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User Option to over ride (Reset Disabled) upon Overdischarge detection

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Power2Spare
(@power2spare)
Eminent Member

I would like to see a user option that allows the user to choose to reset a battery pack if an over discharge is detected.  With the medical packs I work with, if they are over discharged, I have a method of trickle charging them as a whole pack to bring the voltage back up to a Lithium Ion Levels, and then be able to put them on a full charging unit to bring the entire pack back up to full charge.  However, this method is not an option if the battery is locked, thus rendering the pack worthless and therefore sending it to the scrap bin.  As long as I can unlock the battery I can recover the entire pack and reduce my count that goes to the scrap bin.  

Prior to the batteries being locked down, I was able to recover 98% of all over discharged batteries.  Now, with the batteries being locked and in an over discharged state, my recovery rate is 0%.  This 0% recovery rate mean significant revenue loss on my part.  

Please conside adding this feature!  

Also is there a way I may contact you directly to discuss other options?

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Topic starter Posted : 14/05/2023 7:58 pm
DjiBattWorkshop
(@djibattworkshop)
Member Moderator

 Proposed option goes in contradiction with main battery repair rule which says "To unlock a chip the reason of the fault should be rectified first". So in case of underdischarged cells the reason of the lock is low cells voltage which is below PFF:SUV threshold. Chip could not be unlocked untill cells to be precharged over that threshold. It will set PFF and be locked repeatadly just after it would be unlocked forcibly. The solution is simple. It is to precharge the cells externally using Regulated Power Supply by applying small current untill cells voltages go above 3 volts. This is how most of our customers do to fix laptop batteries after long storage. 

Posted by: @power2spare

Also is there a way I may contact you directly to discuss other options?

 We have a Feature Request area on the forum for such a discussions. For some specific and private options it could be used Contacts page on website. 

 P.S. 

 Topic shifted from Bugs to Feature Request area. 

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Posted : 14/05/2023 9:40 pm
Power2Spare
(@power2spare)
Eminent Member

@djibattworkshop 

You are used to dealing with Laptop batteries that will on their own go into a locked state, whereas the Medical Packs I work with are Put into a locked status by a 3rd party.  Thus your conditions are not met.  I really need an over ride option for the sole purpose of this 3rd party locking situation.  Since both of our purposes is to get more life / prevent the cells from being recycled, it only benefits us to save as many as we can!

This post was modified 1 year ago by Power2Spare
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Topic starter Posted : 15/05/2023 1:23 am
DjiBattWorkshop
(@djibattworkshop)
Member Moderator
Posted by: @power2spare

into a locked status by a 3rd party

   Could you explain what do you mean by "locking by 3rd party" term ? 

 There are many Permanent Failure triggers which could lock the chip, they all well described in Technical Reference Manual but there is nothing about "3rd party lock" trigger. 

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Posted : 15/05/2023 10:35 am
DjiBattWorkshop
(@djibattworkshop)
Member Moderator
Posted by: @power2spare

Thus your conditions are not met

 You mentioned about underdischarged cells and low voltage message in the software so this condition was definitely met. 

 

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Posted : 15/05/2023 10:39 am
DjiBattWorkshop
(@djibattworkshop)
Member Moderator
Posted by: @power2spare

Since both of our purposes is to get more life / prevent the cells from being recycled,

 When cells are lost their capacity and run out many cycles they should be recycled for sure. Resetting such a batteries make no sense because chip will be locked repeatedly after several cycles. Turning such a batteries back on the market could fool potential buyers. We already had a cases of abuse when Nlba1 was used to make "brand new" batteries from dead just by resetting cycle counter. Such a practices make poor reputation to our product and we not encourage it. 

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Posted : 15/05/2023 10:45 am
Power2Spare
(@power2spare)
Eminent Member

@djibattworkshop 

Most of the cells are no older than 2 years.  Medical batteries are taken out of circulation LONG before they have met any of the capacity limitations the cells were designed for.  "3rd party Locking" - The manufacturer of the product, puts the batteries on a special device that Locks the batteries down via the EEPROM.  I have sent an email to you going into very deep details on this.  For example, I got in a host of batteries in their master cartons that were manufactured Decemeber 2022, they were all put in a lock down state and were in an over discharged status.  They did this on purpose before leaving their facility.  The Packs had less than 3 cycles on them because they were brand new and never used, but still because of the manufacturers special unit that locks it and puts them in an over discharged status, I cannot save them because your software will not allow a reset because of the overdischarged status.  I need an option to over ride the over discharged reset disabled function.  

The medical packs I deal with are being placed into a locked status, that cannot be unlocked through your normal method.  When I discovered your unlocking method didn't work, I debugged the EEPROM on the chips and determined that they had locked down the battery via the EEPROM. This disables the battery from taking any kind of charge, even a trickle charge.  I have developed a way to reverse this process and unlock the battery via the EEPROM, but if the cells are in an over discharged status, your software disables the reset option.  I need a way to bypass or over ride this so that I can reset the EEPROM, thus unlocking the battery, and then doing a trickle charge to the pack as a whole through specialized equipment I have developed specifically for the medical batteries. Once the NCR18650BF cells reach Lithium Ion Voltage levels that identify them as Lithium Ion then a regular charger will not detect a fault in the battery and will charge it back to full status.
 
Prior to this 3rd party lock down, I was able to save 98% of all battery packs that came into my facility, even the ones with an over-discharged status.  But now that the lock down is happening at the EEPROM level, your software will not allow a reset if over-discharged is detected, then I will lose 100% of all those packs.  I really need this manual over ride option so I can save as many packs as possible!
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Topic starter Posted : 15/05/2023 2:57 pm
Nicusor
(@azzido)
Member Admin

@power2spare 

The Reset is disabled if at least one cell voltage is lower than 2000mV. The chips presented as supported on our website for the Chip Reset Option could set the PF if the cell voltage is lower than 2000mV. Disabling the Reset for such a low voltage is actually part of the security.

I did not get it fully your situation:

- Why don't you pre-charge the cells externally ?

- If your battery has over discharged cells, clearing PF has no effect, the PF will be set back, you won't be able to use the battery anyway

- Post a picture with a real example

NLBA Laptop Battery Analyzer with Chip Reset & Repair Option

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Posted : 15/05/2023 9:04 pm
Power2Spare
(@power2spare)
Eminent Member

@azzido 

I have explained this many times.  removing the cells from the case destroys the case.  The cases are designed never to be opened.  If I cannot keep the case intack, then the pack is worthless and it all goes into the scrap bin.  Everything has to be done without opening the case.  Laptop packs are super simple to work with, medical packs are totally different.  The email I sent explains that resetting the chip doesn't work.  I explained in my email that I have specialized equipment that does allow me to trickle charge the pack as a whole, but that can only happen if the pack isn't locked down through the EEPROM.  I need that over ride option. 

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Topic starter Posted : 15/05/2023 11:47 pm
Nicusor
(@azzido)
Member Admin

@power2spare 

The email has been added to one of your posts above.

Our device with Chip Reset option does not allow unsealing, clearing PF, editing EEPROM, etc if the most important condition is not met: Cells voltage must be at least 2000mV. All chip manufacturers, Texas Instruments, Renesas, Maxim, etc, have clear conditions on how to perform above mentioned operations in a safe way. Our software is designed accordingly and tested on thousands of batteries all around the world. Performing an operation like unsealing, clearing PF, editing EEPROM while the basic condition (too low cells voltage) is not satisfied then it could brick the chip, it could alter the eeprom, could influence the data consistency during communication and so on. We implemented this behavior because we found all of these issues during testing, even reported by the customers years ago. Also after checking chip manufacturers' datasheets. Lifting such an important condition will lead to bricking many chips to all of our customers which is definitely not what we want.

As I said in a previous post, this condition is part of the security, lifting it will cause a big hole in the software security.

P.S. I am curious about this part: "I have specialized equipment that does allow me to trickle charge the pack as a whole, but that can only happen if the pack isn't locked down through the EEPROM"

This is contradictory with the Technical Safety Concept for Smart Batteries which is saying: A cell must be protected, it cannot be charged or discharged beyond the operating cell's voltage. That's the role of the chip and the PCB, to protect the cell, as long as the cell is over discharged the chip will detect it -> trigger safety condition -> save it into EEPROM -> disable charging/discharging FET. So, the battery won't be able to be charged/discharged over the external battery connector. Just clearing the EEPROM flag will not be sufficient since the fault is still present and the qualification error is in the next few mS. The charging/discharging FETs will never open.

NLBA Laptop Battery Analyzer with Chip Reset & Repair Option

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Posted : 16/05/2023 6:18 am
Power2Spare
(@power2spare)
Eminent Member

@azzido As I stated, the 3rd party alters the EEPROM, thus locking the battery down, because they do not want to the battery to be used again, thus bricking it so that the only option is to recycle.  However my specialized equipment coupled with your equipment can allow me to recover these packs that are in a over discharged condition.  As I mentioned I debugged the EEPROM and know how to repair it, but it is for not if your software will not allow me to get in to unseal it so my EEPROM fix reactivates the battery, thus allowing me to trickle charge the pack back to a useable condition.  I have done with the batteries for years, and now that this 3rd party is locking the batteries down, the only thing stopping me is the locked condition.  

I'm not altering the CHIPs or any of the protective hardware.  There is only a few bytes of code in the EEPROM that is altered to unlock the battery, that is it.  And while your software doesn't allow for editing the EEPROM, I have other programs that will allow editing, I just need to have the rest function over ride to allow me to recover the battery.  Otherwise 100's of packs will be sold off as scrap and then they will only be the cells left.   Please consider my request. 

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Topic starter Posted : 16/05/2023 8:36 am
DjiBattWorkshop
(@djibattworkshop)
Member Moderator
Posted by: @power2spare

I debugged the EEPROM and know how to repair it,

 There is no need to repair EEPROM to unlock the chip. Everything could be done by chip in background. Bytes you are found there which responds for locked condition called Permanent Failure Flag. It is well described in manufacturer datasheet. All you need to unlock a battery 

- precharge the cells above safety level 3 volts 

- start New Reset, press Next 

- press Unseal button 

- press Clear Chip Errors button

- press End Reset button 

 And thats it ! 

Chip will clear Permanent Failure Flag to 0000 and unlock a battery. No need to mess with eeprom and debuggers. 

 

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Posted : 16/05/2023 8:49 am
Nicusor
(@azzido)
Member Admin
Posted by: @power2spare

@azzido As I stated, the 3rd party alters the EEPROM, thus locking the battery down, because they do not want to the battery to be used again, thus bricking it so that the only option is to recycle.  However my specialized equipment coupled with your equipment can allow me to recover these packs that are in a over discharged condition.  As I mentioned I debugged the EEPROM and know how to repair it, but it is for not if your software will not allow me to get in to unseal it so my EEPROM fix reactivates the battery, thus allowing me to trickle charge the pack back to a useable condition.  I have done with the batteries for years, and now that this 3rd party is locking the batteries down, the only thing stopping me is the locked condition.  

I'm not altering the CHIPs or any of the protective hardware.  There is only a few bytes of code in the EEPROM that is altered to unlock the battery, that is it.  And while your software doesn't allow for editing the EEPROM, I have other programs that will allow editing, I just need to have the rest function over ride to allow me to recover the battery.  Otherwise 100's of packs will be sold off as scrap and then they will only be the cells left.   Please consider my request. 

It looks like you did not understand what I have described above, the key functionality in a smart battery, how locking works. If you don't understand what I explained above it is impossible for me to do more to help you. You are mentioning about third-party tools, doing tricky things, etc, all of these are completely unclear to me. What I explained above is the basic architecture which is 100% respected in all batteries that have a gas gauge chip with a PF mechanism.

The EEPROM is actually a DataFlash memory part of the gas gauge chip, the steps above suggested by my colleague do everything you need to unlock the battery. I guarantee you won't ever get output voltage on the battery connector with cells over-discharged unless you pre-charge the cells, unseal the chip and clear PF. 

The purpose of the PF is to keep the cells disconnected from the external world when at least one failure is detected. Over-discharged cell is a failure. It is like you want to bypass the main chip purpose, that's completely not possible.

These are the rules you cannot hack:

- cells voltage < 2000mV means PF=1

- cells voltage >=2000mV means you can safely communicate with the chip and send clear PF command

NLBA Laptop Battery Analyzer with Chip Reset & Repair Option

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Posted : 16/05/2023 1:30 pm
Power2Spare
(@power2spare)
Eminent Member

@djibattworkshop 

Ok, you are not getting it.  The Chip itself isn't locked, but getting access to the EEPROM requires that the Reset function be allowed. I have stated before that it is the EEPROM that is locking out the pack, not the Chip.  

I have recovered tens of thousands of cells that have less than .2V by using bump charging and bringing the voltage up to 1.5v  If you try to dump power into an under voltage cell, it will reject it and convert the power into Heat.   I have been working with almost every type of Lithium Ion cell since 2010.  I know what I am doing. 

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Topic starter Posted : 16/05/2023 2:37 pm
Nicusor
(@azzido)
Member Admin
Posted by: @power2spare

@djibattworkshop 

Ok, you are not getting it.  The Chip itself isn't locked, but getting access to the EEPROM requires that the Reset function be allowed. I have stated before that it is the EEPROM that is locking out the pack, not the Chip.  

I have recovered tens of thousands of cells that have less than .2V by using bump charging and bringing the voltage up to 1.5v  If you try to dump power into an under voltage cell, it will reject it and convert the power into Heat.   I have been working with almost every type of Lithium Ion cell since 2010.  I know what I am doing. 

But our discussion is definitely not about this, a thing which could be very dangerous. I am not talking about recovering cells, I am not talking about pre-charging the cells, this is out of the discussion. Please keep the discussion focused on the gas gauge chip and locking mechanism, it is already hard to understand what you have there.

Posted by: @power2spare

The Chip itself isn't locked,

Then it makes no sense, you have over discharged-cells and the chip is not locked, then where is the problem ? If the chip is unlocked then you can do anything, you can pre-charge the battery using the external connector and rise up the cells voltage then use the Reset menu.

Posted by: @power2spare

but getting access to the EEPROM requires that the Reset function be allowed

You don't need to do anything with an unlocked chip, you just mentioned it is unlocked.

Posted by: @power2spare

I have stated before that it is the EEPROM that is locking out the pack, not the Chip.

If EEPROM is locking the pack and not the chip ? Then our Reset option has absolutely nothing to do with your EEPROM. Our Reset option works only with the gas gauge chips that are built in DataFlash (a kind of internal EEPROM). If the cells are good and the Reset menu is active then you won't get access to your external EEPROM, no way. I think there are several confusions which have to be clarified first.

NLBA Laptop Battery Analyzer with Chip Reset & Repair Option

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Posted : 16/05/2023 3:44 pm
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