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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Fight for a good battery!!!

Fight for a good battery!!!
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deathandtaxes
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Oct 20, 2003, 12:20 AM
 
Like many new 15'PB buyers, I was disappointed that there was no improvement in battery life over the TiBook. 46 watt-hr battery compared to 62 (or 61) in TiBook. No ones offered an explanation for this, but I assume it was weight or the demands of the frame.

Anyway, I was monitoring my battery with Xbattery and I watched the level suddenly drop from 25% to 0 in a few minutes. The capacity took a dive too, and would never go above 3.5 Ahr. It was nearly 4 Ahr when new. I called Applecare and complained and they sent me a new one without question. The new one consistently reads 4.2 Ahr.

Moral of the story: Monitor your battery and don't tolerate a bad one that's faulty.
     
machem
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Oct 20, 2003, 01:00 AM
 
Hmmmmm.... Interesting.

My battery did the same thing, come to think of it. I thought it was pretty weird at the time, and in fact it caused me to keep data on my charges for a couple days. Alas, I didn't keep that most interesting data.

It seems that the batteries are rated at at least 4.2Whr, eh? I just checked, and the extra battery that I ordered on 9/16 shipped from Taiwan, FedEx, so I might even get it tomorrow.

I didn't think to check the actual capacity of the battery before (apparently, noone else did, either). Mine's at 3.5 Ahr, too. I'll see what the new battery does under it's first discharge/charge cycle.
     
cdhostage
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Oct 20, 2003, 01:18 AM
 
NewerTech will probably release a mo betta battery for us poor languishing souls on the wrong side of the eletrochemical tracks. Heck, if I could start this fall over again with the money I wasted on my Pismo, I'd get a decked-out 15Al with 3 batteries.
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stevekstevek
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Oct 20, 2003, 10:12 AM
 
Originally posted by machem:
Hmmmmm.... Interesting.

My battery did the same thing, come to think of it. I thought it was pretty weird at the time, and in fact it caused me to keep data on my charges for a couple days. Alas, I didn't keep that most interesting data.

It seems that the batteries are rated at at least 4.2Whr, eh? I just checked, and the extra battery that I ordered on 9/16 shipped from Taiwan, FedEx, so I might even get it tomorrow.

I didn't think to check the actual capacity of the battery before (apparently, noone else did, either). Mine's at 3.5 Ahr, too. I'll see what the new battery does under it's first discharge/charge cycle.

I'm in a similar boat; ordered the 'book when the first came out, and the extra battery.

The original battery now reports 3.510 Ahr, and I just got the new battery as I was reading this topic.

The new battery reads 4.400 Ahr out of the box (and is charging now).

Wonder how it will do after being used a bit.
     
machem
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Oct 20, 2003, 12:01 PM
 
Originally posted by stevekstevek:
I'm in a similar boat; ordered the 'book when the first came out, and the extra battery.

The original battery now reports 3.510 Ahr, and I just got the new battery as I was reading this topic.

The new battery reads 4.400 Ahr out of the box (and is charging now).

Wonder how it will do after being used a bit.
Make sure you drain that sucker down to forced-sleep, and start charging it up. This thread jogged my memory, and I distinctly remember the step in the discharge curve when I did that the first time.

Mine's out for delivery, but I'm calling AppleCare on the older one.

[Edit]

Well, you lucked out on the new battery, because the Rep I just spoke with was having none of it. He said they go by time, not capacity, and 2 hours is their unofficial official nominal expected real-life etc etc capacity.
( Last edited by machem; Oct 20, 2003 at 12:22 PM. )
     
nobitacu
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Oct 20, 2003, 03:18 PM
 
Yea... I hate the battery life, but oh well... maybe they will correct all this comes Powerbook G5s.

Ming
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icruise
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Oct 20, 2003, 04:28 PM
 
Originally posted by nobitacu:
Yea... I hate the battery life, but oh well... maybe they will correct all this comes Powerbook G5s.

Ming
Yeah, then you'll get 20 minutes...

I haven't really been following this issue, but are people really getting 2 hours with the screen turned down and the power saving measures in place? I can get more than 4 hours on my 12", so that seems like a pretty huge difference.
     
deathandtaxes  (op)
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Oct 20, 2003, 04:38 PM
 
Maybe the reason that Applecare didn't hestitate to replace the battery is because I've bought 3 15"PBs since Sept, for me and two coworkers.

With the new battery, I might get 3 hrs with light use. To get 4 hrs, I'd probably have to have the screen turned down to the point I couldn't see it. Not much good that way.
     
jsd
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Oct 20, 2003, 05:02 PM
 
When I first got my 15" AlBook, it reported a battery life of only 2 and a half hours...terrible! The specifications state 4.5 hours. Well, I upgraded to 10.2.8, and now my battery reports 4.5 hours, and it does indeed run for 4.5 hours! Even in normal use. So I suggest upgrading the system software and see if that fixes the issue.

I had to have my screen replaced, but for right now the new screen is fine.
     
deathandtaxes  (op)
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Oct 20, 2003, 05:19 PM
 
Forgive me for being skeptical, but are you saying 4.5 of continuous use, even at a low screen brightness. The only time I got close to that was with the new 65 watt-hr battery from Newertech on my old TiBook/550.

How about running Xbattery or something similar and posting the trace?

http://www.kezer.net/xbattery.html

Thanks.
     
machem
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Oct 20, 2003, 05:29 PM
 
I get 3:30 off the battery. That is with the screen set at one tick, but no other compensations, save BT off. This is generally sitting in a chair while my wife watches TV. I've found I'd like the screen even a bit darker when the room is dark. Man, that sucker is bright!

Working at my desk off Battery, I get just under 3:00. Course, I never do that, as I can plug in there.

I'm charging my new battery now. If it does the funny capacity drop, I'll post about it.
     
laserjock
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Oct 21, 2003, 01:03 AM
 
What is this app? Is it a part of OSX?
     
machem
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Oct 21, 2003, 01:10 AM
 
Originally posted by laserjock:
What is this app? Is it a part of OSX?
Xbattery. Here's a link:

http://www.kezer.net/xbattery.html

Sorry, deathandtaxes already posted that. I guess I don't know what you are asking....
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nobitacu
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Oct 21, 2003, 01:15 AM
 
Originally posted by Icruise:
Yeah, then you'll get 20 minutes...

I haven't really been following this issue, but are people really getting 2 hours with the screen turned down and the power saving measures in place? I can get more than 4 hours on my 12", so that seems like a pretty huge difference.
No, not if they based it on the Power5 CPU in which is what they will try to do. They said it would reduce power usage, as well as boosting the performance.

Ming
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machem
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Oct 21, 2003, 01:22 AM
 
Ok, while I run this sucker down, I have the calculated capacities of my two batteries:

Battery one (original): reported capacity: 3.526 A hr. Highest (charged) voltage reported: 12.5 V. Total life = Cap X V = 44.1 W hr

Battery two (received today): reported capacity: 4.144 A hr. Highest voltage reported: 12.6 V. Total life = 52.16 W hr.

(Apple reports 46 W hr on the 15" AlBook PDF http://a1344.g.akamai.net/7/1344/51/...S_09162003.pdf)


So, both of these batteries are within Apple's reported specs. The new one is 20% better (if it holds up), while the "old" one is a bit worse.
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ae86_16v
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Oct 21, 2003, 02:51 AM
 
machem What batteries are you testing again?

Also, I still believe that 10.2.7 had a faulty Timer in regards to the time remaining on the battery. The Percentage Meter would probably be a better measure.
     
machem
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Oct 21, 2003, 03:02 AM
 
I'm testing Al 15" batteries. Just got the second one today from Apple. I'm running 10.2.8, and I'm timing from the (xCharge) clock, really the system clock, not the EnergySaver clock.

The result for the new one:

2003-10-20 20:13:29: Charger unplugged
2003-10-20 20:13:29: Battery stopped charging (current charge = 100%)
2003-10-20 23:39:28: --- System going to sleep... (battery charge = 0%)

That's 3:26. Pretty much the same as the other battery, maybe a bit more.

I had two ticks on the LCD light, BT off, AirPort on, Processor on "Automatic". No heavy number crunching: Excel, Mozilla, constant Bittorrent use, X11 running.
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Fellow2000
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Oct 21, 2003, 10:20 AM
 
constant Bittorrent use
lol
     
LfGrdMike
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Oct 21, 2003, 10:24 AM
 
I posted on the macfixit site a while ago that apple would exchange batteries you just have to call. This isn't new, and you most likely wont have to scream at them to get it hehe.

edit:
Well I had a link to the macfixit site about this.
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docholiday
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Oct 21, 2003, 10:30 AM
 
My batter has the same problem too.. it suddenly goes from 20% to 2%.

Also, I seem to be getting only around 2 hours battery life (at best).

Running XBattery I get 3.510Ah.

I don't have Applecare and had taken in my PB for a new LCD.

Should I call Applecare for the battery, or just do it through the reseller?

(I bought an edu PB)
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machem
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Oct 21, 2003, 10:35 AM
 
Originally posted by LfGrdMike:
I posted on the macfixit site a while ago that apple would exchange batteries you just have to call. This isn't new, and you most likely wont have to scream at them to get it hehe.

edit:
Well I had a link to the macfixit site about this.
Yup. Didn't work for me, though. I would have had to scream, and it wouldn't have gotten me anywhere, it is clear to me.
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deathandtaxes  (op)
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Oct 21, 2003, 10:40 AM
 
You don't need Applecare for a new PB. It's automatically covered under your initial 1 yr warranty. Complain now when the PB is fresh, because later they might claim that it 'normal' deteriorization.

However, given my experience with PBs, I would recommend the $239 (educational) Applecare for 2 more years of coverage.

I bought an extra battery that finally arrived yesterday. Xbattery says its capacity is 4.4 Ahr, compared to the 3.5 Ahr that I had replaced. Let's see what it gives after calibration. But I'm already past 2.5 hr and still 23% left.
     
deathandtaxes  (op)
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Oct 21, 2003, 10:42 AM
 
Damn edit function didn't work!

deterioration.
     
pb_soon
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Oct 21, 2003, 12:03 PM
 
Is there some sort of recommendation as to what to do with the battery once you take your new PB out of the box?

Should one resist turning on a new PB once taken out of the box but instead charge it up to full. Then fully discharge and then recharge for say three cycles?
     
kentuckyfried
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Oct 21, 2003, 01:21 PM
 
^ I haven't done that yet...it's been plugged in pretty much 24-7 since I got it in Sept.

Sure hope that 10.3 released this Friday fixes some of the battery capacity problem.
Now I know, and knowing is half the battle!
     
deathandtaxes  (op)
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Oct 21, 2003, 01:30 PM
 
Most people seem to recommend that you 'calibrate' a battery at least once. Charge it fully, then let it drain until it goes to forced sleep. I've always done that, but I don't know how much it matters.
     
machem
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Oct 21, 2003, 01:46 PM
 
Originally posted by pb_soon:
Is there some sort of recommendation as to what to do with the battery once you take your new PB out of the box?

Should one resist turning on a new PB once taken out of the box but instead charge it up to full. Then fully discharge and then recharge for say three cycles?
You should fully discharge the battery --- that is, let it run down until the "sleep soon" warning pops up. Dismiss (ignore) that, let the machine put itself to sleep. Then plug 'er in and charge it fully(it will take a couple minutes for it to aquire enough charge).

HTH
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LfGrdMike
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Oct 21, 2003, 02:20 PM
 
Keep calling them, and bust the cap lol. YOu bought a computer from them it should be close to the advertised battery life if not you complain and keep complaining. They should replace it.
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PBG4 User
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Oct 22, 2003, 09:37 AM
 
Originally posted by pb_soon:
Is there some sort of recommendation as to what to do with the battery once you take your new PB out of the box?

Should one resist turning on a new PB once taken out of the box but instead charge it up to full. Then fully discharge and then recharge for say three cycles?
Battery calibration is fully explained in the "Getting Started ..." book that comes with the PowerBook. It would be in your best interest to read this before doing too much with your new laptop (I know the pressure to get down with the new PB can be a lot to resist ).
     
deathandtaxes  (op)
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Oct 31, 2003, 10:40 PM
 
I decided to resurrect this thread briefly. I want to report that my new battery consistently gives 4.4Ah capacity in Xbattery, compared to 3.5Ah with the bad one that shipped with the PB. That's a 25-30% increase, depending on how you do the math. I REALLY think that Apple is shipping defective batteries in a lot of units and hoping that people don't pay enough attention to complain. I repeat:

Fight for a good battery. You paid for it!
     
machem
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Nov 1, 2003, 12:30 AM
 
Originally posted by deathandtaxes:
I decided to resurrect this thread briefly. I want to report that my new battery consistently gives 4.4Ah capacity in Xbattery, compared to 3.5Ah with the bad one that shipped with the PB. That's a 25-30% increase, depending on how you do the math. I REALLY think that Apple is shipping defective batteries in a lot of units and hoping that people don't pay enough attention to complain. I repeat:

Fight for a good battery. You paid for it!
Yeah, I'm going to try again. My original battery holds 3.5 A hr. My new one holds 4.5. Actually, I guess I don't have to --- I will just make sure the crappy battery is in the machine when I return it for replacement.
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LfGrdMike
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Nov 1, 2003, 03:11 PM
 
Apple doesn't make the batteries do you really think they have time to test millions of freaken batteries lol. I think not. The company is run by perfection but people keep forgetting nothing is perfect.
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deathandtaxes  (op)
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Nov 1, 2003, 05:23 PM
 
I totally disagree. Here are the specs from the product description at the Apple web site:

46-watt-hour lithium-ion battery (with integrated charge indicator LEDs) providing up to 4.5 hours of battery life (15-inch models) (8)

They should deliver what they advertise. My new battery charges to 4.4 Ahr at 11v. That's 48 watt-hours, or slightly above spec. The battery that they replaced only charged to 3.5 Ahr at the same voltage, or 38 watt-hours. Who's going to accept 82% (38/46) of what you paid for. Are you going to accept that from processor speed too? Let's see, you buy a 1.25 Ghz processor but it only performs at 82% or 1 Ghz instead. Or you fill your tank at the gas station and the pump delivers 8 gallons but bills you for 10. BULL S--T!

Don't let Apple stiff you with a battery that's below the specs that they advertise.
     
   
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