Replacing battery damaged charging circuit in CF-53? - How to diagnose/repair

Discussion in 'Panasonic' started by CvilleKevin, Aug 24, 2018.

  1. CvilleKevin

    CvilleKevin Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hi Folks - I've got a problem with my CF-53 and hoping someone can give me some advice here:

    Yesterday I got a new battery for my CF-53 as old one was only lasting 2-3 hrs between charges

    Old battery was a Panasonic CF-VZSU72U (4500mAh) and I replaced it with a genuine Panasonic CF-VZSU46 (8550mAh).

    I powered the laptop down, swapped batteries, powered up into Win7 and tried to run the Panasonic battery conditioning utility but it said no battery was present. Cycled power and tried to run the utility from F9 on bootup, still no dice. Tried to let it charge, just in case the new battery was severely depleted, but got the red flashing battery light after a few minutes.

    I figured that I must have got a dud battery, so put back the old battery which still had a decent charge, but got the exact same response. The laptop doesnt seem to recognize any battery now. It powers up fine with the AC adaptor, but not with either battery.

    Looking at the battery connector pins inside the laptop, they look fine. I hit them with some contact cleaner just to be sure but that didnt help.

    The only things I can think of that could account for this is (a) perhaps the new battery had some excessive static charge on it that killed the charging circuit (even though it came in sealed static bag). Or something in the charger circuit was already getting ready to fail and the "snap" of inserting a new battery into the chassis pushed it over the edge (seems unlikely though - these things are built fairly well).

    I'm hoping that someone else has a better possible explanation - one that I might be able to recover from, as I really need the battery to be working.

    Failing that, how difficult it is to replace the battery connector on the the CF-53? There is a CF-53 tear down video on youtube, but it doesnt really address whether the backplate comes off by itself and whether anything can be accessed by just taking off the backplate. It starts from the front and looks like it involves considerable work before getting to the charging circuit. There is also a CF-30 video, that shows that the backplate comes off and battery connector can be accessed with relatively reasonable effort, however that's a different model. Anyone replace a battery connector on a CF53? How much of a PIA was it?

    This is my 3rd toughbook and I've replaced the batteries on all of them now. First time that I've run into anything like this

    Thanks in advance for any advice - Kevin
     
  2. Shawn

    Shawn Crackpot Search Ninja and Options Whore

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    do a search on here for power pull reset.
    try doing that first.
     
  3. CvilleKevin

    CvilleKevin Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks Shawn. I searched for "power pull reset" found following instructions:

    1. Pull battery.
    2. Dis-connect power supply.
    3. Hold switch on for 20 seconds...repeat several times.
    4. Plug in power supply. (not the battery yet)
    5. [F2] [F9] [F10] (boot to bios, set to defaults, save)

    I followed the above instructions, powered down, re-inserted the battery and powered back up
    Still no dice.
    I tried this several times, with new and original battery, and with and without the power supply still plugged in when I re-inserted the battery (with the unit powered down when I swapped the battery in and out in either case)

    Anything else I'm missing here?

    I found a CF-53 bottom plate on Bob Johnson's parts list for CF-53 and it looks like the bottom plate is the whole chassis - it doesnt come off by itself like the CF-30. So it looks like the only way to get to the battery connector is to do a compete tear down which looks like a huge PIA

    Any other way to get a CF-53 to recognize the battery?

    Thanks
     
  4. Shawn

    Shawn Crackpot Search Ninja and Options Whore

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    Teardown of a CF 53 is a big project. Not simple like a CF 30.
    It is an odd problem. I doubt that the battery connector went bad, but anything is possible especially with a CF 53.
    I personally don't care for the CF 53. I find them too fragile and many have major video failures.
    Anyway...
    I have seen batteries that were discharged so low that the laptop did not recognize them. I have an external charger that will charge them and after that initial charge, they work fine. Maybe that was the case with your new battery and it somehow confused the motherboard.

    Just had another thought. If the new battery was defective and internally shorted, maybe it blew the fuse on the motherboard for the battery. That would cause the exact problem you describe.
     
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  5. CvilleKevin

    CvilleKevin Notebook Enthusiast

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    Yeah, I really hope its not a fuse, but I suppose it could be.

    Shawn - Do you or anyone else have the pinouts for the CF-VZSU71U and CF-VZSU46 batteries?

    Besides the power, are there any control signals for temp, voltage feedback or whatever?

    I did some more research on the CF-VZSU46 and found your battery post from March 2015. It appears that using the CF-VZSU46 on a CF-53 is not Panasonic recommended practice, even though you and at least one other person have been able to make this work. Including with CF-53 MK2, which is what I have.

    Lots of vendors are selling CF-VZSU46 as compatible with CF-53,

    Still, this makes me suspicious. If CF-VZSU46 worked reliably with CF-52 and CF53, then why would Panasonic not advertise it as such on their site? And some vendors sell CF-VZSU46 only for CF30.

    I cant believe that Panasonic would have different electrical pinouts or control signals for batteries that have the exact same physical form factor, but this could also explain why the batteries no longer work.

    In this case I have a small hope that the laptop is just confused because it saw something unexpected and can be made useful again

    Has anyone else had trouble using CF-VZSU46 with CF-53?

    thanks!
     
    Shawn likes this.
  6. toughasnails

    toughasnails Toughbook Moderator Moderator

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    I have 2 batteries for my 53. When I get off work in the morning I will check and see what they are.
     
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  7. Shawn

    Shawn Crackpot Search Ninja and Options Whore

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    I do not have those pin outs
     
  8. toughasnails

    toughasnails Toughbook Moderator Moderator

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    The 2 batteries I have are CF-VZSU71U and CF-VZSU46 . Same as you..
     
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  9. Shawn

    Shawn Crackpot Search Ninja and Options Whore

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  10. SHEEPMAN!

    SHEEPMAN! Freelance

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    Here's some Linux diagnostics from USB LiveUSB

    Code:
    acpi -b
    Code:
    man acpi
    acpi  -V
    I'm using a "46" and a 29A (CF-29 Yellow tab) and one CF-53 has gone missing. I think it has a lightweight battery in it.

    I run anything within reach but am very careful when removing /inserting batteries. On one of the 53A I must hold the latch open when inserting the battery.
     
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