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Stop laptop battery from charging beyond certain point

This is a discussion on Stop laptop battery from charging beyond certain point within the Tech Board forums, part of the Community Boards category; ROFL... still thrasing this non-issue? Just one question... How many of you have actually worked in a hardware service position ...

  1. #46
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    ROFL... still thrasing this non-issue?

    Just one question... How many of you have actually worked in a hardware service position to have anything but theoretical knowledge of this user scenario? Seriously.... Other than your best friend's, brother in law's cousin having a problem... what is your basis for answering here?


    BTW... Cyberfish... I suggested the "discharge to 40% and remove the battery" solution you seem to have settled on in message 20.

  2. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommonTater
    BTW... Cyberfish... I suggested the "discharge to 40% and remove the battery" solution you seem to have settled on in message 20.
    As I observed in post #23: in post #10...
    Quote Originally Posted by phantomotap
    It sucks, but I think the traveler's suggestion of simply charging/discharging the battery to around %40 and removing it from the laptop while at "base" and throwing it on the charger the night before you know you are going to need it is still the best advice.
    Maybe if you had just seconded this suggestion in post #12, all would have been well, heh.
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    Quote Originally Posted by laserlight View Post
    Maybe if you had just seconded this suggestion in post #12, all would have been well, heh.
    Given that I don't read phantamotap's drivel, I didn't see it... and wouldn't give him the pleasure if I did.

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    Just one question... How many of you have actually worked in a hardware service position to have anything but theoretical knowledge of this user scenario? Seriously.... Other than your best friend's, brother in law's cousin having a problem... what is your basis for answering here?
    You are aware that working in a hardware service position is not the only way to get "anything but theoretical knowledge"? For example, using a battery powered product will give you very practical knowledge, too. So will experimentation results.

    Lithium batteries are very well studied. Can you provide any scientific literature (experimentation record) that supports your point? It seems like every single one of them disagrees with you. I guess they must be all wrong because only you have practical experience?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberfish View Post
    You are aware that working in a hardware service position is not the only way to get "anything but theoretical knowledge"? For example, using a battery powered product will give you very practical knowledge, too. So will experimentation results.
    Let me give you an example of the difference between "I own a toshiba laptop" and "I'm responsible for mantaining 250 toshiba laptops"... If you owned one of the ones we were working with you would blame yourself when you accidentally pushed the power plug into the case while trying to connect the charger... However, if you had to maintain 250 of them you would be able to identify it as a design flaw because you saw it often enough to recognize genuine problems... and you would be able to design a correction (a small metal bracket in this case) to apply as a solution.

    Your experience with 1 or 2 devices is not going to be the same as someone's experience with an entire line of them... and it's outright foolish to think it will.

    Lithium batteries are very well studied.
    My point exactly...

    These guys know what they're doing. Think of all the research, testing and engineering skill at play here... We're talking entire teams of engineers who've put in a cumulative total of work probably best measured in centuries to bring this new technology to market... Do you really think they're going to get stupid at the last minute and design a charging circuit that somehow negates the benefits of their invention?

    Seriously ... think about it.

    Look... I see this all the time. It's a known issue in the electronics industry. Diplomas do not confer either the depth or the breadth of practical experience that is gained by being in the field with the end product. All the electronic theory in the world is not going to give you the true sense of how a product behaves in day to day use... That information comes from the people who maintain the equipment. But a great many people with nice diplomas and limited experience still feel qualified to profess greater knowledge. In the technical/service side of the industry we literally label engineers like that as having "just enough knowledge to be dangerous". (And, trust me, you do not want to know how we refer to people with *no* training who think they're smarter than us.)

    Look at your various ideas here... A blue tooth controlled relay? Really... At what point did you become smart enough to second-guess all the accumulated wisdom that went into the design of one of these products? By what means do you know better?

    As a service manager I could always tell the good engineers from the hacks... The good ones would come to me and ask how their product is performing in the field. The hacks would come to me and try to tell me how to do my job.

    Which do you want to be?

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    And it was about this time the doorbell rang. It was the pizza guy. If this was a pornographic story my sister would have had less clothes and no money; she'd have to pay him for the pizza another way. This isn't that kind of story. We had no money, but we had a lot of guns. This is survival story... where Pizza Hut had taken over... and we were out for revenge!

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    God!! You guys crack me up.
    HAHAHA!!!
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    These guys know what they're doing. Think of all the research, testing and engineering skill at play here... We're talking entire teams of engineers who've put in a cumulative total of work probably best measured in centuries to bring this new technology to market... Do you really think they're going to get stupid at the last minute and design a charging circuit that somehow negates the benefits of their invention?
    I thought we had that settled long ago? Or I guess you just didn't read other people's posts... They optimize it for maximum battery life if you want to go mobile any time, at the expense of long term battery aging. That's what most people want, just not what I want, so I want to change it. This is not "second guessing". This is optimizing for another goal.

    Look... I see this all the time. It's a known issue in the electronics industry. Diplomas do not confer either the depth or the breadth of practical experience that is gained by being in the field with the end product. All the electronic theory in the world is not going to give you the true sense of how a product behaves in day to day use... That information comes from the people who maintain the equipment. But a great many people with nice diplomas and limited experience still feel qualified to profess greater knowledge. In the technical/service side of the industry we literally label engineers like that as having "just enough knowledge to be dangerous". (And, trust me, you do not want to know how we refer to people with *no* training who think they're smarter than us.)
    And then there are 2 types of engineering managers -
    One that listens humbly to what his/her subordinates have to say, and correct them when they are wrong using logic, proper reasoning, and verifiable knowledge.

    And then there's one that doesn't care what subordinates have to say (they are fresh out of college, what do THEY know anyways?), and try to get people to believe them blindly because "they have years of experience". Why is the Earth flat? Because I say so and I have years of experience. Why do electrons flow from negative terminal to positive terminal? Because I say so and I have years of experience.

    I have had both kinds of managers, and I don't care about type 2.

    Engineering is applied science. Science is about what is the truth. Having 30 years of experience doesn't make you any more correct. So can we get over that and start talking about facts and verifiable knowledge, instead of using "I have years of experience" to counter any argument?
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberfish View Post
    I thought we had that settled long ago? Or I guess you just didn't read other people's posts... They optimize it for maximum battery life if you want to go mobile any time, at the expense of long term battery aging.
    And exactly how do you know that?
    Because some faux-authority "battery university" website said so?

    In fact the common sense goal --and the one most appear to have followed-- is to maximize per-charge usage time *without sacrificing the over all longiveity of the battery pack*.

    Once again... Having been in a position to observe battery life issues across hundreds of machines, I've not yet seen the case where running on AC power in any way degrades the longivity of the battery pack. Which is why post #1 on this topic labeled it a "non issue"...

    I seriously don't know what I can say to make you hear me. At this point I figure you're just arguing for the sake of arguing.

    That's what most people want, just not what I want, so I want to change it. This is not "second guessing". This is optimizing for another goal.
    No, that's called "making a mistake".

    Again... from experience with hundreds of notebooks... I've seen no evidence whatsoever that simply plugging them in on AC power and using them is going to have any meaninguful negative impact on the battery pack. It is not inherrently damaging to bring them to a state of charge and let them sit there, as you call it "in storage" while the machine operates dominantly from AC power. Modern charging circuits no longer continuously charge battiers... they are smart enough to shut off when the battery reaches about 95% of it's safe charge (and yes that number is taken from the service manual of the machines I worked with).

    In the scenario where the machine is used mostly on batteries, yes the battery life both overall and per-charge is going to slowly degrade with time. It is not possible to charge a battery without doing a little bit of damage, it's an expected fact of life. The "I use mine on batteries every day and after a year I only get 1/2 the specified time" problem does in fact occur and, yes, it is expected. As everyone here has cited there is a limit to how many times you can drain (under rather heavy current, btw) a battery pack then recharge it... They will eventually fail and that is an expected and ordinary part of that usage scenario.

    You are talking about one -- ONE -- charge... not hundreds.

    I am telling you this is a non-issue, just use the thing...


    What it appears you've gotten yourself hooked into --and cannot let go of-- is a bunch of BS magically transplanted from the days of NI-CAD batteries, recharged through an always-on circuit that did indeed damage the batteries. (As I tried to tell you, right up front)


    Engineering is applied science. Science is about what is the truth. Having 30 years of experience doesn't make you any more correct. So can we get over that and start talking about facts and verifiable knowledge, instead of using "I have years of experience" to counter any argument?
    Oh boy. If only I had a penny for every time some wet-behind-the-ears rookie tried to argue that experience means nothing in the face of pure science... only to call me on his *first* service call all humble asking me to come to his rescue.

    In fact one such call sticks in my mind as a perfect example: I was called to a location in another city a 1 hour drive away regarding a copy machine that simply would not come to life, the panel was lit up, the counters initialized but it would not make a copy. Our newly graduated, "I know more than all of you" genius technician had replaced every single board in that entire machine and was about to start pulling out motors and lamps... Everything in his totally theoretical knowledge base was telling him it was a controller board problem... but with his complete (embarrassing) lack of experience, he never once thought of the rather obvious: a blown motor fuse. 2 technicians, 4 hours drive time, 7+ hours of labour... and all that machine needed was a 3 amp fuse that would have been the first thing anyone with even minimal field experience would have checked.

    Like him, you are on the edge of a very eye opening experience... You are about to discover that all your fancy engineering training (and yes I've been through it all too) doesn't count for squat when you get out in the real world and start seeing how things actually behave in the customer's hands.

    Another example, this time pure engineering... The head office boys designed a new cash register, based on the Z-80 processor, marvelous machine, a real "top of the line" device for it's day with features many cash registers don't have, even now. When put into production and out into the field we started getting dozens of calls about "lock ups"... the machine would just die while the cashiers were using it. As soon as we realized this was a common occurance, happening sometimes 10 and 15 times a day, the engineers went after it full bore... They analysed the software, they did current checks on the power supply, they checked voltages and even did emulations of various failure modes. *Nobody* could explain it... In the end it was one of our techs from a branch office, 30 years in the field and near retirement who solved the problem... by placing an insufoil shield over the CPU chip. It seems nobody except this guy even considered the possibility of RFI from nearby transmitters causing lockups. Were it not for this one tech's extensive field experience, the problem would never have been fixed.

    As is the case with many beginning programmers we see on these boards... your books and statistics do not tell the whole story. The truth is that your degree in engineering has given you little more than a starting point, the first step into a very broad field where the actual experience you gather will be your best teacher.

    Only a complete fool would value textbook knowledge over the lessons of experience... and someday (hopefully) very soon, you're going to find that out the hard way.... We all do.

    I learned this lesson the hard way, as do most techs and engineers... Now, many years into this, I still learn from new experiences every day, my textbooks sit dusty on the shelf, used only rarely when I need to look up some obscure formula. Your "Science" doesn't hold a candle to the reality of what goes on in the real world, my friend.

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    I did not say experience is not important. It is.

    What I was saying is, you can't try to convince any reasonable person anything with the reason "because I have years of experience".

    Years of experience may lead you to the solution faster, but you still need reasoning to back it up. Experience doesn't excuse you from having to back your claims up (more than anecdotally).

    It's a very simple experiment to do, and "battery university" site sounds credible, and has results that agree with what MOST people experience.

    I can easily do the experiment myself, too. Just need to buy a few lithium packs, and do HTOL at different charge levels, and see what happens. But of course, your personal anecdote would still be more credible than real world test results, so I won't bother.

    I seriously don't know what I can say to make you hear me. At this point I figure you're just arguing for the sake of arguing.
    At least that's something we agree on.

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    What I was saying is, you can't try to convince any reasonable person anything with the reason "because I have years of experience".
    Actually... you can't convince someone stupid enough to think that textbook learning in a university environment is everything there is to know of *anything*.

    In the real world, which I doubt you've encountered just yet... it is FAR more common to draw upon the experiences of others than some ludicrous appeal to authority from a textbook. I don't go to my coworkers and ask "What does the manual say about this?"... I can look that up for myself. I go them and ask "What has been your experience with this.... " ... Really, think about it...

    Maybe once you do actually get out in the real world, you'll figure it out. The ones who don't find themselves in the rather awful position of ruling themselves right out of the job market because they stopped learning the day they graduated university... and engineering departments DO NOT run on textbooks...


    Quote Originally Posted by cyberfish View Post

    I seriously don't know what I can say to make you hear me. At this point I figure you're just arguing for the sake of arguing.

    At least that's something we agree on.
    Then I guess we're done here.
    Last edited by CommonTater; 01-17-2012 at 04:14 AM.

  13. #58
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    Argumentum ad verecundiam -- simple logical fallacy.

    I like the Latin because it sounds so...authoritative . You're a walking textbook of classical fallacies, Tater. I halfway believe you do it on purpose because you think it's funny. This is another interesting one:

    Argumentum verbosum

    Those two mostly work on kids and dimwits.

    Quote Originally Posted by CommonTater View Post
    In fact the common sense goal --and the one most appear to have followed-- is to maximize per-charge usage time *without sacrificing the over all longevity of the battery pack*.
    Never mind science, as I pointed out a long time ago, you can't even reason properly. This is an illogical point. It presumes there is a way to make the battery last forever, other than just leaving it in a freezer somewhere.

    Since that is not the case, just by using the battery you are "sacrificing the over all longevity". Like almost everything, the more you use it, the sooner it will wear out. And, how you treat it will also affect it's lifespan.

    Or maybe I can just store my batteries in a running microwave?

    It's not a water jug. Leaving it full will cause it to diminish in capacity more quickly. The manufacturers are happy to admit this, as phantamotap demonstrated, and perhaps a quick glance in your own manual might confirm.

    And exactly how do you know that?
    Because some faux-authority "battery university" website said so?
    It's not contentious. No one has refuted this information anywhere, except you, and you:

    1) Have a hard time making sense, and have failed to convince anyone that there is any value in your many years of being you.

    2) Have not cited even one single source to back up all your claims. If you are really the skilled and knowledgeable professional you claim to be, I'd think that would be easy. But apparently not.

    Maybe once you do actually get out in the real world, you'll figure it out.
    This is the real world. Someone should do a case study .

    Let me give you an example of the difference between "I own a toshiba laptop" and "I'm responsible for mantaining 250 toshiba laptops"... If you owned one of the ones we were working with you would blame yourself when you accidentally pushed the power plug into the case while trying to connect the charger... However, if you had to maintain 250 of them you would be able to identify it as a design flaw
    Really? Why would it take you that long? Why would it not seem like a design flaw the first time? It would to me. I'd say it was completely normal for normal people to spot design flaws in things they own one of. And completely normal for them to be correct.
    Of course, there could be a reason for that flaw, such as the trade-off between weight and strength. However, seeing as how you are not actually a toshiba engineer, I don't get how signing 100 or 200 or 1000 of them in and out of a closet would put you any closer to understanding why the design is the way it is unless you did some research. Which anyone else could do as well. I'm sorry if that undercuts the mystical value of all the time cards you punched.
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  14. #59
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    Touché!
    ...Maybe.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    Really? Why would it take you that long? Why would it not seem like a design flaw the first time? It would to me. I'd say it was completely normal for normal people to spot design flaws in things they own one of. And completely normal for them to be correct.
    Of course, there could be a reason for that flaw, such as the trade-off between weight and strength. However, seeing as how you are not actually a toshiba engineer, I don't get how signing 100 or 200 or 1000 of them in and out of a closet would put you any closer to understanding why the design is the way it is unless you did some research. Which anyone else could do as well. I'm sorry if that undercuts the mystical value of all the time cards you punched.
    I have to say though, that one incident is insignificant statistically and would count as anecdotal evidence, it could be down to a coincidence etc. Where as having seen 250 incidents would provide some statistical credibility that the observation is not just a coincidence.
    Last edited by Subsonics; 01-17-2012 at 01:05 PM.

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