Battery: Best Usage Advice


renegadechic

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I've been trolling following these forums for a good while now but one thing I've never been entirely sure on is how best to use the battery that comes with the Pandora. I have had a few mobile devices (cell phones, mp3 players, etc) but battery life and use over time has always been a little bit of an unknown for me. I think it might be useful, especially for those planning on carrying a spare battery around, to know what the best way to charge up, use/charge down, and store the batteries is.

Is it damaging to carry around a battery fully charged?
Will that reduce its life?
Should be only recharge really when we have ample time to fully charge it?

These are all things I have no real idea about. I want my Pandora to last for as long as possible and battery treatment is an essential part in that.
 
www.batteryuniversity.com

Lithium-ions keep best at 40% charge, but if you intend to use the Pandora regularly, it's fine to keep it at 100% charge.
I think you're supposed to keep it plugged in whenever possible, batteries aren't puppies and do not need exercise.
 
RenegadeChic said:
Is it damaging to carry around a battery fully charged?
Will that reduce its life?
Should be only recharge really when we have ample time to fully charge it?
Yes, LiPo batteries will wear out faster if kept at full charge. On the other hand, the Lithium starts to crystalize if the charge drops too low, which is also bad. Optimal storage is around 40%
That isn't to say "don't fully charge your battery", just that if you do, make sure you're using it. A week or so at 100% won't do noticeable harm to it, but if there's a chance you won't be using it after that, discharge it to about 40%. Also don't worry about running it down too low, there's protection circuits for that. Just make sure you charge it back up as soon as you get a chance if the battery does run low.
Also, unlike older battery technologies, no harm will come if you don't fully recharge. If you've only got 10 free minutes to charge before leaving, go ahead. You'll put an hour of usage back into the battery, and you can always charge it more later.
If you're not going to be using your battery for a very long time, the extremely best thing you can do for it is to discharge to 40%, seal it in an airtight bag, and put it in the fridge. Even years later, you pull it out, and it will be almost as good as when you put it in. Unless you bought a spare battery "just in case" I don't see that being something you seriously need to do. Just use it regularly, and it'll keep well enough.
Despite all these precautions, batteries will wear out as you use them. We might get 14 full hours of usage now. A year from now it might be 12, year after 10. Five or ten years from now, it'll only be about half the original capacity, but it doesn't get much worse than that. 6 or 7 hours is still a long time, especially after 5 years of regular use. Not to mention we should be seeing a Pandora2 and the ability to buy replacement batteries around that time anyway :)
 
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I'm gonna bookmark this stuff because i really had no idea about it.

I definitely feel like i can relax a bit with any historic battery concerns.

Cheers guys :)
 
I think that is a nice thing to add to the wiki, so I've added it. Wiki page
But I think that the note "NOTE: You shouldn't pay attention to this page until this note is removed." shouldn't be removed until this thread is dead.
 
lulzfish said:
I think you're supposed to keep it plugged in whenever possible, batteries aren't puppies and do not need exercise.
No! The worst thing for a battery is heat. Keeping it plugged in, especially while using it, even trickle charging, is going to keep the heat up.

While you're actively using your Pandora (or any equipment): charge it - use it - re-charge it
40% and cool for long term storage

There's a very good piece at The Register

It has graphs 'n stuff ;)
battery_2.png
 

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^ It depends ;)

The way you suggest may lead to an earlier completion of the maximum cycles than keeping plugged in more often. Heat kills batteries that is very true, though. Leaving Pandora in the car in summer might be enough to shorten the battery lifespan.
 
In laptop batteries, the heat of the computer slightly shortens the battery life, but the Pandora won't get nearly that warm.
If you think it actually will get more than a couple of degrees temperature increase just from charging, then you can remove the battery once it's back to 100% charge and remember not to unplug the Pandora.
(Last I heard it will run decently without the battery, right?)

Also, I had two batteries for my laptop. To make a long story short, I mostly depleted and recharged one every day, and the other one is rarely even used. The first one has lost most of its capacity, and the second one still lasts the full two hours.
 
According to that battery site Li-Ion/Li-Po chargers do not use trickle charging, so leaving it connected is not damaging to the battery. The battery also doesn't get very warm from charging. There should be no harm done from multiple small charges with these batteries, it's better then fully discharging. Also, a long charge would make it warmer then a short charge. Especially when the charge is low the current is much higher, making more heat.

One thing I do wonder is if the Pandora draws it's power from the battery if it got both the charger and battery plugged in?
 
mali said:
^ It depends ;)

The way you suggest may lead to an earlier completion of the maximum cycles than keeping plugged in more often. Heat kills batteries that is very true, though. Leaving Pandora in the car in summer might be enough to shorten the battery lifespan.
Except a cycle is define as charging 100%
It doesn't matter if you charge by 5% twenty times or 90% then a quick 10%; each is one 100% charge cycle
Battery manufacturers expect capacity to reduce to 80% after 300 cycles at 25C
Above 25C capacity will reduce quicker, below 25C will reduce it slower


Awakening said:
According to that battery site Li-Ion/Li-Po chargers do not use trickle charging, so leaving it connected is not damaging to the battery. The battery also doesn't get very warm from charging. There should be no harm done from multiple small charges with these batteries, it's better then fully discharging.

One thing I do wonder is if the Pandora draws it's power from the battery if it got both the charger and battery plugged in?
And then there's the 100% charge will reduce life quicker than 40% charge. Keeping it plugged in will keep it topped up near 100%.



Disclaimer: all the info comes from here - I am no expert and happy to be corrected .. by an expert ;)
 
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Battery care debates get confusing pretty quickly, especially for newbies.
I follow these rules:

1. No excessive heat.
2. Charge often.
3. Avoid deep discharge at all costs(except for calibration).
4. Buy a new battery when you need it, not before.
 
Stupid side note: Why 25C?

Ambient temp is often quoted at 25C, cos most these things are tested in California/Texas/Japan where the climate is generally warm

So Northern Europeans rejoice! Our shitty weather mean the batteries will last longer! ^_^
 
Awakening said:
One thing I do wonder is if the Pandora draws it's power from the battery if it got both the charger and battery plugged in?
Yeah, I think one of the devs said that the Pandora uses the battery as a buffer, so if the power draw goes above what the charger can provide, it will draw a little from the battery. This is why, last I heard, the Pandora can run without a battery as long as you don't overclock it and run CPU-heavy programs, because then it might crash.
 
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gp32rich said:
So Northern Europeans rejoice! Our shitty weather mean the batteries will last longer! ^_^

Really depends on your indoor temperature, I'm sure that's where you'll keep it most of the time. The temp will probably be around or above 25C if you're holding it in your hands. Also running the Pandora causes some heat.
 
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gp32rich said:
Except a cycle is define as charging 100%
It doesn't matter if you charge by 5% twenty times or 90% then a quick 10%; each is one 100% charge cycle
I was referring to your suggestion to not use it when plugged in and instead use it in battery mode ;)

lulzfish said:
Yeah, I think one of the devs said that the Pandora uses the battery as a buffer, so if the power draw goes above what the charger can provide, it will draw a little from the battery. This is why, last I heard, the Pandora can run without a battery as long as you don't overclock it and run CPU-heavy programs, because then it might crash.
Notaz fixed the amperage limit issue, IIRC.
edit: The wording might be a bit off, as it was a mix of hardware and software tweaks, so check the quotes thread to be sure.
 
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