I just ‘fired off’ an email to ‘Service’ at Bluetti asking for help on resolving an issue with a new EB3A I received just eight days ago that suddenly ‘Simply Froze Up’ and became completely unresponsive. Having worked in I.T. until I retired, it has been my habit to supply as much background information as possible in the hopes that we don’t have to go ‘too much back-and-forth’ asking questions and getting answers in order to resolve the problem.
The EB3A in question was set up ‘out-of-the-box’ exactly per instructions AND no firmware upgrades had been attempted, on the philosophy of “If it ain’t broke, don’t TRY to fix it!” (Or at least wait a while; I had done some checking around to see if anyone had been having problems with Firmware Upgrades on this unit and/or had any problems with the EB3A in general, and apparently there were some reports ON THE INTERNET (as opposed to this form) ‘in general’.
ANYWAY, in addition/in pursuit of a solution, I thought I would enroll in and post the email that I had sent Service at Bluetti just in case others might be interested in my experience with this unit to date, AND because someone might have some ideas or information that might help me resolve the problems I am having.
Below is the communiqué/email that I fired off to Bluetti. If anyone’s got any ideas, they would be appreciated. (NOTE: it’s fairly long, so be prepared…)
HELP!!! My Bluetti EB3A that I
- Ordered Sunday, July 10, 2022,
- Which was shipped (Email notification received) Tuesday July 12, 2022,
- Received, unboxed, set up and put into operation Thursday, July 14, 2022,
…appears to have – this afternoon of Friday, July 22nd, to have ‘died’. (‘Malfunctioned).
Immediately below, I decided to go and provide CONSIDERABLE Background Information about the history of the unit – how I inspected it and set it up and have been using it since I received it on July 14, in the hopes that it might be helpful.
Please note that I did not attempt perform Any Firmware upgrades to the unit since I received it (as I will further outline below) as it is my habit to always check around to see if anyone’s been having problems in such circumstances with firmware upgrades and ‘wait’.
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”
- EB3A in question is COMPLETELY NONFUNCTIONAL/UNRESPONSIVE.
- Display Panel shows 0% State of Charge.
- When plugged into 120 V AC, panel/remote Bluetooth App shows small charge APPARENTLY ‘going in’, but battery (indicator) never Budges off of ‘Zero’.
- ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WORKS ON THE PHYSICAL DEVICE, OTHER THAN THE DISPLAY PANEL.
I suspect internally ‘Computer Lockup’/’Freeze up’ which might be rectified (At least temporarily) if the system could be ‘Rebooted’ but I don’t know how to do that.
- (‘Come on guys’… There MUST be a way! No engineer would have designed this product without some means of doing this – perhaps some combination of button pressing and holding…).
- Perhaps you have/the software/firmware has (simply) a ‘Memory Leak’ of some kind, somewhere?
Usage/Background Information/Current State:
- Unit was carefully unpacked received, opened up and following all the instructions in the manual, was first charge up to 100% State of Charge.
- Some ‘experiments’ were made to ‘familiarize myself’ with the unit. The Manual was 100% Completely and Carefully read before the unit was put into any use.
- The Bluetti Android app was downloaded from the Google Play Store and installed – without a hitch – on my cell phone and one of my tablets. Using it, I was able to connect without any problems whatsoever with the unit. Very nice. Played around with the App a bit, but Did Not ‘Tinker’ with any settings WHATSOEVER!.
- Everything seemed to be fine – could use panel buttons to turn on-and-off various outputs, the panel showed 100% state of charge, the LED LIGHT WORKED, I was able to turn on the DC outputs and enable and use the Wireless Charging Pad on the top of the unit successfully.
- Everything was just fine as far as I could tell.
THEN – following the instructions in the manual,
- UPS Bypass Mode: Connect the EB3A with the AC power and the ‘UPS’ will be on display.
- Then turn on the AC output.
- When on this mode, the AC power will directly support the loads on AC output ports and charge the EB3A. (As mentioned, it had already been charged up to 100% State of Charge and it was working fine).
I then put it into its Intended Primary Use as a UPS for a Desktop PC (AC power demands roughly 90 W average, 135 W MAX) and tested it.
- When the PC was up and running, I pull the plug supplying AC power to the EB3A and – as I had expected and hoped, it worked as advertised… The PC continue to run without a hitch.
- COINCIDENTALLY: around 3 AM on Friday, July 15th, we had a severe thunderstorm (Family Dog woke me up). While I was awake, we did have a very brief power interruption/’blip’ which lasted maybe three seconds or so before the power ‘came back up’ without any more plus subsequent downtime. I wondered…. If the EB3A had done its duty and if that particular PC was still up and running but I didn’t bother to check at the time.
- A few hours later I got up out of bed I checked and – every PC in the house had been shut down by the power interruption and all the electric/digital clocks in the house needed to be reset.
- However, the Bluetti was up and running properly AND the Desktop PC that it was hosting was up and running also. In its BIOS, it was not configured to reboot in the event of a power failure/come back on again so if the EB3A had NOT done its job, it would’ve been down also.
I was Very Happy. (In fact, I was planning on ordering – before the Introductory Offers expired – at least one more EB3A, perhaps two even – for use primarily but not exclusively as UPS’s… I’ve been waiting for someone to do what you did – provide that type of functionality – with lithium iron phosphate technology – for a long time. Both are ‘So Obvious(ly)’ things that would have Great Market Appeal.
(And please note/apologies offered: I also attached a complete history of email exchanges with ‘Bluetti Sales’ since I placed the order thinking it might also have some value. And, what EXACTLY, does ‘ARM’ and ‘DSP’ ‘Stand For’?)
Everything was fine until sometime this afternoon – Friday, July 22, 2022 – eight days after the unit had been received and put into service.
I had been busy but it come to my desk/workstation and NOTICED that the PC connected to the EB3A was off/power down…
Long story short…’:
- The EB3A in question appears to be ‘dead’/’frozen’ – ‘locked up’.
- I CAN Activate/Turn On the Display Panel using any of the units ‘Power On’ (AC, DC) buttons,
- HOWEVER, The Display Panel shows ‘00% State of Charge’
- I CANNOT ACTUALLY TURN ON EITHER OF THE DC OR AC OUTLETS TO DRAW ANY POWER FROM THEM.
- IN ADDITION, I CANNOT EVEN TURN ON THE LED LIGHT!
One thing I can do still – I CAN still connect to the unit using my cell phone/the Bluetooth App:
- The App (ALSO) shows 0% State of Charge, and/but
- It seems to indicate that there is a small amount of power ‘going into the unit’ via the AC Charging Port/’The Grid’ roughly in the amount of 75 W plus or -15 W or so… continuously. (‘Bounces around’ a bit).
- HOWEVER – the unit will not charge (at least as indicated at/by either the Bluetti app – regardless of how long the unit is plugged in, the State of Charge indicators – on both the one on the physical unit itself and the remote Android App – NEVER BUDGES ‘OFF ZERO’.
So here we are.
- The unit is Completely inoperable, nonfunctional, and UNRESPONSIVE. Currently, a ‘paperweight’.
What should I do?
Before I close, a few final important notes:
- I cannot ‘turn on’/’enable’ EITHER the DC and/or the AC outlets FROM/Using the Bluetooth app.
- It APPEARS that I CAN ‘Toggle Back and Forth’ the ECO Switch on the Bluetooth App and the EB3A WILL RESPOND AND THE Eco-MODE INDICATOR ON THE DISPLAY PANEL WILL ALSO TOGGLE.
- I can – at least per the Bluetooth App – change the ‘duration’ between one in four hours when the Eco-mode is turned on, but I can’t tell if it’s having any effect because the unit is nonfunctional in other ways.
- The LED settings per the Android app are currently ‘off’ and I cannot change them to Medium, High or to SOS… – They persist in remaining ‘stuck’ on ‘off’.
- ‘Power Lifting’ mode is/was – was never changed or tinkered with from its out-of-the-box setting of ‘Off’.
And finally, and perhaps? Most importantly:
When I received the unit, I noticed that – checking in the Android App – that there was apparently a Firmware Upgrade available (Actually ‘Upgrades’ ‘PLURAL’ – 1 for ‘ARM’ and 1 for ‘DSP’. (I’m not exactly sure though I have some idea/I could guess what each acronym stands for but that’s not relevant here…)
IN ANY EVENT, I DID NOT IN ANY WAY ATTEMPT TO DO ANY FIRMER UPGRADES. (I spent my career in I.T. and I am ‘Old School’– “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…!
Now that doesn’t mean I am not prepared to ever do Firmware Upgrades – I do do them to printers and drones and things like that
BUT, before I even attempt to do that, I always:
- Check to see the date – if I can – that the Firmware was released, AND
- Check around on the Internet, doing both general searches and browsing around in (appropriate) Forums to see if anyone else was having any problems with these upgrades…
- Such as – a notable mention of something current – the company DJI who makes consumer drones – recently released some firmware upgrades for its latest drone the DJI Mini Pro ‘3’, which cause serious problems and in some cases even loss of the drone.
- With regards to the EB3A, I DID NOTICE THAT SOME OWNERS HAD HAD PROBLEMS WHICH HAD APPARENTLY (the term is) ‘BRICKED’ THEIR UNIT!
- I didn’t check further when I observed that to see how those situations had gotten resolved and/or if they had… I decided to simply go with my “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” philosophy…
So, to wrap this up, some final information:
- What I presume is my units Serial Number: EB3A2217000362334
Firmware – Currently Installed/Upgrade Available (NOT INSTALLED!)
- ‘ARM’: v2057.02/2057.11
- ‘DSP’: v2056.02/2056.10
SO, bottom line:
- What should I do?
- I SUSPECT that the/a ‘COMPUTER’ inside is in some sort of ‘Paralyzed/Frozen’ ‘STATE’ and PERHAPS normal operation could be restored if somehow rather the unit could be ‘Rebooted’ BUT, I don’t know how to do that or even if it is POSSIBLE.
- Plugging/unplugging the AC cord has no effect, all power output terminals/buttons to enable them are nonfunctional.
- The LED light won’t even turn on!
Should I – PERHAPS – under the circumstances, attempt a – ONE OR THE OTHER OR BOTH – Firmware Upgrade?
This should not happen with the new unit to market like this (I know of course it’s not the fault of those who received this email)…
AT A MINIMUM, THERE SHOULD ALWAYS BE SOME WAY/AND INSTRUCTIONS ABOUT:
- How to Install Firmware Upgrades PROPERLY (notwithstanding the fact that I haven’t even attempted yet, but there always should be), AND
- Since these things are really Computer/Software Controlled Devices, there should always be a well-publicized method of Rebooting the device. Because I would bet – ‘dollars to donuts’ – that normal functionality could be restored (at least for a short time) – so that corrective action such as a possible firmer upgrade or something could be attempted.
Eagerly awaiting your response (as you can imagine!).