And Care Of Batteries
is the "Memory Effect"?
NiCad batteries, and to a lesser extent NiMH batteries, suffer from what's
called the "memory effect". What this means is that if a battery
is repeatedly only partially discharged before recharging, the battery
"forgets" that it has the capacity to further discharge all
the way down. To illustrate: If you, on a regular basis, fully charge
your battery and then use only 50% of its capacity before the next recharge,
eventually the battery will become unaware of its extra 50% capacity which
has remained unused. The battery will remain functional, but only at 50%
of its original capacity.
How to avoid the memory
The way to avoid
the dreaded "memory effect" is to fully cycle (fully charge
and then fully discharge) the battery at least once every two to three
weeks. Batteries can be discharged by unplugging the device's AC adapter
and letting the device run on the battery until it ceases to function.
This will insure your battery remains healthy.
How Can I Maximize
There are several steps you can take to insure that you get maximum performance
from the battery:
Break In New Batteries
New batteries come in a discharged condition and must be fully charged
before use. It is recommended that you fully charge and discharge the
new battery two to four times to allow it to reach its maximum rated capacity.
Prevent the Memory
Keep the battery healthy by fully charging and then fully discharging
it at least once every two to three weeks. Exceptions to the rule are
Li-Ion batteries which do not suffer from the memory effect.
Keep the Batteries
It's a good idea to clean dirty battery contacts with a cotton swab and
alcohol. This helps maintain a good connection between the battery and
the portable device.
Exercise the Battery
Do not leave the battery dormant for long periods of time. We recommend
using the battery at least once every two to three weeks. If a battery
has not been used for a long period of time, perform the new battery break
in procedure described above.
you don't plan on using the battery for a month or more, we recommend
storing it in a clean, dry, cool place away from heat and metal objects.
NiCad, NiMH and Li-Ion batteries will self-discharge during storage; remember
to break them in before use. Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) batteries must be
kept at full charge during storage. This is usually achieved by using
special trickle chargers. If you do not have a trickle charger, do not
attempt to store SLA batteries for more than three months.
Are Batteries Rated? (What Are Volts and Amps?)
There are two ratings on every battery: volts and amp-hours (AH). The
AH rating may also be given as milliamp-hours (mAH), which are one-thousandth
of an amp-hour (for example, 1AH is 1000mAH). The voltage of the new battery
should always match the voltage of your original unless the batteries
are different chemistries (NiMH and Li-Ion batteries have different voltage
ratings, even if they're for the same laptop). Some Hi-Capacity™
batteries will have higher amp-hour ratings than the original battery
found in the device. This is indicative of a longer run-time (higher capacity)
and will not cause any incompatibilities.
Long Do Batteries Last (What is the Life Span of the New Battery)?
The life of a rechargeable battery operating under normal conditions is
generally between 500 to 800 charge-discharge cycles. This translates
into one and a half to three years of battery life for the average user.
As the rechargeable battery begins to die, the user will notice a decline
in the running time of the battery. When a battery that originally operated
the notebook for two hours is only supplying the user with an hour's worth
of use, it's time for a new one.