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3D Vision Glasses might have a Battery Charging Issue

September 4th, 2009 · 36 Comments · GeForce 3D Vision

Yesterday I’ve had an interesting issue with 3D Vision glasses. A guy that has ordered the shutter glasses from abroad had received them, but they did not work out of the box and they were completely new. No green light when he pressed the sync button and when he plugged a USB for charging just a blink of the red led and nothing happened. They did not charge and the red light was not staying lit after plugging the charging cable, meaning that the battery was not charging at all…


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So I got called for help and my first guess was that the lithium-ion rechargeable battery had died completely (its voltage reached 0V) and it cannot be jump-started with just the power it gets through the USB. But this was just a guess and I had to open the glasses and test the battery just to confirm my guess. This was my first time opening 3D Vision, but I had general idea on how to open them (I’m good at this and very experienced fixing different electronics). I expected to find the battery on the left side of the glasses’ frame where you plug the mini USB connector for charging, but to my surprise there was only the whole electronics present in the glasses. And in front of the control PCB sits the IR receiver…


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This meant that the battery had to be inside the right frame of the glasses so I had to also open it. And the battery was there – 3,7V with just 50mAh and pretty small in size, I expected bigger and more powerful battery. But still the power consumption has to be so low that the shutter glasses are able to operate up to 40 hours on a single charge. Anyway, Nvidia could’ve fitted a bit bigger battery with larger capacity that could last even longer, because there is additional free space for that. And measuring the battery with a multimeter just confirmed my preliminary guess – 0V, meaning that the battery has been completely discharged. So I had to disconnect the battery and send a few short bursts of energy directly to it with the help of an external 5V, 2A power adapter to give it “a start” so that it can be recharged, and hopefully this helped revive the battery. As a result plugging the mini USB cable in the glasses made them start charging the battery and in a few hours they were ready and functioning without any problems.


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Now, normally you will not have to do this procedure, because you can just get a replacement glasses thanks to their warranty, but in this case they were bought from abroad and sending them back for replacement would mean another two week wait and additional costs for transportation. This is why I had tired to fix them and hopefully the problem was not that serious and it was fixable, although this is something that is not easy to do by just everyone. If you are not careful you can break your 3D Vision glasses, so you need to be extra careful if you try to fix this problem yourself! But the result form this fix I had to do was that it is possible to get your shutter glasses “dead” when you buy them or have them “die” if not being used for a few months for instance. So you should be careful not to leave your 3D Vision not fully charged for longer periods of time, because the battery might discharge completely and bringing it back to life sometimes might not be possible. On the other hand, when you are buying the glasses and they are not a new stock you better try pressing the sync button in the shop to avoid getting ones with possibly “dead” (fully discharged) battery. Maybe in the next revision of the glasses Nvidia can try to find a solution to avoid this problem… ;)

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36 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Henrik // Sep 5, 2009 at 09:46

    Cool, not a problem I had but im sure it will provide alternatives for others with this problem and maybe provide an option to switch batteries when the warranty is out.

  • 2 Sven // Oct 31, 2009 at 10:44

    Hi,

    I had a similar issue: in my case the battery plug itself was disconnected (poorly designed) and the glasses only worked while being connected via the USB cable. With being abroad sending the brand new glasses back to Nvidia was also too much of a hassle and expensive, so I decided to open them up.

    Unluckily I pinched the lithium polymer battery in the process so I needed to replace it. Sparkfun has a battery (http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=731) which fits. You need to rework the space a bit with a dremel but for that you get 100 mAh instead of the 50 mAh or just go for the smaller version with 20 mAh which is smaller in size.

    Anyway, glasses are back to life now.

    Cu

    Sven

  • 3 Bloody // Oct 31, 2009 at 13:23

    Sven, thanks for sharing this useful info. And did you notice how much longer play time you got after putting the 100mAh battery in the glasses?

  • 4 Sven // Nov 1, 2009 at 05:39

    Hi Bloody, uhm so far they’re still charged! Might take a while to drain them. Will let you know when…

  • 5 winchester21 // Dec 21, 2009 at 21:28

    Hi .. i was just wondering.. the first time you take the glasses out of the box.. and put in the USB cable to recharge it.. does the Amber light turn on instantly or after the 3 to 4 hours of recharging it ?.. my glasses dont turn on at all.. no green light no Amber light no nothing.. what could it be?

  • 6 Bloody // Dec 21, 2009 at 21:43

    It should turn on immediately after you plug the USB cable to charge the glasses. If it is not, then you probably suffer from the issue I’ve described above – your battery has discharged too much. You can have the glasses replaced where you bought them, or try to fix them yourself if returning them is not an option.

  • 7 winchester21 // Dec 21, 2009 at 23:12

    Thx for answering.. have called the shop and they tell me to send it back to them.. hmm but dont think i will be getting a new one before after new years probably :( :S?

  • 8 twodimensional // Jan 18, 2010 at 09:00

    I’ve started experiencing a problem like this with my glasses; however, holding the mini USB wire in different ways gets different responses – sometimes a dim red, sometimes amber, sometimes bright flashing red green green. Gives me hope that I might be able to re-start it if I can only hold it in position long enough.

    Which is great cos nVidia CS aren’t answering my emails…

  • 9 Bloody // Jan 18, 2010 at 21:53

    It might not be the battery, but actually something may be wrong with the connectors of the mini USB port…

  • 10 stephennn // Mar 12, 2010 at 01:18

    Would anyone happen to know if this battery: http://www.xheli.com/hiquli50lire.html – would work as a replacement? I’d like to get one of a similair size that will be easy to replace but still offer the same battery life as before.

  • 11 James // Jul 2, 2010 at 02:57

    Hey guys. A question about this. When the glasses are charging, the AMBER light must be on, right? The upper indicator is not red or green, correct? (while charging). Cauz I read the part ‘They did not charge and the RED light was not staying lit after plugging the charging cable’. You mean AMBER, right? Or should the red one be on and turn green when they’re fully charged?

  • 12 Bloody // Jul 2, 2010 at 09:37

    Yes, you can call it red, amber or orange just not green ;)

  • 13 Hansi // Nov 16, 2010 at 23:44

    I’m having this problem also. Brand new glasses. When I plug in the USB, amber light lights up, but pushing the power button makes nothing. Glasses won’t work even when plugged in.

    The most awesome part is those are the 3rd glasses I get. Always the same problem. Luckly the store has 34 more and they will make sure the 4th one will be tested before given to me.

  • 14 Lex // Dec 2, 2010 at 13:44

    Hansi, I have the same case, where mine charges amber but doesn’t turn on. Should I get another pair?

  • 15 Bloody // Dec 2, 2010 at 15:48

    It indicates that it is in charging mode, but probably does not charge the battery, so if it is still under warranty, then you should get a replacement pair.

  • 16 Guilherme // Dec 16, 2010 at 05:08

    Damn 3D vision. I’ve got mine today and it had bad symptoms. The ambar light was on. After 4 hours charging, the glasses didn’t turn on. I’ve tried to connect and disconnect the USB a few times and now the RED light on the top is ALWAYS on. The glasses simply don’t work. Neither in setup wizard nor games.

    I was so excited about it. Now I want to break this sh*t apart and throw it to the dogs.

  • 17 Bloody // Dec 16, 2010 at 20:53

    The battery is most likely dead, you should get a replacement…

  • 18 Guilherme // Dec 18, 2010 at 07:49

    Thanks for the reply, Bloody.
    I disconnected the glasses from USB port. The AMBAR light turned off and the RED light is still on. That’s kind of funny…it’s inside the box and ON! lol

    Do you really think it is a battery problem? if you do, i’ll get a battery replacement…there are no NVIDIA official sellers here in Brazil, and the shop I bought from is kinda refusing to refound me or even give me a new one.

  • 19 Bloody // Dec 18, 2010 at 11:13

    It is most likely the battery not wanting to charge and staying with a very low charge. It is interesting to note that I’ve got quite a few people from Brazil writing to me with the same issue…

  • 20 Fix // Jan 19, 2011 at 21:16

    Hi !
    I have the same issues with my glasses which are, of course, more than one year old.. so no warranty :(
    Could you provide more tips on how to open the frames (whithout braking the whole setup :)), and which source you used to revive hte battery ?
    That would be real helpful !
    Thanks !

  • 21 Freke1 // Mar 13, 2011 at 01:48

    I suddenly have the issue with the orange light not staying on while charging and they don’t charge. If I only insert the mini USB jack halfway and push it to one side gently the orange light stays on.

  • 22 Peter Maxwell // Jul 31, 2011 at 00:01

    is there a way to replace the lenses of the 3d glasses as we have 2 pairs with cracked lenses, or is it better just to buy new glasses?

  • 23 George // Aug 14, 2011 at 15:48

    just wondering what kind of screwdriver u need to take out that screw under the nosebridge. It looks like some kind of hex head. but really small.

    Also, when you gave it a “few short bursts of energy” to jumpstart it, how long did you have to connect it to the 5 volt power source? Just a couple seconds? My battery is pooched right now so i figure i will try jumpstarting it before replacing it

  • 24 Wanda // Dec 23, 2012 at 23:41

    We tried looking at movies and one of the lenses was very dark. What do you think is the problem. Is it the TV setting or the glasses. HELP

  • 25 Bob // Dec 18, 2013 at 16:46

    I want to thank the folks that started this blog. It put me on the path to ‘repair’ my dead 3D glasses. They would not take a charge via the USB charging cable. The RED light would come on momentarily (just a flash) when the USB was connected to the 3D glasses and that was it. I tried unplugging and replugging the USB many times hoping it would begin to charge the glasses. Nope. I had to remove the tiny battery from the glasses and ‘revive’ it with a 9V battery. I did this by using a couple of alligator clip wires and a couple of safety pins as probes to access the itty bitty connector pins on the tiny battery. I placed the + lead of the 9V battery to the + lead of the tiny battery via the safety pin and then did the same with the – lead, but for only about 2 – 3 seconds at a time. I repeatedly touched the – lead to the tiny battery for 3 seconds at a time for about 10 times. I measured the voltage of the tiny battery and it had increased from 0V to about 3V. This told me that the tiny battery was responding to the charging effort. I installed the battery back into the glasses and reconnected the charging cable from the USB port to the glasses. Voila! The RED light came on on the glasses indicating they were taking a charge. It stayed on for a couple of hours and then went off like the manual describes. I tested the glasses by watching a 3D program and they worked perfectly again! I left them on all night pointing at the TV running a 3D program and they worked fine all night too.
    So, great job to you guys here on this fix!!

  • 26 Michael // Jan 2, 2014 at 01:41

    Hey Bob (Dec 18),
    Can you describe how you actually opened the 3D glasses frame to access the battery (?) I have 6 pairs that I need to ‘revive’ the rechargeable batteries in, but don’t want to break any in the process. Any advice greatly appreciated.
    Many thanks,
    M

  • 27 kik // Feb 10, 2014 at 08:43

    Hi, i have the same problem.
    You said that you charge the battery directly to start charging.
    wath if i charge the lenses with the cellphone charger (5v 0.5 A)
    this should be more power than a usb port?
    Thanks
    Pd: i cant use the warranty because they were purchased in the United States and living in Argentina

  • 28 zieluk // Mar 5, 2014 at 06:06

    Here is my description how to disassemble the 3D Vision 3 glasses: http://www.zieluk.pl/nvidia_3D_Vision/index.html

  • 29 Amir // Jun 4, 2014 at 06:14

    hi every body plz answer me im confused
    how do i know my glass in charging mode?
    when orange light near mini usb port blinking? or when its stay on and dont blinking?

  • 30 eyad // Jul 31, 2014 at 11:23

    anyone has a disassembly guide for the first generation glasses, because I don’t know if there is a small screw or do it just pops off with a knife or something

  • 31 metal // Nov 1, 2014 at 09:06

    *** Cross posting to this thread as well (5v 0.85ma phone charger works for kick starting glasses charge) ***

    Well, I finally got around to using my glasses after approx 4 years of waiting.

    Having only tried them out initially on a crt running at 85 hertz, but the experience wasn’t great. So I reboxed them, and didn’t touch them for almost 4 years.

    Unsurprisingly, they didn’t want to charge up properly initially. Orange light had come on, but they didn’t respond to pushing the button on the glasses (while still connected) for about 15mins. It would blink red, green, green, red. Or something like that.

    So I left them for a hour or so, then tried again. Eventually the green light came on, and even then, they wouldn’t respond properly during the medical test/setup. But I persisted, and eventually, I was able to see it in 3d by pushing the glasses button over several tries.

    Then got 3d movies working :) Note, it was wired via the usb cable the whole time.

    Then I left it for several hours to hopefully charge…

    They didn’t. When I tried to turn them on, nothing happened. It just wouldn’t respond to a button push :/

    Researched on the net, and found various sources saying they needed jump starting…

    Then I read on some page someone suggesting plugging it in to a mobile phone charger, as that supplies 5v at 0.5a (I think).

    So last night, I plugged the cable into the phone chargers dock, and left it overnight. Voila! A fully charged set of glasses in the morning!

    To be honest, I didn’t expect it to work, but it did :) Not sure how long the charge will last, but the last hour has been without the cable connected.

    In case anyone needs the ‘phone usb dock’, here is a link to the wall charger,

    http://www.getprice.com.au/genuine-sony-wall-power-adapter-with-usb-port-sony-ac-wall-charger-classic-black-gpnc_99–88043804.htm

    Note, the link is for buying this for Australian power sockets only. I’m not sure if their are other power socket versions for other countires, but i’m sure there would be.

    Anyhow, now I can’t wait for the rift CV1! Playing iracing in 3d on my benq xl2720z is friggen awesome. Add head tracking, and no ghosting, and that will be perfect :)

    Cheers,
    metal

    /\ hmm, dk2… yes, no, yes, no. Need higher res… I can wait… no I can’t… lol! /\

  • 32 Vic // Sep 14, 2015 at 17:29

    What a great tip. I had purchased six pairs of rechargeable glasses in July 2014 and barely used them.

    Just checked them, and ALL SIX WERE DEAD and would not hold a charge.

    Unscrewed the plastic backs, did the trick with alligator clips, 9-volt and sewing needles, and was AMAZED that I was able to bring all six back from the dead!

    Of course, I was 2 months past the 12-month warranty.

    Thanks!!!

  • 33 Vic // Sep 14, 2015 at 18:17

    A little more info… From what I could see, myTrue Depth glasses have a wrapped and hard-soldered battery. So, I took the risk of jumpstarting them while the battery leads were still connected to the small curcuit board. I knew I was chancing frying something else, but I was willing to gamble. No problem!

    Hardest part was unscrewing the the tiny screws that were in TIGHT. On second thought, maybe the hardest part was seeing everything… My eyes aren’t what they used to be! Don’t have a lot of the proper tools, and had to wedge my small magnifying glass between a large vitamin bottle and available sweet potato to get it to stay where I needed it :)

    Vic

  • 34 Jimmy V // Sep 25, 2015 at 11:51

    So I have a pair of original 3d vision glasses and the battery needs replaced, can anyone confirm if I need to unsolder the little circuit board that the battery have attached to it? or do I just unplug the battery and plug the new one in ?

  • 35 Jeigh // Dec 14, 2015 at 00:08

    Had dead battery 0.4V and revived it by giving it about 60 short bursts of 0.5 seconds of 5v and 1A power supply. The integrated usb charger is happy now.

  • 36 Jelle // Apr 6, 2016 at 23:20

    Jep, the reviving trick works great! I just revived 2 BenQ 3d glasses today. Before, they just gave one quick red lightflash after plugging in the usb.
    I used a 9v battery, some metalwire, 2 needles and some ducktape. I wedged open the battery compartment with a thin knive (mine doesn’t have any screws). I left the battery hooked on. Kept the + needle on the lipo 3,7v battery and touched the – needle 60 times (1 sec. At a time) on the minus side of the lipo battery.
    The glasses are charging right now, I see a constant red light.
    One seems fullt charged because the red light just turned off. The glasses are working!

    Thank you so much for putting this solution on internet!!!

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