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battery life PB 12/15/17"

Message #1 - Posted 2003/10/26 - Marc Heusser

Can anyone comment on actual battery life for the different new powerbooks?

What I'd need is 4 hours of writing a text.
So I could run the processor a little slower, dim the screen, stop the hard disk etc.

Any real world experience highly appreciated.
(I study at a faculty promoting e-learning - but they forgot the power outlets in the lecture hall :-( )

Marc

Marc Heusser - Zurich, Switzerland
Coaching - Consulting - Counselling - Psychotherapy
http://www.heusser.com remove the obvious CHEERS and MERCIAL... from the reply address to reply via e-mail

Message #2 - Posted 2003/10/26 - David Magda

Marc Heusser <marc.heusser@CHEERSheusser.comMERCIALSPAMMERS.invalid> writes:

Can anyone comment on actual battery life for the different new powerbooks?

[...]

I'm getting about two hours on the 17" doing general e-mail, web and some simple compiling. I haven't really played around with the power settings to try to extend things so it may be possible to improve the time. This is with 10.2.7.

If you really want extended battery life you may want to look at the batteries from:

http://www.electrovaya.com/

David Magda <dmagda at ee.ryerson.ca>, http://www.magda.ca/ Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new. -- Niccolo Machiavelli, _The Prince_, Chapter VI

Message #3 - Posted 2003/10/26 - Kevin

Marc Heusser wrote:

Can anyone comment on actual battery life for the different new powerbooks?

What I'd need is 4 hours of writing a text.
So I could run the processor a little slower, dim the screen, stop the hard disk etc.

I sat in a conference that went from 9:00am till 5:00pm with my 12" PB, and the battery lasted me through the whole thing while I took notes. Of course there were breaks for lunch and between sessions. Screen was at one notch of brightness, AirPort and BlueTooth turned off, everything else set to maximize battery power.

I was suitably impressed.

Message #4 - Posted 2003/10/27 - Thomas Reed

Previously, David Magda wrote:

Marc Heusser <marc.heusser@CHEERSheusser.comMERCIALSPAMMERS.invalid> writes:

Can anyone comment on actual battery life for the different new powerbooks?

[...]

I'm getting about two hours on the 17" doing general e-mail, web and some simple compiling.

Geez, what else are you doing with it? On my 17", I can sit and play WarCraft III off the battery, with the fan running because of the intense processor usage and the keyboard lighting on, and get close to two hours! I get over three doing simple text editing, e-mailing, compiling, etc even though AirPort is on. Turning off AirPort and doing just text editing should give 4 hours easily.

Message #5 - Posted 2003/10/27 - bbense+comp.sys.mac.portabl...

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Previously, Marc Heusser wrote:

Can anyone comment on actual battery life for the different new powerbooks?

What I'd need is 4 hours of writing a text.
So I could run the processor a little slower, dim the screen, stop the hard disk etc.

Any real world experience highly appreciated.

_ I have a 15 Ti Powerbook and at conferences I've found 4 hours is pretty easy even with Airport on if you keep the screen dim. So far I've found that to be the most "bang for the buck" in extending battery life.

_ Booker C. Bense

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Message #6 - Posted 2003/10/27 - David Magda

Thomas Reed <thomasareed@dont.spam.me> writes:

Geez, what else are you doing with it? On my 17", I can sit and play WarCraft III off the battery, with the fan running because of the intense processor usage and the keyboard lighting on, and get close to two hours! I get over three doing simple text editing, e-mailing, compiling, etc even though AirPort is on. Turning off AirPort and doing just text editing should give 4 hours easily.

Hmmm. Was I supposed to do anything special after getting it? I just started using it (the battery was charged already) and the time meter for the battery usually maxes out to about two hours. (I honestly don't look at the time, when it gets to about 20% I plug it into the wall.)

David Magda <dmagda at ee.ryerson.ca>, http://www.magda.ca/ Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new. -- Niccolo Machiavelli, _The Prince_, Chapter VI

Message #7 - Posted 2003/10/27 - David Magda

Kevin <nomail@nospam.invalid> writes:

I sat in a conference that went from 9:00am till 5:00pm with my 12" PB, and the battery lasted me through the whole thing while I took notes. Of course there were breaks for lunch and between sessions. Screen was at one notch of brightness, AirPort and BlueTooth turned off, everything else set to maximize battery power.

I was suitably impressed.

If you ever need more, you may want to look at the "PowerPad" extender battery from these guys:

http://www.electrovaya.com/

(I haven't used the product, and I'm not associated with them. I just think it's a new idea. There may be other companies doing the same thing.)

David Magda <dmagda at ee.ryerson.ca>, http://www.magda.ca/ Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new. -- Niccolo Machiavelli, _The Prince_, Chapter VI

Message #8 - Posted 2003/10/28 - Peter Renzland

David Magda wrote:

Hmmm. Was I supposed to do anything special after getting it? I just started using it (the battery was charged already) and the time meter for the battery usually maxes out to about two hours. (I honestly don't look at the time, when it gets to about 20% I plug it into the wall.)

I recently posted something about rejuvenating your old battery. about which I had to learn quite a bit recently.

But yes, you *are* supposed to do something with your new battery:

*calibrate* *calibrate* *calibrate* -- there must be a Tom Lehrer song :-)

You're supposed to do this at the beginning, and then every 3 months or so.

Anyways, what I suggest you do: (Peter's Trickle Calibration)

1. charge fully and then some
2. in terminal,
ioreg -p IODeviceTree -n battery -w0 | grep Bat
(make a note of your Capacity -- should be around 4000 or more) sudo pmset -b spindown 1 sleep 0 reduce 1
(this makes your disk spin down after 1 idle minute,
reduces your processor speed, and never sleeps, when on battery) (Maybe in Panther you can do that without pmset, but Jaguar is broken) 3. turn off airport, disconnect anything external -- keyborad, mouse, printers, and finally, power.
4. turn your display all the way down to OFF. LEAVE IT ALONE

5. W A I T (5 hours or more ...)

6. eventually your notebook will go to sleep

7. plug it in. wait 3 minutes. (mebbe 5 to be sure :-)

8. ioreg -p IODeviceTree -n battery -w0 | grep Bat

(Has it re-evaluated your Capacity?)

9. leave it alone and let it charge fully.

10. if the Capacity changed significantly, you might want to repeat the calibration cycle.

11. Adjust your battery-power management settings to make it sleep at a more reasonable time.

Note -- *calibration* means helping the battery's firmware estimate the battery's capacity.

I figured out all the above from experiments. Hope it works for you. Please do let me know your results.

If you're curious and want to measure as you go, get my awk program or get XBattery.

-- Pete

Message #9 - Posted 2003/10/27 - Steve Hix

Previously, David Magda wrote:

Thomas Reed <thomasareed@dont.spam.me> writes:

Geez, what else are you doing with it? On my 17", I can sit and play WarCraft III off the battery, with the fan running because of the intense processor usage and the keyboard lighting on, and get close to two hours! I get over three doing simple text editing, e-mailing, compiling, etc even though AirPort is on. Turning off AirPort and doing just text editing should give 4 hours easily.

Hmmm. Was I supposed to do anything special after getting it? I just started using it (the battery was charged already) and the time meter for the battery usually maxes out to about two hours. (I honestly don't look at the time, when it gets to about 20% I plug it into the wall.)

Read the user manual regarding battery handling. You can calibrate the battery and get more time from a full charge.

Message #10 - Posted 2003/10/28 - Thomas Reed

Previously, Peter Renzland wrote:

David Magda wrote:

Hmmm. Was I supposed to do anything special after getting it?

I recently posted something about rejuvenating your old battery. about which I had to learn quite a bit recently.

[numerous steps deleted]

No, none of this is necessary on recent machines, and I seriously doubt that it was *ever* necessary. All you need to do to calibrate your battery is follow the simple instructions that came with your PowerBook. You simply use the PowerBook unplugged until it puts itself to sleep, then plug it in and charge it fully.

You're supposed to do this at the beginning, and then every 3 months or so.

At the beginning, and then only when you have reason to suspect your battery's calibration has slipped. Every 3 months is not necessary.

Message #11 - Posted 2003/10/28 - Peter Renzland

Thomas Reed wrote:

Peter Renzland wrote:

David Magda wrote:

Hmmm. Was I supposed to do anything special after getting it?

I recently posted something about rejuvenating your old battery. about which I had to learn quite a bit recently.

[numerous steps deleted]

No, none of this is necessary on recent machines, and I seriously doubt that it was *ever* necessary.

Is such doubt based on specific actual knowledge?
It would be interesting to hear from someone who knows the firmware, for example. Or its failure modes.

All you need to do to calibrate your
battery is follow the simple instructions that came with your PowerBook. You simply use the PowerBook unplugged until it puts itself to sleep, then plug it in and charge it fully.

David might want to do exactly this, noting the battery capacity before and after, (as I have shown), and using the PB heavily in between.

And then report back. Depending on his firmware's idea of the capacity afterward, he can then decide for himself what to do next.

That way we'll *know* something.

I hope Dave does tell us his capacity *before* doing anything. Perhaps others in a similar situation will too?

Also, I'd appreciate hearing from anyone who knows of even the slightest problem with what I had posted before, or, for that matter, knows answers to the questions.

Questions about the "standard" calibration procedure:

* is there any reason why you can't interrupt the process, so long as you don't plug it in during the discharge, and don't use it on battery during the charge-up?

-- Pete

Message #12 - Posted 2003/10/29 - David Magda

Peter Renzland <phr0206@sympatico.ca> writes:
[...]

And then report back. Depending on his firmware's idea of the capacity afterward, he can then decide for himself what to do next.

That way we'll *know* something.

I hope Dave does tell us his capacity *before* doing anything. Perhaps others in a similar situation will too?

[...]

I'll see if I get a chance to do all this. I'm kind of using mostly as a portable desktop so battery life isn't _too_ much of an issue.

David Magda <dmagda at ee.ryerson.ca>, http://www.magda.ca/ Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new. -- Niccolo Machiavelli, _The Prince_, Chapter VI

Message #13 - Posted 2003/10/30 - Peter Renzland

David Magda wrote:

Peter Renzland <phr0206@sympatico.ca> writes: [...]

And then report back. Depending on his firmware's idea of the capacity afterward, he can then decide for himself what to do next.

That way we'll *know* something.

I hope Dave does tell us his capacity *before* doing anything. Perhaps others in a similar situation will too?

[...]

I'll see if I get a chance to do all this. I'm kind of using mostly as a portable desktop so battery life isn't _too_ much of an issue.

This will only take you a few seconds, and you don't even have to unplug it:

in Terminal, run:

ioreg -p IODeviceTree -n battery -w0 | grep Bat

and tell us the "Capacity"

Thanks. -- Pete

in

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