Using my Touch while charging: effect on the battery?

Discussion in 'iPod touch' started by hotheadedjonny, Oct 17, 2008.

  1. hotheadedjonny macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    #1
    Hi (first post) :)

    So yeah, this is my 4th iPod. I had a 4th gen, 5th gen, iPod shuffle first gen and now I have a beautiful 2nd gen touch :).

    So I was wondering, when using the iPod while connected to the charger, if it had any effect on charge cycles at all? Whether it was good for the battery, bad for the battery etc etc.

    Also, with my old ipods, I heard that leaving iPods connected to power sources for long periods of time without use creates crystal deposits on the battery. Is this true?

    Thanks all for your help.
     
  2. pismodude2 macrumors 6502a

    pismodude2

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
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    MacWorld
    #2
    Leaving your iPod plugged in shouldn't affect your iPod's battery life adversely, just so long as you run down the battery (until it turns itself off) and leave it off for 3-4 hours once every month. This allows your battery to calibrate.

    Also, remember, every time you unplug and plug your iPod back in it counts as a 'cycle', and for every cycle your battery goes through, your battery life declines.
     
  3. 840quadra Moderator

    840quadra

    Staff Member

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    Location:
    Twin Cities Minnesota
    #3
    I don't believe that you need to leave it off for 3 - 4 hours to calibrate it. You are not actually calibrating the battery, as much as you are the power management software within the iPod Touch. In other words, Calibration steps ensure that the battery meter in your iPod (or laptop) is reading correctly for the current battery. Calibration has no effect on the cells, just your ipod's digital battery meter.

    There are different trains of thought on Lithium Ion Batteries, however they tend to be better suited by partial discharges as opposed to full discharges. Apple recommends a full discharge once a month for most systems, only if they are not used often. If you are using your iPod (or laptop) off the grid (meaning unplugged) often, you really don't need to do any special tricks to extend the life of your battery, but you may want to calibrate your meter if you are getting shorter than expected (digital gate indicated) charges.

    Here are some good links on the subject


    How to prolong lithium-based batteries (BU34)


    Dan's Quick Guide to Memory Effect,

    [​IMG]
     
  4. pismodude2 macrumors 6502a

    pismodude2

    Joined:
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    MacWorld
    #4
    The iPod Touch turns itself off when it thinks the battery is low (even if it isn't). Keeping it calibrated stops it from preemptively shutting itself down. So no, it won't affect the cells, but it will definitely affect your battery life!!! :p:p:p
     
  5. ntrigue macrumors 68040

    ntrigue

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    #5
    Incorrect. One typical cycle:

    Use to 50% battery life. Charge. Use to 75%. Charge. Use to 75%. Charge. 50 + 25 + 25 = 100% cycle.
     
  6. pismodude2 macrumors 6502a

    pismodude2

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    #6
    Really? That I did not know. I hate to ask, but would you mind throwing us a link?
     
  7. biikman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2008
    #7
  8. 840quadra Moderator

    840quadra

    Staff Member

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    #8
    I am aware of that.

    I thought I clearly indicated why calibration was needed in the following paragraph? :confused:

    [​IMG]
     
  9. pismodude2 macrumors 6502a

    pismodude2

    Joined:
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    #9
    "Calibration steps ensure that the battery meter in your iPod (or laptop) is reading correctly for the current battery. Calibration has no effect on the cells, just your ipod's digital battery meter."

    It doesn't just affect the battery meter though, it also affects how long it will stay on. What you think your battery life is and what your iPod thinks its battery life is are two very different things, as your iPod will shut itself down before it actually runs out of juice. All you said was that the battery meter would be off, not that it would affect the battery life (or more accurately, what the iPod thinks the battery life is).
     
  10. 840quadra Moderator

    840quadra

    Staff Member

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    #10
    First off, congrats on 500 posts :D (though not a fan of the avatar) :( .

    Secondly,

    What the iPod shows on the battery meter, and what the iPod "thinks" is the current battery stats are actually one in the same. For instance, Battery shows that 1/4 life is remaining in the battery and while playing music the unit suddenly shuts off. This indicates that;

    1) The Battery meter was displaying wrong level (due to improper calibration).

    2) The actual battery level was below what the system understood it to be, thus causing the system to suddenly power down due to the battery having improper charge.

    Once the battery had been drained in such an incident, letting the unit fully charge (without interruption), will complete calibration cycle. Once this cycle is complete the iPod will have correct values to properly display battery life, and to avoid sudden power loss.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. pismodude2 macrumors 6502a

    pismodude2

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    #11
    Yeah, alright. Getting back to the original question, are we all agreed that it won't ruin your battery to use it while plugged in?
     
  12. 840quadra Moderator

    840quadra

    Staff Member

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    #12
    As long as it is not the only way they use their iPod Touch, they should be fine using it while charging. I use mine like this quite often at work, and hadn't had any problems with my 1st or 2nd iPod touch.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. pismodude2 macrumors 6502a

    pismodude2

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    Jan 22, 2008
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    MacWorld
    #13
    Dude, I just looked at your location, and I live in St.Paul (and less than 300 meters from the St.Paul/Minneapolis border to boot)! Small web ;)...
     
  14. therealmrbob macrumors regular

    therealmrbob

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    #14
    Yeah I've been using mine plugged in since I got it, no problems
     
  15. 840quadra Moderator

    840quadra

    Staff Member

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    #15
    haha cool.

    Well I guess I may now know someone else I could bump into during the next local apple event. ;)

    erm.. nice weather we are having! :p

    840
     

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