PDA

View Full Version : Am I Destroying my Battery? Also, In-Car Chargers.




TheSpaz
Sep 26, 2007, 12:52 PM
I plug my iPod into my Car on the way to work and the way home from work and basically any time I'm in my car. The unit I have it plugged into is an iPod charger that happens to have a line-out built in that is connected to the back of my car stereo's AUX in. By constantly charging my iPod while it's in my car, am I shortening the life of my iPod battery for when it's not being charged?

Things l like about my car charger:
1. iPod is always charged
2. iPod does not go into standby mode (display off)
3. When I turn off the car, the iPod pauses.

My other options?
1. Just use the headphone port on my iPod to the AUX port on my CD player.
- iPod will still go into standby mode so I will have to hit the button on top to see what song is playing.
- But, then the iPod doesn't pause if I stop my car and go in a store
- By using the headphone port on my iPod, I have 2 volumes to control (stereo and iPod volumes separately)
2. Buy a direct Dock Connector to RCA cable
- Then the iPod will go into standby mode so I can't see what song is playing unless I hit the button on top.
- Less cables to attach (good thing)
- Finally I could put cups in the cup holder without the iPod charger plugged into the cigarette lighter.
- Better sound quality?

Some products I found for solution #2:
http://amazon.com/Cables-Go-35507-Connector-Cable/dp/B000JG3WBY/ref=pd_ys_qtk_rvi_img/102-1580540-5999343?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=1Y9Z8F87ET9H7Z727N51&pf_rd_t=1501&pf_rd_p=186412001&pf_rd_i=home
http://amazon.com/Nyko-Stereo-Link-for-iPod/dp/B0007LI13U/ref=pd_ys_qtk_rvi_img/102-1580540-5999343?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=1Y9Z8F87ET9H7Z727N51&pf_rd_t=1501&pf_rd_p=186412001&pf_rd_i=home



RumMunkey
Sep 26, 2007, 01:06 PM
I do this a lot. I'm on AC power in the car and at work, which make sup maybe 90% of my iPod use.

From what I can glean (and it seems to differ with who you ask, but I got this from Apple), is if you use AC power a lot, you should make an effort once in a while to run the battery down all the way, then charge it all the way up.

This just helps the battery stretch its legs and stay "healthy".

I have an iCal event set to remind me on the 15th of each month to run down my iPod & PowerBook batteries. On this day I make a specific effort to run them both down. Even if i have to leave iPod running a movie while I go do something else.

I've not had a battery problem doing this. YMMV.

TheSpaz
Sep 26, 2007, 01:20 PM
I do this a lot. I'm on AC power in the car and at work, which make sup maybe 90% of my iPod use.

From what I can glean (and it seems to differ with who you ask, but I got this from Apple), is if you use AC power a lot, you should make an effort once in a while to run the battery down all the way, then charge it all the way up.

This just helps the battery stretch its legs and stay "healthy".

I have an iCal event set to remind me on the 15th of each month to run down my iPod & PowerBook batteries. On this day I make a specific effort to run them both down. Even if i have to leave iPod running a movie while I go do something else.

I've not had a battery problem doing this. YMMV.

Interesting... I'd still like to get a dock connector to red and white RCA cable and let the iPod use it's battery... then I'll simply charge my iPod at night when the battery dies.

Wolfpup
Sep 29, 2007, 09:40 AM
Lithium batteries like to be kept fully charged. You want to top them off as often as possible. The possible catch here is your car may not be providing a real "clean" power signal. But under normal conditions, you want to top off your iPod's battery whenever possible to give it the longest possible life.

That thing about draining the battery completely once in a while is for the device's calibration in terms of seeing how full the battery is. It can drift a bit, and that helps calibrate it. It does *NOT* help the battery itself, and in fact hurts it.

vtprinz
Sep 30, 2007, 10:02 AM
From what I understand (and I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong), the whole idea of having to charge the battery fully and let it completely drain stems from the memory problems of NiCD batteries, which aren't used in a lot of devices anymore. I don't believe NiMH and Lithium batteries share this problem, and it doesn't hurt the battery to let it drain just a little or charge it just a little.

Wolfpup
Sep 30, 2007, 11:17 AM
NiMH batteries actually have the same type of memory effect too, it's just not (supposedly) as pronounced as in NiCD. Lithium batteries actually have the exact opposite problem, where you damage them more, the more drained you let them get.

fredsherbet
Sep 30, 2007, 01:28 PM
Lithium Ion batteries are almost completely unaffected by 'battery memory'. However, the battery's circuits may 'forget' it's capacity, which is why you have to calibrate you macbook or iPod battery from time to time. I *think* this is more helpful than just to keep the battery indicator as accurate as possible, since the charge cycle is complex, and the current charge of the battery needs to be known to set the voltage correctly. (This logic is how the iPod can be charged to 80% in one hour, but may require up to another 3 hours to reach 100% charge)

Lithium ion batteries 'like' to be stored at 40% charge. Not fully charged. Using your ipod plugged in all the time is affectively storing it at full charge. However! Even when the iPod is 'off' it's draining the battery slowly (it will fully discharge in 14-28 days) so trying to store it with a 40% charge would require topping up the charge every few days, thus cycling the battery. So trying to store the iPod at 40% is about as bad as storing it at 100% charge :P

Lithium Ion batteries are an immature technology, so not yet ideal. The iPod's battery is basically screwed! lol but there are ways to make it less screwed (Google holds all the answers!) but tbh it's not really something to worry about. The main thing is to keep it cool (the battery hates high temperatures) and it is worth 'stretching the battery's legs' once in a while :)

Wolfpup
Oct 1, 2007, 09:52 AM
Lithium ion batteries 'like' to be stored at 40% charge. Not fully charged. Using your ipod plugged in all the time is affectively storing it at full charge.

Technically that may be true, but that gives people the wrong idea. If you're actually USING the a device with a Lithium battery you want to keep it fully topped off all the time.

fredsherbet
Oct 1, 2007, 10:11 AM
Technically that may be true, but that gives people the wrong idea. If you're actually USING the a device with a Lithium battery you want to keep it fully topped off all the time.

i guess the point is that in the case of the iPod, it is always in use, since it still 'slowly' drains the battery when it's sleeping

TheSpaz
Oct 1, 2007, 10:20 AM
So, basically... it's actually a good thing that my car charges my iPod for me... wow, that's cool. Now I no longer have to worry about it. I'd still like to get a cord that charges my iPod without using my cigarette lighter though.

Wolfpup
Oct 1, 2007, 10:50 AM
So, basically... it's actually a good thing that my car charges my iPod for me... wow, that's cool. Now I no longer have to worry about it. I'd still like to get a cord that charges my iPod without using my cigarette lighter though.

In the case of charging from a car it might not be. That power may not be exactly what the iPod needs, may not fully charge it before you leave the car, etc. If you have it plugged in to your computer or to Apple's AC adapter though it is good to keep it topped off.

It'll still wear out, but slower than if you let it drain down.