Thinkpad Batteries

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Thinkpad Batteries

Walter Alejandro Iglesias-2
About Thinkpad's batteries.

A bit off-topic being a hardware specific question but taking in care
several people here say to use Thinkpads (and the cost of their
batteries) I think it'll be useful for everyone to share our experience.

My experience with these laptops is short, I bought a refurbished x201
in Jan 2014 and a T420, second hand too, in Sep 2014.  The first came
with a *new* 9-cell lenovo original battery that lasts almost 6 hours
long as who sold me had promised me.

I received the T420 with a used 6-cell lenovo original battery that gave
me barely 2 hours.  I presumed it'd give me 6 like the x201 with
a 9-cell one, so I bought through ebay a *supposed* "lenovo original"
new 9-cell battery that suddenly *died* after 15 days of use :-).  The
vendor refunded me the money so the second time I bought some of those
*trade-less* 9-cell ones you find in ebay.  That's the one I have in use
since Dec 2014.  Initially it lasted ~4.5 hours, but now, after 7 months
of use, it lasts no longer than 2 hours.

As I told you my experience with these laptops (and laptops in general)
is short so I don't know if I wasn't lucky or those in forums that
assure these batteries can give *15 hours* did the test in suspended to
RAM state :-).

Did some of you get 15 hours from some of these batteries?  If that's
true, what tech specs should I take in care at time to buy a new one?


        Walter



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Re: Thinkpad Batteries

Walter Alejandro Iglesias-2
On Mon, Jul 13, 2015 at 04:56:33PM +0200, Walter Alejandro Iglesias wrote:
> I bought a refurbished x201 in Jan 2014 and a T420...

Sorry, I'm getting old and idiot.  The laptop isn't a T420, it's a "T410".


        Walter

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Re: Thinkpad Batteries

Karel Gardas
FYI: I have T500, bought 9 cell battery 2 years ago? or was it 3
years? hw.sensors tells me that "design capacity" is 84.24Wh and that
current capacity is  57.01Wh. Note that battery as it is was barely
used since I don't use this computer that much recent years. I'm just
using it more 2-3 last weeks going out and hence batter is used
(finally). I remember it was 57.7Wh current when I started
experimenting with OpenBSD on it (2-3 weeks ago), now it's 57.01Wh
this is after about 13-17 recharge (not fulll!) cycles.
So well, batteries are expensive and do not last that long at the end.
Cheers,
Karel

On Mon, Jul 13, 2015 at 5:44 PM, Walter Alejandro Iglesias
<[hidden email]> wrote:
> On Mon, Jul 13, 2015 at 04:56:33PM +0200, Walter Alejandro Iglesias wrote:
>> I bought a refurbished x201 in Jan 2014 and a T420...
>
> Sorry, I'm getting old and idiot.  The laptop isn't a T420, it's a "T410".
>
>
>         Walter

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Re: Thinkpad Batteries

Christian Weisgerber
In reply to this post by Walter Alejandro Iglesias-2
On 2015-07-13, Walter Alejandro Iglesias <[hidden email]> wrote:

> About Thinkpad's batteries.

I think very little can be said.  Too much depends on the model,
the condition of the batteries, and your usage pattern.  There's a
big difference whether you run make -j4 build or stare at vi in an
xterm.  Apart from CPU load, display brightness is probably the
single biggest factor.

The battery sensors may be useful:

hw.sensors.acpibat0.volt0=11.10 VDC (voltage)
hw.sensors.acpibat0.volt1=12.55 VDC (current voltage)
hw.sensors.acpibat0.power0=8.86 W (rate)
hw.sensors.acpibat0.watthour0=46.54 Wh (last full capacity)
hw.sensors.acpibat0.watthour1=2.33 Wh (warning capacity)
hw.sensors.acpibat0.watthour2=0.20 Wh (low capacity)
hw.sensors.acpibat0.watthour3=46.18 Wh (remaining capacity), OK
hw.sensors.acpibat0.watthour4=62.16 Wh (design capacity)
hw.sensors.acpibat0.raw0=1 (battery discharging), OK

This tells us that this, IIRC, approximately three-year-old battery
in my X230 is now reduced to ~75% of its design capacity.

> As I told you my experience with these laptops (and laptops in general)
> is short so I don't know if I wasn't lucky or those in forums that
> assure these batteries can give *15 hours* did the test in suspended to
> RAM state :-).

Maximizing laptop runtime can't be accomplished by one big button,
but involves many small optimizations.  Apparently the MS Windows
installs shipped with most laptops are quite effective in this
regard.

Somebody wrote up possible power-saving measures for FreeBSD on a
laptop.  This doesn't directly apply to OpenBSD, but it gives you
an idea of the complexity:
https://wiki.freebsd.org/TuningPowerConsumption

--
Christian "naddy" Weisgerber                          [hidden email]

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Re: Thinkpad Batteries

Walter Alejandro Iglesias-2
> This doesn't directly apply to OpenBSD, but it gives you an idea of
> the complexity:
>
> https://wiki.freebsd.org/TuningPowerConsumption

Good info.

Thanks,


        Walter

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Re: Thinkpad Batteries

lists-2
In reply to this post by Walter Alejandro Iglesias-2
It is reasonable to expect reduced lifetime on refurbished systems for
their batteries, fans, and keyboards, cabling, plastic casing, hinges,
light sources for display and indication etc. The value of using
pre-owned laptops is questionable unless specifically addressing the
favourite brand/models, though for technical people it's a good source
of savings, tinkering options and overall fun times.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium-ion_battery#Battery_life

All batteries use chemical elements that wear off depending on:

- charge/recharge pattern
- number of cycles
- temperature
- usage pattern (drain current/speed/depth of depletion)
- storage pattern
- general longevity of the chemical system

The laptop manufacturer has calculated a typical usage pattern and
expiration date. Much can be done to address this, yet not much can be
done to escape the physical and chemical processes. In the end, all
batteries age and need replacement, always sooner than desired.

What may be worth mentioning is that many unnamed sellers online ship
unoriginal, unofficial, knock-off, replacements, or merely lower
quality items, some of which may have been binned at the factory and/or
exported without quality control. Or simply not as good as the
original.

There are also better than original parts, when the capacity of the
battery may be larger in the same casing. It is reasonable to order a
battery when you need it, and not years ahead though see above storage
affects the performance.

As much as official (branded etc) sales chains bring problems with
pricing and availability, it may be worth using them for batteries and
recycle responsibly. You can get lucky replacing the elements in the
battery pack, though not recommended for people without electrical
engineering knowledge.

The so called original parts are overpriced, so you can invest the same
money in several knock-off batteries and not worry much, or use an
external battery + inverter, or better direct feed the DC stabilised as
in place of the AC charger.

If monstrous battery time is required, one can always use more than one
battery, internal and/or external (jump-start packs), car adaptor plug +
inverter with the stock AC adaptor etc. Use your imagination what you
can stick in a tough rucksack, example can be followed by searching
online what amateur radio techs do for their field / mobile stations.
For general use though, the internal battery is just as good, and
depending on your enthusiasm this can get you far.

Much of the above is general knowledge, and personal opinion only. Your
mileage may vary greatly, and there are a ton of places for bad
practices or bad luck. Some batteries though can last 5-6 years of
moderate usage quite well. Please add more interesting suggestions or
correct blunt edges.