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Limit on Dell Laptop Battery Recharges?
Old 08-24-2008, 09:33 AM   #1
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Limit on Dell Laptop Battery Recharges?

My Dell doesn't recognize or charge my battery anymore (the battery was ending it's useful life -- 1.5 years old). Can anyone confirm that this is true:

Dell's batteries contain a chip with a counter on. It counts the number of times the battery has been cycled and when it hits a preset limit (OTTOMH 300 rings a bell), it stops the battery from being charged anymore or being registered as present. It does this no matter what status the cells in the batteries are actually in.
Apparently it is done for "our benefit to ensure that there is consistency in the duration a laptop will operate from a full charge".
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Old 08-24-2008, 09:42 AM   #2
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We have had 3 dell laptops at home - all college laptops kept for far more than 1.5 years, and this has never happened. Sounds like an urban legend.

That said, if your primary laptop use in plugged in, you should keep the battery out until needed. This maximizes battery life.
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Old 08-24-2008, 09:54 AM   #3
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Maybe. I need to determine whether the problem is with the battery. I'll be bummed if I buy a new one, but the problem remains.

Here's another site regarding this:

http://www.west-wind.com/Weblog/posts/365.aspx
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Old 08-24-2008, 10:52 AM   #4
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Al...I've never heard of this before and in looking, your second link is from 2004.

I couldnt find very much discussion on this from any reputable sources, mostly just a couple of guys on the internet who mentioned it and then followed that up with anti-dell rants.

My gut says that if Dell was prematurely killing batteries for the last 4 years, there'd be plenty of legitimate discussion on it and they'd have been sued like the printer manufacturers who prematurely showed printer carts as 'empty' when they werent.

Most batteries are made by the same couple of el cheapo far east companies. I suspect what you're seeing is either a defective product that lost a cell after a year and a half or simply a cheaply made battery.

If you look at the battery recalls from last year, one bad batch from one company affected about 9 different laptop makers from toshiba to dell to sony. So I dont think brand has much to do with it.

I've had laptop batteries that could still hold a 20-25 minute charge 5 years later. I've also had a couple crap out after a year or two.

Each battery technology DOES have an average limit to the number of discharge/recharge cycles. For most laptop batteries this is going to be in the 300-400 range.
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Old 08-24-2008, 11:08 AM   #5
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Yeah, I think you're right.

Do you have a good source for replacement batteries?
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Old 08-24-2008, 11:54 AM   #6
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Bought one from these guys for my wifes E1705. Looked exactly like the original when we got it except the sticker said something other than "Dell".

http://www.fatwallet.com/cash-back/Batteries

10% fatcash back if you buy through fatwallet.

Do a googler for 'batteries.com coupon'. I see several for an additional 15% off, and a couple for free shipping.

I think when I bought from them I ended up with 20 or 25% off and free ship.
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Old 08-24-2008, 12:59 PM   #7
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Thanks, Bun. With 25% off, it would still be $134, compared with $75 - $90 (includes shipping) from the Amazon.com sellers. I'm thinking it's probably worth the added expense -- you?
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Old 08-24-2008, 01:03 PM   #8
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I'm betting those cheaper batteries have fewer cells in them. Batteries.com usually has a small one with 4 cells and a standard replacement with 6, and sometimes an extra capacity larger one. The four cells are usually in the $60-80 range and the six cells are over a hundred.

Got some links or at least the model number of the dell?
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Old 08-24-2008, 01:10 PM   #9
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Thats right, I remember you have an e1505.

Hmm, some of the ~$75 batteries on amazon say they're 4000+mah batteries, but they also got a bunch of 1-2* reviews because the battery died a month and a half later.

Some of the other ~$75 batteries say they're 2000mah, so smaller battery.

That price on batteries.com is stupid though. Got the one for my wifes lappie for around $80 from them. $180 is lousy. Plus they're out of stock.

I snooped around and saw a couple of outfits selling high mah batteries for ~$70 with long warranties. Many of them had various complaints on various reseller complaint sites.

Seems like a tough call.

This looked good...but they had some complaints about customer service and shipping delays. Rated "A" by the BBB though...

http://www.laptopbatterydepot.com/sh...FRxNagodKys5kA

$64, free shipping (and they're in Irvine so you'd get it quick), 2 year warranty, 7200mah/80wh
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Old 08-24-2008, 01:53 PM   #10
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You da bunny! Thanks! Just placed my order -- total was $60.34 with tax.
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Old 08-24-2008, 04:04 PM   #11
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Let us know how it works out. I imagine a lot of people go through laptop batteries. I may be needing one for my year old slab, I havent measured it yet but I can tell its not giving me as much on a charge as it used to...maybe 25-30% less.
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Old 09-12-2008, 10:36 PM   #12
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So Al, was it any good?
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Old 09-13-2008, 02:54 AM   #13
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It is the inkjet printer/cartridge strategy!

The laptop is free... but the batteries are made to only last a year and cost $400 each.
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Old 09-13-2008, 10:44 AM   #14
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I dont think its brand dependent either. Most laptop batteries are made by the same 3 companies. The battery in my 15 month old Acer is starting to lose capacity...maybe somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 but I havent measured it.
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Old 09-13-2008, 11:13 AM   #15
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If your laptop is still worth something, I would be wary of an after-market battery. There are a lot of knock-offs coming out of Asia that will work just fine until they melt down or blow up. If your laptop is old enough then this may be worth the risk. Personally, I paid the premium for an extra Dell branded battery and power supply (even though they gouge you), but then I had just bought a new laptop, so replacement cost was high. If you can find a reliable third-party vendor then you're probably ok (assuming their supplier didn't give them a bad batch) but I would not trust a battery (branded or generic) from an anonymous ebayer.

I've also heard that leaving your laptop plugged in all the time (when its sitting at your desk overnight) will shorten the battery life. Not sure if this applies to the newer battery technology, but I have started unplugging it at night (since my laptop sits in a docking station most of the time).
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Old 09-14-2008, 09:53 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cute fuzzy bunny View Post
So Al, was it any good?
It hasn't arrived yet. It was back ordered, then delayed further, but I got an email saying they shipped it Friday. I'll give a report when I get it.

Quote:
I've also heard that leaving your laptop plugged in all the time (when its sitting at your desk overnight) will shorten the battery life.
I will always use a tray to keep the heat down, and I won't leave it near the fireplace when not in use. I expect that to make a significant difference in the battery's lifetime.
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Old 09-15-2008, 04:22 PM   #17
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So far so good.

It came today, and it fits! I expected the system to see it as "Battery #2" but it calls it "Battery #1."

It charged up in less than an hour. I'm running on it now, and it says I have 5 hours remaining. However, I suspect that it will need to calibrate the discharge rate before that is accurate. I will charge/discharge it a few times.
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Old 09-16-2008, 09:36 AM   #18
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The first charge lasted 5 hours.
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Old 09-16-2008, 09:56 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
The first charge lasted 5 hours.
We're still talking about laptop batteries, right?
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Old 09-16-2008, 12:09 PM   #20
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Yep, those 7200mah batteries will give you a much longer run time than the 4000ish that probably came standard with the laptop. Might weigh an extra .25lb, but thats not so bad.

Now lets see how many years it lasts. Can you check back in on this thread in 2010 with an updated report?
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