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  1. #1
    Danamania Guest

    Default Li-Ion battery myth.

    One of the things I've been guilty of in the last few years is repeating a myth about LiIon batteries, that they last about three years from the date they're made, and even if they're treated well, they don't have much of a life past that time.

    I've picked up a few Powerbook G3s in the last few months - I have 10 hours worth of battery life out of three of the batteries, and have yet to test the fourth. One 4 hour, and two three hours - which survive quite well with a wireless net connection, screen on, HD never powering down, and IRCing, web browsing and sshing around a few servers.

    The youngest of the batteries is six years old, and the older ones are almost nine. They should be dead - but I type this after 3 hours 3 minutes on a battery made in September 1998. Ha!

    I suspect there *may* be types of LiIon batteries that do have a short lifespan, but it's certainly not all of them.

    Dana

  2. #2

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    My latest Li-ion battery lasted all of 4 months from date of purchase.

    You're doing extremely well!
    I'm not compatible with Windows

  3. #3

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    Quite.

    If anyone's got a spare battery for a PowerBook G3 that holds a couple of hours charge then please PM me, as mine's dead as a dodo...

    Alternatively if anyone wants my dead battery, or has a suggestion of what to do with it please get in touch. Is recycling an option I wonder?

    Epson told me that my cartridges cannot be refilled but my local ink specialist says they can and has done it with mine many a time...

  4. #4

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    The main thing with batteries generally is cycle life. They have so many cycles in them - discharge then recharge - and once they've done that they are likely to be stuffed. If you discharge them only slightly before a recharge, that is still a cycle in most cases. That's why it pays to get them at least reasonably flat before recharge. Nothing to do with the NiCd memory effect, though they have that too obviously.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by soulman View Post
    The main thing with batteries generally is cycle life. They have so many cycles in them - discharge then recharge - and once they've done that they are likely to be stuffed. If you discharge them only slightly before a recharge, that is still a cycle in most cases. That's why it pays to get them at least reasonably flat before recharge. Nothing to do with the NiCd memory effect, though they have that too obviously.
    Yes and no.... saying that they have "the memory effect" is.... misleading. NiCads have a very predictable "memory effect" - whereas Li-Ion batteries have certain effects that happen under certain combinations of temperature, pressure and discharge current which can affect its lifetime. The effects are much more complex, much less predictable, and thus there is much more variation in battery lifetime.
    "The need is not for, say, half a million -inch drill bits. The need is that there are ten million -inch holes that need to be drilled." - Robert Noyce
    www.nickforge.com

  6. #6

    Default

    yeah i'll buy one of the batteries off yah :P

    Also if anyone knows of a lombard CPU that doesn't have the bug with OSX let me know

  7. #7

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    For my MBP, an Apple Store Genius told me to never let the battery get completely flat, but only down to 3% or 7% (his English wasn't quite clear). This to stop issues with the battery in the future.
    The discussion has continued at AppleTalk Australia.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Linux_insidev2 View Post
    Also if anyone knows of a lombard CPU that doesn't have the bug with OSX let me know
    Umm what bug with OS X? Never known of any, my finest being a 333Mhz model overclocked to 433Mhz

    Li-Ion batteries, if not used, keep their change (they don't discharge unlike NiMH/NiCD if not used) and have a very long shelf life.

    JB

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
    For my MBP, an Apple Store Genius told me to never let the battery get completely flat, but only down to 3% or 7% (his English wasn't quite clear). This to stop issues with the battery in the future.
    My nice managed to ran battery of a nano completely flat. As a result, the nano would not accept the charge from Mac's USB. The only way to charge the battery was to charge it via a proper mains charger.

  10. #10

    Default

    batteries, traditional ones that is, can be repacked.... find a battery supplier. todays MB & MBP batteries however, have other factors besides their cell life, that affect how long they work/last

    google 'battery repacking, Sydney' for example, depending on your area...
    _______
    Macbook Pro 2.3Ghz Intel Core i5, 8GB ram, Intel mac mini 2.26GHZ, 4GB ram, Airport Express, ATV2, iPhone 4 & 3Gs and various un/necessary gadgets and gizmos, OS 10.8

  11. #11

    Default

    Don't current Apple laptops use Lithium Polymer batteries?

  12. #12

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    Hmm...from Apple
    Question: How long is the battery life of the PowerBook G3 Series computer? Answer: Battery life with one battery installed, power cycling enabled, and some basic power conservation functions is up to 3.5 hours. With two batteries, you will get up to 7 hours of battery life.
    That's 3.5 hours from a new battery.

    It's also mentioned that the batteries are rated at 49 watt-hours. Going by the fact that the G3's had 45W power supplies which should supply enough juice to charge the batter and run the laptop at the same time and it would be reasonable to suggest the powerbook is draining somewhere in the vicinity of 15W give or take a few watts (depending on what the laptop is doing at the time). If you're getting 3 and 4 hours out of 6yo batteries then you are doing something bloody amazing. Where abouts are you getting your figures from? Are you actually running on one battery for 4 hours or are you just turning the laptop on and looking at the charge indicator (which will only give an estimate of wat the computer assumes the battery is capable of). I've had a battery report 2 hours remaining and yet went flat after only 30 minutes.

    Bartron
    This opinion intentionally left blank.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by forgie View Post
    ...saying that they have "the memory effect" is.... misleading.
    I didn't say that but anyway, I was unclear: NiCds have a memory effect, as most people will be aware, and so they suffer from this as well as having a limited cycle life.

    It is true that totally flattening batteries can be problematic. Individual cells within the battery assembly can go reverse polarity, or sometimes just high resistance. That would be why step_andy's niece's Nano wouldn't charge from USB. The mains charger would be able to deliver a higher voltage.

    All batteries exhibit some self discharge, though the rate varies with type. I don't know much about self-discharge in small batteries but I find it interesting that the manual for my camera - yes, I admit I have read it - specifically recommends charging the battery, a 720mAh Li-Ion, prior to use due to self discharge. I would infer from this that Li-Ion batteries have a rate of high self discharge but it's not conclusive.

  14. #14
    Danamania Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bartron View Post
    Are you actually running on one battery for 4 hours or are you just turning the laptop on and looking at the charge indicator (which will only give an estimate of wat the computer assumes the battery is capable of). I've had a battery report 2 hours remaining and yet went flat after only 30 minutes.

    Bartron
    I'm doing exactly what I'm doing this moment - browsing MTAU & other sites, chatting on IRC, sshd into two servers watching logs, while sitting in bed running on battery power - all via the wireless network. Atm the screen is set on about half brightness (it's too bright here in the dark otherwise), and I have no audio playing - although that does remind me there are a couple of podcasts I need to catch up on.

    Dana

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by decryption View Post
    Don't current Apple laptops use Lithium Polymer batteries?
    From the MacBook Technical Specs page:
    55-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery (with integrated charge indicator LEDs) providing up to 6 hours of battery life

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Danamania View Post
    I'm doing exactly what I'm doing this moment - browsing MTAU & other sites, chatting on IRC, sshd into two servers watching logs, while sitting in bed running on battery power - all via the wireless network. Atm the screen is set on about half brightness (it's too bright here in the dark otherwise), and I have no audio playing - although that does remind me there are a couple of podcasts I need to catch up on.

    Dana
    I'd be checking the part number on Apples website and checking the battery casing to see if it hasn't been re-packed with new cells. What you are reporting isn't consistent with known li-ion battery behaviour. If they were 6 years old they should be well and truely dead (or as good as). The best you can hope for is 6% loss per year while stored at 25C charged to 40% and going unused. Under regular conditions loss is around 20% per year....and it is irriversable. Fact of life and proven on millions of batteries the world over. 4 batteries displaying unexpected behaviour doesn't break a myth IMO.

    Bartron
    This opinion intentionally left blank.

  17. #17

    Default

    FYI ... Lithium polymer batterys have been discontinued & if problematic should be replaced with Lithium ion variations. i do Apple part replacement for various laptops & noted curiously that
    there was L-poly at one time, then pt was substituted for L-ion
    ...
    _______
    Macbook Pro 2.3Ghz Intel Core i5, 8GB ram, Intel mac mini 2.26GHZ, 4GB ram, Airport Express, ATV2, iPhone 4 & 3Gs and various un/necessary gadgets and gizmos, OS 10.8

  18. #18

    Default

    Hi all - just joined.

    So if I'm reading all this right, then my battery needs replacing!

    I have a 2 yr old iBook G4 and just in the past few days, the battery indicator (on screen) has been showing only 1:30 left, even after a full recharge (and it does only last 1 1/2 hours). I have let it run down and recharged a few times, but no difference.

    The battery indicator (on battery itself) is still showing all four lights when charged.

    Qs. 1. Is it stuffed - or is there something I can do to revive the poor old thing?
    2. Should I only get a replacement from Apple or are there other sources?
    3. I ghenerally run the iBook plugged in to the mains. Has that contributed to the seemingly short battery life:

    Thx for any help

    sw

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by seniorwardy View Post
    Hi all - just joined.
    Welcome - there's a thread somewhere on here where you can introduce yourself

    Quote Originally Posted by seniorwardy View Post
    Qs. 1. Is it stuffed - or is there something I can do to revive the poor old thing?
    2. Should I only get a replacement from Apple or are there other sources?
    3. I ghenerally run the iBook plugged in to the mains. Has that contributed to the seemingly short battery life?
    I can't answer questions one or three - yes, they were probably your most pressing - but to answer Q2, yes, there are plenty of other sources. Yahoo/google search will help you. eBay will have plenty of suppliers, too. Not long ago, I bought a charger from battery-charger.com.au. Price was very good, charger works, so that's helpful. I haven't bought a battery from them, but I do know of others who have and they are happy with price/performance.

    Just check that the battery that you buy has a warranty, not just a 7 day DOA 'guarantee'.

    Cheers,
    Andrew
    I'm not compatible with Windows

  20. #20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Byrd View Post
    Umm what bug with OS X? Never known of any, my finest being a 333Mhz model overclocked to 433Mhz

    Li-Ion batteries, if not used, keep their change (they don't discharge unlike NiMH/NiCD if not used) and have a very long shelf life.

    JB
    http://www.macosxhints.com/article.p...10409212137745

    It appears to be when you use ram greater than 64mb, i do not plan on running tiger on anything short of 256.

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