Charger In or charger out?

iVersa

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 12, 2006
286
0
London, UK
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.

: )
 

MacBoobsPro

macrumors 603
Jan 10, 2006
5,115
6
iVersa said:
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.

: )
I'd like to know this too :D
 

skunk

macrumors G4
Jun 29, 2002
11,744
4,098
Republic of Ukistan
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.
 

iVersa

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 12, 2006
286
0
London, UK
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% ?
 

Applespider

macrumors G4
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!
 

iVersa

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 12, 2006
286
0
London, UK
Applespider said:
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.
Ive heard this a few times from various people, what exactly does it mean for a battery to "still have 87% of its capacity" ?
 

Applespider

macrumors G4
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!
 

iVersa

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 12, 2006
286
0
London, UK
Applespider said:
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.
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.
 

iVersa

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 12, 2006
286
0
London, UK
dukebound85 said:
What do you mean what do you mean?

Battaries lose capacity over time
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
 

dukebound85

macrumors P6
Jul 17, 2005
18,111
1,318
5045 feet above sea level
iVersa said:
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

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/
 

thewhitehart

macrumors 6502a
Jul 9, 2005
915
110
The town without George Bailey
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.
 

iVersa

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 12, 2006
286
0
London, UK
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?
 

RedTomato

macrumors 601
Mar 4, 2005
4,021
316
.. London ..
thewhitehart said:
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.
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.
 

iVersa

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 12, 2006
286
0
London, UK
iVersa said:
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.
Full charge capacity - 4228
Cycle count - 117

:eek:

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