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Hardware Thread, Acer travelmate 2000 notebooks in Technical; Hi all, We have a laptop trolley of 16 of these laptops... I bet you know what is coming... the ...
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    Acer travelmate 2000 notebooks

    Hi all,

    We have a laptop trolley of 16 of these laptops... I bet you know what is coming... the teachers have been complaining to me over the past few weeks that the batteries on most of them seem to die after about 10-20 minutes. As they are all charged from the same socket, I seperated one of them from the trolley and left it on charge all last night on its own (as soon as I plugged it in, the battery indicator insisted it was full but I left it on charge anyway). I turned it on this morning and got about 20 mins before it put itself into standby due to low battery.

    I understand that laptop batteries are a nightmare for domestic use, let along school use, but is there nothing else it could be that is draining the power excessively and unnecessarily on all of these laptops? I want to be sure before I upset our ICT co-ordinator by telling her that we need to buy 16 new batteries.

    Also, has anyone had a similar problem at school before and if so, what did they do (e.g. get rid of the laptops? keep buying new batteries? etc.)

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    Re: Acer travelmate 2000 notebooks

    If you usually use a laptop with it's charger plugged in. I've found this tends to quietly kill the battery capacity (and eventually the battery itself) over time.

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    Re: Acer travelmate 2000 notebooks

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff
    If you usually use a laptop with it's charger plugged in. I've found this tends to quietly kill the battery capacity (and eventually the battery itself) over time.
    They are never used with the charger in them, as the chargers are part of the trolley.

    The only three possibilities I have thought of are:

    1. They are always left on charge when not in use (though I read that over-charging doesn't lower battery life or damage the battery in any way)

    2. There could be some software running that is draining power - most likely a windows update thats gone wrong (not very unusual with MS really, lol)

    3. The most likely possibility, the batteries have been destroyed due to "kid use". We all know what that means

    Also they are not service pack 2 yet. But I doubt this makes any difference...

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    Re: Acer travelmate 2000 notebooks

    We have just replaced 16 laptop batteries after getting about 18months out of them.

    To keep a laptop battery running optimum what you should do is once it is fully charged uplug the machine from the charger and use it until the battery is down to say 10% before charging it up again.

    The problem in a school environment is they might be used for an hour go back on charger for 10-15minutes be used for another hour or so plugged in and charged over lunchtime then used again in the afternoon and plugged in overnight. This is not an optimum charging profile.

    It's just a fact that a laptop battery needs to be treated as a consumable and to budget for replacements. Manafacturers only warranty the battery for 6 months.

    Ben

    Ben

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    Re: Acer travelmate 2000 notebooks

    I have just bought loads of TravelMate 2400 series laptops and they are supposed to have a 4.5hour battery life. Currently I am luckly to get 1.30hours out of them! They are still new however, so I am hoping that with a few charges/discharges they will get close to their full capacity!

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    Re: Acer travelmate 2000 notebooks

    Plexor is right with this one the continual short bursts of charging/ discharging can invoke what is called the "battery memory effect" See article here Battery memory effect

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    Re: Acer travelmate 2000 notebooks

    Nearly, 'memory effect' only applies to NiCad batteries. Most laptops have LiIon these days. What's actually happening is something called 'Voltage Depression'. To quote wikipedia

    Voltage depression is caused by repeated over-charging of a battery, which causes the formation of small crystals of electrolyte on the plates. These can clog the plates, increasing resistance and lowering the voltage of some individual cells in the battery. This results in a seemingly rapid discharge as those individual cells discharge quickly and the voltage of the battery as a whole suddenly falls. This effect is very common, as consumer trickle chargers typically overcharge.

    Urban legends about the memory effect, universally referring to voltage depression, have led to all sorts of superstitious behaviour in order to "fix" dead batteries. The most common recommendation is to completely drain the battery in some other device in order to dissolve the crystals. While this works in theory, it more often leads to damage to the other cells in the battery pack, correcting the problem in the short term but eventually leading to a considerably shorter battery life. To perform this properly, each cell must be individually discharged, not the entire pack as a whole. Otherwise, some cells discharge before others, causing them to be charged in reverse by the remaining cells, severely damaging them.

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