MBP battery calibration -- this is ridiculous PC garbage

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by laela, Apr 24, 2010.

  1. laela macrumors regular

    laela

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    #1
    It feels ridiculous having to go through this battery calibration process.

    Apple should be above and beyond this PC crap.

    On top of this discharging a LiIon battery fully is *bad* for it and *decreases* battery life. But no, Apple has to stick a pathetic microchip in the battery that requires you to go through a full charge/discharge cycle to "calibrate" it.

    Pathetic.

    I'm really disappointed about this. :mad:
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #2
    Apple isn't a God. All batteries are recommended to calibrate as it makes sure it's fully used, otherwise you may be using 80% of it as it don't know that there is that 20% left
     
  3. waloshin macrumors 68040

    waloshin

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    Oct 9, 2008
    #3
    Yes, I am sure that Apple would have a hard time inventing a new battery type. Apple is a computer manufacture not a battery and technology engineering company.
     
  4. laela thread starter macrumors regular

    laela

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    #4
    Are you serious? Then you have no idea what you're talking about. Watch some of the battery videos on Apple.com some time.

    Apple's strength is exactly that it is an end-to-end technology engineering company. They should have dealt with this battery issue a long time ago.

    If that was sarcasm on the other hand, hats off to you.
     
  5. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #5
    That would require a whole new battery technology. Apple is not beyond others, and they are not willing to spend billions so you don't have to wait few hours to get maximum battery life. The hardware Apple uses is the same as PCs use

    Engineers are trying to make cars which run with batteries, have tried for years but normal cars are still way better.
     
  6. Azathoth macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 16, 2009
    #6


    How do you think a microchip can sense when the battery is full or not? Oh yes, by monitoring the voltage and current.

    Charging mechanism is typically: constant current until reaching a voltage threshhold, after which constant voltage charging until reaching the cell limit (4.1-4.2V typically, 50mV accuracy recommended). Then it needs to discharge to the battery low voltage limit and integrate the current * voltage product to arrive at the measure battery capacity.
     
  7. laela thread starter macrumors regular

    laela

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    Mar 17, 2010
    #7
    Hellhammer, I agree with everything you said. Just had to let off some steam about it. Frankly, Apple gets things right that no one else does... though I admit I'm planning to install Windows 7 and I hope that works well on the MBP too.

    As for electric cars, here's to hoping great success for the Leaf and Volt!

     
  8. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

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    Jul 16, 2002
    #8

    Sure and humans should be so advanced they don't have to depend on oxygen, water and food to survive. :rolleyes:

    Apple can do a lot of neat things, but they can't give us 2020 technology in 2010 if they don't have it.
     
  9. laela thread starter macrumors regular

    laela

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    #9
    Scientifically, a battery contains a certain number of electrons. As you use the battery, the electrons evaporate, causing a current. The point is that these electrons have mass. Now all you need to do is measure that mass of the battery and do some of your fancy multiplications, integrations (be sure to integrate along the curve) and differentiations stuffs to measure the charge.

    The hard part is measuring the mass accurately. For this you would need to invent a device to measure the bending of light in vicinity to the battery.

    Voila, problem solved.
     
  10. expost macrumors newbie

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    Apr 13, 2010
    #10
    Another proof that Steve's reality distortion field does not work for basic chemistry or simple electronic circuits... ;)
     
  11. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #11
    With my understanding of physics and chemistry, this is pretty much right. All electrons have same mass (?), so the amount of them should be known (the weight would give it though). Battery is just a "warehouse" of electrons.

    The problem is that all batteries have maximum amount of cycles. Your explanation would require a battery with infinite amount of cycles, meaning that it would be able to store the same amount of electrons every time, without losing its capacity overtime. With current technology it's not possible as all batteries are temporal, they will lose their power sooner than later.

    With a battery of infinite amount of cycles and 100% immortal health, no calibration would be needed as it could store the same amount of electrons everytime, but that's the future.

    I hope I didn't make myself look like an idiot :p

    P.S. Current = coulombs / seconds (A=C/s)
     
  12. sammich macrumors 601

    sammich

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    Sarcasmville.
    #12
    Electrons are the stuff of all electricity.

    You need a circuit to make a battery produce electrons.

    Chemical reactions create these electrons. Chemical reactions are never perfectly reversible, or permanently stable, hence degradation.

    Electrons flow in a circuit.

    Electrons flow back into the battery

    No net gain in electrons.

    ALSO: considering you have no understanding of the basic laws of nature would you, the OP, please explain your understanding of evaporation?
     
  13. EVO9Nate macrumors member

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    Apr 22, 2010
    Location:
    Japan
    #13
    Although I understand your frustration, I don't feel that your anger is directed at the right portion of the production chain.

    The companies that produce and sell batteries and surrounding technologies would be better suited targets for your ranting within this post. Albeit a pretty ridiculous argument and all.

    I personally don't mind the occasional inconvenience for the outstanding battery life and 8-9 hours of length during extended usage. As far as I know, no other Laptop comes close.

    -Nate
     
  14. Pax macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2003
    #14
    Evaporating electrons, how cool is that.

    Of course he's right, E=mc2 and we should be able to weigh the battery to measure how much of the 200 kJ in the battery has been dissipated. We just need scales accurate to much better than 10^-12 kg (I may have lost some zeroes in my math).

    C'mon guys, get your heads together and start working on it. I envision a teeny tiny spring balance in the battery compartment...
     
  15. jake.f macrumors 6502

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    Sep 4, 2008
    Location:
    NSW, Australia
    #15
    Absolutely perfect idea! Now if we just flick that little magic switch that makes the said scales work on an angle, upside down, on their side, on the moon etc the problem shall be solved! No battery calibration anymore :)


















    :(
     
  16. raptor87 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2010
    #16
    Even during the calibration process you are never actually fully discharging the battery. Hooking the battery to a deep discharger like people used to use for NiCad batteries would damage a LiIon but just letting it drain for 4 hours will not hurt it. If you left it in that state for a year on the other hand probably would.
     
  17. Azathoth macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 16, 2009
    #17
    AFAIK there is no net loss or gain of electrons. You allow them to go from a high potential energy state (+ve pole of the battery) to the low potential state (-ve pole of the battery)* through the circuit.

    Charging is the reverse process, putting in energy to move the electrons which are now at the -ve pole up in energy to the +ve pole.

    So the entire concept of the OP 'is not even wrong'


    *in the case of 'conventional current', where we pretend that electrons have a positive charge - IRL it's actually from -ve to +ve
     
  18. Azathoth macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 16, 2009
    #18
    Correct - in fact all Li batteries in laptops contain some sense circuits to prevent individual cell discharge to below a 'safe' level to prevent battery pack destruction.
     
  19. chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

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    Jan 26, 2008
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    Isla Nublar
    #19
    I won't even get to the physics on why every single type of rechargeable battery whether it be a laptop, cell phone, camera, camcorder, etc battery needs to be calibrated. It most certainly is not an apple thing its an everyone thing.

    Until a new type of battery is invented that magically defies the laws of physics and doesn't discharge over time, you will be stuck needing to calibrate every rechargable battery on every device you own. Just be glad Apple at least tells you about it. There are people out there who claim lithium ion batteries don't need calibrated. (If that was the case then I wouldn't have to spend two hours out of the day at my job refurbishing radio batteries).
     
  20. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    Finland
    #20
    Okay, thanks for cleaning the mess :D

    I took one course of electricity back in lower secondary but that was pretty much limited to V=IR

    Good that someone actually understands this and doesn't just guess or read Wikipedia
     
  21. Azathoth macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 16, 2009
    #21
    Hehe, please don't trust what I wrote though - I prefixed it with 'AFAIK'. But I do 'believe' it's correct (and it stands to reason)...
     
  22. fabian9 macrumors 65816

    fabian9

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    Bristol, UK
    #22
    Yes, batteries get lighter as they discharge.... riiiiight.

    moving on out!
     
  23. Pax macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2003
    #23
    Mere details, sir. I expect Jonny Ive is working on it even as we speak.

    But you're right, my Mk II version has the Mac suspended in a vacuum chamber on a granite vibration-isolated optical bench. We measure the mass of the Mac either by putting it on magnetic bearings and vibrating it with a tuning fork (but that might mess up the hard drive) or by suspending it by a quartz fibre and measure the angular moment of inertia in some way. Of course we'll have to modify the cooling system, and the LCD. And talk to it by Bluetooth. But I haven't yet worked out how to charge it up - the Magsafe cable will interfere with my quartz fibre torsion system.

    Once I figure out the details and go to market, I predict that in volume my "NoCal" system will be slightly lighter and cheaper than a Hummer. Not so good for portability I admit, but it will get rid of that pesky calibration problem. And since we're measuring inertial, not gravitational, mass, it will work fine on the Moon.
     
  24. Azathoth macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 16, 2009
    #24
    Considering the battery as a bucket that holds water (charge).

    Although you know how much material you have used to make the bucket (e.g. how much Lithium + magical ingredients), you cannot be completely sure how thick the bucket's walls are, nor if the shape of the rim is completely uniform. These factors will influence the capacity.

    Hence it is necessary to completely empty the bucket and then fill it, keeping track of how much water you've added in order to know the total bucket capacity.

    You could ask: why doesn't the battery manufacturer do this?
    It's because in the case of Li battery chemistries, they don't like sitting at full charge (nor 0% charge) for very long. Best shelf life is at around 40% charge level and the OEM typically makes these batteries a few months before you buy your MBP.

    Now, there could be a standard for the manufacturer to record the full charge data etc, but then the onus would be on the OEM to charge and discharge the battery. This is expensive in terms of time and electricity, for a process that is easily handed over to the consumer. Ergo the universal battery 'cal' requirement.
     
  25. Pax macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 12, 2003
    #25
    A nice explanation. Plus of course the bucket changes size as the battery ages, hence the need for occasional re-calibration.
     

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