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Old May 11, 2005, 01:14 PM   #1
BurtonCCC
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Tips To Optimize A Brand New PowerBook Battery?

My PowerBook should be coming either today or tomorrow... my question is: is there anything I should do to help give my battery a long life? Like fully charging it and then draining it before actually even using the computer, etc.? And I'm assuming that the battery ships completely dry? Thanks.

Daniel, a proud new Mac user...
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Old May 11, 2005, 01:22 PM   #2
Eniregnat
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http://www.apple.com/batteries/notebooks.html

You will have to cycle through a few charges for it to be maximized.
Get, plug the computer in, use it, register the computer, and let it charge.
When the LED on the connection changes from orange to green, unplug the charger, and let the computer run until it goes into a “protective” sleep mode. You will have to alter the energy saver to “never go to sleep”. System Preferences-->Energy Saver-->Slider 1 to hard right ‘Never’.

I have 2 batteries. The primary battery is charged and recharged as I go (unless I completely discharge it). The second is only used until it is empty and then completely charged.

Last edited by Eniregnat; May 11, 2005 at 01:27 PM.
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Old May 12, 2005, 01:08 AM   #3
Schroedinger
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I don't know if your powerbook will have this feature, as I use it on my Thinkpad, but I can set my laptop not to recharge every time it is plugged in. I have it set to only recharge if the battery falls below 30%. I did this since I mostly use my computer plugged in (at home, in class, in the library) and every time I would unplug it and walk to the next place, it would use up 5% of battery power and then recharge back to 100% when I plugged in. those are wasted charged cycles. The way it is set now, I unplug and plug and unplug repeatedly until eventually by the 6 time the battery is low and then it recharges.

Of course, this advice assumes powerbooks let you do this, and that you use you computer plugged in most of the time. If you will need a full battery for long periods of use, or unpredictably, then ignore my advice.
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Old May 13, 2005, 02:35 PM   #4
Screwballl6986
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Although i do usually believe most that Apple says, i do have to disagree here. I used to work for Technuity, LLC otherwise known as Energizer rechargable battery systems. The powerbook batteries as with most laptop batteries now-a-days, are Lithium Ion or for PDAs and some tablets, Lithium Polymer. The nature of Lithium ion is to no be fully discharged after ANY use, especially the first few. When Nickel Cadmium and Nickel Metal Hydride, were used, they experienced the dreading "memory effect" that this article is trying to prevent from happening. The primary ingredients Nickel, and with Sealed LEad acid batteries lead, is the reason for this effect. In lithium batteries, the lithium will not separate from the other elements, so no need to deep cycle your batteries (completly kill before you recharge). You def. kill LI-ION batteries when your do this, however slow it may be.
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Old May 13, 2005, 04:28 PM   #5
Eniregnat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Screwballl6986
Although I do usually believe most that Apple says, I do have to disagree here. I used to work for Technuity, LLC otherwise known as Energizer rechargeable battery systems. The powerbook batteries as with most laptop batteries now-a-days, are Lithium Ion or for PDAs and some tablets, Lithium Polymer. The nature of Lithium ion is to no be fully discharged after ANY use, especially the first few. When Nickel Cadmium and Nickel Metal Hydride, were used, they experienced the dreading "memory effect" that this article is trying to prevent from happening. The primary ingredients Nickel, and with Sealed LEad acid batteries lead, is the reason for this effect. In lithium batteries, the lithium will not separate from the other elements, so no need to deep cycle your batteries (completely kill before you recharge). You def. kill LI-ION batteries when your do this, however slow it may be.
It is difficult to really kill the new Apple batteries by doing this [deep cycle]. The "smart" batteries are actually that, smart. Well before the battery is completely discharged, or overcharged, a processor on the battery shuts the battery down. Even if the battery is only providing power for sleep mode, the battery will completely stop providing power, even for sleep, when the battery is near empty. The same goes for over charging. It is possible to kill a battery by deep cycleing it and then just not chargeing it for a long time. I've done this. The battery even has firmware that can be upgraded. I am not sure if the battery "calibration" actually does anything to the charge cycles. I think it has to do more with the predeceased life of battery at one time. The battery stores some numbers so that the computer can predict when it will loose charge given it's current consumption rate.

To calibrate the batterie(s), they do have to be deep cycled from time to time. I have one battery that I use charge and go, and another that I use only by completely running cycles of charging and discharging. I have found that though 1 iBook and 1 PB that the battery that I run through full cycles lasts longer

I am only disagreeing because of Apple's article and because it isn't just a Li-ion battery, the new batteries are smart.

Last edited by Eniregnat; May 13, 2005 at 04:43 PM.
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