Is it ok if I do this?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Stinkythe1, Jun 27, 2005.

  1. Stinkythe1 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    #1
    I have a 12" powerbook and it is plugged in most of the time, although I occasionally unplug it and run around the house with it until it gets to about 25-30%. Anyway, at night, I would leave it plugged in overnight, but the blue glow from the power connector is really bright, so I unplug it. However, the next morning when I plug it back in, I notice that the battery goes down to about 95% and begins charging again.

    Does it hurt the battery if I do this every night?
     
  2. alex_ant macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

    Joined:
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    Location:
    All up in your bidness
    #2
    Li-Ion has a finite number of charge cycles and the life goes down a little bit (probably roughly 30 seconds, would be my estimate) with every charge. The more you discharge it (the lower the % you bring it down to) the more severe this effect will be. The only way to preserve the battery is to never use it.

    Then again, what's the point of a laptop if you never use the battery. The idea is to find a balance between convenience & battery longevity that works for you.

    If you are annoyed by the blue glow, maybe cover it up with a dark piece of paper or put electrical tape over the light. Try to unplug the thing only when necessary.
     
  3. michaelrjohnson macrumors 68020

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    #3
    However, it's very important to discharge the battery *completely* every once in awhile to maintain good battery health. It's not good to leave it plugged in *all* the time or to never let it discharge.
     
  4. 7on macrumors 601

    7on

    Joined:
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    Dress Rosa
    #4
    lol, this is not so much the case anymore where draining it completely can in fact be more harmful to the battery. I leave my Pod plugged in all the time and still get 9 hours after 2 years.

    Come to think about it you can't drain laptop batteries completely, since they go to sleep @ around 5%. And waiting for it to waste that 5% might as well take up a day and also will drain the internal backup battery. Try it, put your PB to sleep and pop out the battery - your pb should still be sleeping. I do not know if this battery is rechargeable either since I have heard reports of some people not being able to do this with their powerbooks.
     
  5. michaelrjohnson macrumors 68020

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    #5
    Yep, this is what I meant by "completely drain".

    Although, according to Apple they suggest completely draining your battery once monthly for laptops.
     
  6. Eniregnat macrumors 68000

    Eniregnat

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2003
    Location:
    In your head.
    #6
    Read Apple's Article on laptop batteries- They update it from time to time.

    All batteries have a finite number of times that they can be charged. It is nearly impossible to truly completely discharge the batteries on Apple's laptops, as they are "smart" and have a real "memory". The processor inside the battery keeps track on heat, voltage and amperage in and out, load, etc... It keeps track of each full cycle, that is, if you charge and discharge your iBook 25% of the way 4 times, that's 1 full cycle.

    Look here for information about your battery: Finder-->About This Mac-->More Info button->Content->Hardware>Power.
    Here you will see the full charging capacity (this will decrease slowly through time), current charge (this will change as you discharge the battery) and the cycle count.

    To me, good battery practice is this. I am very mobile and can't/won't plug in when ever it is possible (an etiquette thing). I have two batteries- one that I charge discharge as needed, the second, I only completely cycle (discharge and then full uninterrupted charge.) Both batteries get a complete cycle once a month, needed or not.

    Discharging your battery by running the computer until it is forced to sleep is good practice (read Apple's article) Doing this and then forgetting about the battery for a while and not charging it is bad practice. This will completely discharge the battery, beyond what its firmware can protect it from. This should significantly degrade the battery.

    You might just think about shutting down the compuer, as the boot time on Mac's is so quick.
     
  7. Stinkythe1 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    #7
    That's great and all, but my question is, does it hurt it to keep draining the battery by 5% and then charging it back up every day? Or should I leave it plugged in overnight and put a peice of paper over it?
     
  8. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #8
    Probably a little, yes. You'd be better off using it down to 50% or so before you plug it in. Or even better, get that piece of black paper and put it over the light.
     
  9. Eniregnat macrumors 68000

    Eniregnat

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    Jan 22, 2003
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    #9
    You should be fine. There are thoes that worry about takeing their car out of the garage because it adds wear and tear. You should be fine. - still read Apple's article.
     
  10. mduser63 macrumors 68040

    mduser63

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2004
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #10
    15" and 17" PowerBooks have this capability, the 12" PB doesn't. Just one of the little features that the 12" PB is lacking compared to the bigger PBs. If you want to switch batteries on the 12", you have to either plug it in, or shut it down first.
     

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