Powerbook Battery Shelf Life

Dronecatcher

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Original poster
Jun 17, 2014
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Lincolnshire, UK
A while ago I bought a 667 Ti-book off ebay and along with the decent one installed, it also came with a new, unopened aftermarket battery too.
After a while, paranoia has got the better of me and convinced me that leaving a new battery 'on the shelf' will do more harm than good, so decided to open it and give it a charge.
Firstly, I found that it wasn't a battery for a Ti-book but one for a 15" Al model - which I also have, so no harm done there.
I fitted it and charged it to full, ran it down to 10%, then charged it back up again and put it back in it's pack.

Has anyone had any experience of this? Is it better to leave a Powerbook battery untouched until needed or keep it 'topped up' ?
 

weckart

macrumors 603
Nov 7, 2004
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All batteries will deplete eventually, even if not used. My experience with my myriad PowerBooks is that there is no pattern or hard or fast rule worth repeating. I bought a Wallstreet with an original battery barely used and still holding a full charge, whilst my Macbook Pro ate batteries for breakfast from the get go.
Apple suggests storing with about 50-70% charge. I might add that you should remove the battery if not using for a while as sometimes they seem to run down in situ faster than they otherwise should. This especially applies to NiMH main and PRAM batteries as those leak. YMMV and probably will.
 

Dronecatcher

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Jun 17, 2014
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My experience with my myriad PowerBooks is that there is no pattern or hard or fast rule worth repeating.
Yeah, I guess vintage Macs are unpredictable in a lot of respects so the batteries shouldn't be any different! I was thinking keeping the spare charged would be better for the chemistry inside.
 

Mnowell69

macrumors regular
Jul 4, 2013
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Bedford, UK
Sure i saw somewhere that these batteries (if not going to be used for a while) should be stored with a 50% charge. I bought a NOS battery for a thinkpad 770 some years ago and it is still going strong now. As you can imagine i hardly ever use it
 

Dronecatcher

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Original poster
Jun 17, 2014
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Sure i saw somewhere that these batteries (if not going to be used for a while) should be stored with a 50% charge. I bought a NOS battery for a thinkpad 770 some years ago and it is still going strong now. As you can imagine i hardly ever use it
Seems like storing half charged is the consensus - I'll go with that :)
 

mzs.112000

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Apr 22, 2015
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With one laptop I had a battery that just sat for 3 months(not being charged or used), and when it gets plugged in to the laptop it stays at zero% for ever and when taken off the charger it just shuts down, and this battery is newer than the ones from most PPC laptops so I don't think it is a good idea to let the batteries sit for any long amount of time.
 

bunnspecial

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May 3, 2014
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With one laptop I had a battery that just sat for 3 months(not being charged or used), and when it gets plugged in to the laptop it stays at zero% for ever and when taken off the charger it just shuts down, and this battery is newer than the ones from most PPC laptops so I don't think it is a good idea to let the batteries sit for any long amount of time.
I guess perhaps every battery is different...

Back around the first of the year, I needed a new battery for my White Macbook. When I bought it, the computer had an aftermarket battery in it with 2 cycles and a recent production date(as per Coconut Battery). I always had trouble with the computer randomly turning off, and finally the battery just gave up the ghost one day. It ran down and wouldn't recharge. I popped the battery from my Blackbook in the computer(still works great with 400+ cycles on it) just to confirm that the problem wasn't in the charging circuit.

I hunted on Ebay and found an OEM battery with a reported 6 cycles(as per system profiler). When it arrived, I put it in and it works perfectly for 4+hours(or about what a new battery is rated). Coconut Battery tells me it was made in November of 2008-or actually before the computer was made(mid-2009 model).
 

jruschme

macrumors 6502
Dec 20, 2011
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Brick, NJ
There is definitely a trick to caring for a laptop battery.

When I got my mid-2009 13" MBP from $WORK (well used), the battery had a bit over 300 cycles, but was down near the 70% mark (Service Battery). By comparison, my daughter's mid-2010 has over 500 cycles and is at 85% as is a used one I picked up off eBay for the 2009.
 

bunnspecial

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May 3, 2014
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There is definitely a trick to caring for a laptop battery.

When I got my mid-2009 13" MBP from $WORK (well used), the battery had a bit over 300 cycles, but was down near the 70% mark (Service Battery). By comparison, my daughter's mid-2010 has over 500 cycles and is at 85% as is a used one I picked up off eBay for the 2009.
The MBPs without user-changeable batteries(or at least not officially user changeable) are supposed to hold at least 80% for 1000 cycles. My 13" is right around 1000 cycles(I think a little under) and has been hovering between 78% and 85% for the past several months.

I recently bought a mid-2012 15" off the marketplace here, and the seller reported it as having a "new" battery under Applecare. I was quite pleasantly surprised when I turned on the computer and the battery really was new-system profiler reported 1 cycle!

I seem to recall Apple describing the ideal use case as being a person who uses their computer on their commute to work on a bus/train and then plugs it in for the remainder of the day. In light of that-and in trying to keep the health of my new 15" battery at the max-I try to run it down to 40-50% every other day or so. It mostly stays plugged in, but I do "exercise" it some as Apple says one should do.

BTW, if I have the battery replaced in my 13"(I'm going back and forth on it, but will probably try to squeeze a little more life out of it), I'll likely take it to the Genius Bar for repair. I was quoted a price of $130-labor included-and most of the good aftermarket batteries I've seen are over $100. As much as I'm a DIY guy, to me I'd rather get the correct and(warrantied) replacement for the small cost difference.
 

jruschme

macrumors 6502
Dec 20, 2011
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Brick, NJ
The MBPs without user-changeable batteries(or at least not officially user changeable) are supposed to hold at least 80% for 1000 cycles. My 13" is right around 1000 cycles(I think a little under) and has been hovering between 78% and 85% for the past several months.
I think my 13" was a case of how not to treat a battery- deep discharge and then sit it on a shelf for weeks/months at a time. There was a pretty long gap between the last person who had it and me.
 

MultiFinder17

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Jan 8, 2008
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Tampa, Florida
I recently came across a 1GHz 15" AlBook for the low low price of free, and to my surprise, the battery lasts several hours and CoconutBattery shows its health at 96%! :D

EDIT: Apparently the former owner put in a Newertech battery!
 

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mzs.112000

macrumors 6502
Apr 22, 2015
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I recently came across a 1GHz 15" AlBook, and to my surprise, the battery lasts several hours and CoconutBattery shows its health at 96%! :D
Are there any PowerBook g4 batteries with more than 5000mAh? I could not find any, although I did not look very far.
 

weckart

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Nov 7, 2004
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Are there any PowerBook g4 batteries with more than 5000mAh? I could not find any, although I did not look very far.
They may report more but I bet my bottom bippy you won't see anything like the expected battery life, stability or longevity of a genuine OEM battery. I have learnt to lower my expectations.
 

bunnspecial

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May 3, 2014
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They may report more but I bet my bottom bippy you won't see anything like the expected battery life, stability or longevity of a genuine OEM battery. I have learnt to lower my expectations.
Newertech batteries are generally as good as OEM batteries in terms of life, although you pay for that.
 

Mnowell69

macrumors regular
Jul 4, 2013
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Bedford, UK
I was thinking of getting one for my Powerbook if the one that is in it is useless. I still have no way of knowing the exact state of the current battery until I get a hard drive for it and install the OS
 

Altemose

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Mar 26, 2013
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Elkton, Maryland
I was thinking of getting one for my Powerbook if the one that is in it is useless. I still have no way of knowing the exact state of the current battery until I get a hard drive for it and install the OS
Once you get an OS on it, CoconutBattery is the best tool around for battery information on PPC Macs.
 

weckart

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Nov 7, 2004
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I still have no way of knowing the exact state of the current battery until I get a hard drive for it and install the OS
You don't need a hard drive. Just boot the Tiger installer and open the Terminal app. You can check the battery status by the ioreg command. Something like

ioreg -w0 -l | grep Capacity

should do the trick.
 
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Mnowell69

macrumors regular
Jul 4, 2013
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Bedford, UK
i get grep : command not found

but using my leopard instal disk i get the info required thankyou WECKART for the idea

I have a cycle count of 81 and the capacity is down by 500. not bad for a computer that cost £30
 
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