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Battery life

Message #1 - Posted 2003/05/20 - John Heaney

I have a Powerbook G3 Firewire with 640 Megs RAM, running 10.2.6. It generally sits on me desk because I'm using it as a server. When its on my desk it is plugged in.

I notice the battery life sucks when I try to go portable. For example, I went portable last night, but never got to use it. So it sat on a table, cover closed, asleep for about 24 hours. Then I tried to use it. I used it for word processing for about ten minutes and the battery indicator said it was at 73%. I decided to visit the Energy Saver control panel to see if I could set it to optimize for longest battery life. There was an estimate that read just over an hour left. I tried playing with the settings, but the time estimate just kept going down. I hopped over to the Screen Saver panel to see what was set there. I noticed a new option so I watched it for about a minute and the screen went blank.

At this point, I just figured the computer went to sleep because it was optimized for longest battery life. But I couldn't wake it. So I checked the battery indicator on the battery itself and it was dead. I plugged the power adapter back in and everything was fine.

All in all, I got about 15 minutes of use before it went dead; about five after the indicator read 73%. That would imply I can only get about 20 minutes on a full charge.

Is this battery hosed because I leave the power adapter plugged in all the time? Is there a possibility I could salvage it somehow? When I first got it, I ran OS 9.x and was able to play almost all of The Patriot on DVD while hooked up to my TV. That was a little over two years ago.

----
John S. Heaney
voice & fax (401) 438-4288
I don't train in Aikido to protect myself from the world, but to protect the world from me.

Message #2 - Posted 2003/05/20 - Dennis Clark

John Heaney wrote:

Time for a new battery. Most of them go bad within a year. For all the money that we spend on notebooks, you'd think that they would put in a decent battery charger, but, nope, they're all pretty brain-dead and help that little battery right down the path to an early grave.

That tirade off my chest, nothing lasts forever and two years is pretty much the outside for an NiCd or NiMh battery. I hear that the Lion ones go even faster though.

DLC

I have a Powerbook G3 Firewire with 640 Megs RAM, running 10.2.6. It generally sits on me desk because I'm using it as a server. When its on my desk it is plugged in.

I notice the battery life sucks when I try to go portable. For example, I went portable last night, but never got to use it. So it sat on a table, cover closed, asleep for about 24 hours. Then I tried to use it. I used it for word processing for about ten minutes and the battery indicator said it was at 73%. I decided to visit the Energy Saver control panel to see if I could set it to optimize for longest battery life. There was an estimate that read just over an hour left. I tried playing with the settings, but the time estimate just kept going down. I hopped over to the Screen Saver panel to see what was set there. I noticed a new option so I watched it for about a minute and the screen went blank.

At this point, I just figured the computer went to sleep because it was optimized for longest battery life. But I couldn't wake it. So I checked the battery indicator on the battery itself and it was dead. I plugged the power adapter back in and everything was fine.

All in all, I got about 15 minutes of use before it went dead; about five after the indicator read 73%. That would imply I can only get about 20 minutes on a full charge.

Is this battery hosed because I leave the power adapter plugged in all the time? Is there a possibility I could salvage it somehow? When I first got it, I ran OS 9.x and was able to play almost all of The Patriot on DVD while hooked up to my TV. That was a little over two years ago.

----
John S. Heaney
voice & fax (401) 438-4288
I don't train in Aikido to protect myself from the world, but to protect the world from me.

-- ============================================================================ * Dennis Clark dlc@frii.com www.techtoystoday.com * * "Building Robot Drive Trains" published by McGraw-Hill 2002 * ============================================================================

Message #3 - Posted 2003/05/20 - Thom White

Fetch, Rover, Fetch wrote:

Dennis Clark wrote:

John Heaney wrote:

Time for a new battery. Most of them go bad within a year. For all the money that we spend on notebooks, you'd think that they would put in a decent battery charger, but, nope, they're all pretty brain-dead and help that little battery right down the path to an early grave.

That tirade off my chest, nothing lasts forever and two years is pretty much the outside for an NiCd or NiMh battery. I hear that the Lion ones
go even faster though.

Crap -
I have a G3 (wallstreet) powerbook with it original battery we also have 5 Ti's (original) and 1 ibook

batteries need to completely drained and filled every now and again. keeping them fully charged (always, pluged in), or always nearly empty (<20% charge) will damage the batteries

Not complete crap - the battery on the G3 (original) laptop here lasted about 8 months before giving up. It is used just like a desktop computer now.

Thom

Message #4 - Posted 2003/05/20 - John Heaney

Previously, "Fetch, Rover, Fetch wrote:

Crap -
I have a G3 (wallstreet) powerbook with it original battery we also have 5 Ti's (original) and 1 ibook
- all have there original batteries,
- all batteries function normally
- all batteries give 3+ hours of use

batteries need to completely drained and filled every now and again. keeping them fully charged (always, pluged in), or always nearly empty (<20% charge) will damage the batteries

If that is so, will deep cycling the battery now help at all?

Would it make sense to have one battery to use when I go portable and one to use while the machine is plugged in on my desktop? In other words, will a battery have a longer life if I keep it on the shelf?

----
John S. Heaney
voice & fax (401) 438-4288
I don't train in Aikido to protect myself from the world, but to protect the world from me.

Message #5 - Posted 2003/05/20 - Fetch, Rover, Fetch

John Heaney wrote:

Previously, "Fetch, Rover, Fetch wrote:

Crap -
I have a G3 (wallstreet) powerbook with it original battery we also have 5 Ti's (original) and 1 ibook
- all have there original batteries,
- all batteries function normally
- all batteries give 3+ hours of use

batteries need to completely drained and filled every now and again. keeping them fully charged (always, pluged in), or always nearly empty (<20% charge) will damage the batteries

If that is so, will deep cycling the battery now help at all?

yes

Would it make sense to have one battery to use when I go portable and one to use while the machine is plugged in on my desktop? In other words, will a battery have a longer life if I keep it on the shelf?

I do not think so

Message #6 - Posted 2003/05/20 - Phil Lefebvre

John Heaney wrote:

I have a Powerbook G3 Firewire with 640 Megs RAM, running 10.2.6.

All in all, I got about 15 minutes of use before it went dead; about five after the indicator read 73%. That would imply I can only get about 20 minutes on a full charge.

Dennis Clark wrote:

Time for a new battery. Most of them go bad within a year... two years is pretty much the outside for an NiCd or NiMh battery. I hear that the Lion ones go even faster though.

Fetch, Rover, Fetch wrote:

Crap -

I agree. I have a 3+ year-old Lombard Lion battery that still give me 2 hours of use in OS X, and 3 hours in OS 9. My wife's 2 year-old iBook battery still provides her over 3 hours in OS X.

batteries need to completely drained and filled every now and again. keeping them fully charged (always, pluged in), or always nearly empty (<20% charge) will damage the batteries

Also crap. Lion batteries don't care, and keeping them charged is actually the best thing for them. Leaving them unused on a shelf will kill them faster.

What might have happened is that your battery suffered premature failure due to a bug in OS 10.2.4 that killed the electronics of many batteries. It was not consistent, and affected iBooks the most, but all recent Apple laptops were affected. My friend keeps his PowerBook G4 plugged in most of the time, so he didn't discover he had a dead battery (only 8 months old) until about a month ago. I lost 50% of the capacity of my one of my (6 month-old) Pismo batteries after the update. Apple replaced it because it is a known defect (and the battery was still under warranty).

Chicago, IL
Remove "GO" to reply.

Message #7 - Posted 2003/05/21 - DaveC

On Wed, 21 May 2003 9:11:07 -0700, John Heaney wrote
(in message <heaney-87BFB8.12110821052003@news.east.cox.net>):

The user manual for my PB says to fully charge the battery before storing it on a shelf. There doesn't seem to be much more useful information in there beyond that.

It's the heat the battery generates (and gets from the computer) from being installed in its slot all the time that also contributes to the battery's short life.

Li-Ion batteries (indeed, all batteries) do much better if they are kept charged (just charged; not necessarily *absolutely always maximally charged*) and not hot (ie, on the shelf).

The folks in the sci.chem.electrochem.bettery news group tend to recommend inserting the battery in its bay for charging *once a week* and keeping it out for the rest of the time.

Dave C
dave+usenet3016@mailblocks.net

Message #8 - Posted 2003/05/21 - John Heaney

Previously, John Heaney wrote:

Previously, Dennis Clark wrote:

John Heaney <heaney@solidobject.com> wrote: [snip]

Nicd and NiMh batteries benefit from cycling, and never store them charged or they go "flat" and need to be cycled a couple of times to get them back. Litium batteries prefer to be charged and trickled, but I don't know if they should be stored flat or charged, I've no experience with them yet.

DLC

If that is so, will deep cycling the battery now help at all?

Would it make sense to have one battery to use when I go portable and one to use while the machine is plugged in on my desktop? In other words, will a battery have a longer life if I keep it on the shelf?

Whoa, this is kind of scary. I just got an email from DevDepot Deals advertising PowerBook batteries. Yikes.

Yow! They're $150! Ouch.

----
John S. Heaney
voice & fax (401) 438-4288
I don't train in Aikido to protect myself from the world, but to protect the world from me.

Message #9 - Posted 2003/05/27 - John Heaney

Previously, John Heaney wrote:

Previously, "Fetch, Rover, Fetch wrote:

Crap -
I have a G3 (wallstreet) powerbook with it original battery we also have 5 Ti's (original) and 1 ibook
- all have there original batteries,
- all batteries function normally
- all batteries give 3+ hours of use

batteries need to completely drained and filled every now and again. keeping them fully charged (always, pluged in), or always nearly empty (<20% charge) will damage the batteries

If that is so, will deep cycling the battery now help at all?

In case anyone is interested, I have taken my PB off the adapte several times now, running it until it goes to sleep and the battery seems much better. I guess I just need to do that now and again. Probably a good idea to do it a few times in advance of actually _needing_ to go portable. :)

Thanks to those who responded.

----
John S. Heaney
voice & fax (401) 438-4288
I don't train in Aikido to protect myself from the world, but to protect the world from me.

Message #10 - Posted 2004/08/20 - RI531

Will the life of a computer battery be shortentened if the computer is turned off but remains plugged into a power strip that has been turned off? (no power at the computer plug)? Conversely, will the battery's life be extended if the computer is turned off but is plugged into a live plug (power at the computer plug)? Thank you - Tom

Message #11 - Posted 2004/08/20 - Steve

On Thu, 19 Aug 2004 18:45:54 -0700, RI531 wrote
(in message <20040819214554.23846.00004311@mb-m28.aol.com>):

Will the life of a computer battery be shortentened if the computer is turned off but remains plugged into a power strip that has been turned off? (no power
at the computer plug)?

Conversely, will the battery's life be extended if

the
computer is turned off but is plugged into a live plug (power at the computer plug)? Thank you - Tom

If there is no power to the computer via the power cord, the backup battery is drained. If there is power to the computer (even when the computer is off) the backup battery is NOT drained. AFAIK. IOW, having the computer's power cord NOT plugged into a live outlet is bad for the backup battery.

Steve

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