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Old 11-29-2009, 11:05 PM   #41
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Yep, to be determined.

The bar isn't set too high - the original battery lasted only a year.
Can you share a link to the aftermarket battery? I need one for my Vostro 1710.
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Old 11-30-2009, 07:25 AM   #42
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Can you share a link to the aftermarket battery? I need one for my Vostro 1710.
Sure. I bought it here :http://stores.ebay.com/thebatteryconnection
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Old 11-30-2009, 01:51 PM   #43
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I ordered one from the same place. After much debate, I decided to go for the smaller battery that only lasts 66% as long. It was $26.50 (including shipping) as opposed to $37.50.

My thinking is that I usually only need to be on battery for 20 minutes at a time, and if I'm going to need a new one every year, I might save some by going with the cheaper. We'll see.

That place has a three-year warranty, but I couldn't find any details on that.

I'm going to store my current battery in a nice warm place, so that when I send it in in July (2-year warranty up in late August), it will be indisputably no good.
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Old 11-30-2009, 02:27 PM   #44
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Al, ya made me look. I got my Vostro in Oct of 07 and the two year guaranteed battery died the beginning of November 09. Almost like it was programmed to do so...

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That place has a three-year warranty, but I couldn't find any details on that.
I don't think trying to get a warranty adjustment from one of these ebay sellers is worth the effort. That's why I'm very cautious about how much I'm willing to spend on a purchase from one of them.
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Old 11-30-2009, 02:58 PM   #45
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It sure seems like someone could make a lot of money selling adapters that would let you use NiMH AA or even AAA batteries in a laptop.
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Old 11-30-2009, 03:08 PM   #46
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It sure seems like someone could make a lot of money selling adapters that would let you use NiMH AA or even AAA batteries in a laptop.
Yep.

I've toyed with the idea of taking the bad batteries out of my old battery casing and converting it to a holder for AA's. I suspect if it were that easy someone much more technologically gifted than me would have already done it.

I also looked at ordering new original style internal batteries and replacing them, but the cost of the 9 batteries was $20 more than the new plug-n-play replacement I ordered...
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Old 11-30-2009, 03:15 PM   #47
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I may be wrong, bu my understanding is as follows:

The power requirements of laptops require lithium ion batteries. Regular AA nickel hydrides wouldn't last long at all.

There are lithium Ion sized AA batteries (such as for digital cameras) but these aren't rechargable because if one tries recharging them there is the danger of them exploding.
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Old 11-30-2009, 06:52 PM   #48
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It sure seems like someone could make a lot of money selling adapters that would let you use NiMH AA or even AAA batteries in a laptop.
Right. There's gotta be a way. There's surprisingly little on the web concerning this.

Here's some stuff:

While most other laptops have proprietary and expensive battery backs, the Gecko Edubook uses standard AA size cells. It can use NiMH 8 pcs (4 hours), Li+ 3S (4 hours) or Li+ 3S2P (6 hours).




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Old 11-30-2009, 06:54 PM   #49
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Who would have guessed Lucifer had a part-time gig hacking laptop batteries...
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Old 11-30-2009, 08:01 PM   #50
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Lithium-Ion batteries are used in modern portable electronics because of their higher energy density (both per weight and per volume) compared to NiMh, which is in turn better than NiCad. So, using NiMh in a laptop would result in reduced operating times, perhaps to 1/2.

Now, it is not hard to wire a pack of NiMh and to plug into the AC charger jack like "Lucifer" has done in the youtube video. It is also safe, as long as one does not exceed the voltage that the AC pack itself puts out.

Attaching to the terminals inside the laptop battery compartment is an entirely different story. The difference is that the laptop does not charge back to the AC adapter, but of course it would try to charge the battery pack. That's where one runs into problem.

The charging circuit is complex. Look at any laptop battery pack. You will see multiple terminals. On the other hand, the AC adapter jack is a simple 2-terminal connection. The multiple terminals on the battery pack allows the charging circuit to assess the voltage of each individual cell inside the pack. Each Li-Ion cell is nominally 3.6V, but each NiMH or NiCad cell is only 1.2V. They are not compatible at the cell level.

The laptop that can accept different types of battery is specially designed for that. I am sure the battery packs are keyed, so that the laptop knows what it is trying to charge.

If one dissassembles the Li-Ion pack -- being VERY careful not to crack open the internal cells themselves, or short any of them to prevent fire or explosion -- one usually sees an electronic circuit board inside the pack. I have yet to see a pack without some electronics. These circuits' function is usually to prevent the battery pack from getting overcharged, in case the laptop circuit messes up. Li-Ion batteries explode and burst into flame when they get overcharged. There is NO trickle charge allowed at all with Li-Ion. In contrast, NiMh or NiCad usually merely leak. I am sure everybody has experienced a NiCad cell that leaks electrolyte, which then crystallizes at the battery positive post.

In short, play around with Li-Ion batteries at your risk. While the consumers are allowed to buy other types of battery, Li-Ion cells are not for sale directly to the end user, but usually put in packs with protective circuits. Now, there are Li-Ion polymer cells being sold directly to RC (Radio Control) hobbyists, these guys have learned to handle these cells with care. They usually use fancy programmable chargers that cost up to $200 (I have one!). There have been stories of guys mischarging these Li-Ion cells, leaving them unattended and returned home to find the house or garage burned down.
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Old 11-30-2009, 09:35 PM   #51
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One more thing about Li-Ion batteries...

I only studied on how to use and charge these batteries in order to use them in circuits that I designed, but will not claim knowledge about their composition or the chemical reaction. However, I have read that Li-Ion batteries have a shelf life. Whether you use them or let them sit on a shelf, they lose their capacity in a few years. Supposedly the other batteries do not have the same problem. For what it is worth...
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Old 11-30-2009, 11:14 PM   #52
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Why didn't I think of Wikipedia?

For the inquiring mind,

Lithium-ion battery - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The article contains a discussion of the relatively short life cycle of the Li-Ion battery. Makes you wonder what kind of special battery the designer of high-performance electric car Tesla Roadster plans to put in it.
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Old 12-01-2009, 10:03 AM   #53
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Thanks for the link, NW-Bound. This part of the Wikipedia article caught my eye:

Quote:
At a 100% charge level, a typical Li-ion laptop battery that is full most of the time at 25 C or 77 F will irreversibly lose approximately 20% capacity per year. However, a battery in a poorly ventilated laptop may be subject to a prolonged exposure to much higher temperatures, which will significantly shorten its life. Different storage temperatures produce different loss results: 6% loss at 0 C (32 F), 20% at 25 C (77 F), and 35% at 40 C (104 F). When stored at 40%–60% charge level, the capacity loss is reduced to 2%, 4%, 15% at 0, 25 and 40 degrees Celsius respectively
So, it sounds like if you use your laptop at home and plugged in most of the time, you could extend the service life of the battery by removing it from the laptop and storing it in a mostly discharged state inthe refrigerator (or maybe even the freezer, if the battery could handle that). If these figures are right, then it takes about 3 years for a battery to lose 50% of its capacity if kept fully charged in a laptop. If kept at 50% charge in the refrigerator, it would take about 30 years to degrade the same amount.

The cordless tools I use (Craftsman 19.2V) were originally equipped with NiCd batteries, and now Li-Ion batteries are available. I have one, and it is nice (light, good capacity, keeps its charge when on the shelf) but maybe I won't go on a tear and replace all my NiCd batteries at once. And I'll keep it partially charged and in the cool garage unless I've got a big project going.

It's too bad laptop manufacturers don't offer a low self-discharge NiMH battery as an option to replace the Li-Ion battery. They could sell it for the same price as the standard Li-ION battery,m but ti would be less expensive fir them to produce. It would be heavier and have a lower capacity than the standard Li-Ion battery, but would probably be enough for most of us and would last for the normal life of the laptop without replacement. Oh--maybe that's why they don't offer it.
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Old 12-01-2009, 11:18 AM   #54
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Thanks for the link, NW-Bound. This part of the Wikipedia article caught my eye:

If these figures are right, then it takes about 3 years for a battery to lose 50% of its capacity if kept fully charged in a laptop. If kept at 50% charge in the refrigerator, it would take about 30 years to degrade the same amount.
.
Or about 10 years @ 25C/77F at 50% charge. It is too bad that the laptops don't offer the option of a less than full charge, selectable at say 50,60,70,80,90% charge. Maybe it would default to 100% so people get the charge when they need it, but select less when you know you aren't going on a road trip.

This was an actual suggestion from an engineer on a product line I worked on ( @ 90% IIRC, still extended life significantly he claimed). I don't think marketing ever did anything with it though.

This is why the hybrid car batteries are lasting so much longer than many laptop batteries - they strictly limit the charge/discharge levels to extend the usable life.

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Old 12-01-2009, 03:53 PM   #55
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With my current battery, I started by unplugging it when using the laptop, then plugging in when it got low. I also used it with a pizza pan on my lap to keep things cool.

I leave my laptop in standby overnight. I think from now on, when I get the new battery, I'll leave it on standby and not plugged in. Plus I'll try to remove the charger whenever the charge level gets above 80%.
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Old 12-01-2009, 08:57 PM   #56
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I have started running mine with the battery removed.
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Old 12-01-2009, 08:57 PM   #57
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Or about 10 years @ 25C/77F at 50% charge. It is too bad that the laptops don't offer the option of a less than full charge, selectable at say 50,60,70,80,90% charge. Maybe it would default to 100% so people get the charge when they need it, but select less when you know you aren't going on a road trip.

-ERD50
That would be a nice option. I wonder if the power management functions in laptops are strictly hardware or if there's a way to hack the software to give the user this option.
Including it as standard might even make some some money for the computer companies. I'd pay more for a larger battery if that would allow it to live 6 years and give me 4 hours of use at 50% power with an >>option<< to go to 8 hours if I really need it.
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