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Black Nyko UBoost (Extended Battery for WiiU GamePad) not working as expected

JSR

Aug 3, 2023
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Aug 3, 2023
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I am trying to troubleshoot what may be wrong with my Black Nyko UBoost (Extended Battery), and potentially double the battery. It is long since discontinued.

How the original Gamepad works:

The Wii U Gamepad can be charged in two ways: the proprietary Power Adapter connector on the top, or the copper contact pads on the bottom (used for the dock; WUP-014). The Power Adapter (WUP-011) delivers 4.75V at 1.6A to either a 3.7V 1500mAh battery (WUP-012) or a 3.6V 2550mAh Battery (WUP-013). The GamePad cannot operate without the battery plugged in, unless jumped as shown here.


How the device works:

The UBoost attaches to the bottom contacts and can similarly be charged in the same ways as the GamePad. It contains a 3.7V 1000mAh LiPo Battery (which looks near identical to this). When the Internal GamePad battery runs low, the UBoost has a Power Button that can be pressed to charge the internal GamePad battery, simply transferring the Uboost's battery charge.

What is wrong:

The device either no longer holds much of a charge or can no longer charge the WiiU gamePad properly. After turning on, it will only work for a short period before losing its charge.

Steps taken

I have fully charged the UBoost and opened it up to inspect the battery and test it's voltage. It does not appear bloated (Surface is flat, and I have measured it and compared it to this similar battery mentioned before), and the voltage via multimeter comes to 4.09V (which is still full capacity based upon it's 3.7V rating).

Inspecting the board itself shows some mild corrosion, but no burnt traces or otherwise visibly damaged components.

Photo Gallery

Question

Is it likely that the battery is just shot (can a worn down battery still reach full capacity but drain twice as fast)? Otherwise, where would I reasonably start probing? It would be tough to measure the load on this device without desoldering the copper wires connected to the copper contacts, but if that's the only way then that's easy enough.


Potential Upgrade

If this can be fixed, it would be great to install a second battery. There is a second set of unused +- battery tabs on the board who are directly connected to the battery tabs in use.

In one of the only pictures I could find (in the reviews section on the Amazon Page) of the device opened up shows 2 separate batteries (of unknown spec; clearer picture here) in the white version of this (Although both the White and Black are claimed to have the same specs).

So how could I go about installing 2 batteries in Serial? Would another identical battery work? Or would I need to get something else?
 

Bluejets

Oct 5, 2014
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Show a schematic diagram of the original and .......proposed change diagram.
A lot can be lost in translation of the written word (and it usually goes on forever and says little)
 

Martaine2005

May 12, 2015
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Yes, batteries fail over time and don’t always show visible signs, ie swelling/bloating.
They can also appear/measure fully charged but drop off very quickly under load. Or after a day or two just drain.
You can put two batteries in PARALLEL to double the overall Amps, extending usage time (same battery specs).
I would replace the battery first before over thinking the situation.

Martin
 

Harald Kapp

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Nov 17, 2011
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Would another identical battery work?
It's likely a second battery will work. However, both batteries should be as nearly identical as possible. There's no use in paralleling a good battery to a bad one.
You have measured the fully charged battery. That's good but gives us only one point of operation. A second measurement of how the battery voltage sinks when the booster is in use would be appropriate. Start with a fully charged battery and observe the voltage while the booster is charging the Gamepad. If the battery voltage drops rapidly, this is an indicator of a bad battery, regardless of "no swelling" etc., as @Martaine2005 noted.
If that is the case (imho the most likely fact), install 2 new batteries.

Should the battery voltage not drop quickly, there is a chamce that the charging electronics has a defect. This wouldn't be as easy to fix.
 
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