the truth about powerbook batteries and other rantings

lorenzo

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 5, 2005
38
0
so, i bought my 12 inch powerbook about 2 or 3 months ago, calibrated the battery, and have since been loving it. typicaly, i sit around the house with the computer or use it wirelessly when i'm outside in our court yard (just moved to a new place, havnt set up internet in my apartment yet)....

anyway, the problem is that now my battery when at 98% gives me about 3 and a half hours of battery life. i mean, come on... it was 5 hours when i first got it and now it just seems to dicrease. is this abnormal? for it to decrease so fast?

not only that, but sometimes when i power on my powerbook, this has happened maybe 3 times, it makes a weird inner beeping sound... like one shallow long beep. then i push the power button again and it starts as normal. how long should one hold down the power key when they want to turn on the computer? is it 2, 3, 6, 10 seconds? because sometimes i hold it in, and thinking its turned off still, hold it in again, in actuality turning it off while its trying to load. i wish the power button lit up so i could tell... because mine doesnt.
 

dadio2002

macrumors regular
Jul 1, 2005
143
0
London, Ontario
I not sure about your battery problem. I dont seem to have a problem with my battery.

But with the power button you dont even have to hold it down. Just press it once.
 

pdpfilms

macrumors 68020
Jun 29, 2004
2,382
0
Vermontana
that long hollow beep is because you're holding it down. Try starting the computer with just a firm press, and release.
 

Applespider

macrumors G4
lorenzo said:
anyway, the problem is that now my battery when at 98% gives me about 3 and a half hours of battery life. i mean, come on... it was 5 hours when i first got it and now it just seems to dicrease. is this abnormal? for it to decrease so fast?
I've been told by a Mac Genius when mine was giving strange times, that you should calibrate your battery regularly. Yours might just need redoing.

Bear in mind that the battery life is based on what you are doing at that point in time. If when you first got it, you allowed Tiger to dim the backlight on battery settings, reduce the processor speed and weren't doing much except some gentle surfing, you might have got the 5 hours.

Now if you're using custom battery settings not to reduce processor, have Airport and Bluetooth on, don't dim the backlight down, have the optical drive going, then you'll find that the battery life decreases proportionately. Stop using the optical drive and you'll see it start to climb, turn off BT and you'll see it similarly.

Your battery will degrade but shouldn't happen that fast. Mine has lost about 12% of its capacity in 18 months.
 

joecool85

macrumors 65816
Mar 9, 2005
1,355
1
Maine
I don't remember how good mine was to start with, but doing average online stuff with the airport on using my 12" rev a PB, I get about 1 hour 50 minutes. This is on reduced processor btw. I know it use to be more, but I don't think it was ever 5 hours with the airport on or anything. From memory I think it was around 2 hours 30 minutes new with airport on etc.
 

EJBasile

macrumors 65816
Apr 20, 2004
1,304
2
joecool85 said:
I don't remember how good mine was to start with, but doing average online stuff with the airport on using my 12" rev a PB, I get about 1 hour 50 minutes. This is on reduced processor btw. I know it use to be more, but I don't think it was ever 5 hours with the airport on or anything. From memory I think it was around 2 hours 30 minutes new with airport on etc.
I get at least 4 hours on my 1.5Ghz 12" PowerBook with airport on, BT off, and the brightness turned down a little less than 1/2.
 

Chef Medeski

macrumors 6502a
Jun 14, 2005
975
0
New York, NY
I just got a brand new one in. Well, web surfing with dimmed screen, no optical drive, some music, low prossecor, and wireless, gets me 6 and a half hours. I know I was supprised too. Its really about 5 and a half if you open another program or two. But yeah pretty damn good. I'm happy, an underestimate on their website. WOOT
 

joecool85

macrumors 65816
Mar 9, 2005
1,355
1
Maine
Makes me want that newer battery, not only because it is newer making it have more hours in it, but also because mine came with a 47w/hr battery, and the new ones are 50w/hr.

**edit**
I think there is a possibility that the later rev PB's are more efficient also.
 

njmac

macrumors 68000
Jan 6, 2004
1,756
2
My battery (from Rev. B 12" powerbook) gets about 10 minutes. it fluctuates between 5% and about 22%. time for a new battery :(
 

Koodauw

macrumors 68040
Nov 17, 2003
3,939
175
Madison
Well I have a new battery coming tomorrow. I will let you know.

And I've never gotten close to 5 hours of battery life, although I keep the screen on bright, and use wifi, and BT, an headphones alot.
 

Heb1228

macrumors 68020
Feb 3, 2004
2,215
0
Virginia Beach, VA
when mine was new, I could get about 4 hours in class with just MS Word open, AP and BT off and screen at about half brightness. I thought that was pretty good. Its about 22 months old now and I'm getting 2 maybe 2.5 in the same situation. With airport on its a little less than 2.
 

ajampam

macrumors regular
Jul 31, 2005
122
0
MOre than a month old 12 PB, custom settings and almost fully bright screen, airport on.....4.5 hrs....has been that way from the first day I calibrated the batt.
 

Mechcozmo

macrumors 603
Jul 17, 2004
5,215
2
I get 5 hours on my Rev. C 12" PowerBook. No AP/BT/Optical. Brightness at ~2.

But I get 3 hours with AP and some Optical with ~6 bars.

I used to get 5.5 hours, but oh well....
 

AstrosFan

macrumors 6502
Jul 26, 2005
334
0
15", 1.5GHz PB - brightness about 2/3 of the way up, AE on, BT off - I get between 2.5 - 3 hours.
That's been the case since day 1 (about 16 months ago).
I'm jealous of those of you who say 5 hours - then again, I've never tried my screen on such low brightness.
I do try to calibrate it regularly.
 

joecool85

macrumors 65816
Mar 9, 2005
1,355
1
Maine
The brightness may be killing it for me, I can't stand to have it on less than 1/2...so it's almost always on full.
 

munkle

macrumors 68030
Aug 7, 2004
2,580
0
On a jet plane
joecool85 said:
**edit**
I think there is a possibility that the later rev PB's are more efficient also.
From comparing with others it seems the Rev B PB got a particularly bum deal on the battery front. After about two years, I'm getting just over an hour on normal usage (incl. airport).
 
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