Empty battery - No LED - No start - Advice needed


Still Fresh
Sep 29, 2011
Britanny, France
Hi all,

After 2 weeks of inactivity with my Pandora, i took it yesterday evening and started it : nothing (ie no LED).

So i charged it using the AC adapter, the red LED was not on. I suspected that the battery was totally empy, so i let it 2 hours plugged with the the power adapter. After this 2hours, when i took it, the back of the Pandora was quite hot, which surpised me.

Then I tried to start it again: nothing.

Since yesterday, i have done some additionnal tests with the help of many posts here :

  • Charging with the USB cable : no result
  • Measuring the voltage delivered by the AC charger : 5.27 V
  • Measuring the voltage delivered by the battery : 0.00 ( !!!! )
  • Trying to start the Pandora without the battery and with the AC charger : No effect, the Pandora does not start at at al (not LED also of course).
  • Since this morning, i try to charge it with the AC adpater or the USB cable, and nothing happens (the back of the console is never hot like yesterday evening by the way).

So i do not know if my battery is completly dead (strange : i just let it 15 days in a room) or if the charger controller of the Pandora is broken.

Any idea, hints ot tricks to try before launching an RMA ?

Well not every Pandora can power up on AC without the battery in, so the Pandora still may be fine.

Try this, leave the battery out of the Pandora for about 20 minutes, put battery back in, but try using some paper as a shim between the Pandora case lid and the battery to add a little more pressure on the contacts.

ED's requested I email him at this address for repairs vs PM.
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hold up... you said that the pandora got hot in the back? more or less where did it get hot? something tells me that the charging port or somewhere near it may be shorted out.
hold up... you said that the pandora got hot in the back? more or less where did it get hot? something tells me that the charging port or somewhere near it may be shorted out.
Well i did not pay attention to where exactly it was hot. Maybe more on the side of the charger, yes, but not 100% sure. Note that since that event, even if i let the charger plugged-in the whole night (like i did this night), the Pandora is not hot at all (and still does not work...).
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With the battery reading a flat zero it is almost definitely a dead battery. Something happened to that battery, either moisture or a heavy impact likely, that caused it to short, because 2 weeks is not long enough to drain from 3 volts to zero just sitting around. That's probably why it got so hot, it shorted out and just acted like a giant resistor. Hopefully it then became a fuse and just burned itself out and didn't cause any damage to the Pandora, but that's probably wishful thinking.

That battery is trash now. Even if it weren't shorted, if the problem was simply that it had dropped to zero and could be restored by force charging it, it would be extremely dangerous to keep using. Lithium-ion crystalizes when the battery drops too low. These crystals are sharp. They can rupture the battery and explode. Literally. FIRE. This is why you can't just throw a battery in the garbage, why battery recycling plants exist.

Contact ED, tell him your battery is flat and won't hold a charge. Hopefully he'll send you a new one and you can safely dispose of that one (DO NOT THROW IT IN THE GARBAGE!) or he might want it sent back so that it can be inspected by the factory for manufacturing defects. Optimistically, that is all that's required to make it work. Most likely the short in the battery caused the charging circuit to overload and now the board itself is broken. No fault of yours, just a bad battery. Definitely contact EvilDragon or Craigix; first stop is to contact the shop you bought it from at their store email. At worst you'll be asked to send it in and they'll send you a replacement once production is back up and running.
Thanks WizardStan for the detailed explanation.

The Pandora was stored in a drawer of a desk during the 15 last days, so i do not think that the cause can be an heavy impact or moisture...

I will not drop my battery in my garbage, i am already collecting all my batteries to a specific shop in town, so no issue with that :)

I contacted Ed, so wait and see...

I have the exact same problem as you describe, apart from it feeling hot.

My unit is also completely dead after sitting a week or two. Not in low power mode or anything but completely off.

Plugging in poweradapter (original or psp) does nothing, no leds light up and screen stays black.

Battery was 2.41v before charging for an hour or two, then dropped to 2.39 after, the last time i tried.

That is, when its not giving off a 0.0 reading.

I spoke to ED on irc a week+ ago and hes gonna ship me a battery to see if thats the problem.

I treat my pandora like "the precious", no moisture or heavy impacts. Hardly take it with me anywhere cause im afraid the case will crack or something.

So i'm a little bummed out that it broke. Hoping a new battery will fix it up :)

Although that would mean its one of the units that cant be used without a battery, kinda limits its lifetime :(
A 0.0 reading is when the battery's internal protection kicks in and physically disconnects the battery pack from the terminals. This is to prevent the battery from actually trying to go to zero and puffing up which would cause the pack to puff up and break the case, plus mean the absolute end to the cell. It's designed to kick in at 2.5V +/- 0.1V so it really is a last resort type of thing.

If your battery won't take a charge it sounds like the cell has given up and would need to be replaced.
My battery read 3.25v when the problem popped up.

it wouldnt boot up so i put it on charge. when nothing lit up i decided to check the battery,

which was at 3.25v. Then i read on the forum to put it on charge for a few hours. It still wouldnt boot up, completely dead.

I didnt check the voltage at that point. Though after a couple weeks i finally got around to contacting ED, he advised me to try charging again.

Thats when i measured 2.41v pre charge. I dunno what the heck happened. Seems way too big a drop for self discharge, so it must have been something with the charging?

Anyhow i tried charging it from the 2.41v and after an hour or two it was down at 2.39v so i abandoned the idea of charging it back to life.

Should it have booted up fine with 3.25v?

I fly electric rc planes on occassion, we usually dont discharge our cells that far (3v under load, but resting voltage is quite a bit higher more like 3.5-3.7v)

I've got this same issue, with my newly arrived Pandora. :( What a bummer after it's 3+ year journey to me.

It worked for about 20 minutes, I even got the spectrum emulator running, it looked great.

I then powered it off, to let it charge. I noticed a lot of heat around the rear of the keyboard area, not burning hot, but definitely warmer than I'd like to see. Wasn't sure what lights should be on, I only had a green LED on the far right. I now know there should have been a red light next to it. Seems like the battery wasn't charging. The battery status on screen showed about 40%, then I briefly switched into the complete desktop, and saw about 80%. Then I powered it all off, to let it charge.

Since then, nothing... No more booting at all. Nor red lights indicating charging.

I got my meter out to test the power supply, and it shows about 5.2V, which I presume is good. I did once see 3.7V on the battery (when I first checked it), but now I see 0V...

I've left the charger plugged in, but don't know if it's actually doing anything at all. No lights...


To follow up, I do hear a fairly quiet 'click', similar to the sound when you first plug the power into a ZX Spectrum (!) when plugging in the power supply. There is no change in behaviour if I disconnect the power, remove the battery, and re-connect the power (I understand some Pandora's will run without the battery; mine doesn't).

I'm feeling like I have to return for a repair. I'll leave it plugged in charging over night, but it seems pretty dead to me. :(

Anyone got any ideas?

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Remove the battery totally.

Then try just plugging it in, and see if you get power that way.

Don't put the battery back in while its plugged in, that's bad for the battery. Do you have access to another PSP charger (or I guess iPad's work too?)?
@jamesgood72 - Have you tried putting a shim between the battery case and the battery? I use a small piece of paper folded a few times. These types of batteries can slightly vary in shape and may not be getting full contact to the terminals.
Have you tried removing the battery and supplying power via the USB OTG port? Might be worth a try just to narrow down the problem.
If i recall correctly, USB OTG port only provides minimal power, like .5 amps max, more like .2. so you can really power a board that way... But there may be merit to leaving the battery in and seeing if it charges through OTG or if the red LED comes on.
Thanks all, for the quick replies. I put a shim under the battery cover (a thin piece of balsa wood) and it's definitely snug in there now. I left it plugged into the charger over night, no change this morning.

Removing the battery, and plugging in a mini-USB, also does not show lights nor allow power on.

Removing the battery and using the power adaptor also gives it no sign of life.

The power adaptor appears to be giving over the correct voltage, and I know my mini USB works fine (it powers an external hard drive fine).

I think the heat I was noticing when it did initially power on was a bad sign. How hot does the pandora generally get after 10 minutes of running the launcher?


^ Except for mild warmth while charging, I don't believe I would ever describe my Pandora (or the three with the bad nubs that preceded it) as ever having gotten hot.

So, the answer to how hot it gets within that timeframe, should really be "Not at all"...
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