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Pismo battery questions

Message #1 - Posted 2004/01/07 - Jo Vandeweghe

Hi,

In late may 2003 I bought a second hand pismo and upgraded it to 1Gb ram and also a 60Gb 5400 drive. I have also bought any foundable expansion bays.

My battery was giving me around 5 hours autonomy. But since the use of Jaguar and then Panther I had some problems like:
- having a fully recharged battery only gave me 3 hours and couldn't trespass the 1 hour limit (when showing one hour left the computer went to deep sleep)
- the problem is now worser ..... I can't get nothing more than 20 minutes even if the battery is shown like fully charged (only 3 hours under panther and 5 hours under os 9)

I then used the reset program on a Lombard (uncompatible for using with pismo) and I got a nice 5 hours autonomy under panther .... but the use showed me it was not true again; after 20 minutes the battery was completely discharged.

Have you any idea about this ?
Is it related to the powermanager ?

What can I do for this wonderfull computer ?

Thanks in advance

Jo

Message #2 - Posted 2004/01/07 - Adam

I have a Pismo, but am currently at 10.2.8, not Panther. Getting less than 5 hours sounds about right (I got about 4 hours of use in OS9, and about 2.5 to 3 in OS X), but 20 mins sounds bad. You may just need to replace the battery. They're $80 or so, but I'm not sure how you can be sure that it is the battery that is bad. It would suck to buy a new battery, and still get only 20 mins from it.

Previously, Jo Vandeweghe wrote:

Hi,

In late may 2003 I bought a second hand pismo and upgraded it to 1Gb ram and also a 60Gb 5400 drive. I have also bought any foundable expansion bays.

My battery was giving me around 5 hours autonomy. But since the use of Jaguar and then Panther I had some problems like:
- having a fully recharged battery only gave me 3 hours and couldn't trespass the 1 hour limit (when showing one hour left the computer went to deep sleep)
- the problem is now worser ..... I can't get nothing more than 20 minutes even if the battery is shown like fully charged (only 3 hours under panther and 5 hours under os 9)

I then used the reset program on a Lombard (uncompatible for using with pismo) and I got a nice 5 hours autonomy under panther .... but the use showed me it was not true again; after 20 minutes the battery was completely discharged.

Have you any idea about this ?
Is it related to the powermanager ?

What can I do for this wonderfull computer ?

Thanks in advance

Jo

Message #3 - Posted 2004/01/07 - John Johnson

Message reformatted
Previously, Adam wrote:

Previously, Jo Vandeweghe wrote:

Hi,

In late may 2003 I bought a second hand pismo and upgraded it to 1Gb ram and also a 60Gb 5400 drive. I have also bought any foundable expansion bays.

My battery was giving me around 5 hours autonomy. But since the use of Jaguar and then Panther I had some problems like:
- having a fully recharged battery only gave me 3 hours and couldn't trespass the 1 hour limit (when showing one hour left the computer went to deep sleep)
- the problem is now worser ..... I can't get nothing more than 20 minutes even if the battery is shown like fully charged (only 3 hours under panther and 5 hours under os 9)

I then used the reset program on a Lombard (uncompatible for using with pismo) and I got a nice 5 hours autonomy under panther .... but the use showed me it was not true again; after 20 minutes the battery was completely discharged.

Have you any idea about this ?
Is it related to the powermanager ?

What can I do for this wonderfull computer ?

Thanks in advance

Jo

I have a Pismo, but am currently at 10.2.8, not Panther. Getting less than 5 hours sounds about right (I got about 4 hours of use in OS9, and about 2.5 to 3 in OS X), but 20 mins sounds bad. You may just need to replace the battery. They're $80 or so, but I'm not sure how you can be sure that it is the battery that is bad. It would suck to buy a new battery, and still get only 20 mins from it.

Most likely Jo's battery is simply worn out. If you look in the group archives on this (or similar) subjects, you will see many discussions of similar behavior. As I understand it, Li-ion batteries supplied with the Pismo are rated for somewhere between 500-1000 recharge cycles, and probably have an age limit as well (the stated _storage_ life of a Li-ion batter is often given as 2-3 years, under proper conditions, I don't know about use).

Really the only way that I know of to see whether a battery is worn out is to test a known-good or new battery in the machine. There has been an intermittant thread on battery 'recalibration' here recently. Peter Renzland (IIRC) has some ideas on reconditioning batteries that he would like people to try out and report back on. Search the archives for more info.

FWIW, I didn't follow the instructions given by Peter exactly (I was using the machine while draining the battery), but noticed no improvement in my old battery. I don't care enough about the old battery to make a concerted effort, and must honestly say that I doubt that the procedure would make a difference in my case. Some people have reported improvements in reported capacity and use life.

I bought my Pismo new in Sept. 2000. Running OS 9 I got 3.5-4.5 hours out of a battery. By the time I was running 10.1 and 10.2, I was getting more like 1.5 (I noticed better battery life as OS X got improved). Certainly part of my decrease in battery life was the new OS, but a big portion of it was the old battery.

In summer 2003 I bought a new battery (manufactured by BTI, 139USD from CDW.com) and immediately began to get 3.5-4.0 hours from the new one while running 10.2.6. I'm now running 10.3 and get similar life.

Of course, I only have 384MB RAM so my battery is likely to last somewhat longer than one in a machine with 1GB. One of the nice things about the Pismo is that I can put my old battery into the other bay for an extra hour of life. If I used this machine away from the mains more, I would probably buy another new battery for all-day endurance. A friend of mine did just this while doing library research-7 or more hours with two batteries. When the batteries ran out, it was time to go home!

I recall that another manufacturer makes Pismo batteries with somewhat higher capacity than the original (and BTI, which is identical to the original), and is reported to give 10-15% more life on one battery.

HTH

Message #4 - Posted 2004/01/07 - Ron Parsons

Previously, John Johnson wrote:

I recall that another manufacturer makes Pismo batteries with somewhat higher capacity than the original (and BTI, which is identical to the original), and is reported to give 10-15% more life on one battery.

The NewerTech people advertise 25% more life, but my experience on a Pismo running Panther with one original and one newer battery installed is that the new one has about 4 times the life of the original. Unless I need the CD/DVD, I keep both batterys in.

The power cords are another story, both my originals shorted out where the wire goes into the plug. Apple modified that spot with more support on the replacement, but that support has now failed so the wire is exposed to stress just like before now. So I usually unplug the Pismo since I have 5+ hours of use and that is long enough without taking a break... plug it back in when ever I set it down.

Ron

Message #5 - Posted 2004/01/07 - John Johnson

Previously, Ron Parsons wrote:

Previously, John Johnson wrote:

I recall that another manufacturer makes Pismo batteries with somewhat higher capacity than the original (and BTI, which is identical to the original), and is reported to give 10-15% more life on one battery.

The NewerTech people advertise 25% more life, but my experience on a Pismo running Panther with one original and one newer battery installed is that the new one has about 4 times the life of the original. Unless I need the CD/DVD, I keep both batterys in.

"4 times the life of the original" when? If you mean 4X the life of the original battery when both are considered now (original battery is 3ish years old and well used, new battery is...well, new), that's rather different thing than if you considered each battery when new (which would imply that your NewerTech battery gives you somewhere between 8 and 12 hours!). Based on what you say below, I take it that you mean that your original battery currently gives you approx. 1ish hours and the new battery gives your approx. 4ish (for a total of 5+, and the new battery has 4X the life of the original) hours of life.

The power cords are another story, both my originals shorted out where the wire goes into the plug. Apple modified that spot with more support on the replacement, but that support has now failed so the wire is exposed to stress just like before now. So I usually unplug the Pismo since I have 5+ hours of use and that is long enough without taking a break... plug it back in when ever I set it down.

Yeah, the yo-yo is a bit disappointing that way. I had one burn all four ends of the two cables involved. I've got two of them right now (one at home, one at the office) and they seem to be doing just fine. Like you, I don't typically move my computer around when plugged in. I also don't bother to take the yo-yo with me unless I'm going to be out of town: 4-5 hours of work in one sitting is enough for me!

Message #6 - Posted 2004/01/08 - Ron Parsons

Previously, John Johnson wrote:

Previously, Ron Parsons wrote:

Previously, John Johnson wrote:

I recall that another manufacturer makes Pismo batteries with somewhat higher capacity than the original (and BTI, which is identical to the original), and is reported to give 10-15% more life on one battery.

The NewerTech people advertise 25% more life, but my experience on a Pismo running Panther with one original and one newer battery installed is that the new one has about 4 times the life of the original. Unless I need the CD/DVD, I keep both batterys in.

"4 times the life of the original" when? If you mean 4X the life of the original battery when both are considered now (original battery is 3ish years old and well used, new battery is...well, new), that's rather different thing than if you considered each battery when new (which would imply that your NewerTech battery gives you somewhere between 8 and 12 hours!). Based on what you say below, I take it that you mean that your original battery currently gives you approx. 1ish hours and the new battery gives your approx. 4ish (for a total of 5+, and the new battery has 4X the life of the original) hours of life.

Yep, that's the situation.

The power cords are another story, both my originals shorted out where the wire goes into the plug. Apple modified that spot with more support on the replacement, but that support has now failed so the wire is exposed to stress just like before now. So I usually unplug the Pismo since I have 5+ hours of use and that is long enough without taking a break... plug it back in when ever I set it down.

Yeah, the yo-yo is a bit disappointing that way. I had one burn all four ends of the two cables involved. I've got two of them right now (one at home, one at the office) and they seem to be doing just fine. Like you, I don't typically move my computer around when plugged in. I also don't bother to take the yo-yo with me unless I'm going to be out of town: 4-5 hours of work in one sitting is enough for me!

I'm down to just the one yo-yo now plus a car/plane unit. Repairing the two shorted yo-yos is on my to-do list after fixing two tv's and cleaning my computer room.

Ron

Message #7 - Posted 2004/01/08 - Jo Vandeweghe

Thanks to everybody .... the answers are interesting and I'm always testing my battery to see how long it can last ... For the moment fully charged it shows 2h45 and X-Battery program shows 97 %

I keep you informed

Jo

Message #8 - Posted 2004/01/08 - Jo Vandeweghe

The situation is very amazing .......
While panther's menu bar shows 2h30 left and X-Battery 85% charge the pismo dives in deep sleep making it impossible to retrieve to an awaken state .... so I have to put the adapter again and it "charges" the battery in less than 10 minutes :(

I really don't know what is the right diagnostic to this

Jo

Message #9 - Posted 2004/01/08 - Goran Larsson

Previously, Jo Vandeweghe wrote:

The situation is very amazing .......
While panther's menu bar shows 2h30 left and X-Battery 85% charge the pismo dives in deep sleep making it impossible to retrieve to an awaken state .... so I have to put the adapter again and it "charges" the battery in less than 10 minutes :(

Go get my battery script from < http://www.mitt-eget.com/software/macosx/ > and run the script from a terminal window. You will see some output close to this, but the numbers will be different.

Battery 1
Battery: battery installed, above warning level
Charger: charger connected, not charging
UPS: UPS not installed
Voltage: 12.596V
Current: 1.200A (approx 3:27)
Capacity: 4.149Ah of 4.149Ah (100.0%)

Run the script a couple of times from when the battery is "fully charged" until the Pismo goes to sleep. Post the result here and hopefully someone here can understand what is happening with your battery/power controller.

Gˆran Larsson http://www.mitt-eget.com/

Message #10 - Posted 2004/01/09 - Bruce Tomlin

Previously, Jo Vandeweghe wrote:

In late may 2003 I bought a second hand pismo and upgraded it to 1Gb ram and also a 60Gb 5400 drive. I have also bought any foundable expansion bays.

My battery was giving me around 5 hours autonomy. But since the use of Jaguar and then Panther I had some problems like:
- having a fully recharged battery only gave me 3 hours and couldn't trespass the 1 hour limit (when showing one hour left the computer went to deep sleep)

First of all, upgrading a Pismo to 1GB of RAM is a great way to reduce its battery life. Especially if they are "long" memory modules with two rows of chips. That's twice as many chips as it was designed for, and four times as many as it probably shipped with. The faster spinning hard drive puts a bit more load on the battery too.

And your battery is probably near the end of its life too. In my experience with two Apple-branded batteries, they will charge to 100%, then immediately drop to 1% after discharging to a certain point. As the battery goes bad, this point approaches 100%. When your battery goes out at 75%, it may have a month or two more of life.

The charging algorithms of older versions of OS X may have had a negative effect on Pismo battery life as well. Especially 10.0.x, which drained the batteries significantly faster in sleep than 9.x did.

My experience with a BTI battery is different. The one I have just tops off at a lower and lower percentage. I haven't used it much lately (just leaving it plugged in at home), and it hasn't charged above 79% in a long time. That might be a calibration issue, though, and using the battery until it is empty and then recharging fully might fix it. I won't know until I try it, and I don't plan to.

Message #11 - Posted 2004/01/09 - DaveC

On Thu, 8 Jan 2004 11:22:17 -0800, Goran Larsson wrote
(in message <Hr6r55.6vy@approve.se>):

http://www.mitt-eget.com/software/macosx/

For those of us who don't know a bin from a bat, could you give some step-by-step instructions for installing this and running it? I've downloaded it and read the instructions, but can't make heads or tales.

Thanks,

DaveC
me@privacy.net
This is an invalid return address
Please reply in the news group

Message #12 - Posted 2004/01/10 - matt neuburg

DaveC wrote:

On Thu, 8 Jan 2004 11:22:17 -0800, Goran Larsson wrote (in message <Hr6r55.6vy@approve.se>):

http://www.mitt-eget.com/software/macosx/

For those of us who don't know a bin from a bat, could you give some step-by-step instructions for installing this and running it? I've downloaded it and read the instructions, but can't make heads or tales.

Then you *haven't* read the instructions, because he tells you very clearly what to do. Drag "battery" into your home folder, then start up the Terminal and say the stuff he says to say:

sudo cp battery /usr/bin/.
sudo chmod +x /usr/bin/battery
rehash

Then run it according to his usage instructions:

battery

And so forth. If he told you more about what to do he'd be telling you how to plug in the computer and blow your nose. m.

matt neuburg, phd = matt@tidbits.com, http://www.tidbits.com/matt/ AppleScript: The Definitive Guide
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0596005571/somethingsbymatt Read TidBITS! It's free and smart. http://www.tidbits.com

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