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More Battery Bizzarness

Message #1 - Posted 2005/02/23 - joeobrin

OK, I was having trouble with my (Titanium) PowerBook battery. I got a new battery, and the symptoms changed, but did not go away.

What it does now is to run great from a fully charged battery, getting close to 5 hours of run time in my typical use mode (and that is with an Airport card running). But, getting it to fully charge is a challenge.

On someone's recomendation, I tried out XBattery. This led to some very interesting information.

The battery had been sitting at 0%, in spite of the power supply being plugged in, for several hours before I downloaded XBattery and started it (XBattery) up. The status screen in XBattery showed that the charger was present, but the battery was not charging. I unplugged the power supply from the connector at the back of the Power Book and plugged it back in. I did this several times. Each time, the presence or absence of the charger was reflected correctly in the info window, but the charging indicator always said not charging. Suddenly, on one of the connections, the indicator changed to charging.

Withing a few minutes, the battery level had shot up to 5%. It continued to climb steadily for several hours (I went to bed, but let it run with XBattery recording data). The battery took about five hours to fully charge. When it had fully charged, I unplugged the power supply, leaving the machine running. I used it for nearly five hours, and it then went into coma sleep. Looking at the graph, the discharge cycle was very linear on the battery level measurment. But, the voltage dropped quikly, then sort of leveled off.

None of this seemed very strange to me (after the initial jiggling to get it to start charging).

I then plugged the power supply back in. The same thing happened as before. But, after a few attempts, the battery started charging.

Now, this time I left it alone and came back later. I left the machine on (it went into a screen saver mode after a while). When I did return, the battery level graph showed that the battery had charged to about 25% in about half an hour, then stopped dead (at 25%) for two hours! That is, there was a plateau in the graph. The battery info window showed that the charger was attached, but the battery was not charging. I plugged and unplugged it a few times, nd the battery started charging again.

So, for some reason, the charger stops charging every once in a while, and gets stuck in a not charging mode.

Like I say, this is a new battery. I have tried different chargers (I have another laptop available, and a third charger--long story). I did not try the other chargers with XBattery making measurements, but the symptoms I noticed before getting XBattery (mainly that it takes forever to get a charge built up) are the same regardless of the charger I use.

So, I'm trying to figure out what to do next, and wondering if anyone has ideas about this particular battery weirdness. I am tempted to think it is a mechanical problem, except that the machine knows when a charger is plugged in. It just sometimes does not feel like charging.

BTW, I am running 10.3.5. I believe I mentioned that it is a Titanium Power Book.

Message #2 - Posted 2005/02/24 - Tom Harrington

Previously, joeobrin@io.com wrote:

So, I'm trying to figure out what to do next, and wondering if anyone has ideas about this particular battery weirdness. I am tempted to think it is a mechanical problem, except that the machine knows when a charger is plugged in. It just sometimes does not feel like charging.

From your description it sounds like a loose connection somewhere. Everything sounds like it works well except that sometimes there's a connection that's not getting made. Could be that the problem is not in connecting the charger but in the connection to the battery-- one of the connections in the battery bay might be bent/loose/something so that charging's not always possible. Maybe the battery's just not seated properly.

It wouldn't hurt to reset the power manager, just to be sure.

Tom "Tom" Harrington
Macaroni, Automated System Maintenance for Mac OS X.
Version 2.0: Delocalize, Repair Permissions, lots more.
See http://www.atomicbird.com/

Message #3 - Posted 2005/02/25 - Teq

Uøytkownik wrote:

OK, I was having trouble with my (Titanium) PowerBook battery. I got a new battery, and the symptoms changed, but did not go away. The battery had been sitting at 0%, in spite of the power supply being plugged in, for several hours

...

the battery had
charged to about 25% in about half an hour, then stopped dead (at 25%) for two hours! That is, there was a plateau in the graph. The battery info window showed that the charger was attached, but the battery was not charging. I plugged and unplugged it a few times, nd the battery started charging again.

There is a special circuit in every portable computer which is responsible solely for the battery loading process. Should this circuit be damaged in any way the battery wouldn't load at all or the loading process would be erratic such as is in your case. Of course first thing to do is to check all simple solutions - check your plugs and cables. If it doesn't help check if another battery would load in Your computer without such problems or if your battery loads in a different powerbook, otherwise I'm affraid it might be time to send your baby to Apple.

Best regards

Teq

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