powerbook battery problems

Discussion in 'Apple Collectors' started by Lil Chillbil, Feb 2, 2012.

  1. Lil Chillbil macrumors 65816

    Lil Chillbil

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2012
    Location:
    California
    #1
    I bought this powerbook 3400c off craigslist. it came with 2 batteries and works when you plug the power cord into it but doesn't hold a charge. which isn't realy a big problem for me cause I keep it stationary in place as a collectors item. but I would like to get the battery to charge anyway.

    so does anyone have some advice?
     
  2. DockMac macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    #2
    The battery is probably dead.

    Only a "new" battery will hold a charge. Try a place like:
    http://fastmac.com/laptop.php

    I am not even sure if they have batteries for your model.
     
  3. MacTech68 macrumors 68000

    MacTech68

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Location:
    Australia, Perth
    #3
    Have a look at pages 83-90 here:

    http://manuals.info.apple.com/en_US/PowerBook_3400series_UserGuide.pdf

    The 3400 is unusual in that it can use Ni-MH and Li-Ion batteries. Only the Li-Ion battery has the indicators and button.

    The original battery is sales model M5146LL/A

    The next model "G3 PowerBook" (first G3 PowerBook) looks the same, but it's battery has the indicator and button on the outside edge of the battery.

    There are caveats with using G3 PowerBook Li-Ion batteries, such as the need to run MacOS 8.1:

    http://support.apple.com/kb/TA21834

    Note that there is also a M3654 PowerBook 3400 Li-Ion battery, and some others by third party manufacturers such as BTI.

    Also note that the Battery Recondition software only applies to the PB 5300 and PB 190 Ni-MH batteries:

    http://support.apple.com/kb/TA36612

    Also, the backup battery in these models often leaks and corrodes the logic board. I'd recommend removing it and carefully cleaning any leakage. The PN is 922-2692. It's taped underneath the speaker panel. You can see the removal procedure here:

    http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Installing-PowerBook-3400-M3553-Speaker-Panel/5572/1

    Sometimes the inline connector for the internal backup battery gets corroded too. You should be able to cut the connectors, and solder the wires (ensuring you insulate them). Before installation, I'd recommend encasing the battery to capture any future leakage.
     
  4. DockMac macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
  5. WardC macrumors 68030

    WardC

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    #5
    From what I understand, you can use the NiMH batteries (the 5300/190 series batteries) in the 3400c, however they hold a much weaker charge and suffer from memory effect over time -- so you will have to replace the batteries every few months normally if you go this route. These batteries can be found on eBay for $50 - $100.

    The Lithium Ion battery for the 3400c is a *very* difficult battery to find, I have tried finding one without luck from eBay and several outlets. Your best bet is to try a battery specialty company that sells laptop batteries like BTI which might carry them. OWC does not have them, BatteriesPlus might have them.

    Good luck.
     
  6. Lil Chillbil thread starter macrumors 65816

    Lil Chillbil

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2012
    Location:
    California
  7. ruftytufty, Feb 3, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2012

    ruftytufty macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    #7
    If you're adventurous, and handy (and don't want to spend a bunch of money buying a battery), you could try rebuilding one of the batteries. I couldn't find info about the 3400 battery, but did find a guide for opening a Pismo battery, which likely uses similar cells (at least in the Li-Ion version) - 18650 cells.

    The guide for opening:

    http://lowendmac.com/ed/hatchett/08jh/inside-powerbook-battery.html

    There are 18650 cells w/tabs on ebay for as little as $3 each (the Pismo takes 9):

    http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l2736&_nkw=18650+tabs

    If you want to undertake this, definitely get batteries w/tabs - soldering to batteries directly is not a good idea - the tabs are attached using a spot welder, which doesn't heat up the battery.

    And, of course, be very careful to place new batteries in exactly the same orientation as before, with the same connections.

    And - don't replace cells with ones of a different chemistry (LiIon for NiMH or vice-versa) - the charging requirements are different, and this could create a dangerous situation!

    Edit: just found this thread

    http://www.applefritter.com/node/4555

    where someone opened a 3400c LiIon battery and says that it uses 26650 cells.
     
  8. Lil Chillbil thread starter macrumors 65816

    Lil Chillbil

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2012
    Location:
    California
    #8
    I am a mid-level computer tech and low level software designer and head the department of repair at my church. But I'm only 13 and have limited funds, the church only gives my department 4% of the 30% of the main budget given to the Head of A.V murl. To distribute a given percenage of that grant to each department based on the certain departments so called " relitivaty " and importance to the general Auido Visual purpose. So our budget is about $73 a month. NONE OF WHICH CAN BE USED TO REPAIR OUR PERSONAL DEVICES.
     
  9. MacTech68 macrumors 68000

    MacTech68

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Location:
    Australia, Perth
    #9
    A side note about replacing battery cells.

    Years ago, I used to replace the E2 PROM in PowerBook 500 "Intelligent" battery packs. The PROM contains the batteries "software" and also it's charge/discharge rate and current "full charge" data.

    I discovered that the PROM would die, rendering a perfect battery unusable.

    The PowerBook 500 series "Intelligent Battery Recondition" software would re-program the blank chip, but here's the warning:

    During the process, the software would ask for the battery to be removed and to check the first letter of the serial number, then select either "P" or "S" depending on that prefix.

    I pondered that even though the cells were the same type, a slightly different charge profile would be used for Panasonic and Sony batteries.

    Knowing the dangers of Li-Ion battries, it concerns me when I read of cells being swapped without regard to the manufacturer. I don't know how significant this change is, but it was obviously enough for Apple to have two different software packages running inside the battery.
     

Share This Page