Clamshell iBook Battery Info...

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Joined: Nov 12 2004
Posts: 52

Hi all,
I would like some more info about my clamshell's battery. I posted on a LEM list a while back, so to summarize:

>>I have a 300MHz Tangerine Clamshell, with a fairly new BTI battery, which held about a 4 hr charge. Now, the laptop will only charge the battery for about 10 minutes, and the capacity only goes up about two percent each time. It is at about 5% now, but it cuts out quite quickly when running off battery power. This is a rather new BTI battery, and previously held ~4 hrs charge. Well, I read it was the DC-In board. But some people informed me it could be a corrupted PMU or just a plain dead battery. Tried the PMU routine many times. No go.

I read on Applefritter to try using BatteryAmnesia to drain the pack. Well, it shows ~5%, and the voltage indicator shows nothing at all. The laptop then cuts out after less than a minute. Well, today, figuring I had nothing to lose, I opened the battery pack. I too a reading of the cells, and they all had some charge. Each pair of cells has about 3.6V, and measuring across the battery reads about 14.6V. I'm assuming the cells are good.

Now, my question, is this a problem with the small circuit board inside the battery, or the laptop itself? What should I do about it?

Thanks,
Kyle-

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D2X's picture
D2X
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Joined: Aug 29 2005
Posts: 79
Battery

The battery is the most likely culprit here. I had the same problem with a 2mo old BTI battery. It would charge to ~2%, then stop charging. The problem was a defective battery pack....so I sent it back,and they replaced it.I wouldn't think its the DC in....as it will charge the batt. for a little while anyway....so you should try to see if they'll replace it (they probably will).

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cwsmith's picture
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Joined: Oct 13 2005
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Try a 3-pronged approach ...

You say you've tried resetting the PMU, and that's a good start. Try this 3-pronged approach and see what happens:

1) Reset the PMU again. With the computer off, use a straightened paper clip to push down the reset button "under the grille" near the power button for 5-10 seconds (the proper technique for this model). Your PMU has been reset.

2) Reset the PRAM. Start up the machine, then hold down the following 4-key combination immediately after the startup chime: [Apple]-[Option]-[letter P]-[letter R]. I usually find it helpful to hold [Apple]-[Option]-[letter R] with my left hand, press the power button with my right hand, then immediately press the [letter P]. Hold down all four keys until the Mac has chimed 3-4 times. When you let up, the Mac should start up normally. You'll have to shut it down again for the third step.

3) Reset the NVRAM. Start up the machine, then hold down the following 4-key combination immediately after the startup chime: [Apple]-[Option]-[letter O]-[letter F]. Hold down all four keys until the machine boots up to a grey screen with text: this is Open Firmware mode. NOTE: Be very careful what you do here! It's easy to mess things up in Open Firmware very quickly if you don't know what you're doing! Type the following commands exactly as they're written here, and follow each command by pressing the [Return] key:

reset-nvram
reset-all

Your NVRAM has been reset, and your Mac will now restart itself normally.

Now you can go about the task of completely draining, then recharging, your battery. Go to your Apple Menu>System Preferences>Energy Saver. Select "Battery" instead of "Power Adapter," and set the all the sliders to not sleep, ever. Period.

Now stick a CD in the drive and open iTunes. Turn on Repeat mode and play the CD indefinitely (you might want to pick a CD you actually like ...).

Unplug the power adapter and let the iBook run until it goes into low-power deep sleep. This could be the 5 minutes or so that you've been reporting, or it could be the full 2 hours that the battery should have been holding.

Once you're in deep-sleep mode, plug in the power adapter and allow the battery to charge for however long it takes -- overnight would be ideal. Then you can test the battery under normal use conditions and let us know what (if anything) has changed.

Sometimes, the PMU becomes confused and either (1) reports a charge higher than is actually on the battery, causing the charging circuit to turn off prematurely, (2) reports a charge lower than is actually on the battery, causing the computer to shut down or deep-sleep prematurely, or (3) some combination of these symptoms.

By resetting the PMU, the PRAM, and the NVRAM, the Mac should now have a clean slate and be forced to "relearn" when the battery is fully drained and fully charged. A full drain-and-charge cycle should help it find these parameters.

Again, let us know what you learn!

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dankephoto's picture
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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 1900
try "Battery Reset"

Download and install Battery Reset 2.0. If this nor the the previously mentioned suggestions don't fix it, the battery is toast.

Edit: heh, I don't know if BR2 will work with a BTI pack . . .

dan k

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Joined: Nov 12 2004
Posts: 52
Well, I thought I mentioned i

Well, I thought I mentioned in the post that I am not the original owner of the pack, so there's no warranty for me. And, I've already opened the pack.

How could the pack be defective if all the cells have a charge? I've measured it with a voltmeter.

Kyle-

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Joined: Nov 12 2004
Posts: 52
Another question, then... Ho

Another question, then... How can I discharge the battery manually? Should I connect something to the terminals and let it run? Anyone done this before?

Thanks,
Kyle-

gobabushka's picture
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Joined: Apr 26 2004
Posts: 494
correct me if im wrong, but a

correct me if im wrong, but as long as the battery isnt a lithium ion battery, you can just connect something to the battery to discharge it. but before you do that, i would first try Battery Reset 2.0

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cwsmith's picture
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Joined: Oct 13 2005
Posts: 699
Re: Try a 3-pronged approach ...

Safest method is as follows, from my earlier post:

cwsmith wrote:

Now you can go about the task of completely draining, then recharging, your battery. Go to your Apple Menu>System Preferences>Energy Saver. Select "Battery" instead of "Power Adapter," and set the all the sliders to not sleep, ever. Period.

Now stick a CD in the drive and open iTunes. Turn on Repeat mode and play the CD indefinitely (you might want to pick a CD you actually like ...).

Unplug the power adapter and let the iBook run until it goes into low-power deep sleep. This could be the 5 minutes or so that you've been reporting, or it could be the full 2 hours that the battery should have been holding.

Once you're in deep-sleep mode, plug in the power adapter and allow the battery to charge for however long it takes -- overnight would be ideal. Then you can test the battery under normal use conditions and let us know what (if anything) has changed.

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Dozens of Macs; a handful of PCs; Apple ][e, ][c and ][gs; a few iPods; lots of parts
17 guitars, 2 baritone guitars, alto guitar, 6 bass guitars, bajo sexto, 3 ukuleles, mandolin, banjo, sitar
3/4 scale upright bass, 4pc drum kit, congas, travel congas, bongos, cajon, cabasa, 12 harmonicas
http://www.cwsmith.fmhttp://www.facebook.com/cwsmith2620

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Joined: Nov 12 2004
Posts: 52
Thanks for the suggestions, g

Thanks for the suggestions, guys, but I have tried the battery reset 2.0 software. The extension didn't do anything, and the reset program is only for the Powerbook G3 and it says "This program is not intended for the machine" when I open it.

cwsmith - The iBook only stays on for a minute or two with the battery in and no adapter. However, the battery shows a charge of 14.6 volts when I measure across the actual cells in the battery.

The battery is open, and it appears that the cells have a full charge. How can I go about discharging them? Can I just connect something to the terminals as mentioned above?

Kyle-

gobabushka's picture
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Joined: Apr 26 2004
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try putting the battery under

try putting the battery under some sort of load, and then tell us the voltage of the battery while its under a load.

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gobabushka's picture
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Try This...

try this, put the battery unfer some sort of load, and then tell us what the battery reads while under a load.

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