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Thread: Nitecore Tube - battery is not charging. Troubleshoot / fix

  1. #1

    Default Nitecore Tube - battery is not charging. Troubleshoot / fix

    I purchased a standard Nitecore Tube about year and a half ago, it is no longer charging (via the mini USB). Even after being left plugged in for more than 24 hours.

    At present:
    - Blue charging light stays lit upon being connected to USB
    - Full functions (Off / Low / High) via button while connected to USB
    - zero function when removed from USB connection

    This light was not exposed to excess moisture (not submerged or left in washing machine); it was left in my pocket for several months though, so the battery's charge did deplete substantially.

    Prior to posting here I've searched for UI issues regarding the Tube, and am aware already of the 'lockout' (holding down button to enable/disable) along with need for it to be USB-connected for extended period if battery charge is too depleted. Also viewed a YouTube video where one was disassembled, cleaned and solder-repaired after having been exposed to moisture.

    I disassembled this light (removed 4 tiny screws) and viewed internal circuits, battery for signs of corrosion or broken connections; there was no moisture or visible corrosion. Board is very small size, and haven't done metering / connections check.

    This Tube is no longer under warranty, and I'm simply seeking a way to fix it. (Also happen to own a Vinh-modified Tube which still works great.) As noted, the light functions perfectly when plugged in to USB and its blue charging light is active — just no battery charge apparently occurring.

    Suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.
    Last edited by torchflux; 01-02-2018 at 06:14 AM.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* KITROBASKIN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore Tube - battery is not charging. Troubleshoot / fix

    Battery no longer works? Not the first Tube to do this.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic sp5it's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore Tube - battery is not charging. Troubleshoot / fix

    Open, look for lose battery wire, fix that.
    Mike
    My flashlight is bigger than yours...

  4. #4

    Default Re: Nitecore Tube - battery is not charging. Troubleshoot / fix

    Quote Originally Posted by torchflux View Post
    I purchased a standard Nitecore Tube about year and a half ago, it is no longer charging (via the mini USB). Even after being left plugged in for more than 24 hours.

    At present:
    - Blue charging light stays lit upon being connected to USB
    - Full functions (Off / Low / High) via button while connected to USB
    - zero function when removed from USB connection

    This light was not exposed to excess moisture (not submerged or left in washing machine); it was left in my pocket for several months though, so the battery's charge did deplete substantially.

    Prior to posting here I've searched for UI issues regarding the Tube, and am aware already of the 'lockout' (holding down button to enable/disable) along with need for it to be USB-connected for extended period if battery charge is too depleted. Also viewed a YouTube video where one was disassembled, cleaned and solder-repaired after having been exposed to moisture.

    I disassembled this light (removed 4 tiny screws) and viewed internal circuits, battery for signs of corrosion or broken connections; there was no moisture or visible corrosion. Board is very small size, and haven't done metering / connections check.

    This Tube is no longer under warranty, and I'm simply seeking a way to fix it. (Also happen to own a Vinh-modified Tube which still works great.) As noted, the light functions perfectly when plugged in to USB and its blue charging light is active — just no battery charge apparently occurring.

    Suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.
    My 2 cents. Give her a kiss for the year+ of good service and let her rest in peace...in the garbage can.




    Time to move along and hunt down a new keychain light.

  5. #5
    A&Q Moderator
    Woods Walker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore Tube - battery is not charging. Troubleshoot / fix

    Given the inexpensive price I am in the RIP camp.
    The TK20. Yes it still rocks.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Nitecore Tube - battery is not charging. Troubleshoot / fix

    It sounds like to me that you really love this little light and that you are insanely curious to want to know the issue so you can fix it!

    If so, have at it, and satisfy your curiosity. If a few strikeouts are the prerequisite for hitting it out of the ballpark, who am I to deprive you of such joy upon that ensuing eureka moment?

    Although I lack the technical intelligence to guide you, I will send some lumens to cheer your way!

    - LetThereBeLight!

  7. #7
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Nitecore Tube - battery is not charging. Troubleshoot / fix

    Does anyone know if the tube works while being charged?

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* Hondo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore Tube - battery is not charging. Troubleshoot / fix

    Pretty sure he just confirmed it does - I don't think that part is a malfunction.

    My money is on the battery being knackered.

    That is an easy fix if you can find a replacement. Just a couple of wire ends to solder, so if you can solder at all you can handle that.

    Now- finding one: I tried after I got mine just to see if I could, so I would know that it could be replaced. I had no luck finding one that was small enough, at least from the usual low-budget flea-bay sellers. A lithium-ion battery the size of a chicklet is pretty specialized. I have bought them for the little co-axial indoor helicopters, but those are still way to big for the Tube. Perhaps a hobby store, as they have incredibly micro copters and multi-rotors these days. But then you may hit the usual issue, the battery costs almost as much as a new light. I know my bag of spares for the little copters was only like $20 for 10 batteries.

    In order to test it before investing in a new battery, you could open it up and splice in power from a larger battery - even a CR123 should power it, but a RCR123 or 18650 will for sure.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Nitecore Tube - battery is not charging. Troubleshoot / fix

    My Tube doesn't work while being charged. If it is on when I connect it to charge, the light will go out - blue light goes on - but it will go back on again when I disconnect the charge.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Nitecore Tube - battery is not charging. Troubleshoot / fix

    Quote Originally Posted by JWP_EE View Post
    My Tube doesn't work while being charged. If it is on when I connect it to charge, the light will go out - blue light goes on - but it will go back on again when I disconnect the charge.
    Darn, I thought could use the high mode with my powerbank if I needed longer than 50 min. on high.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* Hondo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore Tube - battery is not charging. Troubleshoot / fix

    Well, I'll have to check that on mine. It is from the very first run when they introduced it, maybe 4+ years ago.

    Unless that is a version change, it could be an indicator of some kind of firmware failure on the board then. Maybe it somehow got backwards where it thinks it's on when it's off, and off when it's on.

    If that's the case, "He's dead Jim"

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3at_Ev2kOoI

    Of course, they might stand up for the warranty, but at this price, I don't think I would bother shipping it back.

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* Hondo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore Tube - battery is not charging. Troubleshoot / fix

    Confirmed, my early Tube does not turn on when connected to the micro-USB. Blue light comes on, no response to the button. So while I would still probably try checking battery voltage, and if it comes on with another battery jumped across it, it does seem likely there is a circuit failure where it is crossed up between detecting when it is connected to the charger, and not.

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