Charger In or charger out?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by iVersa, Sep 11, 2006.

  1. iVersa macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2006
    Location:
    London, UK
    #1
    Hi Guys,

    Ive done a search through the forums and read various suggestions on powering it while sleeping etc. But I have a slightly different question.

    I use an ibook g4 at work all day. I'll get in to the office in the morning put the charger in, charge it up to 100%, then take it out and let it go down to about 1% sometimes I let it go to sleep at 0% until i put the charger back in and charge it up.

    =Is this an ok thing to be doing or would it better conserve my battery life if I just kept the charger in from morning to evening?

    The reason I do what I do is I feel the laptop would get alot hotter if I leave the charger in all day.. am I wrong?

    Appreciate any help.

    : )
     
  2. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603

    MacBoobsPro

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    #2
    I'd like to know this too :D
     
  3. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #3
    Leave it in... all you are doing is using up charge cycles. Recalibrate it every month or so to keep it 'healthy'

    Mine is plugged in most of the time and 2 and half years on still has 87% of its capacity so can't be that bad for it.
     
  4. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2002
    Location:
    Republic of Ukistan
    #4
    The other advantage of leaving it in, is that if you have the usual battery/mains Energy Saver prefs set, the processor speed will not drop as it would unplugged.
     
  5. sycobreaker macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #5
    interesting... well, on that note:
    is it wrong to use the computer with the battery taken out and just have it plugged in? or is that a good way of conserving the battery?
     
  6. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2002
    Location:
    Republic of Ukistan
    #6
    The battery's certainly not going to wear out like that. :)
     
  7. iVersa thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2006
    Location:
    London, UK
    #7
    Interesting replies, I'll start doing it this way from now. Thanks : )

    Also what about charging it when sleeping at night, I guess its obviously not bad for the battery to keep the charger in after its reached 100% ?
     
  8. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #8
    No, it'll be fine. Once the battery is at 100%, it stops charging it and the power you are using comes from the mains rather than the battery. Just leave it plugged in... it will be fine.

    If you do decide to keep the battery out but leave the charger in, take the battery down to half charge first and leave it like that. Storing a full/empty battery is apparently not good!
     
  9. iVersa thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2006
    Location:
    London, UK
    #9
    Ive heard this a few times from various people, what exactly does it mean for a battery to "still have 87% of its capacity" ?
     
  10. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #10
    When you get your battery initially, if you look in System Profiler, it will give you your Full Charge Capacity (mAh) if you look under Battery. Make a note of it then - mine was around 4200

    As your battery ages, part of which is how many charge cycles it has gone through, the battery loses some of that capacity - this means that instead of getting 3 hours when it was new, you might now only get 2hr 30

    Your system profiler always has your full charge capacity listed but it will change as the batter ages and when you recalibrate it. Mine is currently 3797 having gone through 55 cycles so it's still in reasonable enough shape for me to be able to get a couple of hours of battery life if I have to.

    Eventually, you reach a point where the battery no longer holds enough of a charge to power the laptop for more than a few minutes - at which point you either buy a new battery (if they're still available) or only use it as a desktop machine!
     
  11. gadgetgirl85 macrumors 68040

    gadgetgirl85

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    #11
    Is it better to calibrate once a month? or less often than that
     
  12. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #12
    A genius at the Genius Bar once told me that I should do it monthly but to be honest, I never remember that often.

    I've probably ended up doing it once every 4-6 months... :eek:
     
  13. iVersa thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2006
    Location:
    London, UK
    #13
    I have two ibooks, one at work and one Ive started to use more often at home, my home ibook battery has 4278 after 56 cycles!

    It will be interesting to see what my work one has, seeing as I have charged and used charged and used all day 4 days a week for about 6 months! Although I usually only have to charge it up once to 100% and then by the end of the day it gets close to 0.

    I'll post it up when I get in the office tomorrow.
     
  14. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #14
    What do you mean what do you mean?

    Battaries lose capacity over time
     
  15. iVersa thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2006
    Location:
    London, UK
    #15
    Ive already an answer ;)

    I understood that batteries lose capacity over time, I just didnt understand how people came to a percentage of loss. Now I do
     
  16. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #16

    haha whoops sorry about that.

    FYI I know that coconut battary is an app that can tell you these things as how many load cycles and max capacity and current capacity. Will work for any apple notebook (well the recent ones both intel and g4)


    http://www.coconut-flavour.com/coconutbattery/
     
  17. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    .. London ..
    #17
  18. thewhitehart macrumors 6502a

    thewhitehart

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Location:
    The town without George Bailey
    #18
    When in battery mode, I typically go from 100% charge and let it down to 0% before plugging it in.

    The ibook was bought on July 26, 2005, and I've used 66 cycles, and it's still at 94% capacity.

    It's fine to leave it plugged in all the time, and best when you use your whole battery before recharging. Recharging at random percentage levels will lessen the capacity of your battery, but not by much. It's still a ratio to how often you do this, and how long you've had the battery.

    Lithium-Ion batteries are meant for this behaviour, unlike NiMH batteries, which would 'forget' their original capacity if you charge from, let's say, half way full all the time.
     
  19. iVersa thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2006
    Location:
    London, UK
    #19
    Thanks.

    Do you guys suggest that I simply take my battery from the office home and keep in the fridge as a second one for my home laptop? Considering my ibook at work never leaves my desk.

    I guess its perfectly problem free to run it without a battery straight from mains for long periods?
     
  20. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    .. London ..
    #20
    I refer you to the Wikipedia article

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Li-ion#Guidelines_for_prolonging_Li-ion_battery_life

    which specifically says Li-ion should be charged early and often. If a li-ion is stored empty for too long, it'll go dead - time to buy a new battery.

    (powering a self-monitoring safety circuit causes a constant drain, and if the remaining charge is not enough to power the circuit, it will automatically kill the battery, rather than risk an explosion when next charged)

    Apple laptops (at least my powerbook does) when plugged in drain the battery till 90 % then charge it back up to 100% then drain it to 90% again.

    Removing the battery and leaving it plugged in is fine, tho you risk loosing everything if the plug is bumped. I prefer not to take that risk.

    Loosing 6% of capacity after only 66 charges is rather a lot I think.

    Handy tip: pressing the button on the battery will light up some very cool LEDs that tell you what charge you have left.

    Another handy tip: you can take the battery out if the Apple laptop is asleep without powering down - useful for checking serial numbers or swapping batteries without powering down.
     
  21. thewhitehart macrumors 6502a

    thewhitehart

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Location:
    The town without George Bailey
    #21
    Cool. I did not know that.
     
  22. iVersa thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2006
    Location:
    London, UK
    #22
    Full charge capacity - 4228
    Cycle count - 117

    :eek:

    Im going to be keeping the charger in from now on though, thanks for tips :D
     

Share This Page