didn’t offer you a speedy resolution.
If you want your replacement sooner, they should give you the option to buy another and refund you when they receive the return.

The box and packaging is in superb condition and they sent it well protected. The actual device looks in great condition also. I think I’ve just been unlucky with this one unfortunately.

I like the idea of possibly buying another and refund the faulty device, I’ll see what they say. Would be a shame to have to put that on hold, having a lot of fun making it and all I have is a little spaceship moving around on the screen :slight_smile:.

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Update on this, Pimoroni were really good.

Ordered a new one and sent old one back. The new Arduboy works great - holds its charge and not had to do a full charge up yet. Great service.