4G Elevate Mobile Hotspot Not Charging

Teacher

4G Elevate Mobile Hotspot Not Charging

My 4G Elevate is not charging when it's on, a PC is connected to it through WiFi and plugged in to either a USB port or to an A/C outlet. This is quite annoying given I cannot keep it charged and essentially have to turn it off in order to do so. Is this normal?

Message 1 of 48 (22,327 Views)
Highlighted
Tutor

Re: 4G Elevate Mobile Hotspot Not Charging

Is there any progress at AT&T for fixing this issue? What's taking so long? What are we paying you for? Are you crooks?

Message 31 of 48 (4,691 Views)
Former Community Manager

Re: 4G Elevate Mobile Hotspot Not Charging

I'm sorry you're having an issue with the Elevate. As I noted a few weeks ago, we are waiting for updated softward. 

 

You can also keep an eye on the Sierra Wireless site for updated software. 

--------------

As of May 1st, I am no longer serving as the Community Manager for AT&T. This account will no longer be able to accept private messages.

Did a post have a solution that worked for you? Help other people find solutions faster by marking posts that helped you as an "Accepted Solution". Learn about accepted solutions here.

I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s position, strategies or opinions.
Message 32 of 48 (4,642 Views)
Mentor

Re: 4G Elevate Mobile Hotspot Not Charging

From a reviewer on Amazon.com, covering the unlocked AT&T Elevate 4G hotspot, covering the over heating issue:

 

"I get 3-5 hours on a full battery charge. I am in a rural area and if there are
dual power settings, my Elevate must be using the high power setting to connect.
I believe the reviewer with limited battery life may have inadvertently lessened
the battery capacity.

The Elevate, like all devices with a Lithium
battery, really shouldn't be used while the battery is charging. In use charging
really heats up the battery and causes diminished runtime and premature failure.
I disconnect the charge cable before I use the Elevate. BTW, this applies to
laptops as well, either run them on a charged battery or remove the battery and
run from 120 volts."

 

Very good review, he has more good suggestions in the whole review, but as you can see, it is not only the Elevate, but laptops as well.  I ordered a new Elevate 4G, and since I do not need to run over 2 hours at a time I shouold be good to go.  If I had to run one all day I would buy extra batteries and charger.  I liked the idea of larger battery until I read report of that causing overheating.

Message 33 of 48 (4,614 Views)

Re: 4G Elevate Mobile Hotspot Not Charging

The reviewer on Amazon would be correct in that favorable results can be achieved by using the unit unplugged. This is in fact what I have been doing since using the extended battery.  There is no way that I can do this with OEM battery however as it just isnt practical since I use my hotspot 8 hours per day in the office and two hours in the car.  So i'm using my hotspot 10 hours at least per day.  If one is doing less demanding task then the battery could last quite a while, but if one is streaming Videos, music, or podcast then the battery gets depleted very quickly.

 

Taking the above into account this is nothing more then a work-around, hence a band-aide solution.  The charging circuit should be intelligent enough to control the charging to the device.  In no manual that I have read including the one for this hotspot is it ever noted that the charger should not be connected while using a device.  I have so much technology devices ranging from laptops, tablets, and phones and have used all them while plugged in and charging.  I have not had any issues except with wireless hotspots.  I have three hotspots from different manufactures and they all get extremely hot when pushing/pulling data.  IMO the Sierra wireless ones are the worst however.  I believe that the heat is primarily coming from the radios in the device and is only made worse by the normal heat coming from the battery during the charge process.

 

All of the hotspots that I have seen are designed poorly in that there is absolutely no ventilation to allow heat to escape.  This seems like a no brainer to manufacture the device properly with ventilation , but all of the hotspots that I have seen are designed with this oversight.  Most if not all residential routers are designed to ventilate so why not design the portable devices the same way?  I have ordered another hotspot from another wireless carrier, and have been reading that this hotspot is also overheating.  It is a newer model from the elevate, but none-the-less has the same issue.

Message 34 of 48 (4,613 Views)
Mentor

Re: 4G Elevate Mobile Hotspot Not Charging

Glad to hear the large battery does not cause overheating.  When you have AC power, have you tried taking the battery out of unit and running on AC only?  I tried my new Elevate 4G and it ran fine on AC only, should let unit run with less heat, not needing to charge battery while running Wi-Fi and 4G data.

Message 35 of 48 (4,557 Views)

Re: 4G Elevate Mobile Hotspot Not Charging

HiCap.  Where did you read that the larger battery does not cause overheating?  I believe that you may be somewhat confused because the unit still overheats with the larger battery.  As stated earlier I believe that the overheating is caused by the radio and to a lesser extent the battery.

 

The advantage to running the bigger battery is that you can pobably squeeze an entire day out of the unit per charge without having to plug the unit into the power adapter.  Even if the unit is not plugged in it can still get quite warm depending on how much data is pushed/pulled from the internet, and also the bradcast range.  If the broadcast range is set long instead of short the unit will produce more heat.

 

I  have my broadcast set on short, and I also attempt to use the unit unplugged from the adapter until such point that it must be plugged in because the battery has gotten dangerously low on it's charge.

Message 36 of 48 (4,555 Views)
Mentor

Re: 4G Elevate Mobile Hotspot Not Charging

What I am saying is that the larger battery does not cause it to overheat anymore than the regular battery, as long as it is running only on the battery.  If you plug in the AC power and try to run unit and charge the battery at the same time, then you will get more heat buildup.

 

Have you tried running the unit with battery removed and AC alone powering the unit?  It should run with less heat build up?  I just received my Elevate 4G Hotspot today, and did run it with AC power only, to make sure it would work that way.  If this helps please let me know. 

 

Page 12 of User Guide

"No battery.

The mobile hotspot is powered on and connected to the AC charger."

 

My unit will not be on for extended periods of time, as I have DSL at home, it will be used to share data in outback camping, and as backup for DSL at home.  I plan to run it on battery power, with no AC, only charge the battery when low, without unit in operation.

Message 37 of 48 (4,542 Views)

Re: 4G Elevate Mobile Hotspot Not Charging

HiCap...Thank you for the clarification.  You are correct that the higher capacity battery does not create anymore heat then the OEM battery, but it takes longer to charge obviously due to it's higher output.  I have not ran the elevate without the battery and probably won't even try it as a test.

 

It just isn't practical in my situation. I require a mix of running the unit on the battery and AC adapter depending on if I'm near an AC outlet or car charger at any given moment. 

Message 38 of 48 (4,534 Views)
Tutor

Re: 4G Elevate Mobile Hotspot Not Charging

Just want to report to the world of customers that this issue is not addressed yet nor is anyone paying attention nor caring about it. What a sad situation for winning customers.
Message 39 of 48 (4,238 Views)

Re: 4G Elevate Mobile Hotspot Not Charging

This device appears to have been designed without any thought to how it would actually be used. Instead, it seems to be a hastily thrown together smart phone without the phone and without the apps. 

 

A phone is typically NOT used while it is charging. A MyFi WOULD typically be used while it is plugged in to power - either via USB or wall charger. The fact that these things overheat if you use them while they are charging is evidence of the lack of thought about real world use cases.

 

What I have found with my unit is that (according to the information provided by the "About Your Mobile Hotspot" in the admin interface), the unit temperature goes from a reasonble 28 degrees to an unreasonable 44 degrees C in less than FIVE minutes. The operating temperature range for this device is 0-32 deg C. The I have seen temps reported as high as 51 deg C (). The dramatic increase in temperature (the battery temp ALSO goes up to harmful levels. This occurs regardless of whether the device is attached to its wall charger or to the USB port or to NO POWER SOURCE AT ALL.

 

What I have ALSO found is that if I connect to the device from my wife's laptop that uses 802.11n Wi-Fi, there is no appreciable temperature increase.  The termp only soars if I connect to the device via wi-fi from my laptop that has an older 802.11g Wi-Fi. 

 

This would seem to me to indicate that while, the device can work with the older 802.11g interface, it gets very hot very fast, eventually reaching temperatures where it starts behaving erratically. More than 5 minutes of testing would have made this malfunction pretty clear to the developers of the device, so one can only speculate as to whether they lied about the results, didn't test for more than a minute or two, or didn't object when the marketing guys insisted on claiming that the device works with 802.11b/g/n.

 

I am on my 2 replacement unit and all three of them malfunctioned in much the same way, so this is not a matter of one bad unit. This is part of the design - which apparently includes a very inefficient wi-fi radio when using the 802.11g standard.

 

Support from AT&T for these problems is non-existent. They do not seem to have anybody in their support organization who is sufficiently familiar with them to know how they are supposed to work, let alone to understand what might be causing a problem with them. The solutions - "change the battery", "try another unit", "keep the unit cool", "take the battery out and put it in a cool place" - indicate that they have no idea what a MyFi is or how one would use it... no more, apparently than, the folks at Sierra who foisted this half-baked piece of junk on a trusting public.

 

I just wish I knew where to find a MyFi that DOES work properly with 802.11g and how to get my money back for this piece of useless equipment. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Message 40 of 48 (3,000 Views)
Expert

Re: 4G Elevate Mobile Hotspot Not Charging

I find that all carriers support and knowledge of the devices to be lacking, if I have any issues with the service or billing I call the carrier, device issues I call the manufacturer of the device - they designed it, they built it, they understand it, thier support is light years ahead of ANY carrier.

Message 41 of 48 (2,992 Views)

Re: 4G Elevate Mobile Hotspot Not Charging

[ Edited ]

I have so far received no replies at all to my inquiries at Sierra. I believe that as far as they are concerned, they sold the device to AT&T and AT&T 'owns' any problems its customers have. If ATT decides to complain to Sierra, that would be different, but they apparently lack the knowledge and expertise to do that.

 

Of course, one of the big reasons to get the device from AT&T is that they are (presumably) a single point of contact for problems with the device and the service using the device. Maybe when the complaints pile up, they will consider doing what they should have been doing - taking responsibility for understanding the device and its quirks and dealing with the device manufacturer to find solutions.

 

If you have some magic way of getting the device vendors to respond to inquiries from non-customers, I would love to hear about them.

Message 42 of 48 (2,978 Views)
Expert

Re: 4G Elevate Mobile Hotspot Not Charging


davidascher wrote:

I have so far received no replies at all to my inquiries at Sierra. I believe that as far as they are concerned, they sold the device to AT&T and AT&T 'owns' any problems its customers have. If ATT decides to complain to Sierra, that would be different, but they apparently lack the knowledge and expertise to do that.

 

Of course, one of the big reasons to get the device from AT&T is that they are (presumably) a single point of contact for problems with the device and the service using the device. Maybe when the complaints pile up, they will consider doing what they should have been doing - taking responsibility for understanding the device and its quirks and dealing with the device manufacturer to find solutions.

 

If you have some magic way of getting the device vendors to respond to inquiries from non-customers, I would love to hear about them.


calling them normal gets things started I don;t use email submission

Message 43 of 48 (2,963 Views)

Re: 4G Elevate Mobile Hotspot Not Charging

I almost never call for support because

a) typically I'll be put on hold for anywhere up to 20 minutes 

b) I have to go through an automated system to find the 'right' person to speak with about the problem

c) I get people who tell me things that are not correct and I have no record of what they said

 

I'll give it try based upon your recommendation.

In the meantime, I have ordered a new wifi card for my laptop - one that supports 802.11n. I am pretty confident this will "solve" the overheating problem. I'll post my results here when I get the card. It may be a couple of weeks.

 

 

Message 44 of 48 (2,955 Views)

Re: 4G Elevate Mobile Hotspot Not Charging

I gave up and called sierra support today. They told me that the device is now supported by netgear - m-f 6am-5pm PT.

 

I'll have to try them tomorrow. They did have a downloadable firmware update tool which appears to be specific to the ATT model so I tried downloading it and using it. After it updated the firmware and restored the settings (a process that took about 10-15 minutes) nothing appears to have changed other than the version of the firmware changing to SWI9200H_03.05.09.06AP from SWI9200H_03.05.09.06AP ... in other words, no change at all. I am not sure why the tool went through the update process at all.

 

The behavior (overheating) appears to be unchanged as well.

 

 

Message 45 of 48 (2,698 Views)
Share this topic
Announcements

Welcome to the AT&T Community Forums!!! Stop by the Community How-To section for tips on how to get started.

Additional Support