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 Post subject: Laptop battery hack... Good idea?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 2:41 pm 
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http://www.metacafe.com/watch/479447/la ... a_new_one/

Is that a good idea, or should I just spend 150 on a new laptop battery?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 3:28 pm 
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That sounds like the same guy who made a bunch of pure bullshit videos about batteries. I've taken apart a laptop battery before and mine looked similar to the one in that video, just more cells.

I dunno. Thing is, if it doesn't work, you're out $30-$40.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 5:22 pm 
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That guy is very famous in metacafe. Most of his other video's aren't bullshit, so I figured that this one would be true too. Just wondering if anyone else has ever done it before.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 5:36 pm 
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i wouldn't be taking apart my battery.


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 Post subject: re: replace batt's
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 5:57 pm 
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He sounds so professional. But he's right. Note one must be very careful of not overheating when soldering. Most replacements come with the tab spot welded on so that helps. Tinning connections helps allot like he said. Use a hot iron and be quick.

I've done it with all kinds of stuff. Shavers, cams, lights. But you really gotta get the exact replacement, especially if there is any kind of recharging program involved(i.e. battery sensing feedback). And most notebooks do that.
I've seen also that most battery packs come in several sizes, so one could upgrade to the larger but not past the intended design of the charging circuit. I have several packs for my notebook(i.e. 4000(6-cell), 4400 and a 4800(8-cell). Of course more cells last longer, but it looks like there is some circuitry in the pack so without a schematic I couldn't say whether one could upgrade a 6 to an 8-cell.

One thing is to make sure all your new cells are good performers. You usually end up with at least one weak cell out of a dozen. Sometimes you have to replace a cell in a newly built pack.

I'd say go for it if you can find the cell spec.s to go buy replacements. You need to match both voltage and amp ratings.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 6:32 pm 
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Ive rebuilt packs too. as caveman said, dont go (mAH wise) beyond what you could get stock, you could overheat the charging circuit. also, you cant replace just the bad ones (ie no mix and match) you need all new matched batteries of the same type (nicads for nicads, nimh for nimh etc).

a larger iron is better than a lower wattage one, fast is better. if it takes more than a second or so to put the tabs on youre pushing it. I use a 75 watt flat tip.

take pics of the opened pack before starting. all temp sensors etc must go exactly where they were.

heed the safety goggle bit. for real.


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 Post subject: Re: Laptop battery hack... Good idea?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 6:45 pm 
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avanish11 wrote:
Is that a good idea,


No, especially if you manage to puncture the cells.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 7:02 pm 
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something to add:

overheating a cell is A Bad Thing.

avanish, if youve never soldered before, this may not be the project to learn on.

you should be proficient with an iron before soldering the stuff that explodes.

practice on junk 1st.

and wear those safety goggles!

PS a hot soldering iron looks exactly like a cold soldering iron. ask me how I know :lol:


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 7:47 pm 
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I see absolutely no problems with getting a battery with a higher capacity so long that the combined cells equal the same voltage as the originals.


Those of you that have said otherwise, care to post a link or three as to why this shouldn't be done?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:02 am 
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Flytrap7 wrote:
I see absolutely no problems with getting a battery with a higher capacity so long that the combined cells equal the same voltage as the originals.


Those of you that have said otherwise, care to post a link or three as to why this shouldn't be done?


no links, just general caution. [edit: see below, links now included.. dont go too crazy in choosing larger capacity replacements]

I would rather err on the side of caution rather than take a chance of a charging circuit overheating. get a battery that needs twice the charge, the circuit works twice as long. is that OK (after all it charges for hours at a time anyway)? probably and I personally would do (and have done) it but Im sure not going make a blanket statement and tell someone else its absolutely fine to do it and chance ruining his laptop. I dont know his laptop and will not risk telling someone to go ahead and put a pack in there that is rated beyond what a manufacturer offered and qualified for that machine. [edit see links below - stay within manufacturer supported capacities]

if you feel comfortable recommending it, fine. Ive even done it myself (get the largest capacity I could find) but I just dont feel comfortable telling someone else that. not my hardware to risk, however small that risk may be.

EDIT: avanish, if you replace the batteries with larger capacity ones, your run and charge time may be off till it completes several charge/discharge cycles to recalibrate.

EDIT 2: here are 2 links on rapid charging nimh batteries. seems if you go TOO far in using larger capacity batteries (like 2x or more) you actually can do harm in some situations like rapid charging (which is charging between .5C and 1C.. double the capacity of a pack that charged at .7c and its now charging at .35c, below the fast charge rate but well above the trickle charge rate) . depending on how the charging circuit operates, you can fool the charger into over charging the battery (and maybe venting it big time) if it uses temps to figure when to switch to trickle charge mode as the temp rise may not be high enough or fast enough to trigger the switchover. same principle applies in voltage monitoring for the switchover, at rates below .3C the voltage swing may not be fast enough or high enough to trigger the switch as it expects fast charge rates to be .5C-1C

those temp and voltage changes only happen as expected at a specific battery charge rate (in relation to capacity, IE .5C - 1C), go outside of that rate and the temp and voltage swings that the charging circuit monitors will not be what it expects and it can overcharge the pack.

since none of us know the laptops charging rate with a manufacturers largest capacity pack we cant say how much bigger you can safely go. if its 1C you could almost double it, if its .6C then even a slight increase in the capacity beyond what the largest capacity the manufactured offered will screw the charging circuit up.

also, keep in mind there may be a chip in the pack that tells the computer what capacity the batteries are and it bases its charge on that. replace the batteries and the capacity no longer matches what the packs chip says.

panasonics take on charging nimh

and duracells take

Ive never gone over twice the capacity in any of my pack replacements (simply because Ive never found any that offer twice the capacity and still fit in a given project) so Ive never run into this.

it all depends on the charging circuit. as I said before, since its not mine, and you know the laptops charging circuit is rated (and calibrated for) capacities that the manufacturer offered, stick with what they offered capacity wise. its the safest thing.

sorry for the long winded reply, but you asked :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 5:48 am 
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Most, if not all, of your information only pertains to NiMH batteries, which have not been found in any laptops since the late 1990s.


Li-ION batteries have a completely different charging system, none of which, are considered 'rapid' charging (ie- bring to 70% capacity within an hour and then shut down)


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 Post subject: re: con't.
PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 6:15 am 
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All good safety comments there, take note.

Yes I agree, this is not really a beginner project, especially if your dealing with a nice piece of equipment or if you don't get the exact replacement or try to upgrade. Types of cells, charging circuits, programs, temps., time, there are alot of other variable involed here compaired to Binford'g a spot light or trolling motor, lol.

This is definitely a step above replacing your UPS battery. And seriously it could catch fire and blow up if screw something up.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 6:48 am 
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Flytrap7 wrote:
Most, if not all, of your information only pertains to NiMH batteries, which have not been found in any laptops since the late 1990s.


Li-ION batteries have a completely different charging system, none of which, are considered 'rapid' charging (ie- bring to 70% capacity within an hour and then shut down)


as I said, I like to err on the side of caution. and yes, that info was mainly for nicad and nimh.

the video mentions li ion, however the packs Ive rebuilt in two old acers given to me (PIII's, come in handy as low power servers with w2k3 and usb drives) were nimh, so thats what I based my replies on (personal experience).

li ions are fairly bulletproof (they have to be as they like to explode if severely abused), however with no mention of what the OPs laptop was, Ill go with worse case. planning for worst case scenarios has kept all my eyes, fingers etc attached for a lot of years, so I tend to go with it :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2008 6:19 pm 
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Having screwed with batteries of all types over about 50 years and having a pretty good understanding of battery makeup and compositions my advice is simple. Replace the battery with a known OEM replacement.

You try to rebuild the damn thing and replace a cell or two and a few weeks later you are doing it again.

Just my take....
Ron


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2008 11:09 am 
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Quakindude wrote:
That sounds like the same guy who made a bunch of pure bullshit videos about batteries. I've taken apart a laptop battery before and mine looked similar to the one in that video, just more cells.

I dunno. Thing is, if it doesn't work, you're out $30-$40.


potentially more, if it catches on fire.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 4:04 am 
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Also, do some ebay digging. While the replacement standard capacity batts for my Toshiba all had pricetags of 80-100, I actually managed to get an extended (7+ hours) new batt off ebay for $40.

But have to say, this looks like a project I definitely would try.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 6:19 am 
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Ectoplasm wrote:
I actually managed to get an extended (7+ hours) new batt off ebay for $40.


At that price it doesn't sound like it was a Toshiba OEM battery.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:11 pm 
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After reading all this, I don't think I'm going to mess with the battery, at least not until I get a new computer. My laptop is my main computer, so if it bursts into flames, I'm screwed big time. Another reason is that I'm not very good/experienced at soldering. The most soldering I've done is soldering a USB plug to an xbox controller. I might as well spend an extra 50 bucks, over buying new Li-ion cells, for a totally new battery and not void the warranty.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 4:21 pm 
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Time for some Batteries 101:


http://www.batteryuniversity.com/partone-12.htm


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 4:56 pm 
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Flytrap7 wrote:


If only I had known that earlier, I wouldn't need a new battery... Thanks so I don't kill the new battery.


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