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'[EE] What is the best way to make a Li battery las'
2004\10\17@110921 by Alexandre Guimaraes

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Hi,

   My old Toshiba went bang after 3 years of good services :-( I bought a
HP Compaq and the thing is faster than my desktop. It makes more sense to
use it instead of the desktop but some question arose...

   - What is best for the batteries ? Should I leave them inside the
Notebook or should I take them out when using external power ? What is best
for the Li batteries ??

   - Has anyone tried to use a Notebook as a Desktop ? Will it last ? Will
the 24/7 usage I make on my desktop kill it sooner ?

   - Does anyone can say if it is a bad idea and why ? I am quite
apprensive because I never thought about doing it before.. It is weird how
something that makes sense but with wich we have no previous experience can
be annoying..

Best regards,
Alexandre Guimaraes

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2004\10\17@124820 by Bob Ammerman

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{Quote hidden}

I have been using a Dell Inspiron 8100 for the past three years as my
primary machine, and an Inspiron 7000 for the three years before that. I
operate plugged-in most of the time. I have had to buy one new battery for
each machine about midway through their service life. I don't do anything
special to improve battery life.

Bob Ammerman
RAm Systems



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2004\10\17@150739 by John J. McDonough

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----- Original Message -----
From: "Alexandre Guimaraes" <spam_OUTlistasTakeThisOuTspamlogikos.com.br>
Subject: [EE] What is the best way to make a Li battery last longer ?


>     - What is best for the batteries ? Should I leave them inside the
> Notebook or should I take them out when using external power ? What is
best
> for the Li batteries ??

IBM actually recommends cycling Li-Ion batteries, althought not as
frequently as they recommend cycling NiCd's.  Unlike NiCd's, they recommend
taking them down to almost dry.  IBM's batteries have some smarts in the
battery, though, so totally drained for them might not be totally drained.

>     - Has anyone tried to use a Notebook as a Desktop ? Will it last ?
Will
> the 24/7 usage I make on my desktop kill it sooner ?

I bought a used Thinkpad about a year and a half ago, including a used
battery that was probably a year or two old at the time.  After about a
year, it was down to a little over a hour, so I bought a new one and keep
the old one for longer stints away.  I used it "mostly" like a desktop,
although in good weather I'll take it down to the coffeeshop where I can sit
in the sun and surf with their WiFi.  I have a desktop, too, which is almost
three times as fast, but gets maybe 10% as much use because it's so
convenient to be able to drag the laptop somewhere else.

>     - Does anyone can say if it is a bad idea and why ? I am quite
> apprensive because I never thought about doing it before.. It is weird how
> something that makes sense but with wich we have no previous experience
can
> be annoying..

There are a few big downsides to a laptop, and how big they are depends on
you.  The main problem in my book is that it is very expensive to upgrade,
and what you can do it pretty limited.  I bought my Thinkpad with the
thought in mind that it would be retired after a year.  Now I think I'll get
another year out of it, maybe more if I break down and buy an outrageously
expensive drive for it.  My desktop has been through a series of upgrades
tracing back many, many years. It's pretty easy to pop in a new motherboard,
bigger drive, more memory, etc.  If the truth be told, it's probably more
expensive than buying new but you can do it in little steps so it doesn't
feel so bad!

Also, newer laptops tend to be kind of anemic on serial and parallel ports,
which can be a big deal for some applications.  For some things, USB to
serial converters simply do not work - the basic PIC programmer being one of
them.  (Fancy PIC programmers like Wouter's can be made to work, however).

So for me, I'll have both.  And for the forseeable future, the laptop will
remain the bread and butter machine, while the desktop serves for things
that need lots of performance, or the DVD burner, or the big, pretty screen,
or ... or ...

72/73 de WB8RCR    http://www.qsl.net/wb8rcr
didileydadidah     QRP-L #1446 Code Warriors #35


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2004\10\17@202805 by Peter L. Peres

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On Sun, 17 Oct 2004, Alexandre Guimaraes wrote:

> Hi,
>
>   My old Toshiba went bang after 3 years of good services :-( I bought a HP
> Compaq and the thing is faster than my desktop. It makes more sense to use it
> instead of the desktop but some question arose...
>
>   - What is best for the batteries ? Should I leave them inside the Notebook
> or should I take them out when using external power ? What is best for the Li
> batteries ??

Charge them fully and put them in a cupboard until needed imho, unless you
fear power outages. Repeat charging once every 3 months or before use.

>   - Has anyone tried to use a Notebook as a Desktop ? Will it last ? Will
> the 24/7 usage I make on my desktop kill it sooner ?

Yes but you can buy something that looks like a laptop but has no battery
slot and takes standard dimms. It costs 1/2 of the cost of a laptop.

>   - Does anyone can say if it is a bad idea and why ? I am quite apprensive
> because I never thought about doing it before.. It is weird how something
> that makes sense but with wich we have no previous experience can be
> annoying..

The reliability of what you are using is related to the number of moving
parts and their strength. In a laptop *everything* moves and everything is
flimsy.

$0.02

Peter
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2004\10\17@225717 by PicDude

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As I have lived mostly with laptop(s) for the past several years, I can assure
you that it will work as a desktop, but brand dependant:  IBM Thinkpad 600x
(the one I'm on now) is awesome, and I don't need more speed that this for my
"productivity" machine.  I do also run EaglePCB and a CAD app on it with a
19" monitor attached (dual-boot to Windows), and I travel with it
extensively.  It's still running strong!  On the other hand, a Dell Latitude
fell apart really quickly.  I still have a couple desktop machines, but they
are old/slower, and primarily serve as file server, print server, email
server and internet DMZ machine with a proxy server.  But my Thinkpad gets
all the use and abuse.  I do use a docking station, so that avoids a lot of
connecting/disconnecting.

I've consumed all 3 Thinkpad batteries, so currently looking for another
before I head out of town next.  As I understand it, Li batts will die in
roughly a couple years whether used or not, so I'd say get the most out of it
while it still functions.  But then again, I'll leave this part to the
experts.



On Sunday 17 October 2004 11:08 am, Alexandre Guimaraes scribbled:
{Quote hidden}

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2004\10\17@231715 by John J. McDonough

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----- Original Message -----
From: "PicDude" <.....picdude2KILLspamspam@spam@narwani.org>
Subject: Re: [EE] What is the best way to make a Li battery last longer ?


> I've consumed all 3 Thinkpad batteries, so currently looking for another
> before I head out of town next.  As I understand it, Li batts will die in
> roughly a couple years whether used or not, so I'd say get the most out of
it
> while it still functions.  But then again, I'll leave this part to the
> experts.

A couple of key quotes from IBM's "Tips for Maximizing Your Battery Life"

3. Recondition your battery by letting your battery run to less than 3% at
least once a month. Reconditioning the battery can restore some of your
battery capacity.

5. Do not place your battery or your ThinkPad in a high temperature
environment, such as a car on a hot day.

7. When you store your battery outside of your ThinkPad Computer, store it
with a charge of less than 50% to reduce the battery wear.

And under "Normal Deterioration":

Under average usage patterns (see figure) your ThinkPad battery maintains
approximately 70% of its power capacity for the first year of operation.

The figure seems to indicate you should expect the battery to be pretty well
shot after two years, but that is based on some number of cycles, which they
don't show.


--McD


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2004\10\17@233500 by Robert L Cochran

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I've been using a laptop as a desktop replacement for several years at
my office now and just love it. It is really nice to have the mobility
the laptop allows. Since I still have my external monitor, I also make
use of the dual monitor capability: plug my  monitor into the laptop, do
a little configuration work, and pow! my desktop is extended over two
monitors (the laptop's LCD screen and the external monitor.)

At home my wife is using her laptop this way and she loves it, but since
she sticks to Microsoft applications she gets all the crashes, poor
software support, and unreasonable expense that comes with those, and
usually does not have her needs met. She is moving slowly but surely
towards Linux.

Bob


PicDude wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2004\10\18@011848 by William Chops Westfield

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On Oct 17, 2004, at 8:34 PM, Robert L Cochran wrote:

> Linux! [etc]

To paraphrase slightly...

"Am I the only one who does not want the Piclist to be a pulpit for
Robert's religious views?"

I don't mind an occasional "you might also consider linux becasue..."
post, but this is about the third message from Robert in one day that
is way too close to "preaching" for my taste...

As a SW recomendation; if you do anything with pictures on windows,
you should have a copy of "irfanview" (http://www.irfanview.com)

BillW

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2004\10\18@040826 by hael Rigby-Jones

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>-----Original Message-----
>From: piclist-bouncesspamKILLspammit.edu [.....piclist-bouncesKILLspamspam.....mit.edu]
>On Behalf Of Robert L Cochran
>Sent: 18 October 2004 04:35
>To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
>Subject: Re: [EE] What is the best way to make a Li battery
>last longer ?
>
>At home my wife is using her laptop this way and she loves it,
>but since
>she sticks to Microsoft applications she gets all the crashes, poor
>software support, and unreasonable expense that comes with those, and
>usually does not have her needs met. She is moving slowly but surely
>towards Linux.
>
>Bob

May be a good idea to do the usual checks for spyware, browser hijacking
etc. which are far an away the most common causes of crashes.  I have been
running both Windows 2000 and Windows XP at home and I simply cannot
remember when I last had a crash that actually lost me work, and I don't
think I've ever had a blue screen on those systems.  OTOH in my experiments
with Linux I managed to lock up my PC on a regular basis, and never actually
got much done as I spent most of my time trying to learn new tools.

As always horses for courses, and how you use a product has a great bearing
on it's reliability.

Mike

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2004\10\18@060426 by Morgan Olsson

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John J. McDonough 05:17 2004-10-18:
>A couple of key quotes from IBM's "Tips for Maximizing Your Battery Life"
>
>3. Recondition your battery by letting your battery run to less than 3% at
>least once a month. Reconditioning the battery can restore some of your
>battery capacity.

That is only valid for NiCd and possibly NiMH (seen varying notes from suppliers on this)

Li cell manufacturers have explanined to me that cell life is longer the less the voltage varies.  No memory effect of any kind exist with Li, so not possible to regenerate some loss or wear.  Tha tis for the cell chemistry.  aside from th echemistry (i´m just fantasissing there) there might be problem of the charging system not taking care of leveling the voltage on several series connected cells, and in that case they may by time drift apart so if only using shallow cycles soe cells wil be low charged, while other are ful charged, and the charge system only handles tha ton a a full dischareg/charge cycle.  But that is not because of the Li chemistry, but non-optmal charge/serveillance cirquitry.

>5. Do not place your battery or your ThinkPad in a high temperature
>environment, such as a car on a hot day.

Common for all electrochemical systems

>7. When you store your battery outside of your ThinkPad Computer, store it
>with a charge of less than 50% to reduce the battery wear.

Weird, IMHO the oinly effect i can think of is that would increase the probability of cells getting fully discharged, shoud you forget it for some months.

/Morgan
--
Morgan Olsson, Kivik, Sweden


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2004\10\18@082905 by John J. McDonough

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----- Original Message -----
From: "Morgan Olsson" <EraseMEdlistspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTmorgansreglerteknik.se>
Subject: Re: [EE] What is the best way to make a Li battery last longer?


> That is only valid for NiCd and possibly NiMH (seen varying
> notes from suppliers on this)

This was actually in the help file for a Li-Ion battery, which was a
surprise to me, although perhaps the file is for NiMH too.  I don't think
IBM has NiCd laptop batteries anymore.

This was out of the help files for my T21.  Somewhere off on the web (I
didn't try to find it again), they have a much more thorough discussion of
the differences between the care and feeding of NiMH vs Li-Ion.

In their procedure for cycling the battery they have different procedures
for Li-Ion and NiMH.  However, in reading through them, I suspect that the
difference is mostly around how much intelligence they have built into the
battery.  I get the impression their NiMH batteries know how to cycle
themselves.

--McD


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2004\10\18@085006 by Gerhard Fiedler

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>     My old Toshiba went bang after 3 years of good services :-( I bought a
> HP Compaq and the thing is faster than my desktop. It makes more sense to
> use it instead of the desktop but some question arose...
>
>     - What is best for the batteries ? Should I leave them inside the
> Notebook or should I take them out when using external power ? What is best
> for the Li batteries ??

I just leave them in. I have two, and during the occasional black-outs they
get used, exchanged, and then both recharged. Seems to work fine.

>     - Has anyone tried to use a Notebook as a Desktop ? Will it last ? Will
> the 24/7 usage I make on my desktop kill it sooner ?

Depends... I have a desktop that's over 7 years old and still working
nicely (with a few upgrades). I've been using two Dell Inspiron notebooks
(in sequence) as primary machines for 5 years now, and really love it to be
able to go on a trip without having to do anything special with my
computer: just take it out of the dock, put it in my backpack and that's
it. But I don't think I'd use the same notebook for 7 years. (OTOH, I
probably wouldn't use a desktop unaltered for 7 years as a primary machine
either.)

>     - Does anyone can say if it is a bad idea and why ? I am quite
> apprensive because I never thought about doing it before.. It is weird how
> something that makes sense but with wich we have no previous experience can
> be annoying..

There are things for which I'd want a standard PC around, like standard COM
and parallel ports (many notebooks, if they still have them, have slightly
non-standard ones that may or may not work with your specialty application)
or the possibility to simply plug in an old ISA card or so, or to have it
work as a file server or something like that. But for this, often an older
machine does nicely.

Gerhard
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2004\10\18@105342 by Dave VanHorn

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>
>In their procedure for cycling the battery they have different procedures
>for Li-Ion and NiMH.  However, in reading through them, I suspect that the
>difference is mostly around how much intelligence they have built into the
>battery.  I get the impression their NiMH batteries know how to cycle
>themselves.

FWIW, Neither sort of battery really benefits from cycling.
In some specific cases yes, but in general, you're just spending lifetime.

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2004\10\18@115617 by Peter Johansson

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Alexandre Guimaraes writes:

>    My old Toshiba went bang after 3 years of good services :-( I bought a
> HP Compaq and the thing is faster than my desktop. It makes more sense to
> use it instead of the desktop but some question arose...
>
>    - What is best for the batteries ? Should I leave them inside the
> Notebook or should I take them out when using external power ? What is best
> for the Li batteries ??

Laptops have all had intelligent batteries and chargers for quite some
time now.  Just leave the battery in and it will receive the proper
float charge.  One of the big plusses about using a laptop over a
desktop is that you essentially have a built-in UPS with 1-5 hours of
run time.

>    - Has anyone tried to use a Notebook as a Desktop ? Will it last ? Will
> the 24/7 usage I make on my desktop kill it sooner ?

The biggest thing that kills laptops is vibration and being banged
arround.  A laptop will most likely live a longer life if it simply
stays in one place on your desk.

>    - Does anyone can say if it is a bad idea and why ? I am quite
> apprensive because I never thought about doing it before.. It is weird how
> something that makes sense but with wich we have no previous experience can
> be annoying..

About the only thing you need to worry about with laptops is heat.  If
you are running any long processor-intensive jobs on a laptop, the CPU
will get quite warm.  Now, theoritically, the laptop's thermal
management circuitry will throttle back the CPU to keep it within safe
limits, but I have heard of some cases where laptop CPUs have fried
during extended periods of extensive use.  If your laptop happens to
get hot on the bottom (as many do) it wouldn't be a bad idea to build
some sort of riser to insure that it gets plenty of airflow.  For
about $20-$30 you can buy a commercial riser that even includes a few
small fans.

As an aside, the Pentium-MMX 233 Mhz laptop that I bought in 1997 and
retired from active use in 2001 been running continuously since then
(several years now) as a media source in my bedroom.  I use it to play
streaming audio or a playlist from my main fileserver.  Because the
machine has never recovered properly from swap-to-disk-and-power-down,
she has actually been active the entire time.  Needless to say, I've
set the hard disk to spin down and the display to blank very quickly
after any activity.

-p.
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2004\10\18@145423 by Peter L. Peres

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Strange that IBM recommends the exact opposite to what I know is good for
Li-ion batteries, with the exception of storage in a warm place (like, in
a working laptop). The books say that Li-ion will loose very little charge
through self discharging (1% per month) so a stored charged Li-ion should
stay that way essentially until one needs it. My experience confirms this.
F.ex. a charged camcorder battery (not new) still shows 80% capacity after
6 months storage at room temperature.

Peter

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2004\10\18@184728 by Bob Blick

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>
> Strange that IBM recommends the exact opposite to what I know is good for
> Li-ion batteries,

Not at all strange. IBM thinkpads are famous for basically killing
batteries. Certain models in particular, but I get the impression that IBM
really could not care less about how many cycles you get from your
battery.

Google for "thinkpad battery" if you want to read about 1 year (or less)
battery life.

I have a 9 year-old Toshiba Portege that still gets 3 to 4 hours on the
original L-ion battery. My technique has been to treat it like a lead-acid
battery, avoiding deep discharges.

Cheerful regards,

Bob


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2004\10\18@190246 by Dave VanHorn

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>
>I have a 9 year-old Toshiba Portege that still gets 3 to 4 hours on the
>original L-ion battery. My technique has been to treat it like a lead-acid
>battery, avoiding deep discharges.

My Libretto L-50 is still running it's original batteries.
I've had it for four years plus, and I bought it used.

My L1 is on it's original batteries, both 2.5 yrs old.

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