calibrate

fivetoadsloth

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Aug 15, 2006
1,036
0
i know apple suggusts you calibrate you calibrate the battery at least once a month, Do i have to do this ,i have a macbook, i almost always run it from an outlet as from its own battery? should i unplug it and use it for a while and let the battery drain and than recharge? id rather not but if i have to i will, and if i dont at this usage how often do you think calibration would be necasarry, thanks.
 

WildCowboy

Administrator/Editor
Staff member
Jan 20, 2005
17,208
1,106
Calibrating your battery monthly is MOST important for people like yourself (and me) who run primarily from an outlet. You need to make sure you keep electrons flowing in your battery periodically so that the battery doesn't get "stale." It's really easy to do...set an iCal alarm or something that will remind you to run it down once a month. Run it all the way down until it goes to sleep and then plug it back in. It'll help keep good battery life for when you do use in portable mode.
 

sahnert

macrumors 6502
Oct 20, 2003
407
9
Seattle
fivetoadsloth said:
i know apple suggusts you calibrate you calibrate the battery at least once a month, Do i have to do this ,i have a macbook, i almost always run it from an outlet as from its own battery? should i unplug it and use it for a while and let the battery drain and than recharge? id rather not but if i have to i will, and if i dont at this usage how often do you think calibration would be necasarry, thanks.
Short answer is: Yes.
I hosed my original PB battery by keeping my computer plugged in all the time.
If you have a macbook you might as well get it off your desk from time to time for a change of scenery. Just let your battery run it's complete cycle from time to time and you'll be okay.
 

fivetoadsloth

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Aug 15, 2006
1,036
0
i use ichat alot and when it drops low i start not getting messages, like seems to happen to some people
can i just leave it at night
all night on
and than in the morning plug it back in?
thanks alot
 

DSL Steve

macrumors member
Nov 12, 2005
83
5
fivetoadsloth said:
i know apple suggusts you calibrate you calibrate the battery at least once a month, Do i have to do this ,i have a macbook, i almost always run it from an outlet as from its own battery? should i unplug it and use it for a while and let the battery drain and than recharge? id rather not but if i have to i will, and if i dont at this usage how often do you think calibration would be necasarry, thanks.
Calibrating a (Lithium) battery monthly is an overkill. Your just wasting battery cycles (discharge/charge). The life of the battery is measured in a limited number of battery cycles. Three times a year is adequate. (BTW-I'm an EE with 30 years experience, part of it with batteries.)
 

Anonymous Freak

macrumors 603
Dec 12, 2002
5,131
448
Cascadia
fivetoadsloth said:
i use ichat alot and when it drops low i start not getting messages, like seems to happen to some people
can i just leave it at night
all night on
and than in the morning plug it back in?
thanks alot
The iChat problem seems odd. I've never had that, and I run my battery all the way down nearly every day.

Yes, you can leave it on all night long to drain it, then plug it back in in the morning. Just make sure you tell it not to go to sleep. (Assuming you have either a late-model PowerBook or a MacBook or MacBook Pro, it will drop into 'Safe Sleep' when the battery gets too low to even stay in sleep.)

And as DSL Steve mentions, monthly is a bit of overkill for most people for modern Lithium Ion batteries. Especially if you almost never run off battery, anyway. (Lithium batteries don't get 'memory' effect, but they do get 'stale'. So calibrating every once in a while is a good idea. I usually recommend once every 25-30 cycles, at least once a year.)

I go through one or two batteries a day, (yes, I use my MacBook Pro away from power for 5-10 hours a day,) so I do calibrate my batteries once a month. After calibration, I do see a small jump in life, but not massive.
 

gadgetgirl85

macrumors 68040
Mar 24, 2006
3,546
88
Now I'm confused. Should I not calibrate monthly? I've nearly had my MBP a month now and was planning to calibrate next week
 

Warbrain

macrumors 603
Jun 28, 2004
5,699
287
Chicago, IL
DSL Steve said:
Calibrating a (Lithium) battery monthly is an overkill. Your just wasting battery cycles (discharge/charge). The life of the battery is measured in a limited number of battery cycles. Three times a year is adequate. (BTW-I'm an EE with 30 years experience, part of it with batteries.)
Nope. This is completely wrong. If you only calibrate it three times a year, you will lose capacity faster than you would if you calibrated your battery every month. A calibration only takes up one battery cycle. It's not like you're putting abnormal stress on the battery. By calibrating every month, you are ensuring that the electrons aren't become stationary in the battery and then becoming worthless.