External battery for long flights

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Beliyaal, Feb 21, 2008.

  1. Beliyaal macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2008
    #1
    What do you think about this battery from Batterygeek?

    Specs:
    130 Wh
    16 or 19 volts output
    1.7 lbs

    This should give 4.5 times the normal operating time. Should be possible to watch demanding movies for about 7 hours, or do less demanding things for 18 hours.

    I'm not sure if the voltage is too high or within limits. The Air magsafe seems to output 14.5 volts.
     
  2. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    Location:
    The good side of the grass.
    #2
    This looks rather interesting. In theory it should work fine but sure would like to see one in action or hear from someone who's actually used one. At $300 it's not a cheap option but worth it if it gets an extra 6-8 hours of usage.
     
  3. BWhaler macrumors 68020

    BWhaler

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    #3
    Apple has not licensed the Magsafe connector, so I would be very, very reluctant to use this product.
     
  4. Beliyaal thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2008
    #4
    Why do you say that? It doesn't seem very complicated to provide a direct current to a couple of connectors. Should be very hard to get wrong.
     
  5. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

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    #5
    They clearly advertise the MB / MBP and charge extra for the special connector. Would really like to hear from anyone buying one.
     
  6. stpchien macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    #6
    I called for more information and was told that they're working on a connector tip that's sized correctly for the MacBook Air, which should be available in late March. (The existing MacBook and MacBook Pro tips are too thick for the Air's profile.)

    Has anyone had experience with these batteries for other computers?
     
  7. t4cgirl macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2008
    #7
    I understand there isn't gonna be much news on this front until Battery Geek gets their MBA connector out, but I, too anxiously await this product.

    I found one review that claimed, secondhand, that one of BG's batteries powered a MBA for 9 hours. Plugging their battery in with a MacBook connector sounds brave (and probably doesn't let the laptop sit evenly on the table/tray table.)

    http://www.macintouch.com/reviews/macbookair/

    If I can add 2 pounds to the travel weight and have 9 extra hours of work on my laptop, that's fine with me. Sounds like more work and much less weight than a MBP with an extra battery.
     
  8. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

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    Aug 23, 2005
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    #8
    How long would somthing like that take to charge out of interest ?
     
  9. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    I would expect a few hours, it shouldn't be considerably longer than a normal battery.
     
  10. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
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    The good side of the grass.
    #10
    The 130 is quoted at 3-4 hour charge time. It is a standard battery with variable output voltages for many portables and charges from a standard non-Apple AC charger.
     
  11. SunshinegotaMac macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    Location:
    SF
    #11
    For long flights - seatguru.com. Find out which seats are wired. Go on line and make sure you're in that row. That's what works for me. But then I'm talking 14 hour flights.
     
  12. rroback macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    #12
    I've got a lot of experience building battery packs, all sorts of round, and flat lithium cells, and conventional cells ( nickel-based). I had an old slightly broken magsafe adaptor for my mbp, that i cut and used to run some tests. The powersupply is quite complex, appearing to have a low 'resting voltage" and upon contact with the laptop, brings the voltage up to a correct charging level. I'm a little uneasy building a battery pack, because I don't know what sort of circuitry lies between the magsafe, and the laptop battery. If you can present the laptop with a range of voltage, I could certainly build a range of pack options that would work, but I don't want to risk my mbp to find out. What my bladding is suggesting is that you wait to get some decent reviews about any of these battery units, before testing them on your own laptop! A poorly made unit could potentially be quite disastrous.

    As an aside, doing some rough calculations, assuming a 16v input is required, I should be able to build a 1lb battery unit that should double the air's capacity. I'm not sure if using lithium-polymer packs would be commercially viable, but it certainly would be a nice setup for me!
     

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