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  1. #1
    lucky13mt's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Maximizing Your Cell Phone Battery Life

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    This is posted in response to the auto on/off thread but I figured I'd post it since I find it to be useful information.

    Maximizing Your Cell Phone Battery Life

    Four steps you can take now to get more mileage out of your cell phone battery.
    The idea that mainstream technology is built to eventually malfunction may be less of a conspiracy theory and more grounded in fact than we realize. This is for a couple reasons. First, making long-lasting equipment is expensive. Second, companies want you to come back and upgrade your equipment periodically.
    For cell phones, the life span seems to be about two years. The main threat against cell phone durability isn’t the memory card that holds the address book, nor the fancy screen that shows the numbers. The problem is: battery life. After a year or two of reliability, older phones may last a day on one charge, if not just a few hours.
    Fortunately, there are precautions you can take to extend battery life:

    Bad habit #1 – Charging Every Day

    It’s a habit, especially for travelers: Get into the hotel room, search for the nearest available outlet and plug up all rechargeable electronics before settling in. Unfortunately, according to a T-Mobile spokesman, this very practice can drain life from your cell phone battery. Cell phones, iPods and other rechargeable electronics have so-called battery memory. When first bought, your cell phone is prepped to charge fully each time you plug it into an outlet. Repeatedly charging your phone when it has, say, half power actually lowers the capacity of the battery. It gets used to holding a half charge.

    Solution: Charge every other day. The average cell phone charge last about three days. Unless you’re a risk taker, it’s probably not a good idea to wait until the third day (after all, this isn’t an exact science). A more realistic goal is to plug in your phone every other day. Not only will this improve long-term battery life, but it also keeps you untethered for half of the week.

    Bad habit #2 -- Keeping Your Cell Phone in Extreme Temperatures


    Most people don’t have business in Antarctica or the Sahara, but leaving the phone in a hot summer car or a cold office will hurt battery life, too. “A common mistake made by cellular phone users is to leave their battery pack in their vehicle during the heat of day,” Motorola warns. “A car’s internal temperature can exceed 80 degrees Celsius, and the temperature of a dashboard with direct exposure to the sun can exceed 120 degrees Celsius.”

    Solution: If it must be stored, keep it away from sunlight during summer. In winter, keep that phone well-covered or close to a warm body.

    Bad habit #3 -- Being Disconnected While Indoors

    Twenty years ago, having a cordless phone at home was a luxury, but now it is standard. As such, we aren’t used to having a wire keeping us in place – even if we’re talking on a cell phone five feet away from the outlet. The constant depleting and recharging will wear out batteries no matter what precautions are taken, so it’s essential to use your cell phone’s battery power only when necessary. If you’re stationary and by an outlet, plug in the phone. The cell’s power will then be taken from the outlet, not from your battery.

    Solution: Charge while talking.

    Bad habit #4 -- Keeping the Cell on 24/7
    The beauty of cell phones is that, dead zones notwithstanding, we can be reached at any time. We tend to leave them on all day and all night, and complain when they break down from exhaustion. What people don’t realize is that cell phones, like computers and other technological gadgets, need a little rest. Downtime allows your phone to cool down, while turning on the phone anew will refocus its coordinates (which may help you get better reception).

    Solution: Turn it off. Shut it down periodically, ideally at least once daily. Fives minutes will do.

    ^Found on:

    http://technology.inc.com/hardware/a...nebattery.html


    Battery Specific


    Lithium-ion Batteries

    It is important to learn battery care information for Lithium-ion batteries to enhance the performance and extend the useful life of the battery. Because they are the newest technology batteries, they offer several advantages over NiMH and NiCd batteries. Lithium-ion batteries are preferred for their lighter weight and higher performance. Lithium-ion batteries are typically 20-35% lighter and will provide 10-20% better performance than a NiMH battery of equivalent mAh rating. Lithium-ion batteries are also unique in that they are not susceptible to the "memory effect".

    A new Lithium-ion battery will benefit from an initial "conditioning" of the battery. For the first 3 charge cycles, fully charge the battery overnight and allow it to fully discharge before recharging. Once conditioned, Lithium-ion batteries will perform best when charged at a rate somewhere between a conventional slow charge and a rapid charge. When rapid charging, Lithium-ion batteries require a charger designed to charge Lithium batteries. To achieve a true full charge when rapid charging, the battery needs to be slow charged the last 10-15% of its charge cycle. Most "intelligent" desktop and Lithium-battery rapid chargers provide this capability. A Lithium-ion battery may be damaged by extensive overcharging (continuously on a charger for more than 24 hours).

    Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) Batteries

    NiMH batteries typically provide at least 30% more talk time than NiCd batteries. While still susceptible to the "memory effect," NiMH batteries are much less prone to this condition than the older technology NiCd batteries. Proper conditioning of a NiMH battery over it's lifetime will greatly reduce the potential negative impacts of "memory effect." This can be done by ensuring the battery is fully discharged before recharging at least once in every 3-5 charge cycles.

    It is very important to properly "condition" a new NiMH battery. For the first 3 charge cycles, fully charge the battery overnight (preferably on a conventional slow charger) and allow it to fully discharge before recharging. Over its lifetime, a NiMH battery will perform best if it is regularly charged on a charger/conditioner type charger. A NiMH battery may be damaged by extensive overcharging (continuously on a charger for more than 24 hours).

    Nickel Cadmium (NiCd) Batteries


    NiCd batteries are the oldest technology batteries. While they offer good performance, NiCd batteries are highly susceptible to the "memory effect." Due to the overall superior performance of Lithium-ion and NiMH batteries and the additional negative environmental impact of NiCd battery disposal, CELLPOWER chooses to specialize in Lithium-ion and NiMN batteries and not carry NiCd batteries in our product line.

    The "Memory Effect"


    "Memory Effect" is a condition of reduced battery performance (and eventual failure) due to a battery only using those cells that are fully discharged and charged on a regular basis. In other words, if on a regular basis a NiCd or NiMH battery is only partially discharged before being recharged, it " forgets" that it has usable capacity to further discharge all the way down. The result is degraded battery performance and shorter battery life because the battery is using less than it's true full capacity. Lithium-ion batteries do not develop the "memory effect". NiMH batteries, while considerably better than their NiCd counterparts, are prone to developing "memory effect." However, proper care and conditioning over the life of a NiMH battery will significantly reduce the potential negative impacts.

    Battery Do's & Don'ts (to maximize performance)



    Do's:
    • Properly "condition" (fully charge/discharge for first 3 cycles) the battery when it is new.
    • Keep the battery and the contact terminals clean.
    • Avoid exposing the battery to extreme heat and cold.
    • Use the battery. If possible, avoid letting your battery sit dormant for long periods of time.
    • Use only the phone options and accessories that you really need.
    • Charge and re-condition a battery after an extended idle period.
    Don'ts:
    • Toss, drop, or otherwise abuse the battery.
    • Short-circuit the battery.
    • Open and expose the cell contents.
    • Modify the battery casing and/or housing.
    • Allow the battery to be exposed to rain or excessive moisture.
    • Incinerate a battery. Properly dispose of a used battery.
    ^Found on:

    http://www.cellpower.com/battery_tips.cfm


    Enjoy.
    Last edited by lucky13mt; 03-09-2008 at 01:19 PM.
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  2. #2
    ItsNowOrNever's Avatar
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    How does that apply to Seidio, cause they said that none of that was necessary to keep their batt's at maximum power?
    Color---it's nothing but a hue of the rainbow...why do people place such importance in it?

  3. #3
    Rcbjr's Avatar
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    I've got serious problems with posting these types of generalities. You have cut and pasted information about multiple battery technologies that are unrelated and sometimes at cross-purposes. Processes that are valid for NiCad or NiMH are not valid for Li Ion and may cause damage. I have addressed some of those below.

    Bad habit #1 – Charging Every Day

    It’s a habit, especially for travelers: Get into the hotel room, search for the nearest available outlet and plug up all rechargeable electronics before settling in. Unfortunately, according to a T-Mobile spokesman, this very practice can drain life from your cell phone battery. Cell phones, iPods and other rechargeable electronics have so-called battery memory. When first bought, your cell phone is prepped to charge fully each time you plug it into an outlet. Repeatedly charging your phone when it has, say, half power actually lowers the capacity of the battery. It gets used to holding a half charge.

    Solution: Charge every other day. The average cell phone charge last about three days. Unless you’re a risk taker, it’s probably not a good idea to wait until the third day (after all, this isn’t an exact science). A more realistic goal is to plug in your phone every other day. Not only will this improve long-term battery life, but it also keeps you untethered for half of the week.
    Well, RIM recommends charging regularly which this is, but it should also be based on battery charge level also. Of the 5 BBs I've had, none would make two full days between charge, that is until I got the Extended Capacity Battery.

    Bad habit #2 -- Keeping Your Cell Phone in Extreme Temperatures
    Agree with this totally.

    Bad habit #3 -- Being Disconnected While Indoors

    Twenty years ago, having a cordless phone at home was a luxury, but now it is standard. As such, we aren’t used to having a wire keeping us in place – even if we’re talking on a cell phone five feet away from the outlet. The constant depleting and recharging will wear out batteries no matter what precautions are taken, so it’s essential to use your cell phone’s battery power only when necessary. If you’re stationary and by an outlet, plug in the phone. The cell’s power will then be taken from the outlet, not from your battery.

    Solution: Charge while talking.
    Ok, but this is in direct conflict with the solution to Bad Habit #1. Which takes precidence?

    Bad habit #4 -- Keeping the Cell on 24/7
    The beauty of cell phones is that, dead zones notwithstanding, we can be reached at any time. We tend to leave them on all day and all night, and complain when they break down from exhaustion. What people don’t realize is that cell phones, like computers and other technological gadgets, need a little rest. Downtime allows your phone to cool down, while turning on the phone anew will refocus its coordinates (which may help you get better reception).

    Solution: Turn it off. Shut it down periodically, ideally at least once daily. Fives minutes will do.
    Never Seen anything to support this, but I may have just missed it in researching how to support LI ion batteries. But then again the situation I'm supporting does not depend on extreme long term on times. RIM does recommend using auto off/auto on but only in reference to extending the utilization times between charges during use.

    Lithium-ion Batteries

    It is important to learn battery care information for Lithium-ion batteries to enhance the performance and extend the useful life of the battery. Because they are the newest technology batteries, they offer several advantages over NiMH and NiCd batteries. Lithium-ion batteries are preferred for their lighter weight and higher performance. Lithium-ion batteries are typically 20-35% lighter and will provide 10-20% better performance than a NiMH battery of equivalent mAh rating. Lithium-ion batteries are also unique in that they are not susceptible to the "memory effect".

    A new Lithium-ion battery will benefit from an initial "conditioning" of the battery. For the first 3 charge cycles, fully charge the battery overnight and allow it to fully discharge before recharging. Once conditioned, Lithium-ion batteries will perform best when charged at a rate somewhere between a conventional slow charge and a rapid charge. When rapid charging, Lithium-ion batteries require a charger designed to charge Lithium batteries. To achieve a true full charge when rapid charging, the battery needs to be slow charged the last 10-15% of its charge cycle. Most "intelligent" desktop and Lithium-battery rapid chargers provide this capability. A Lithium-ion battery may be damaged by extensive overcharging (continuously on a charger for more than 24 hours).
    This is the Technology used in the Current RIM Batteries. However there is disagreement over the first statement in Paragraph 2, Cycling the battery for the first three charges. I've seen about recommendations for and against this in about even numbers. Can't really say if it's necessary or not.

    The remainder of this paragraph addresses the reason that RIM recommends using only the RIM provided, or authorized charging devices and methods.

    Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) Batteries

    NiMH batteries typically provide at least 30% more talk time than NiCd batteries. While still susceptible to the "memory effect," NiMH batteries are much less prone to this condition than the older technology NiCd batteries. Proper conditioning of a NiMH battery over it's lifetime will greatly reduce the potential negative impacts of "memory effect." This can be done by ensuring the battery is fully discharged before recharging at least once in every 3-5 charge cycles.

    It is very important to properly "condition" a new NiMH battery. For the first 3 charge cycles, fully charge the battery overnight (preferably on a conventional slow charger) and allow it to fully discharge before recharging. Over its lifetime, a NiMH battery will perform best if it is regularly charged on a charger/conditioner type charger. A NiMH battery may be damaged by extensive overcharging (continuously on a charger for more than 24 hours).

    Nickel Cadmium (NiCd) Batteries


    NiCd batteries are the oldest technology batteries. While they offer good performance, NiCd batteries are highly susceptible to the "memory effect." Due to the overall superior performance of Lithium-ion and NiMH batteries and the additional negative environmental impact of NiCd battery disposal, CELLPOWER chooses to specialize in Lithium-ion and NiMN batteries and not carry NiCd batteries in our product line.

    The "Memory Effect"

    "Memory Effect" is a condition of reduced battery performance (and eventual failure) due to a battery only using those cells that are fully discharged and charged on a regular basis. In other words, if on a regular basis a NiCd or NiMH battery is only partially discharged before being recharged, it " forgets" that it has usable capacity to further discharge all the way down. The result is degraded battery performance and shorter battery life because the battery is using less than it's true full capacity. Lithium-ion batteries do not develop the "memory effect". NiMH batteries, while considerably better than their NiCd counterparts, are prone to developing "memory effect." However, proper care and conditioning over the life of a NiMH battery will significantly reduce the potential negative impacts.
    These technologies are not used by the current RIM devices and are just unnecessary information in a discussion of RIM Batteries.

    Do's:

    * Properly "condition" (fully charge/discharge for first 3 cycles) the battery when it is new.
    * Keep the battery and the contact terminals clean.
    * Avoid exposing the battery to extreme heat and cold.
    * Use the battery. If possible, avoid letting your battery sit dormant for long periods of time.
    * Use only the phone options and accessories that you really need.
    * Charge and re-condition a battery after an extended idle period.

    Don'ts:

    * Toss, drop, or otherwise abuse the battery.
    * Short-circuit the battery.
    * Open and expose the cell contents.
    * Modify the battery casing and/or housing.
    * Allow the battery to be exposed to rain or excessive moisture.
    * Incinerate a battery. Properly dispose of a used battery.
    Except for the First statement, which I've addressed above, these are excellent suggestions.

    Thanks for posting this as it gives the opportunity to discuss the good and the bad of common beliefs of how to handle the RIM Device Batteries.

    Rcbjr.
    Last edited by Rcbjr; 03-09-2008 at 02:14 PM.
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    Have to agree with Rc. I leave my phone on 24/7 and have now for yrs and have never had battery issues. The only thing I found that drains a battery is full on use and the only remedy is charging, whether it is daily, every other day or whatever. Thanks for the info though

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    well it was just meant as a reference anyway lol
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    Quote Originally Posted by lucky13mt
    well it was just meant as a reference anyway lol
    Again thanks for the information. It is well to post things like this, and we can always clarify the information to eliminate confusion.

    Rcbjr.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rcbjr View Post
    Again thanks for the information. It is well to post things like this, and we can always clarify the information to eliminate confusion.

    Rcbjr.
    agreed
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    Both your inputs are appreciated in this matter. As mentioned, discussion is great for clarification

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    Thanks for the info lucky13mt!

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    Lots of great, scientifically backed, myth-busting, battery-related information at Battery University.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kupe View Post
    Lots of great, scientifically backed, myth-busting, battery-related information at Battery University.
    I use that site and that article as a referrence for others that ask about Lithium-Ion batteries (most recently quoted in my Seidio review). It has great info but needs to be updated again. The last update was 2006. That's a long time in electronics years.

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    Nice post, thanks for the info!

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