Battery Calibration?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Dr Strangelove, Oct 24, 2008.

  1. Dr Strangelove macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    #1
    So my new MBP is arriving today. What is the suggested calibration procedure to ensure the battery is in top shape?
     
  2. KSpider macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2006
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #2
    Correct me anyone if I am wrong but:

    When you get it, charge it to full capacity and leave it charged for a couple hours. Then, run on battery power until the battery is completely dead, and let it sit there dead for another couple of hours. Then, charge it to full capacity again.
     
  3. techound1 macrumors 68000

    techound1

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2006
    #3
    Here's the poop straight from apple (updated Oct 11, 2008):

    The battery calibration for the PowerBook G4 (15-inch Double-Layer SD) and any model of MacBook or MacBook Pro has been updated because of a new battery released with this computer. With these computers, follow these steps to calibrate your battery:

    1. Plug in the power adapter and fully charge your PowerBook's battery until the light ring or LED on the power adapter plug changes to green and the onscreen meter in the menu bar indicates that the battery is fully charged.
    2. Allow the battery to rest in the fully charged state for at least two hours. You may use your computer during this time as long as the adapter is plugged in.
    3. Disconnect the power adapter with the computer still on and start running the computer off battery power. You may use your computer during this time. When your battery gets low, you will see the low battery warning dialog on the screen.
    4. Continue to keep your computer on until it goes to sleep. Save all your work and close all applications when the battery gets very low, before the computer goes to sleep.
    5. Turn off the computer or allow it to sleep for five hours or more.
    6. Connect the power adapter and leave it connected until the battery is fully charged again.

    Tip: When the battery reaches "empty", the computer is forced into sleep mode. The battery actually keeps back a reserve beyond "empty", to maintain the computer in sleep for a period of time. Once the battery is truly exhausted, the computer is forced to shut down. At this point, with the safe sleep function introduced in the PowerBook G4 (15-inch Double-Layer SD) computers, the computer's memory contents have been saved to the hard drive. When power is restored, the computer returns itself to its pre-sleep state using the safe sleep image on the hard drive.
     
  4. SchneiderMan macrumors G3

    SchneiderMan

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Location:
    Apple state
    #4
    you only do it once a month. why would you need to calibrate a new battery?
     
  5. Dr Strangelove thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    #5
    Thanks guys, this is exactly what I was looking for.
     
  6. ant7783 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    #6
    If these steps were not followed the first time someone turned on their system will they still be able to calibrate their battery

    Also how long does it take you to charge your battery from when it is completely dead
     
  7. creator2456 macrumors 68000

    creator2456

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago
    #7
    The battery calibration lets your battery and computer know where the top limit and bottom limit of the charge it can hold is. The calibration will not make your battery any better in the long run, it just makes sure the Time & % Remaining are accurate.

    Yes, you can calibrate at any time but is suggested that it is done when the battery is new and then every month or two after that.

    The charge time depends on a couple things. Is the computer on? If it is on it will take longer than if it is off. If it is on, then what apps are running? If more power needs to be used, it will take longer to charge.
     
  8. craigr577 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Location:
    U.S.
    #8
    Thanks for the information. I just bought a last-generation MacBook Pro (early 2008) and I'm wondering what I should do TODAY, the first time the battery is used, in order to maximize the battery's long-term health.

    Here is some "first time use of battery" advice from Laptop-Battery.org: http://www.laptop-battery.org/batterytips.html but they say that conditioning tips "do not apply to Li-ion batteries, which do not require conditioning" and according to specs from Apple, the early-2008 MBPro has a "60-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery" (not Li-ion) and techound's tips (from Apple) imply that conditioning IS useful for the MBPro's battery. Right?

    And regarding the first-time use of new batteries (does this refer only to their own batteries, or those in a laptop like MBPro?) they say:

    1. New battery pack must be fully charged before use.
    2. New battery pack needs to be fully charged and discharged (cycled) a few times before it can condition to full capacity. .....

    Breaking In New Batteries -- new batteries come in a discharged condition and must be fully charged before use. It is recommended that you fully charge and discharge your new battery two to four times to allow it to reach its maximum rated capacity. .....

    Your new laptop battery comes in a discharged condition and must be charged before use (refer to your computer manual for charging instructions). Upon initial use (or after a prolonged storage period) the battery may require two to three charge/discharge cycles before achieving maximum capacity.
    When charging the laptop battery for the first time your computer may indicate that charging is complete after just 10 or 15 minutes. This is a normal phenomenon with rechargeable batteries. Simply remove the battery from the computer and repeat the charging procedure.


    a question: Is this advice accurate for the battery of early-2008 MBP? If not, what technique should be used?
     
  9. pimentoLoaf macrumors 68000

    pimentoLoaf

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2001
    Location:
    The SimCity Deli
    #9
    Only that my MBPro came with a nearly fully-charged battery -- the magsafe plug stayed orange for but a few minutes.

    Until happening on this thread, I kept the plug in. Will zero it, but I'm not sure about the five hour :eek: requirement.
     
  10. rychencop macrumors 65816

    rychencop

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    http://www.northaugusta.net/
    #10
    per apple care, you should "calibrate" it once a month, but also run it on battery power a few times a week. it'll die in a year if you don't.
     
  11. creator2456 macrumors 68000

    creator2456

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago
    #11
    Completely wrong.
     
  12. richard.mac macrumors 603

    richard.mac

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    51.50024, -0.12662
    #12
    lithium batteries have approx 80% of their health left after 300 charge cycles.
     
  13. craigr577 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Location:
    U.S.
    #13
    I neglected battery care on a G3 Powerbook, and the battery died in 4 years (with far fewer than 300 charge cycles), then I ran it for a couple of years on AC. I want to take better care of the battery in my early-08 MBPro, but if calibration "will not make your battery better in the long run" then what actions will help preserve it? to "run it on battery power a few times a week" (creator2456 says no), or what?
     
  14. Lurchdubious macrumors 65816

    Lurchdubious

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    #14
    Some do. But according to iStat pro this morning my 2 yr old Blackbook has a whopping 100% health after 576 cycles.
     
  15. rychencop macrumors 65816

    rychencop

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    http://www.northaugusta.net/
    #16
    really? i calibrated mine twice a month, but rarely used it on battery power and now it's down to 22% health and only 25 cycles after 13 months and won't hold a charge for more than 20 minutes if that. i called applecare and that is exactly what they told me.
     
  16. sfroom macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    #17
    Did you leave the battery in the machine over this time? Storing a Li-polymer battery at full charge and exposing it to heat will significantly reduce it's capacity over time. Doing both at the same time by, say, leaving it plugged in 24/7 for 13 months would most likely kill your battery.

    My opinion on the subject is that anytime you're going to have your notebook on AC for more than 12 hours, remove the battery.

    Never store your battery at full charge, particularly when it is exposed to heat (i.e. in a hot car, or under prolonged computer use while plugged into the AC).

    I'd say the most important things you can do to keep your li-polymer MBP battery healthy are:

    1. Do not expose the battery to prolonged or extreme heat.
    2. Do not store the battery at either 100% or 0% charge (40% is recommended).
    3. Calibrate the battery every two months (this has no real effect on battery life, however, it can improve your perceived battery life. A poorly calibrated battery will sleep your computer way too early, because it thinks it's low on power).

    Hope this helps!
     
  17. richard.mac macrumors 603

    richard.mac

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    51.50024, -0.12662
    #18
    ^ no sorry, i completely disagree with everything you just said. modern lithium notebook batteries actually trickle charge while plugged in and fully charged. this means that the battery is discharged down to ~95% and then back up 100% continually to keep the electrons flowing in the battery. it is fine to keep the battery plugged in if you calibrate every 1-2 months. Apple states that the ideal user will use the notebook while commuting and then charge at work.

    DO NOT remove you battery while your notebook is plugged in as the CPU only uses one core and one slip of the Mag Safe and your work is gone.
     
  18. delude macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #19
    Well I am really not sure what to do...
    I'll have my MBP in less than a week, but will probably use it at home half the time, and on the go the other half. I obviously want to the battery to last as long as it can and to keep healthy, so when I'm not on the go should I still use the battery? Should it be plugged into the AC with the battery in all of the time? Should it be plugged in with the battery removed?
    I really don't want to destroy the battery by adding loads of charge cycles.

    Thanks ;)
     
  19. craigr577 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Location:
    U.S.
    #20
    Me, either. I've been googling and reading, and some "tips" are contradictory. Mark Twain said we get in trouble from "things we know that just ain't so" and because the tips disagree some of the advice just ain't so. Are there any reliable guides with accurate information describing factors that affect battery life (specifically in MBPro) and strategies for improving it? The tips from Apple are dumbed-down with minimal detail. Is there anything more thorough and accurate?
     
  20. Lurchdubious macrumors 65816

    Lurchdubious

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    #21
    You don't want to leave it plugged in ALL the time. My friend does that and his battery life sucks (I have no "Health" data from him, just going purely off of the few times he did leave it unplugged while we were studying at the library and his lasted about 2/3 the time mine did.
    Just unplug your mac and let the battery run all the way down every other day, if not every day. That's what I do. Two years of testing my theory: 576 cycles and still 100% health. This is like the 4th time I've said that. You all are making this a bit more mysterious and complicated than it needs to be.
     
  21. delude macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #22
    So by this do you mean keep it on the AC one day, then the next run it off the battery, then the next back on AC?
     
  22. Lurchdubious macrumors 65816

    Lurchdubious

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    #23
    Well, yeah. It depends on your schedule. If you just leave your MB at home on a desk plugged in all day, unplug it once a day or every other day and let the battery run all the way down before plugging it back in.

    It's easy for me as a student, as I'm basically on my computer off & on throughout the day for a minimum of 8 hours. I take my MB with me all day. When I leave the house I have a full charge. I'll leave it unplugged all morning, then if I'm studying all afternoon, I'll plug it in and leave it on AC~it will fully charge and I'll leave it on AC until I leave to go home, then when I'm at home I likely won't charge it again until it needs it.

    OR, I'll leave the house fully charged, plug it in during my AM lectures, then go on battery during afternoon lectures.

    Does that help?
     
  23. delude macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #24
    That helps a lot, thanks :)

    I guess I'll have to make my own routine when it finally arrives, and get used to it so that my battery stays in shape.
     
  24. Lurchdubious macrumors 65816

    Lurchdubious

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    #25
    Glad to help!
     

Share This Page