Toughbook CF-30 - Odd Power Issue

Discussion in 'Panasonic' started by SugarD-x, Jun 5, 2017.

  1. SugarD-x

    SugarD-x Notebook Guru

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    So as of recently, my Toughbook CF-30 that I use for work started acting up. (Turns out the keyboard's ribbon cable had become damaged, and the internal wiring in the cable split apart, resulting in my "a" and "1" keys not working). The ironic, temporary fix turned out to be as easy as smacking the keyboard a few times until the wires made their proper connection, and all was well. No big deal, as I just ordered a new keyboard. Unfortunately this has had a side effect...

    The other night I was in the middle of writing up a massive report, and the keys went out on me again. Like before, I resorted to the "caveman fix", and smacked the keyboard again. This time the Toughbook completely shut off. Upon turning it back on with the power adapter plugged in, the battery charging light started to flash orange, while everything else operated normally. According to Windows, the system was plugged in, but not charging, and the battery was at 1%. (I know this to be incorrect, as it was fully charged prior to this incident). After I started debugging it, I noticed that the Toughbook wouldn't even turn on without the power adapter plugged in, and instead would light up the battery light solid red for as long as I held the power switch in place. With the power adapter plugged in and no battery inside, it operated normally, including recognizing that no battery was hooked up.

    After searching online, I came across a couple resources that all seem to say that the battery is bad. For the hell of it, I pulled a known good battery from another CF-30 I had laying around, and it is giving me the same problems. The power adapter is also good, so I know that can't be the issue. I tried opening up the Toughbook and checked all of the connections, and everything seems to be fine. I have absolutely no idea where the problem lies. (Before anyone suggests it, the system isn't overheating). Any suggestions? If need be, I can pull parts from the other system, but I'm not exactly sure where the problem lies. The battery makes a good connection to the system's metal fins, and nothing has come loose.
     
  2. Shawn

    Shawn Crackpot Search Ninja and Options Whore

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    Check the connector on the inside. The connector that the battery plugs into.
     
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  3. SugarD-x

    SugarD-x Notebook Guru

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    Thanks for the quick reply! Unfortunately I've already looked this over and can't find anything wrong with it. All of the metal fins appear to be as they should, and nothing looks loose or broken on the housing or surrounding wires.
     
  4. SHEEPMAN!

    SHEEPMAN! Freelance

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    That connection that Shawn mentioned takes a lot of abuse. There is a critical screw in the bottom cover....keeps it from wobbling.
    Do you have a parts unit?
     
  5. SugarD-x

    SugarD-x Notebook Guru

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    I do, (although any parts I take from it I'll have to replace later).

    I see the screw you mentioned. It doesn't seem to have come loose or taken any damage. The area it screws into seems to be pretty stable too, even without it in while the bottom cover is off.

    [​IMG]

    Edit: After checking all of the cables and solder points, I couldn't find any damage or breaks. That being said, the lighting situation seems to have changed. Now the system is booting up just fine with the battery and power adapter plugged in, but is instead continuing to flash the orange battery light. Unplugging the power adapter results in the system hibernating itself and the battery light turning solid red, but it is not dying from power loss.

    I'm still stumped on the cause of this problem.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2017
  6. SugarD-x

    SugarD-x Notebook Guru

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    So I swapped out the ENTIRE power/hard drive connector and ribbon cable module from a good CF-30, and I'm still getting the same behavior, which rules out what I was hoping was the cause. Anybody else have any ideas? I'm at a loss here, and I need to get this thing running again ASAP.

    Image of the module:
    http://i.imgur.com/JFdBnnDr.jpg
    (I couldn't get it to resize properly so as to not break the page here, so I linked to it instead).
     
  7. safn1949

    safn1949 I'm sure I'm on the wrong planet

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    I'm stuck guessing it's a motherboard problem the easy fix is to buy a barebones unit on eBay and switch your stuff over. I know you would rather not hear that but...
     
  8. SugarD-x

    SugarD-x Notebook Guru

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    I was afraid of that. With the luck I'm having, it would probably cost more to do that than buy a new one. It is a fully customized MK3. Finding a parts one that doesn't have a broken motherboard is like a needle in a haystack.
     
  9. Shawn

    Shawn Crackpot Search Ninja and Options Whore

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    lets get to basics

    Remove battery//hard drive//optical drive//wwan sled//any pcmcia cards//one memory stick at a time.

    boot it with an AC adapter into the bios and listen for the noise.
    Then boot it with battery and no AC adapter and listen for the noise.
     
  10. Shawn

    Shawn Crackpot Search Ninja and Options Whore

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    SHEEPMAN probably has the parts you need.
     
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