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Old 11-15-2007, 10:45 AM   #21
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My state has passed a cell phone use while driving law and will begin ticketing offenders soon. The law requires that phones be hands free for use in vehicles. I applaud this new law and can't wait for the ticket revenue to start rolling in!
Problem is, studies have shown that hands-free is very, very dangerous too. It distracts the driver - I think it was just as much as hand-held, but I'd need to check on that.

At least when they have their hands on the phone I can TELL that they are distracted and try to steer clear ! Hands-free is like 'stealth-distracted'!


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Old 11-15-2007, 10:57 AM   #22
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Right. I suspect that this law was passed only because the cell phone industry wants a new profit center, namely hands-free phones.
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Old 11-15-2007, 11:06 AM   #23
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Maybe the thing about car batteries had to do with people using power inverters and drawing more power. I can't find any reference to it now.
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Old 11-15-2007, 11:07 AM   #24
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Accessories are a key contributor to profits since they sell at much more attractive margins than the phones themselves.

Also, there is some real trash (read "dangerous") out there coming from third party accessory suppliers, so shop carefully for replacement batteries, hands free adapters, chargers, etc.
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Old 11-15-2007, 11:27 AM   #25
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Maybe the thing about car batteries had to do with people using power inverters and drawing more power. I can't find any reference to it now.
Could be. I also know those thump thump thump sound systems draw huge amounts of power. I'm adding an inverter to my hybrid and was looking for fuses over 100 amps. Found 'em in the automotive audio section.
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Old 11-15-2007, 11:31 AM   #26
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Problem is, studies have shown that hands-free is very, very dangerous too. It distracts the driver - I think it was just as much as hand-held, but I'd need to check on that. -ERD50
I agree but now at least we don't have folks staring at their key pads trying to dial or text message. Recently I saw a driver with her phone wedged between her chin and shoulder, holding a cup of coffee and putting on mascara. She was stopped at a red light but still.....
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Old 11-15-2007, 11:33 AM   #27
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I agree but now at least we don't have folks staring at their key pads trying to dial or text message. Recently I saw a driver with her phone wedged between her chin and shoulder, holding a cup of coffee and putting on mascara. She was stopped at a red light but still.....

Wow, I hope her car didn't have a manual transmission.....
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Old 11-15-2007, 01:27 PM   #28
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Right. I suspect that this law was passed only because the cell phone industry wants a new profit center, namely hands-free phones.

Just like the suv's
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Old 11-15-2007, 06:40 PM   #29
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I wouldnt recommend using a car charger unless you have to. A whole lot of battery life reduction is attributed to crappy car chargers.

After I went through three batteries in my wifes Razr I figured this out and we...umm...do it in the kitchen now...and so far have had no further problems with battery death.
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Old 11-15-2007, 07:51 PM   #30
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Your charger probably draws .5-3 watts when not charging. Mine takes less than 1 watt.
How did you measure that T-AL? Have a power meter?

I just fondled mine and it's stone cold. Seems like if it was dissapating 2 watts, it would be a little warm since it's in a confined space.

Not disagreeing with you....... just confused by mine having no signs of warmth.
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Old 11-15-2007, 08:03 PM   #31
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I wouldnt recommend using a car charger unless you have to. A whole lot of battery life reduction is attributed to crappy car chargers.

After I went through three batteries in my wifes Razr I figured this out and we...umm...do it in the kitchen now...and so far have had no further problems with battery death.
See my post above.

Lots of poorly designed aftermarket crap out there.

I've been using mobile phones for 24 years (including pre-cellular AMPS and MPS systems) and haven't had any issues with car chargers, but I haven't used or tested the aftermarket stuff.
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Old 11-15-2007, 09:10 PM   #32
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This is with the original motorola charger. Its been a while since I looked into it, but the problem IIRC was with any car charger that tried to do a "fast charge", which according to what I read, many of them do.

I cant say that I ever had a lot of trouble with the nokia car chargers though.
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Old 11-15-2007, 09:24 PM   #33
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It would be better to have a weekly instead of a daily routine.
That's what I do. My phone is on 24/7, though it is actually used VERY little. I usually plug it into the wall charger on Tuesday evening before bedtime, and by morning it's ready to go for another week.
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Old 11-15-2007, 09:31 PM   #34
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We leave our tracfone in the car......
How do you like the tracphone? I've been seriously considering getting one, transferring my current cell # to it, and thus dropping my current provider. I did that with my Mom's cellphone, but she rarely uses it, so she doesn't really notice any difference. Just curious.
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Old 11-15-2007, 09:40 PM   #35
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This is with the original motorola charger. Its been a while since I looked into it, but the problem IIRC was with any car charger that tried to do a "fast charge", which according to what I read, many of them do.

.
We have four RAZR's in the family here. All get charged with vehicular chargers with no issues. (Mine not too often anymore since FIRE though!) I wouldn't discourage folks from using vehicular chargers if that's what is convenient for them.
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Old 11-15-2007, 10:50 PM   #36
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Thats good news. I'll ignore this bullet I got from the email motorola sent me when I inquired about short battery life.

" * Only use your car charger when necessary. The car charger and the home charger charge the batttery differently and the car charger can damage the battery if used excessively."

I would encourage folks to do their own research on their own brand of phone and type of charger.
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Old 11-16-2007, 12:28 PM   #37
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That's what I do. My phone is on 24/7, though it is actually used VERY little. I usually plug it into the wall charger on Tuesday evening before bedtime, and by morning it's ready to go for another week.
Sailor and Goonie, that is a good idea. Actually when my old phone bit the dust, I selected a new Motorola W385 because it was a low priced phone that is supposed to hold a charge for 440 minutes, if you don't talk on it (which I almost never do). Plus, cnet.com seemed to think it was a good, basic phone that is not too confusing. I'm all for that! The salesman told me that they all hold a charge for the same length of time, but I decided I wanted to try it and find out for myself.

So far, I have charged it twice. Last night it had been 24 hours since the first time I charged it, and it was down to one bar. So I plugged it in and let it charge all night. Now, 7 hours after unplugging, it still has 4 bars (fully charged). So maybe it will just take a few charges before I get the long battery life. The instruction manual says
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Relax, you can't overcharge your battery. It will perform best after you fully charge and discharge it a few times.
So, I will let it get down to 1 bar (or less?) before charging it the next few times.

Whatever routine I eventually establish, it will have to be one that will result in my phone not being lost in the bottom of my purse and dead as a doornail...
Other than that, it doesn't say much about how often to charge it.
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Old 11-16-2007, 12:44 PM   #38
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Family Handyman an issue or two ago had some nice simple plans for a charging station which is nice if you have a couple of cell phones, cameras, etc. You can have a power strip inside the back of the box with all the chargers plugged into it. It looks similar to this from Potterybarn, but even nicer:
Pottery Barn | Shop

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Old 11-16-2007, 12:50 PM   #39
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How did you measure that T-AL? Have a power meter?
Yes, I have a Kill-a-watt.

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How do you like the tracphone?
Like it. Very cheap. We use about six minutes per month ("Hi I'm on my way home now").
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Old 11-16-2007, 01:05 PM   #40
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Sailor and Goonie, that is a good idea. Actually when my old phone bit the dust, I selected a new Motorola W385 because it was a low priced phone that is supposed to hold a charge for 440 minutes, if you don't talk on it (which I almost never do). Plus, cnet.com seemed to think it was a good, basic phone that is not too confusing. I'm all for that! The salesman told me that they all hold a charge for the same length of time, but I decided I wanted to try it and find out for myself.

So far, I have charged it twice. Last night it had been 24 hours since the first time I charged it, and it was down to one bar. So I plugged it in and let it charge all night. Now, 7 hours after unplugging, it still has 4 bars (fully charged). So maybe it will just take a few charges before I get the long battery life. The instruction manual says


So, I will let it get down to 1 bar (or less?) before charging it the next few times.

Whatever routine I eventually establish, it will have to be one that will result in my phone not being lost in the bottom of my purse and dead as a doornail...
Other than that, it doesn't say much about how often to charge it.
The #1 factor in how long it will hold a charge is whether you are getting a digital or analog signal. With an analog signal, your phone is constantly in communication with the tower so it can receive calls. With digital, it does this in very short time slices, which means it is not constantly communicating and thus uses less power when idle.

My latest phone, a Samsung Snap, chirps (once a minute?) when the battery is getting low, which is a great reminder to recharge if I've forgotten. First time I couldn't figure out what was making that noise, had windows open and figured it was a neighbors alarm or something.

I switched from a monthly plan (low minutes, still $30 or $35) to a prepaid plan which I just have to put minutes on to keep it active. $100 means I don't have to put more minutes on for a year, and I won't ever use them all. Adding minutes can be done by phone, online, or at their store. So now I have my emergency/occasional use cell phone at 1/3 the cost. Unfortunately Alltel seems to have a terrible network around Austin, though it's the best on the mountain in Virginia.
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