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Watching MBP battery life drain away - literally!

Message #1 - Posted 2008/03/21 - Mentally Sub-Normal

I've finally retrieved my MBP from its wintering ground (under Rowland's sofa!) and I've had it charging since I got back. I've fully updated it (it's running Tigger) and I've been using it for roughly 45 minutes and, in that time, I've watched the meter go from 98 (I don't recall it ever reading 100% in the entire time I've had it) to 36%. One of the updates was a firmware update and I don't recall the battery draining this quickly (but I've not seen it since the end of August) prior to said 'EFI' update.

It's connected via the AirPort to a Linksys router and I'm currently listening to TMS as I type this (via the Beeb TMS page) (just trying to think of things that might be affecting it).

In the course of typing this post, it's now gone down to 33%.

It's a 2nd gen machine, if that makes any difference.

If you need any more info, then I'd be more than happy to provide.

Cheers

Sarah

Message #2 - Posted 2008/03/22 - Steve Hodgson

On 2008-03-22 03:15:13 +0000, Mentally Sub-Normal said:

I've finally retrieved my MBP from its wintering ground (under Rowland's sofa!) and I've had it charging since I got back. I've fully updated it (it's running Tigger) and I've been using it for roughly 45 minutes and, in that time, I've watched the meter go from 98 (I don't recall it ever reading 100% in the entire time I've had it) to 36%. One of the updates was a firmware update and I don't recall the battery draining this quickly (but I've not seen it since the end of August) prior to said 'EFI' update.

It's connected via the AirPort to a Linksys router and I'm currently listening to TMS as I type this (via the Beeb TMS page) (just trying to think of things that might be affecting it).

In the course of typing this post, it's now gone down to 33%.

It's a 2nd gen machine, if that makes any difference.

If you need any more info, then I'd be more than happy to provide.

Possibly time for a new battery...

I reckon on getting about 2 years from a battery based on this MBP and the previous PB. It may be worth letting it drain down completely to calibrate the battery status but I wouldn't be too hopeful.

A utility like Coconut Battery can be useful to track the capacity of the battery against the original capacity. I think mine got down to about 25% before I changed it.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,

Steve

The reply-to email address is a spam trap.
Email steve 'at' shodgson 'dot' org 'dot' uk

Message #3 - Posted 2008/03/22 - Mentally Sub-Normal

On 22 Mar, 10:47, Steve Hodgson wrote:

On 2008-03-22 03:15:13 +0000, Mentally Sub-Normal said:

I've finally retrieved my MBP from its wintering ground (under Rowland's sofa!) and I've had it charging since I got back. I've fully updated it (it's running Tigger) and I've been using it for roughly 45 minutes and, in that time, I've watched the meter go from 98 (I don't recall it ever reading 100% in the entire time I've had it) to 36%. One of the updates was a firmware update and I don't recall the battery draining this quickly (but I've not seen it since the end of August) prior to said 'EFI' update.

It's connected via the AirPort to a Linksys router and I'm currently listening to TMS as I type this (via the Beeb TMS page) (just trying to think of things that might be affecting it).

In the course of typing this post, it's now gone down to 33%.

It's a 2nd gen machine, if that makes any difference.

If you need any more info, then I'd be more than happy to provide.

Possibly time for a new battery...

I reckon on getting about 2 years from a battery based on this MBP and the previous PB. It may be worth letting it drain down completely to calibrate the battery status but I wouldn't be too hopeful.

A utility like Coconut Battery can be useful to track the capacity of the battery against the original capacity. I think mine got down to about 25% before I changed it.

Cheers, Steve, I feared someone was going to say something like that. How many beans is that going to set me back (beans being in rather short supply at the moment)? Will a 3rd-party one do anything to invalidate the AC? If not, where should I be looking (I'm not just going to buy some el cheapo thing from eBay, because it's, well, cheap).

Sarah

Message #4 - Posted 2008/03/22 - Mentally Sub-Normal

On 22 Mar, 10:47, Steve Hodgson wrote:

On 2008-03-22 03:15:13 +0000, Mentally Sub-Normal said:

I've finally retrieved my MBP from its wintering ground (under Rowland's sofa!) and I've had it charging since I got back. I've fully updated it (it's running Tigger) and I've been using it for roughly 45 minutes and, in that time, I've watched the meter go from 98 (I don't recall it ever reading 100% in the entire time I've had it) to 36%. One of the updates was a firmware update and I don't recall the battery draining this quickly (but I've not seen it since the end of August) prior to said 'EFI' update.

It's connected via the AirPort to a Linksys router and I'm currently listening to TMS as I type this (via the Beeb TMS page) (just trying to think of things that might be affecting it).

In the course of typing this post, it's now gone down to 33%.

It's a 2nd gen machine, if that makes any difference.

If you need any more info, then I'd be more than happy to provide.

Possibly time for a new battery...

I reckon on getting about 2 years from a battery based on this MBP and the previous PB. It may be worth letting it drain down completely to calibrate the battery status but I wouldn't be too hopeful.

A utility like Coconut Battery can be useful to track the capacity of the battery against the original capacity. I think mine got down to about 25% before I changed it.

CB gives me the following info: -

Current battery charge: 6091mAh
Maximum battery charge: 6113mAh (99%)

Current battery capacity: 6113mAh
Original battery capacity 6300mAh (97%)

Battery loadcycles: 35
Age of Mac: 16 months (I'd no idea I'd had it that long!) Charger connected: Yes
Battery is charging: No

Hope that helps a bit - I can't see that it's time to replace the battery, but looks like I might have to. I'm a little way off this being 2 years old.

Cheers

Sarah

Message #5 - Posted 2008/03/22 - Pd

Mentally Sub-Normal wrote:

Possibly time for a new battery...

Cheers, Steve, I feared someone was going to say something like that. How many beans is that going to set me back (beans being in rather short supply at the moment)? Will a 3rd-party one do anything to invalidate the AC?

If you still have AppleCare, I'd be asking for a new battery under warranty. A battery on a portable device like an MBP should last at least the length of AC, unless you're charging it every night, and running it flat every day. Even then it should last 18 months or more.

Pd

Message #6 - Posted 2008/03/22 - Steve Hodgson

On 2008-03-22 12:55:40 +0000, Mentally Sub-Normal said:

On 22 Mar, 10:47, Steve Hodgson wrote:

On 2008-03-22 03:15:13 +0000, Mentally Sub-Normal said:

I've finally retrieved my MBP from its wintering ground (under Rowland's sofa!) and I've had it charging since I got back. I've fully updated it (it's running Tigger) and I've been using it for roughly 45 minutes and, in that time, I've watched the meter go from 98 (I don't recall it ever reading 100% in the entire time I've had it) to 36%. One of the updates was a firmware update and I don't recall the battery draining this quickly (but I've not seen it since the end of August) prior to said 'EFI' update.

It's connected via the AirPort to a Linksys router and I'm currently listening to TMS as I type this (via the Beeb TMS page) (just trying to think of things that might be affecting it).

In the course of typing this post, it's now gone down to 33%.

It's a 2nd gen machine, if that makes any difference.

If you need any more info, then I'd be more than happy to provide.

Possibly time for a new battery...

I reckon on getting about 2 years from a battery based on this MBP and the previous PB. It may be worth letting it drain down completely to calibrate the battery status but I wouldn't be too hopeful.

A utility like Coconut Battery can be useful to track the capacity of the battery against the original capacity. I think mine got down to about 25% before I changed it.

CB gives me the following info: -

Current battery charge: 6091mAh
Maximum battery charge: 6113mAh (99%)

Current battery capacity: 6113mAh
Original battery capacity 6300mAh (97%)

Battery loadcycles: 35
Age of Mac: 16 months (I'd no idea I'd had it that long!) Charger connected: Yes
Battery is charging: No

Hope that helps a bit - I can't see that it's time to replace the battery, but looks like I might have to. I'm a little way off this being 2 years old.

Something about these readings doesn't quite add up as the current capacity is about the same as a new battery. A machine that's 16 months old and been used off mains fairly frequently should have run down more that I would have thought.

What battery life do you get? With those figures it should be about 3Ω hours but I suspect that you will get nowhere near that even after re-calibrating.

Cheers,

Steve

The reply-to email address is a spam trap.
Email steve 'at' shodgson 'dot' org 'dot' uk

Message #7 - Posted 2008/03/22 - Paul Russell

Pd wrote:

Mentally Sub-Normal wrote:

Possibly time for a new battery...

Cheers, Steve, I feared someone was going to say something like that. How many beans is that going to set me back (beans being in rather short supply at the moment)? Will a 3rd-party one do anything to invalidate the AC?

If you still have AppleCare, I'd be asking for a new battery under warranty. A battery on a portable device like an MBP should last at least the length of AC, unless you're charging it every night, and running it flat every day. Even then it should last 18 months or more.

My MBP battery is knackered after a year and only around 30 discharge cycles. I'll be calling the AppleCare number when I get back to the UK for a replacement. What is up with Apple these days ?

Paul

Message #8 - Posted 2008/03/22 - Martin S.

Previously, Mentally Sub-Normal wrote:

Will a 3rd-party one do anything to
invalidate the AC? If not, where should I be looking (I'm not just going to buy some el cheapo thing from eBay, because it's, well, cheap).

I've replaced batteries in my iBook and PB with ones from Newertech: <http://www.newertech.com/products/laptop.php>

Higher capacity - much higher in case of the iBook - and no problems whatsoever.

I ordered them from OWC:
<http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/powerbook/batteries/>

Cheers Martin

Message #9 - Posted 2008/03/22 - Mentally Sub-Normal

On 22 Mar, 14:27, Martin S. wrote:

Previously, Mentally Sub-Normal wrote:

Will a 3rd-party one do anything to
invalidate the AC? If not, where should I be looking (I'm not just going to buy some el cheapo thing from eBay, because it's, well, cheap).

I've replaced batteries in my iBook and PB with ones from Newertech: <http://www.newertech.com/products/laptop.php>

Higher capacity - much higher in case of the iBook - and no problems whatsoever.

I ordered them from OWC:
<http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/powerbook/batteries/>

Cheers, Martin, but I can't order from the States as I don't have a credit card (they don't tend to give 'em to folks with hardly any money for some bizarre reason...)

Sarah

Message #10 - Posted 2008/03/23 - zoara

Steve Hodgson wrote:

On 2008-03-22 12:55:40 +0000, Mentally Sub-Normal said:

CB gives me the following info: -

Current battery charge: 6091mAh
Maximum battery charge: 6113mAh (99%)

Current battery capacity: 6113mAh
Original battery capacity 6300mAh (97%)

Battery loadcycles: 35
Age of Mac: 16 months (I'd no idea I'd had it that long!) Charger connected: Yes
Battery is charging: No

Hope that helps a bit - I can't see that it's time to replace the battery, but looks like I might have to. I'm a little way off this being 2 years old.

Something about these readings doesn't quite add up as the current capacity is about the same as a new battery. A machine that's 16 months old and been used off mains fairly frequently should have run down more that I would have thought.

It adds up if it was regularly used on the mains though. Does 35 charge cycles sound about right, Sarah? Bear in mind that if you take it of the mains and drain it by a half four times, that counts as two cycles...

The "age of Mac" thing is when it was manufactured, not bought; it could have been in stock for a couple of months before being sold.

There could be an odd 'memory effect' thing going on if it was unplugged whilst 'wintering' under the sofa. If it hasn't been on charge for a long time, it may take a charge cycle or two for a) the battery to 'get going' properly and b) the battery meter to calibrate itself to the actual battery output.

Give it a few charges and rundowns, ideally until it sleeps itself - but be warned that if it's not properly calibrated it might mis-guess and run completely out of power, so save everything when the power gets low. Absolutely ideally, when it sleeps itself, let it sleep until the power goes completely. Then charge, fully if possible, and repeat. If it still has not-great life, then it's probably new-battery time (and I agree with PeterD about claiming it on AppleCare). If you'regetting an hour or more, you may find that they'll argue that this is reasonable.

-zoara-

What battery life do you get? With those figures it should be about 3‚àè hours but I suspect that you will get nowhere near that even after re-calibrating.

"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge." - Charles Darwin

Message #11 - Posted 2008/03/25 - Paul Russell

zoara wrote:

Something about these readings doesn't quite add up as the current capacity is about the same as a new battery. A machine that's 16 months old and been used off mains fairly frequently should have run down more that I would have thought.

It adds up if it was regularly used on the mains though. Does 35 charge cycles sound about right, Sarah? Bear in mind that if you take it of the mains and drain it by a half four times, that counts as two cycles...

The "age of Mac" thing is when it was manufactured, not bought; it could have been in stock for a couple of months before being sold.

There could be an odd 'memory effect' thing going on if it was unplugged whilst 'wintering' under the sofa. If it hasn't been on charge for a long time, it may take a charge cycle or two for a) the battery to 'get going' properly and b) the battery meter to calibrate itself to the actual battery output.

Give it a few charges and rundowns, ideally until it sleeps itself - but be warned that if it's not properly calibrated it might mis-guess and run completely out of power, so save everything when the power gets low. Absolutely ideally, when it sleeps itself, let it sleep until the power goes completely. Then charge, fully if possible, and repeat. If it still has not-great life, then it's probably new-battery time (and I agree with PeterD about claiming it on AppleCare). If you'regetting an hour or more, you may find that they'll argue that this is reasonable.

I've spent a significant chunk of today on the phone to AppleCare about my MBP battery, which is just over a year old and only has around 30 charge cycles on it. This morning they had me reset my SMC, which only made things worse - battery life then dropepd to about 20 minutes (it had been about an hour). So finally this afternoon they agreed to replace it.

Paul

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