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Third generation of iPad, featuring 4G capabilities, released on March 16, 2012. Model number A1430. Repairs require heat and careful prying.

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Any success with external power modifications?

Hello,

I just discovered that my iPad3 has a nasty reboot loop problem.

(thus redifining the concept of a Bad Apple!)

Normally, I would just reset the silly thing, but since the iPad's battery is drained, here is my situation:

1) without the power supply, the iPad plays dead (it turns itself off after displaying an icon requesting to be supplied with power);

2) with the power supply cable back in place, the red and almost empty indicator appears, thus leading one to believe it will be refilling itself with power.

3) after a minimal amount of power was taken in (approx 30 to 60 seconds worth of juice) the white apple reboot logo appears on the screen.

4) after about another 20 to 40 seconds, the login keyboard appears for about a third of a second, then suddendly all goes to black and a spinning grey multibar indicator rotates before the step 2,3 and 4 cycle restarts again, and again, and again…

I cannot simply reset the unit since there is not enough power for me to access it for even that simple task.

…And since my iPad consumes more energy that it can take and store in the batteries when the screen is set at full brigtness (which it obviously is!) there is never enough power for me to reset the unit.

The ONLY solution I see at this point is to…

a) physically open the iPad;

b) disconnect the battery from the circuit board;

c) recharge the battery while it is unconnected to the circuit board;

d) after battery is fully charged, rehook the circuit board to finally;

e) reset the iPad while the power level is high enough.

I have modified my eMac & iMacs in the past… opening an Apple product has seamingly becomed an overly complicated affair, yet it is not a problem when going logically about it with some degree of confidence and knowledge. So, my questions are as follows...

Q 1:

Did you ever came across someone who might have successfully done this ?

Q 2 :

Any recommendations before I get into doing this ?

ALSO :

While the iPad is opened and its guts are exposed, i'm seriously considering doing a Modification to allow an easy external battery and/or power supply alternative to be used with it (the access could be made with a simple multipin connector on the backside and well hidden when the iPad is placed inside a protective case (which is always the case with mine since I do not like the touch and feel of the iPad's aluminum case anyway!)

FYI: I could even place a simple switch to toggle from internal to external power supply while recharging the unit AND fooling the iPad into 'thinking' (sic) it is fully charged so that I can use the iPad's built-in multipin connector for my link to a computer or an Apogee guitar interface without draining the built-in original batteries…

Q 3:

Did you ever came across someone who might have successfully done this dual power feed system?

Q 4 :

Any recommendations before I get into doing this (besides patience and a few hours to spare)?

Truly looking forward to a reply.

Salutations,

Martin

PS I'm in no rush and will not operate on the iPad until mid march 2014 (i do like to think I have a life outsite of the iPad :)

I will inform you of any progress as I finally get to operate the thing.

Update (02/27/2014)

Hello Dan and Jessa,

Thank you both for responding and bringing in more insights into the matter.

Also, thank you Jessa for your input about the Firmware update mode (DFU)… it did bring in a new set of considerations and a new development.

1) in using the iPad at home, unless it is badly connected - something too easy to do with the wide multipin connector-, it is always linked to the power supply (I use the one that came with the unit from Apple in 1 room & another one (a basic switching power supply from Digipower).

2) since the 40 inch long iPad cable Apple supplied when purchasing the unit is WAY TOO SHORT (!) for anything else but linking it to my computer or a recharger in the car, I did purchase a 10 foot High quality gold plated & shielded USB cable from Belkin to provide maneuvering space in using the iPad.

3) With or without the USB Extension cable inline between the power supply and the unit, the iPad has, from Day 1, always drained the internal battery faster than it can charge it IF the brightness is set at 100% (a maximum setting i only use when on the road since I use the iPad to link to my computer via Cellular network--- or make calls via Skype).

In other words, for the iPad to charge while being in use, it needs to have brightness set at about 3/4 brightness level or less.

That has been the case from day 1 (and yet another reason why I keep switching Cellular mode Off as well as Bluetooth Off in order to minimize power drain… Also I make sure the iPad's Camera app is OFF since the built-in camera drains power even if not in use If the Camera app is open in the background)

So…

Here is a new and interesting development :

I started the DFU operation and the loop reboot sequence has stopped! (Yea!)

When asked by iTunes if I wanted to restore (and lose all on the iPad AND Update to the latest iOS) I choose CANCEL and simply let iPad not looping and 'Off'. I then plugged the iPad in the Power Supply to recharge the internal battery… (Something I could not do until now due to the Reboot loop)

As I write these lines, I do not yet know if the unit is really charging or not.

I will provide a few hours of charging time before attempting to restart (reboot) the unit.

Hopefully by then, it will have sipped enough power to start without battery-induced failure and reboot loop

OR

it will at least have enough power for me to properly reset the unit should it go back into reboot loop while having enough power in the battery for me to take control of the unit.

To be continued…

Martin

PS I still use iOS 5.01 & keep saying no to updates. Every one I know who is using an older / lower CPU powered chip has complained about iOS7. I also have some Sweet apps that run Super well in iOS (& I do like the Google/Apple Map system ;)

IF all else fails, perhaps I will be forced to "upgrade to iOS7" ("sigh", but at least I will have a "New" iPad instead of a paperweight)

PPS I agree with you Dan, working with SMD parts is usually not for me either. Its not because I can do something that I want to do it… ;)

In recent past, I already have successfully fixed an ElGato video dongle, Twice, by simply de-casing the circuit and cooking it in the oven for 20 minutes… talk about low-tech success story!

Update (02/27/2014)

Good news everyone :

I managed to have enough power to access the login keyboard display and get into the iPad’s iOS without a power crash and without being stuck with a reboot loop.

Interestingly enough, the unit was plugged in for over two hours but did not recharge… BUT, having the iPad on the corner of my desk below a opened window got the unit cold and that allowed the battery to regain its composure enough for a 2% mark… And since the aborted DFU operation of a few hours ago did get the loop reboot to stop, I managed to get back just enough power to regain control of the situation.

As I write these lines, the iPad (with display brightness a Minimum, no camera, no Bluetooth and the SIM card removed) is charging and already at 10% (within about 15 minutes).

So…

I will still investigate possible solution to not fall back to the mercy and whims of the iPad power management.

Also, a friend who is visiting mentioned that the release 7.0.4 of the iOS 7 is more efficient and works well. Again, I will have to spend time looking into the matter (since, besides the reboot loop adventure of this week, I am happy with my old iOS).

I will also soon do an impedance measurement of my USB extension cable.

As stated before, it is a high quality cable, yet, perhaps it is draining some juice a bit…

I will post an update on this matter after calculating the power difference (something I will do between now and march’s 2nd week-end…).

As always, I welcome comments and ideas and truly wish to say thank you to all that have contributed on this case.

Salutations,

Martin :)

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LiOn batts don't use a straight line charger like other rechargeable batteries. In fact you could cause them to explode and/or catch on fire if you did! So the answer here is you need to use the correct charger & logic to charge your battery.

You can't externally recharge the battery as the battery is glued down so well you end up damaging it trying to remove it. You could put in a fresh battery in, thats your only option.

As to altering your iPad to use an external battery - Not needed as you can do that now with one of these: LifeHacker.com - Five best external battery packs.

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Hello Dan,

Thanks for taking the time to respond to my query and for the head's-up about the iPad's internal battery pack type.

Indeed, I will exercise caution when dealing with the appropriate recharging solution.

The thing about my iPad is that the internal battery pack is still good and probably does not yet require to be replaced, or so I suspect since it working and charging just fine less than 24 hours before the unattended reboot and battery drain session (I had left the unit on my desk without realizing it was going crazy and draining due to a bad connection at the power/interface plug!). My true problem is just that a reboot loop sequence is draining the little power left before the logic board can allow the battery management stage to kick in and recharge the internal battery as it should.

A possible solution is to get my iPad to operate long enough for me to reset the unit and stop the insane reboot power draining situation… would a power pack be able to be used as an external power source to let the iPad work long enough for me to reset it and get it to work properly (including getting to charge again without the reboot to drain it and keep it grounded, so to speak).

Of the power pack explained on a lifehacker webpage only the Anker Astro Series looks like a potential winner since it states:

"…a slim, pocket-sized external battery pack that can go anywhere, charge multiple devices at once, and keep them both powered for hours on end even if their own batteries are dead…"

The "...powered for hours on end even if their own batteries are dead…" is the key point in making this a viable solution for me to be able to reset the iPad without recharging the internal battery.

I will investigate the matter a bit further and provide a feedback about this possible solution.

Note : If the Anker Astro work indeed, this would mean that there is a power feeding conduit in the multipin power and data interface connecting post of the iPad. I can’t help to wonder two things:

1) If it is so, why is there not more info on this simple connection to bypass the problematic low power level of the internal battery? (i.e. a way for the iPad to run only from an external power source, even if the screen brightness is set at 100%) ?

2) or is it just another case of the reboot sequence that will prevent the power management stage from within the iOS to allow the power to feed the iPad long enough to allow for a proper reset… Smells like a catch 22! (Hence my more radical approach with the iPad's surgery and power pack bypass possible solution…)

Any comments or ideas are welcomed.

Martin

UPDATE : I just wrote to Anker to ask about their Pro 2 product as a possible solution to my problem. The server stated that I will get a reply in two days. I will keep you posted. :)

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I think you have a charger circuit issue Vs a glitch due to low power. I've often restarted a so called dead iPad with little effort just by plugging it into a power adapter to run off of. The other possibility here is the contacts on the cable interface are dirty or damaged so the charger is not seen by the iPad correctly.

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I would focus on cleaning the contacts with a cotton swab with a good grade of Isopropyl alcohol (85% or better) and also try a different charger and cord. If neither makes a difference then you have a logic board issue which needs addressing. Can you read schematics and work with SMD devices? Even I don't get this low in repairing any more as the amount of effort getting whats needed is quite expensive and I don't have the fine dexterity and eyesight anymore. It maybe time to let someone with better skills repair or replace the logic board.

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You may be able to get out of the boot loop with redsn0w.--perhaps put the iPad in DFU mode so it doesn't attempt to light LCD?

Your iPad should be able to power on via an AC charger alone.

You can use a DC power supply to push charge into a battery--but very risky. I have done it before.

I second the idea that this is a dock connector problem--I would start there.

Jessa

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