Recalibrating battery?

cleanup

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jun 26, 2005
2,643
10
Toronto
After about a month of having my MacBook, 50% battery capacity is only 1 hour 30 minutes, instead of the 2 hours that it was when I first got it.

Is this drop in capacity normal?! Or is it fixable by recalibrating the battery?

Also, is it a bad idea to leave my MacBook plugged in? Does the computer stop charging at 100% or does it continue? I thought that behavior was only found on older computers.
 

Telp

macrumors 68040
Feb 6, 2007
3,061
16
You shouldnt keep your computer plugged in all the time. By doing this the battery is just getting used to having constant power, and will then last longer. You wanna train your battery, using all the battery (plug in around 15-20%) and not keep it plugged in all the time.
 

deadpixels

macrumors 6502a
Oct 30, 2006
913
0
After about a month of having my MacBook, 50% battery capacity is only 1 hour 30 minutes, instead of the 2 hours that it was when I first got it.

Is this drop in capacity normal?! Or is it fixable by recalibrating the battery?

Also, is it a bad idea to leave my MacBook plugged in? Does the computer stop charging at 100% or does it continue? I thought that behavior was only found on older computers.
it's not normal to have only 50% health after only a month but it's also abnormal to have only 2 hours battery life when you got it new, you should try calibrating to see if it helps.
 

cleanup

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jun 26, 2005
2,643
10
Toronto
it's not normal to have only 50% health after only a month but it's also abnormal to have only 2 hours battery life when you got it new, you should try calibrating to see if it helps.
No, I mean when the battery is at 50%, the meter says it will last about 1:30. When I got it new, 50% was 2 hours. Full battery life was 4.

I always hear mixed signals about "leaving it plugged in," "don't leave it plugged in." It's very confusing.

Won't always using it on battery power and only charging when you need to increase the amount of cycles you go through? I've been through 14 cycles so far according to Sys. Profiler.
 

deadpixels

macrumors 6502a
Oct 30, 2006
913
0
No, I mean when the battery is at 50%, the meter says it will last about 1:30. When I got it new, 50% was 2 hours. Full battery life was 4.

I always hear mixed signals about "leaving it plugged in," "don't leave it plugged in." It's very confusing.

Won't always using it on battery power and only charging when you need to increase the amount of cycles you go through? I've been through 14 cycles so far according to Sys. Profiler.

sorry for the mix up.
Here is what Apple has to say about it.
 

niele

macrumors member
Jul 9, 2007
47
0
hawaii
Have never calibrated but do let the battery drain down to almost nothing, or when it says it's on reserve, then I plug it in and I get around 5 hours of use. Its on cycle 60, by the way.
 

brando06

macrumors regular
Jan 5, 2007
202
0
There is no where that states not to keep the macbook plugged in at all times. I have no problem with my battery life and i keep mine plugged in 80% of the time.
 

cleanup

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jun 26, 2005
2,643
10
Toronto
Have never calibrated but do let the battery drain down to almost nothing, or when it says it's on reserve, then I plug it in and I get around 5 hours of use. Its on cycle 60, by the way.
That's ridiculous...

When I first got it I only got 4 hours.

I recalibrated the battery. Waited until the thing went to sleep then I fully charged it.

Even at 100% the meter tells me I only have around 2:30 - 3:00 left.

What the hell is the deal? Do I have a defective battery? A runtime drop of 1 hour in only a month or two of use isn't normal is it? Is 4 hours max even normal, considering niele gets 5 hours even after cycle 60? I'm only on cycle 15... :( Please advise.
 

ElCambo

macrumors regular
Mar 2, 2007
177
0
When you switch to battery do you tone down the brightness? That adds alot of extra time. Also I have my macbook plugged in all day, i only take it out at night when i lie in bed with it, with coconut battery it says the current battery charge is 5469 when it use to be 5306
 

cleanup

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jun 26, 2005
2,643
10
Toronto
When you switch to battery do you tone down the brightness? That adds alot of extra time. Also I have my macbook plugged in all day, i only take it out at night when i lie in bed with it, with coconut battery it says the current battery charge is 5469 when it use to be 5306
Yes, I do. The brightness doesn't seem to make much of a difference in the time-remaining meter for me.

I did install the 2007-01 Battery Update, however. The meter seems to read a more appropriate 4 hours now. But this is curious as it used to read 4:20 at 100% when I first got the machine. Why would I have to update the battery firmware for it to continue to read properly?

Also, is it normal to only have 4 hours on a prefectly healthy, new MacBook battery? Niele gets 5 hours after 80 cycles?? :(

How much life do you get out of your MacBooks?
 

niele

macrumors member
Jul 9, 2007
47
0
hawaii
Ok, well today i'm down to about 4.5 but i guess i got a really good battery, or something. I do the "cycling" thing so maybe that has something to do with it. Check with apple to see if you can change it out. :apple:

oh, and love your avitar, cleanup :D
 

gauchogolfer

macrumors 603
Jan 28, 2005
5,555
5
American Riviera
I've been reasonably conscientious with my powerbook's battery, although I probably leave it plugged in more often than I should, these days. After 429 loadcycles I have 69% of my original capacity, according to CoconutBattery.
 

niele

macrumors member
Jul 9, 2007
47
0
hawaii
I've been reasonably conscientious with my powerbook's battery, although I probably leave it plugged in more often than I should, these days. After 429 loadcycles I have 69% of my original capacity, according to CoconutBattery.
holy cow!!! 69% after 429 cycles! awesome. how old is the battery?
 

cleanup

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jun 26, 2005
2,643
10
Toronto
CoconutBattery reports that my battery is at 100% capacity. iStat reports that it's at 100% health. In fact, the original capcity is apparently 5200 while I have 5259...

So why do I only get 4 hours?! And why am I only getting around 3-3.5 now?? :(

Are there third-party retailers that sell hi-capacity MacBook batteries? ><

Dear God, now at 85% charge it's showing 2:15 left... I don't know what the deal is.

[Edit] If I don't go by the meter, I've been on battery power for half an hour and the charge has dropped 15%. That means that I can presumably run the computer for only approximately 3 hours and twenty minutes. According to the meter it's less than that though.
 

CrzyCanuck72

macrumors 6502a
Jun 10, 2003
913
0
what's going on on your computer? 3-3.5 hours is perfectly normal if you have wireless on. I get that with wireless on and screen brightness turned down, and up to 5-5.5 hours with wireless off and brightness turned down.
 

iToaster

macrumors 68000
May 3, 2007
1,742
0
In front of my MacBook Pro
If you're viewing a lot of white pages, to squeeze out every last drop of power, press ctrl+option+cmd+8... heh. I'm frankly amazed that my MBP can get my old MB's battery life (SR MBP). As for you, OP, I'd re-calibrate it just to be sure, and try not to leave it plugged in all the time (although I do... oh, why?).
 

cleanup

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jun 26, 2005
2,643
10
Toronto
If you're viewing a lot of white pages, to squeeze out every last drop of power, press ctrl+option+cmd+8... heh. I'm frankly amazed that my MBP can get my old MB's battery life (SR MBP). As for you, OP, I'd re-calibrate it just to be sure, and try not to leave it plugged in all the time (although I do... oh, why?).
That's actually a good tip. :) I'm guessing showing black uses quite a bit less power than white. Huzzah!

Well, I've decided to run down the battery again this time, but I'm timing it. I've had it on battery power since about 11:15 AM (11:15 PM EST) so, a good 3 hours so far, and the battery meter is red, showing 17%.
 

polycat33

macrumors 6502
Jul 1, 2007
437
1
Alexandria, VA
I wonder about the whole unplug it sometimes versus number of cycles thing too. I don't have mine always plugged in, but the number of cycles I feel I'm raking in makes me feel like I should leave it plugged in more often. I recall reading that an average battery gets about 300 cycles before it needs replacing. If I go through a cycle a day my battery won't even last a year!! But then I hear 429 cycles and still 69%... that's certainly not a dead battery. Should I worry about the number of cycles? I'm at 35 and I've had the comp since mid June.